‘Steam OS’ Alchemist Beta Update with Latest AMD Drivers is out – Did it Just Get Mantle API?

Usman Pirzada
Posted Mar 9, 2014
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Ladies and gentlemen, “Steam OS” has just received the Alchemist Beta Update 93 with the newer AMD 14.1 Drivers, the same drivers which house the Mantle API. We will be on the lookout for any benchmarks posted and see if there is any variation between the “Steam OS” numbers and Windows.

“Steam OS” Latest Alchemist Beta Update is Out – Houses AMD 14.1 Mantle API Drivers

The latest Alchemist Beta Update for Steam OS has rolled out and along with it brought the 14.1 Beta AMD Drivers along with some other improvements.

This latest ‘Alchemist Beta Update’ can be downloaded from here.

The “Steam OS” update not only adds AMD’s 14.1 Beta Drivers but interestingly it also adds Mantle API, which the change log does not mention explicitly, but is readily deduced from the fact that 14.1’s critical component is Mantle API. Considering that in all probability “Steam OS” finally has the much coveted Mantle API it appears that it is moving in the right direction. It also means that two of the potential game changers (“Steam OS” and Mantle API) are now coming in one packaging. Do keep in mind however that though the AMD 14.1 update includes Mantle API getting it to actually run, or support thereof on the world’s first Gaming OS, might be a whole different story. The fact that the change log does not explicitly state that doesn’t help either.

Anyways, the Update also comes with specific instructions: “AMD graphics users, please make sure to reboot as soon as the “SteamOS” reboot required’ notification pops up after the driver update is applied. Otherwise you most likely will be unable to play any games until you do” said Valve engineer Pierre-Loup.

This is what the full Changelog of the “Steam OS” Alchemist Update reads:

  • Fixed a critical APT bug resulting in packages sometimes being erroneously erased during updates (many thanks to Michael Vogt and Simon McVittie)
  • Added support for detecting hybrid configurations and using the driver corresponding to the primary VGA output by default
  • Fixed a bug where “Preparing hardware drivers…” would be erroneously printed during startup
  • Preinstalled all the languages that are supported by Steam client to enable a localized SteamOS desktop
  • Fixed lightdm so the desktop Region and Languages control panel can change the per-user language
  • Fixed “Metro: Last Light” on Intel graphics by backporting GLX support for ARB_create_context from newer X servers
  • Added Thai and CJK fonts
  • Fixed steamcompmgr to properly focus “CID the Dummy”
  • Updated AMD graphics driver to 1:14.1~beta1.3-1 from Debian jessie
  • Updated gnutls26, file, xserver-xorg-video-intel packages to incorporate upstream Debian fixes

 

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