Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

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Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby acithium on Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:41 am

Let me start by saying that I've been using Linux for sometime now. I'm always talking it up to people that I know. I mean, I even have the Debian coffee cup at work (yea, I'm that guy). The problem comes when people use linux for the first time. They always say "it's slower than windows", and their right. Just try it with Firefox. Firefox opens in windows a lot faster than Linux. I've tried a couple of different distros and I find this to be true. I always come back with the common response of "yea, but my system has A LOT more uptime and stability than windows ever will." Most people don't really care about uptime because they shut their computer down (especially if it's a laptop) daily, stability is a big deal to most.

I guess my question is: What is the best way to make linux more responsive through the desktop (I currently use Gnome)?

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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby markfiend on Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:00 am

:? I completely disagree. In my experience, Linux in general, including Mint, is much faster than Windows.

Case Study:

A friend (actually my wife's sister's boyfriend) came to me on Sunday saying "hey, Mark, do you have a Linux install disk lying round? I've got a virus again, I want to try Linux instead."

I lent him a Linux Mint install CD, he ran the installer in less than 20 minutes, and was completely wowed by the difference in experience between Windows and Linux. Particularly how much faster Mint is than Windows!

(Within an hour, he had run the installer for a second time, this time completely removing the Windows partition.)
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby Oscar799 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:15 am

acithium,

I have to agree with markfiend.
I have an old Toshiba laptop as a backup machine,it has XP and Mint 7 main edition dual-booted.
On the rare occasion I boot XP the first thing I notice is how painfully slow it is,on the same machine Mint 7 seems really fast.
Maybe I've just been lucky...
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby ej64 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:25 am

acithium wrote:Let me start by saying that I've been using Linux for sometime now. I'm always talking it up to people that I know. I mean, I even have the Debian coffee cup at work (yea, I'm that guy). The problem comes when people use linux for the first time. They always say "it's slower than windows", and their right. Just try it with Firefox. Firefox opens in windows a lot faster than Linux.

On a fresh Windows installation this may be. Windows does a lot of prefetching, pre-loading a good bunch of your most often used apps into RAM. Win Vista and 7 even can use flash cards to cache small files permanently ("ReadyBoost") -- flash cards are very fast with tiny files.
Another point is, that Linux often is installed on a higher partition number lieing nearer to the inner tracks of the HD were the HD usually suffers some 50% reduction of r/w speed relatively to the outer tracks. So, this is not comparable.

If you compare an aged Windows with an aged Linux installation things are completely the other way round, Win registry and user files are horribly inflated, disk fragmentation ... I still have a 6 y/o XP installation (there are some apps and files left to migrate) that needs ages to boot and some 60 seconds to start firefox. With Linux (ext3/4) you will never experience such dramatic performance drops.

And honestly, even if I compare my win7 (with 8GB readyboost) and my Mint8 (both young) with the latter installed to the slower parts of the HD, I don't experience remarkable performance differences. Maybe I will stopwatch both out of curiosity, but so far I didn't notice such.

I guess my question is: What is the best way to make linux more responsive through the desktop (I currently use Gnome)?

I always experienced Linux as beeing more responsive especially with multiple apps. Win7 seems to be slightly more responsive with heavy i/o and CPU loads then it's predecessors while Linux remains far more responsive, though.

If you mean loading time then go and buy a SSD or at least install Linux to the outer tracks of the HD.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby hinto on Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:12 am

I recently put Linux Mint 8 and VMPlayer on a 4 year old Mac Mini. It didn't really have enough horsepower to run OS X (Leopard) and Parallels.
I'm now back synching my phone with the XP image in VMPlayer (imported from Parallels).
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby GrayWizardLinux on Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:04 pm

I find it much faster. the only time I found it slower is when I am running it on an ancient dell inspiron with 256 ram and a pentium 3 chip - then it is slow - but that is expected. Bottup is always faster as well as the shutdown and applications always open faster, etc.

If you are running a huge application - then then first time you open it it will be slower and then all other openings will be faster per session as such. But that is like that whether you are running linux, OS X or Windows.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby acithium on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:35 pm

well could it be because i'm comparing a windows x86 install to an x64 install of linux. I mean....It just feels laggy. It takes a bit for nautilus to open and thunderbird too. Could this have something to do with it???
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby waldo on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:57 pm

I have a typical computer nerd desktop with the drive wires hanging out the side so I can switch hard drives easily. In the same machine with identical drives, there are some instances where Linux Mint does seem slower than Window. The first boot of Firefox is one of those times. The second boot, not so much. However the over all boot time to reach a working desktop is much faster in Linux Mint (probably because I don't have to load an anti-virus program).

