Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

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Mr_Reed
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Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:45 am

Hi Linux fans! I'm new to the forums, and I have some pretty interesting questions concerning the new Linux Mint 17.1 editions. I have a desktop PC that has the Biostar Viotech 3100+ motherboard. On that mobo is a VIA C7-D processor operating at 1.6 ghz. I also have 1 GB of RAM installed. This motherboard has support for Microsoft Windows 7 and will even display the aero glass effects. Occasionally the CPU gets maxed out at 100% in Windows 7, for a time, then settles back down.

Lately I've been trying different Linux distrobutions on Live USB such as Ubuntu, Xbuntu, Lubuntu, AntiX, and of course Mint. I always seem to end up liking the look and feel of Linux Mint the best. It seems somewhat familiar and easy to use to a new person to Linux. The new backgrounds or wallpapers are beautiful. However a few things concern me about Mint.

1. Sometimes my processor gets pegged out at 100%. Is this normal or a sign that this won't work on single core systems?
2. I always get interested in using Linux as an alternative to the new direction Windows is going, but end up slightly disappointed because sometimes it looks like Linux has higher system requirements or maybe a better statement would be that it doesn't "support" much of my hardware.
3. What flavor or version of Mint should I be using? I've only tried Mate, because I was under the assumption that Cinnamon was more resource hungry? Is that a fair statement?
4. My onboard video is VIA Chrome 9 HC IGP

Based on what I have told you about my computer system, what would you recommend? I hope you can help this linux newbie. :wink:

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by BigEasy » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:30 am

Mint 32 XFCE with no 3D effects and other bells and whistles will fly. Well, almost.
Windows assumes I'm stupid but Linux demands proof of it

Mr_Reed
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:47 pm

BigEasy wrote:Mint 32 XFCE with no 3D effects and other bells and whistles will fly. Well, almost.
So Mate is out of the question then? How does Mint XFCE compare to Xbuntu?

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by BigEasy » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:25 pm

Windows assumes I'm stupid but Linux demands proof of it

Buzzsaw
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Buzzsaw » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:58 pm

Mint Xfce is very similar to Xubuntu these days. MATE and Xfce are similar in their system resource usage. You ought to avoid Cinnamon and KDE.

Linux is less compatible with hardware in general, because many hardware manufacturers don't supply Linux drivers; but they all supply Windows drivers. They are much more eager to supply Windows drivers because Windows is much more widespread, and so there's more money to be made. This leaves Linux users in a worse situation, and they have to look harder for hardware that works well under Linux.

By today's standard a 1.6 GHz single core CPU is weak, and you can expect it to be used 100% sometimes. This is normal for a weak CPU, and it doesn't mean that you can't use Linux on your computer.

Examples of things that will cause 100% or near 100% CPU use on your computer are:

* updatedb which is run as a cron (anacron) job once a day for a few seconds;
* playing high resolution videos (720p and above);
* modern web pages;
* most games, unless they're old or graphically undemanding.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by glhallway » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:12 pm

I really don't know what works for you but i have an old Compaq Presario 1.6 AMD 64 single core with 1 gb DDR2 RAM and it runs Mint 17x64 Cinnamon pretty well. Now I do not use this one very much it is in my work shop and is mostly used as a radio and to look up tools and auto parts. I do look at ocasional videos on it but that is about all.

Now I do have a 2.3 ghz AMD 64 in a HP i use for recording music and printing targets I run 17.1 Cinnamon 32 bit on it with 2 gb DDR2 RAM it runs very good. Some of the music files and videos i run on it are very large and demand alot on a CPU but the old HP handles it well. For most other things, FTP to web design ect, I use my Hyper threaded Atom dual core with 17.1 Cinnamon and 2gb DDR3 RAM it cooks with Mint. But both my single core PCs run fine on Cinnamon.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Soapm » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:36 pm

That machine would make a great headless video server.

Mr_Reed
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:41 pm

Soapm wrote:That machine would make a great headless video server.
So should I just buy Win 7, or go with Xubuntu or XFCE Mint?

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by NChewie » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:56 pm

Mr_Reed wrote:Occasionally the CPU gets maxed out at 100% in Windows 7, for a time, then settles back down.

Lately I've been trying different Linux distrobutions on Live USB ...
So should I just buy Win 7, or go with Xubuntu or XFCE Mint?
It appears that you have already tried a Live USB of Mint MATE and things went fairly well. In my experience, Mint 13 XFCE works very well as an XP replacement on very old hardware (single core I think).
I would recommend that you do a trial with a Live USB of Mint XFCE Rebecca RC to see how it performs - to check the usual: peripherals like printers, scanners, ethernet connections, wireless, bluetooth, USB ports, monitors, keyboards, etc. Keep an eye on the feedback on the Rebecca Blog for any known issues that are likely to be addressed before the final release. I intend to roll this out to a family PC when the general release version is published.
If everything works, then you do not need to buy anything...
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Mr_Reed
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:16 am

