I've been using Mint since version 11 on different PCs both at home and at work, and I'm generally well pleased with my experience so far.
But after upgrading from 12 to 13 I've started having problems on my newest machines. My main work computer is an i5-2400 based one, with an Intel DH67GD mainboard and 4 Gb RAM. In the year I've been using it it worked always without a hitch. Until the upgrade.
I got random freezes of the system. Some were complete: no mouse interaction, no background processes. Others not so much: a graphics glitch and a few moments and it returned to normal. I normally use KDE. On the non-total glitches, KWin gets gunned down (the windows lose all decorations and the desktop gets bare, no panels).
I assume it was a problem with sandy bridge and maybe the kernel version or the intel xorg drivers... or maybe mesa? I tried full updates including backports. I tried the xorg-edgers ppa to get the absolute latest versions available of everything. It didn't work.
I did a fairly complete sweep of current mainstream linux distros... almost anything with a kernel newer than 3.0 gave me the same symptoms.
The Cinnamon version of Mint 13 just froze completely and randomly.
32 or 64 bits seemed to make no difference.
XFCE worked a little better. Not so many complete freezes... more partial ones with graphics grabled until I repainted the complete desktop. Enabling or disabling compositioning on the WM seemed to have no effect.
I tried Ubuntu, to see if it was a Mint problem... and the problems persisted. Xubuntu seems to work best. So I guess this is something related to the "upstream" version of some component of the OS.
As a last resort, I tried the Debian based versions of Mint. And here is my surprise: they work.
As far as I understand, Ubuntu LTS versions are based on a snapshot of Debian at the moment of the feature freeze. So the Debian-testing Mint editions are not that far behind from Ubuntu 12.04 in component versions. I do not have enough Linux-kung-fu to really understand the complete set of differences between Mint 13 XFCE and Mint 13 Debian-XFCE, but it seems that the solution to my compatibility problem lies exactly in that knowledge. Or in buying a discrete graphics card (not practical at the moment!).
Anyone experienced anything similar? Any clues?