Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

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Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby Sam The Bam 4 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:58 pm

Hello Fellas.
OK, I'm new to this forum so please forgive my noobbish nature, cheers.

I Have an old Sony VAIO PCG-FX401 (UK) Laptop which I swapped Windows XP Professional SP2 for Linux Mint 7 XFCE CE. I found that WinXP ran like a dead horse on this lappy once youi started adding things like Adobe Flash, Firefox, and Kaspersky Internet security, and so I thought LInux would be faster on this aeging machine.

However, it seems to take awhile to open Firefox and do just general things like opening Openoffice.org or editing settings is really slow on this machine, here is its specs,

Mobile AMD Duron CPU 800MHz CPU, 64KB On-board cache
VIA Apollo KT133A Chipset
256MB SDRAM (Upgraded from the original 128MB)
15GB Hitachi HDD (not sure about the speed)
8x DVD-ROM Drive
VIA On-Board sound (not sure of which model exactly)
8MB ATI RAGE Mobility-M1 3D GPU
Edimax 802.11n Wi-Fi USB Stick (plugged into USB1.1 Port) Ralink chipset

I tried the LInux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox CE which ran slightly faster but didn't recognise my Wi-Fi network in the wicd Manager, and I didn't like it all that much.

Anyone know of anything I can do to make it run a little faster, or should I use another distro of Linux or just go back to WinXP? Any help would be very mcuh appreciated.
Cheers
Sam The Bam
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby lagagnon on Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:06 pm

Sam The Bam 4 wrote:256MB SDRAM (Upgraded from the original 128MB)


There's your problem. You can use an xfce distro with 256MB but as you've noticed once you open FF and/or OO your computer will probably have to use swap memory on the hard drive and you will definitely then notice a slow down. Your only options are to live with it, install more RAM (very cheap nowadays) or use fluxbox,lxde,jwm, IceWM or another low RAM window manager.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby Sam The Bam 4 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:17 pm

lagagnon wrote:
Sam The Bam 4 wrote:256MB SDRAM (Upgraded from the original 128MB)


There's your problem. You can use an xfce distro with 256MB but as you've noticed once you open FF and/or OO your computer will probably have to use swap memory on the hard drive and you will definitely then notice a slow down. Your only options are to live with it, install more RAM (very cheap nowadays) or use fluxbox,lxde,jwm, IceWM or another low RAM window manager.
Cheers Bud, I suspected memory had something to do with it, but it's funny when you think about it, I mean XFCE doesn't look as if it's doing much more than WinXP, or even Win98 are and yet those GUI's could run comfortably on system's with far less horsepower pretty fast.

Alrihgt, I understand that these proprietry Microsoft OS's were designed a decade ago to run on the machines of the time, and so you'd expect them to be faster, but surely XFCE isn't [i]that[i][i]demanding considering it's GUI isn't too disimilar from the above one's, and it doesn't have alot of eye candy either, heck Fluxbox had drop shadows and transparency thrown in and it was quicker.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby hinto on Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:29 pm

I think the slowness you're seeing is part of OO and FF, and no so much XFCE. XFCE is lighter than Gnome and KDE, but if OO and FF is a memory hog in KDE and Gnome (not saying that they necessarily are), then they'll be a memory hog in XFCE, LXDE, Fluxbox, etc.

You may want to try "lighter" word processors and internet browsers. (until you upgrade your ram)

-Hinto
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby lagagnon on Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:43 pm

Sam The Bam 4 wrote: Alrihgt, I understand that these proprietry Microsoft OS's were designed a decade ago to run on the machines of the time, and so you'd expect them to be faster, but surely XFCE isn't [i]that[i][i]demanding considering it's GUI isn't too disimilar from the above one's, and it doesn't have alot of eye candy either, heck Fluxbox had drop shadows and transparency thrown in and it was quicker.


It is not "just" xfce. Modern operating systems like Mint have a number of continually running processes that automate a lot of stuff, that modern computer users want automated, hence there are a lot of background processes also consuming RAM - not just xfce. You can look at these with "ps aux" run from a terminal or with the "System Monitor" GUI - t also shows you how much RAM and CPU each is consuming.

To compare WinXP with Linux you would have to go back to Linux distros from 5-8 years ago.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby Sam The Bam 4 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:50 pm

lagagnon wrote:
Sam The Bam 4 wrote: Alrihgt, I understand that these proprietry Microsoft OS's were designed a decade ago to run on the machines of the time, and so you'd expect them to be faster, but surely XFCE isn't [i]that[i][i]demanding considering it's GUI isn't too disimilar from the above one's, and it doesn't have alot of eye candy either, heck Fluxbox had drop shadows and transparency thrown in and it was quicker.


It is not "just" xfce. Modern operating systems like Mint have a number of continually running processes that automate a lot of stuff, that modern computer users want automated, hence there are a lot of background processes also consuming RAM - not just xfce. You can look at these with "ps aux" run from a terminal or with the "System Monitor" GUI - t also shows you how much RAM and CPU each is consuming.

To compare WinXP with Linux you would have to go back to Linux distros from 5-8 years ago.
Thanks bud, no I can definitly understand what your saying, I might try installing LXDE and see how that works out, although I'm concerned that doing this will mean that the whole Desktop changes(i.e., I won't have acess to the same apps as I did in XFCE).

Oh BTW, on my newer laptop with 1GB RAM, and intel Core Duo t2500 I get an average of about 10% CPU, and 370MB RAM usage when running firefox in the Main GNOME edition so GNOME isn't too bad although not as lightweight as XFCE obviously
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Re: Linux Mint 7 XFCE Rather sluggish on my old Sony VAIO ;aptop

Postby hinto on Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:57 pm

I won't have acess to the same apps as I did in XFCE

Yes you will.... Just install them.
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