NChewie wrote:
I would recommend that you do a trial with a Live USB of Mint XFCE Rebecca RC to see how it performs - to check the usual: peripherals like printers, scanners, ethernet connections, wireless, bluetooth, USB ports, monitors, keyboards, etc. Keep an eye on the feedback on the Rebecca Blog for any known issues that are likely to be addressed before the final release. I intend to roll this out to a family PC when the general release version is published.
If everything works, then you do not need to buy anything...
I think everything would work well enough, but I can't seem to get a bootable live USB going now. I'm having issues with integrity check. I get a message that there are errors in 4 files. So I'm afraid to use the USB to install it on a hard drive.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Wild Penguin » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:00 pm

If integrity check fails, I'd suspect the USB pen (or whatever) is failing. You might try to write the image again on the USB. Also, a networked install (i.e. one where mostly everything is downloaded straight from the servers) is possible, at least in theory, but I'm not sure there is a howto anywhere for Mint Linux, and it is not easy for a beginner (probably requiring chroot etc.).
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Mr_Reed
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:20 am

Wild Penguin wrote:If integrity check fails, I'd suspect the USB pen (or whatever) is failing.
It is brand new from the store and came in a sealed package.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:54 pm

Buzzsaw wrote:By today's standard a 1.6 GHz single core CPU is weak, and you can expect it to be used 100% sometimes. This is normal for a weak CPU, and it doesn't mean that you can't use Linux on your computer.

Examples of things that will cause 100% or near 100% CPU use on your computer are:

* updatedb which is run as a cron (anacron) job once a day for a few seconds;
* playing high resolution videos (720p and above);
* modern web pages;
* most games, unless they're old or graphically undemanding.
I got it installed fine without issue, but after the OS was installed on the hard drive, it felt slower. The hard drive is 7200 rpm, so I can't see that as a speed issue, but apparently the processor is "too weak". It seemed to be pegged out quiet frequently. Even moving the mouse in a circular motion would cause 80% usage. I turned off desktop compositing, and that snapped it up a bit more, but still there was lag. I've got plenty of memory to spare. Apparently the VIA C7-D just seems more suited to XP. On xp it feels quick and snappy.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by nathanjh13 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:08 pm

Manjaro Linux with the XFCE desktop seems v lightweight etc, try that? I know it's not Mint/Ubuntu based but it might speed up a bit. Depends what you're doing I suppose.

Best

Mr_Reed
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:07 pm

nathanjh13 wrote:Manjaro Linux with the XFCE desktop seems v lightweight etc, try that? I know it's not Mint/Ubuntu based but it might speed up a bit. Depends what you're doing I suppose.

Best
Never tried that one. Maybe I'll give it a go.

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DrHu
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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by DrHu » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:50 pm

Also as it is integrated GPU, allocate more RAM to the Graphics device..
--that may help with apparent speed of the system: and reduce any graphics effects (animations, shadows and so on, that would be similar to a windows OS classic display set for performance instead of appearance/aka fancy display look/themes..)

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:01 pm

DrHu wrote:Also as it is integrated GPU, allocate more RAM to the Graphics device..
--that may help with apparent speed of the system: and reduce any graphics effects (animations, shadows and so on, that would be similar to a windows OS classic display set for performance instead of appearance/aka fancy display look/themes..)
I did experiment with turning off some of the desktop expositing? in Mint. That did seem to snap things up a bit, but still there was noticeable lag. As for the integrated GPU, I had it set to 64MB instead of 256MB. My thinking was to give more ram to the system as a whole rather than giving more to the GPU.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by exploder » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:39 pm

The VIA graphics is the biggest problem. Recently I experimented with 2 computers very similar to yours, one with VIA graphics and the other with Intel graphics. The system with VIA graphics was considerably slower, the one with Intel graphics runs pretty decent. Could you possibly add in another graphics card? You will need a light dsktop environment with those specs.

PCLinuxOS offers a e19 community edition, it's light and might work with the VIA graphics. Just trying to think of some ideas that might help.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Mr_Reed » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:10 pm

Is there a LM variation that is like Lubuntu, because if I remember correctly, I seemed to get a snappier experience with it rather than Xubuntu. I like the look and feel of LM better than some of these other OS. I guess I tend to like something that looks nice. Not that I need a bunch of effects and transitions.

I came upon something called ElementaryOS. It calls for an Intel i3 so I would imagine it must need a massive processor to run it.

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Re: Recommendations for Single Core CPU Systems

Post by Fred Barclay » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:22 pm

Mr_Reed wrote:Is there a LM variation that is like Lubuntu, because if I remember correctly, I seemed to get a snappier experience with it rather than Xubuntu.
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 1#p1101312
There is an unofficial spin on Mint using LXDE. It seems to be pretty well supported and recommended.
(There's a webpage somewhere for the site, but all I can find is the SourceForge download page (embedded in the link above)).

Assuming you don't speak Deutch, pay close attention to the link's instructions to start the live session in English. ;)
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