Which DE for my vintage laptop - advice seeking


#1

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF

specs:

Core 2 Duo T6600 2.20GHz, 4(2x2)GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 39.4cm/15.5" 1366x768 glare, ATI Radeon HD 4570 512MB, DVD+/-RW DL, GB-LAN, WLAN a/b/g/n, 3x USB2.0, VGA, HDMI, Webcam, 2in1 cardnleser, Windows 7 Home Premium

On Dell I have installed KDE and it is a breeze, however, I fear KDE might be tad heavy on resources.
Is XFCE the adequate choice here knowing my Vaio is getting older and older?


#2

KDE should run just fine. My old laptop is even slower (C2D 1.86 GHz).
Only problem might be the HDD. I’d give KDE a try. There isn’t much difference in terms of performance and resources compared to Xfce.


#3

My experience is that RAM size is an important limiting factor but with 4 GB you should be fine. KDE, Gome or Cinnamon tend to be more RAM-hungry. If you want to be safe, go for the lighter options like XFCE or MATE.


#4

Kde should be just fine. Manjaro kde is actually pretty light as far as kde goes. If you want actually light, try bspwm edition or jwm.


#5

Yep my desktop Amd 3.0ghz. dual core,4gb ram with legacy Ati 4350 card.
Except running a 90gb SSD. Plasma 5 running great.


#6

lxde or lxqt will work great on vintage hardware


#7

Conclusion: you can basically use every DE.

Really, your laptop is old, but not that old in terms of performance.
If you want really lightweight, use a WM like i3 or bspwm, but you’re just as well served by KDE, Xfce, or (my current favourite) Budgie.
My experience is that Manjaro works well on older hardware, the recommended minimum RAM size being 2x2 GB, just like your laptop :slight_smile:


#8

I’m using OpenBox on an old core2duo laptop.
OpenBox desktop environment will preserve ram memory and be nice ‘n’ easy on CPU.

Linux Proves: That >>> Older legacy hardware is more than adequate

Life is Good on Manjaro


#9

XFCE or LXqt.


#10

Thank you, guys, for your input.

I have decided to stick with KDE. Tomorrow I will know whether it was a good decision.


#11

My KDE has been installed.

What suggestions do you have for my old HDD - could we somehow speed up the operations of the system?
Which kernel does the job well? 4.9 Recommended version or another one?
I am open to your suggestions and recommendations :blush:


#12

Easiest way to speed up an HDD is replace it with an SSD

I replaced the HDD in my Vaio with a Samsung 740 SSD and it was like getting a new computer (granted, I had to replace my HDD anyway because it died, I just decided to make it into an upgrade, the added shock resistance was definitely a deciding factor as well though)

I only get Sata II performance out of mine because of the way Vaios were built back then, but it’s still SUCH a massive improvement (we’re talking literally 4x faster than my HDD). And these days a 500GB SSD is so much cheaper than it was when I upgraded.


#13

Use preload, move everything you can to ram, keep often used parts at the beginning of the disk, minimize swap usage. For faster boot time see

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/e4rat

See also

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Improving_performance

But preferably use ssd if available.