I have a Core 2 Duo T8100@2.1GHz with 3GB RAM. After some time using XUbuntu 10.10 on an 8GB stick I decided to switch to 12.04 and put it onto a 32GB stick (Transcend).
I use an EXT4 with no journalling, noatime etc set. /tmp and /run is using tmpfs.
And it is REALLY slow. MUCH slower than the old Xubuntu on the 8GB stick. Starting takes minutes, all applications "fade" because they respond too slow.
I first thought that the NVidia graphics card is responsible for this, because there seem to be some known problems with that. Doing the adjustment (uncheck the sync checkbox) did not help.
I believe the root cause is that the access to the USB stick is extremely slow. Running the read benchmark of the disk utility then brought the message "disk is too slow to benchmark"!
BUT: When I do the same benchmark with the live CD I get around 20MB read performance and have a very responsive system!
So how can I find out what is going one here?