How much better would linux run on an old emachine vs XP?

EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.


Im tired of all the lag so what distro should I put on here. Also, I have a wireless card that I need to have work.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    It would run way better, trust me.

    Try something with Enlightenment, IceWM, LXDE and XFCE (these are all desktop environments).

    Impersonator on
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2009
    Are these easy to install like other distros?

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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    It won't turn the machine into a super responsive powerhouse. Linux, as in linux the operating system, deals with old hardware a little better than XP, but the applications you run are another story entirely. Firefox will feel just as shitty and slow under linux as it would under xp.

    Linux does seem to handle swap better, so it feels more responsive on low memory machines than XP when you have more than one application open.

    Installing a desktop environment is just as easy as installing a distro.. assuming the distro you've chosen offers an install for it.

    xzzy on
  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hmm, I'd recommend using Unetbootin (which is a program that will make it so you can install pretty much every distro from an usb drive) and then trying Linux Mint 7 XFCE. I think it's even easier to use than Xubuntu, which is just regular Ubuntu using XFCE.

    Impersonator on
    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • logic7logic7 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.


    Im tired of all the lag so what distro should I put on here. Also, I have a wireless card that I need to have work.

    chances are extremely high that this machine runs RAMBUS memory. If this is the case, I suggest taking $40 and dropping it on 512MB of PC800 on ebay.

    After that, install XP. As much as I love Linux, I will say that todays distros are just as bloated as Windows, some moreso. I have a P3-500MHz laptop with XP SP3 on it and only 320MB of RAM, but it's responsive and I'm happy with it. It's good for general purpose stuff and I can even make music with it using Cubase VST5.1 and FL Studio 6.

    logic7 on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    It would generally run better, but get a distro tailored for running on low-end machines. I probably wouldn't get anything Ubuntu-based. I'd probably scale it back to Debian or Sidux with XFCE.

    Also consider running lightweight apps instead of, for example, firefox. Opera scales better and is still full-featured. You could go even lighter if you want. But I think it would then begin to impact usability a bit.

    Visti on
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2009
    Well I swtiched to Opera on XP and that helped a ton as far as internets go. However videos still lag and I don't know why. I assume its the video cards fault. My goal for this machine was for it to run netflix and Hulu/youtube.

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  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I put Crunchbang Lite on my dad's laptop (don't know the CPU, but it's got something like 192mb of ram, if that).

    It's not amazingly fast, but I'd say it's a little quicker than XP. Youtube works fine for both OSes, though, so I don't know if it'd help you a lot or not. I think flash video's more CPU-intensive than RAM-intensive, but I might just be an idiot.

    You could always get crazy and install Puppy Linux if you're desperate for speed, but... I wouldn't.

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  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Well I swtiched to Opera on XP and that helped a ton as far as internets go. However videos still lag and I don't know why. I assume its the video cards fault. My goal for this machine was for it to run netflix and Hulu/youtube.

    Oh, I meant on a linux distribution. Not that it wouldn't help on XP, but running a light distribution and then light apps on top is sure to kickstart an old computer.

    Visti on
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  • BeazleBeazle Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.

    If you have not installed the video drivers the video play back is going to suck. Take out the card and figure out what it is. There should be a part number or something to help identify what it is.

    Beazle on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2009
    Beazle wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.

    If you have not installed the video drivers the video play back is going to suck. Take out the card and figure out what it is. There should be a part number or something to help identify what it is.

    I have the video drivers installed but it is still choppy. Its a pretty old card.

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  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Linux won't help with the streaming video. I think the general consensus is Hulu, and Flash video in general, is slower on Linux because of Adobe's shoddy support.

    Also, I'm not familiar with how Netflix streams, but if it's Silverlight, you might run into problems there.

    EDIT: You say video drivers are installed but the computer doesn't know what it is - those seem to contradict each other. Download software like Sandra to find out all the parts and get the proper drivers. On Hulu, or any flash video, right click the vid and select properties, make sure video card or GPU acceleration is turned off.

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  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    logic7 wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.


    Im tired of all the lag so what distro should I put on here. Also, I have a wireless card that I need to have work.

    chances are extremely high that this machine runs RAMBUS memory. If this is the case, I suggest taking $40 and dropping it on 512MB of PC800 on ebay.

    After that, install XP. As much as I love Linux, I will say that todays distros are just as bloated as Windows, some moreso. I have a P3-500MHz laptop with XP SP3 on it and only 320MB of RAM, but it's responsive and I'm happy with it. It's good for general purpose stuff and I can even make music with it using Cubase VST5.1 and FL Studio 6.

    Pff fuck that.

    Just because the popular ones are bloated doesn't mean there's still dozens out there that aren't.

    Problem is they're not for the faint of heart - I refer to minimal installs where you put exactly what you need on it and nothing more.

    What do you want to use this computer for?

    theSquid on
  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    It won't turn the machine into a super responsive powerhouse. Linux, as in linux the operating system, deals with old hardware a little better than XP, but the applications you run are another story entirely. Firefox will feel just as shitty and slow under linux as it would under xp.

    Linux does seem to handle swap better, so it feels more responsive on low memory machines than XP when you have more than one application open.

    Installing a desktop environment is just as easy as installing a distro.. assuming the distro you've chosen offers an install for it.

    There's always Swiftfox/Opera/Chromium (which is getting better and better, and you can get Flash support working too)

    theSquid on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2009
    theSquid wrote: »
    logic7 wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Hey I have an old machine 1.5ghz intel p4. 384mb ram and a random video card I found.. Computer has no idea what it is.


    Im tired of all the lag so what distro should I put on here. Also, I have a wireless card that I need to have work.

    chances are extremely high that this machine runs RAMBUS memory. If this is the case, I suggest taking $40 and dropping it on 512MB of PC800 on ebay.

    After that, install XP. As much as I love Linux, I will say that todays distros are just as bloated as Windows, some moreso. I have a P3-500MHz laptop with XP SP3 on it and only 320MB of RAM, but it's responsive and I'm happy with it. It's good for general purpose stuff and I can even make music with it using Cubase VST5.1 and FL Studio 6.

    Pff fuck that.

    Just because the popular ones are bloated doesn't mean there's still dozens out there that aren't.

    Problem is they're not for the faint of heart - I refer to minimal installs where you put exactly what you need on it and nothing more.

    What do you want to use this computer for?

    Internet and watch streaming movies/ dowloaded movies.

    EliteLamer on
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