If one uses Word or Excel in Windows, and compares the speed to OpenOffice in Linux, then Linux will come off second best, no contest. Microsoft apparently has given their Office products a huge boost by pre-loading some of the APIs as part of the Windows Operating System. It may not be fair, but they own the ballpark.

I'm going to cover some apparent speed differences with OpenSUSE in another thread.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby willxtreme on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:18 pm

Microsoft Office 2007 runs faster under linux in my case LOL
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby BuzzKiller on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:47 pm

I would have to disagree as well. Linux has always been faster for me on both my laptop and desktop. Both are a couple of years old hardware-wise (around mid-2007). The laptop is soooo snappy now with mint but was quite snappy even when I was dual booting fedora and vista. Desktop had XP on it for several months and still was not very quick, even after tweaking. When I installed fedora 8 on it about 2 years ago, there was a noticable speed difference with an out-of-the-box install. I see close to full USB 2 and SATA 2 spec speeds using linux and networking is faster (wired and wireless) with linux as well (timed with a stopwatch, transferring same files).

Linux has been very stable for me, too. On my laptop, I have to restart the windows partition after 6 or 7 hours of use (about 1 hour per day then suspended until next day). Windows explorer will freak out and become non-responsive. Haven't had mint installed very long but when I had fedora running, could run for weeks at a time (again, about 1 hour per day and suspended for rest of the time). I made it over three weeks without issues but had to boot into vista for something or other.

Just my experience with linux :)
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby dmspar on Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:33 am

I tend to agree with the OP, Linux does indeed seem very slow compared to WindowsXP. I'm not alone though, on my girlfriends pc which is only a few months old, she has noticed how slow Linux is, so much so that Windows is now back on her machine, and I may end up doing the same, as I can't see myself continuing to use something that just doesn't do the job I thought it would. I may come back to Linux in a few years, but speed is certainly a problem with Linux for now.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby markfiend on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:54 am

My Linux Mint laptop goes from power off to browsing the internet (in Firefox) in less than 2 minutes. (And that includes the Grub screen and connecting to the Wifi network). My Windows desktop (at work) takes about 9 minutes to get to the point of being able to browse.

OK, I know I'm not comparing like with like; the desktop is older, it has less RAM and a less powerful processor than my laptop, but almost every Windows user I've shown Linux Mint to has had the reaction "wow it's fast".

I hate to ascribe malign motives to people on the internet that I don't know, but this sort of accusation does make me suspicious about Microsoft shills deliberately spreading anti-Linux FUD...
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby GrayWizardLinux on Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:10 am

I tend to agree - my wife was amazed at how fast linux booted up, etc.. for her job and her history she uses windows - I don't - I hate the time I had to use it for 5 days - made me ticked and also very angry and argh!!!!!!!!! I use macs and the linux Mint system. been with mint since Bea.

she also uses macs - but her use and knowledge of using linux and the apps is minimal - but that is her fault. I am willing to teach and help her learn the basic; but she doesn't have time or doesn't want to. But she could not believe how speedy it really was. She commented on this fact multiple times already.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby hinto on Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:36 am

One note, AFAIK, X (Windowing System) is asynchronous and Windows (Windowing System) is synchronous.
Slow memory cards will *seem* to make asynchronous X operations slower (ie. rendering), however, with all asynchronous operations, other operations (ie. parsing) can be executing at the same time.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby XidCat on Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:10 am

I think the comment about the age of the install is really correct. My wife's Dell laptop is about 3-4 years old. On a clean install of XP SP3 with all updates and no additional software (firewall, AV etc.) it is just as quick as Linux. Add a few things like security software, which are basically required in Windows, it begins to slow. After 3 months of use, it is slow as hell and starts to freeze a lot. I can clean it up and optimize it, but it never goes back to the original speed, it's like x-5%. Three months later it's another x-5%, after a year, it's time to reload XP. I finally convinced her to go with Mint a year ago. After installing it, I touched it only once, to setup Thai IME (SCIM) so she could type her e-mails and IM in Thai. She upgraded to 7, then 8 by following the instructions in the forums and maintains her own updates. She says it's just as fast now as it was a year ago, which is the same I have experienced on my desktop.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby ibm450 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:40 am

-o00-
    I have XP installed on P4 3GHz HT 4GB mem on main pc for well over 1 year or so and the performance from boot to desktop to wifi conectivity has never dropped. My system set up is XP sp3, Eset Smart security, HP printer utility in back ground, internet download manager and various misc services in the background. From power on to desktop with wifi connected, less then 2 mins
    I have LM7, LM8 installed on a P4 1.8GHz 2GB mem on secondary pc's and both can load up to desktop with wifi connected in around 1 min or + - , so yes the boot up is about 1 min quicker, big deal.

