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Re: [OT] Why does X need so much CPU power?

On Mon, Sep 01, 2003 at 06:02:27PM -0400, Neal Lippman wrote:
> Linux, any sort of desktop - eg Gnome or KDE, not a vanilla WM) was just
> so slow as to be unusable. Eventually I gave up for a while and went
> Thinkpad 770ED (PII-266, 64MB Ram). Once again, with KDE running, the
> desktop was so slow and unresponsive as to be really unusable (except in
> an xterm window). This is a system that has run Win95, Win98, and WinNT
> So, my question is: Why does X seem to need so much more CPU power than
> windows - such that systems I have tried to use that worked fine with
> various windows flavors just were unusable with KDE loaded? I assume the
> problem isn't in Linux itself, since my old Pentium 133 was just fine
> with X not running, and enough people have attested to the ability of
> systems with Pentium processors running Linux without X being able to
> handle massive firewall, router, web server duties, etc. Maybe the
> problem is KDE and not X - but I had similar trouble with Gnome, so it
> isn't just a KDE issue.

X usually doesn't need much CPU power, as long as you have a reasonably
well-supported video card. Your problem is that you're running GNOME and
KDE, which are huge, bloated, and slow (and I'm being kind in saying
that). They have been for a long time, since before their first 1.0
releases, and new versions seem to have been bloating even faster than
new releases of Windows have been.

If you want to run X on an older machine you should pick out a basic
window manager you like and use that. If you're really stuck on the idea
of a desktop environment you could also try XFce. Decide what it is that
you think you really need from KDE and see what else will give you that.
You can still use GNOME and KDE apps if the base systems are installed.
There isn't much that you can't do (and usually do better) without GNOME
or KDE.

Michael Heironimus

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