AMD's Linux drivers offer improved gaming performance
Version 13.1 of AMD's proprietary Linux graphics drivers apparently fixes a performance issue with Valve games. The new version of Catalyst is also said to solve a similar problem with graphics cards in the "Southern Islands" generation. Both problems are listed in the "Resolved Issues" section of the new version's release notes, although no details are given. Some information is available in the release notes for the Catalyst 12.11 beta that preceded version 13.1 – according to this document, the driver offers significant performance improvements with the Linux variant of Left for Dead 2; however, this version of the game has yet to be released by Valve.
Another major new feature is official support for X Server 1.13 – the version that was introduced last September and which is already the basis for the user interface of various distributions released in the past few months. Users of these distributions had to resort to the aforementioned beta driver if they wanted to use AMD's proprietary driver. AMD is still lagging behind in terms of kernel support, as the driver only officially supports the series 3.5 versions of the Linux kernel, but not the current Linux 3.7; maintenance of the series 3.5 kernels was discontinued in October.
With the new version, the driver's Ubuntu 12.10 support has been given "Production Support" status. Version 13.1 is also the first release to work with with AMD's recently introduced Radeon HD 8000 series.