ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 12 March 2013. Page 3 of 9. 12 Comments

The AMD Radeon HD 7850 "Pitcairn" GPU was tested under a development snapshot of Ubuntu 13.04. All testing in this article happened from the proprietary Catalyst Linux graphics driver.

The Catalyst Linux driver has supported the Radeon HD 7000 series from the beginning while the open-source support has struggled behind. When using the very latest code, the open-source Radeon HD 7000 series support is coming into shape via the "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver, but there's still a lot of work ahead before the HD 7000 series open-source support will be on par with the HD 4000/5000/6000 series open-source Linux driver support. The HD 7000 series support isn't quite ready for end-users but the current level of performance and capabilities will be shared in a separate Phoronix article.

For any generation of Radeon graphics cards, high-end GPUs also don't really work well or make sense for the open-source driver due to the slow performance relative to the Catalyst driver. Using the Radeon HD 7850 graphics card with the open-source driver at this point would be borderline insanity. If you want a graphics card for use with the open-source Radeon driver, you're best off buying an older ~$50 graphics card where you'll find about the same level of performance and more implemented functionality.

The ASUS Radeon HD 7850 was tested with the fglrx 9.1.11 (OpenGL 4.2.11986) binary graphics driver currently available from the Ubuntu "Raring" repository. This driver worked okay but there were a few stability issues at times when running the Unigine Valley benchmark on Linux. Unfortunately when testing the other Radeon graphics cards, due to a well known Catalyst Linux bug, there was the "unsupported hardware" watermark for the other GPUs.



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