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The built in linux games run very slowly for me. I don't have something set up right I am sure as my computer is pretty good. I have a Radeon 9500 pro. Could the problem be that I need the linux driver put out by Radeon or something else?
Yup, you've just answered your own question . Get the official ATI drivers at ATI homepage. Generic drivers won't give you 3D acceleration... I use Nvidia myself so I won't be able to help you installing it. But make a search at this forum and you will get by
You probably do have a problem with a configuration. Which games go slow? I had problems before with tux racer (at least that showed me I had a problem), I had to install advanced nv drivers. If you are cabable of doing so (which anyone is, if motivated) recompile your kernel and setup up your graphics in it. Also it might be a good idea to give more specific information ( distrobution, kernel, game, hardware). This way more people can give you specific information.
You need the ATI drivers to get 3D hardware acceleration. After you install them you'll get a massive speed improvement for 3D games. Get the driver for linux from www.ati.com. It's in an rpm package which your distro might handle? I use Slackware so I converted to tgz using the utility rpm2tgz. Depending on your kernel, the package may already have a compiled module available which you can load. If not, you'll have to do a two step compile process to build a custom module. Very eay and there is a README file out there that will guide you through it. I just installed the latest drivers (3.7.6) and I'm very happy with the speed and stability.