    The thing that really puzzles me and frankly I just cant believe how some of the posts ive read here regarding how xp from boot to desktop to wifi connections takes well over the 4 min marks :shock: :shock: :shock:
    I can get Win 7 load up to wifi connection on my P4 1.8 2GB mem in about 2mins and ready to go (with all the AV's, office suites, games, tweaks, themes etc etc and necessary services in the back ground loaded up :!: :!:)

    I run tune up utilities 2007 once a month and defrag once or just over a month on XP. And mind you, my kids constantly install and uninstall (using Your uninstaller) games and online apps on a regular bases.

    Yes i do agree that linux is much slower in loading up apps - in likes of FF, thunder bird, open source office and other things thats not worth mentioning as LM does what i need it to do.
    It be a fantastic move if linux could incorperate what windows does and that is to load up certain libraries during boot like IE does in windows, certain office dll's like in win 7 etc . these are small things but makes it a major selling point for windows as things just seem to load up SO much quicker and this is what consumers require, a system that is or seems responsive.

C:\Documents and Settings\****>systeminfo

Host Name: 3GHZ
OS Name: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Version: 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
OS Configuration: Standalone Workstation
OS Build Type: Multiprocessor Free
Registered Owner: *******
Registered Organization: Home
Product ID: ***************************
Original Install Date: 12/01/2007, 6:04:24 AM
System Up Time: 0 Days, 1 Hours, 45 Minutes, 16 Seconds
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: HP Compaq dc7600 Small Form Factor
System type: X86-based PC
Processor(s): 1 Processor(s) Installed.
[01]: x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel ~
2992 Mhz
BIOS Version: COMPAQ - 20070301
etc
etc
etc
.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby yeeshkull on Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:56 pm

Here's what I did to boost speed performance on my dual-boot 2003 HP Pavilion w/ XP and Mint (w/ only 512k ram installed and a 40 gb HD) .

I did a disk wipe and a factory fresh install of XP. I went into the Windows virtual memory and shrunk the system restore from 12% down to 6% and made sure none of my USB drives were included in system restore as well. After installing what I wanted and updating the XP OS and removing what I didn't (spent more time doing the latter two), I cleaned up the reg with Ccleaner and then used MyDefrag to clean up the HD (as Windows defrag utility, stinks) and ran checkdisk twice. In the end I have fully updated XP partition (without MS Office) running on little over 8 gigs.

Then from a live Linux cd, I made a new 8 gig partition for Linux Mint and then moved the Windows XP installation to the back of my HD. I installed Mint 7 in the front of my HD using the manual installation method and even with only 512k ram, it runs like a champ (I even think Windows works better in the back of my HD than up front, too).

What I like best about Linux is that you don't have to baby sit the update or install process like you do with Windows. It took me two days to get my Windows partition where I needed it to be as compared to about 2 hours getting the base Linux Mint 7 system installed and updated. Adding that I need to have AVG loaded on boot and countess of the memory resident programs running in the background on WIndows, I find Linux to be much faster and more reliable. And you'll never hear anyone complain about the price tag of a Linux OS, either.

And... Linux is portable, Windows isn't.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby willxtreme on Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:27 pm

yeeshkull wrote:you'll never hear anyone complain about the price tag of a Linux OS, either.

And... Linux is portable, Windows isn't.

Hope this helps.


LMFAO :lol:
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby ibm450 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:30 am

yeeshkull wrote:you'll never hear anyone complain about the price tag of a Linux OS, either.

Hope this helps.


comments like this makes Linux sound so cheap, it gives an impression to the newbie world that, oh well what do you expect from an free OS, what you see is what you get, so shut your complaining and also an impression that, well if you want something that performs better, then pay for it i.e. win
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby nukm on Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:14 am

On my boxes, LinuxMint is 5 nanoseconds slower than Win. 98. I forget which Mint that is.
Slack is 22 minutes + faster than Vista. (I don't run Vista - never have).
Pardus 2009 is faster than everything else, but that's because it has a very stiff PolicyKit.

So, I agree.

Snow Leopard is definitely quicker in the snow.
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