One thing I’ve been particularly concerned about when running SuSe 10.0

was the fact that it seemed to be a lot slower than I expected. I

have it running on a couple of machines and the graphics just aren’t as

responsive as I’d like. As a matter of fact, I’d say that Linux feels

more sluggish on one of my 800Mhz test machines than XP does on my test

450. And that’s with the 800 running 512MB of RAM vs. 384MB on the 450.

To get an actual comparitive feel, I recently popped a copy of SuSe

10.0 Professional on my HP OmniBook. I already have XP running on it,

so I got another hard drive for the same machine and configured it for

SuSe 10 Professional. Everything’s the same, except for the hard drive,

which is of the same model. Sure enough – SuSe 10.0 felt slower. I

didn’t bother to pull out a stopwatch to get an actual reading, but the general feel of the system was just much slower.

When I installed SuSe, I chose to use KDE. SuSe comes with 9 other

window managers including GNOME, WindowMaker, and IceWM. On a whim, I

changed window managers from KDE to GNOME. The difference was night and

day. GNOME seemed to be much more responsive than KDE. It loaded programs

faster, displayed windows faster and was an all-around better

performing experience.

The one drawback to GNOME is that it doesnt seem to be quite as

flexible as KDE. You can’t modify it as easily and the menus are layed

out completely differently.

So for now, I think I’m going to stick to GNOME for a while. Even

though KDE was SuSe’s default manager, GNOME seems to be the better

choice to squeeze more performance out of the machine. As a side note,

I recently read that Novell itself may switch SuSe’s default manager to GNOME, so I may be on to something.

Let me know what your experiences have been with GNOME, KDE, or any of the other Linux window managers.