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I'm using Windows working on a new job and it can't handle all the things I need to run simultaneously. Although, I re-installed and cleaned up Windows to the bare minimum, de-bloated it, optimized for performance instead of appearance and changed to an SSD (Solid-State Drive), it still lags while I'm trying to work. It sometimes lags even when trying to watch a YouTube video. It's an older computer (2010-launched CPU), but I've done everything I could for both software and hardware related optimizations to make it faster.

In order to determine if Ubuntu would be faster than Windows or otherwise, I have described two parameters as follows.

(a) The tasks I need to run. These are the tasks I need to run simultaneously in order to do my job:

  1. Firefox web browser, with 1 tab open which auto-refreshes every 30 seconds using the "Tab Reloader" extension.
  2. Chrome web browser, with about 10 tabs open (Nothing too demanding running in the tabs. I have things open like Gmail, Google Sheet, Excel Online sheet, Pagerduty webpage, and 3~4 other pages with simple text and web forms that I use to enter information and other simple tasks).
  3. Viber for Windows - which I use constantly for VoIP calls
  4. Slack for Windows - which I use for text chats (No voice, no video)
  5. NTP Time Zone Clock for Windows - which I use to check the time in different time zones
  6. I use a Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse (with the USB receiver)
  7. I use a Logitech wireless headset (with a USB receiver)

(b) My machine specifications.

Windows edition: Windows 10 Home
System:
Processor: Celeron(R) Dual-Core CPU T3500 @ 2.10 GHz 2.10 GHz
Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB
System type: 64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor
Pen and Touch: No Pen or Touch Input is available for this Display


Description: Disk drive
Model: Mercury Electra 6G SSD
Size: 232.88 GB (250,056,737,280 bytes)
Media Type: Fixed hard disk
Partitions: 3
Partition: Disk #0, Partition #0
Partition Size: 549.00 MB (575,668,224 bytes)
Partition: Disk #0, Partition #1
Partition Size: 231.72 GB (248,810,183,168 bytes)
Partition: Disk #0, Partition #2
Partition Size: 640.00 MB (671,088,640 bytes)

For more details, see: Windows and system information and SSD information.

Question: If I install Ubuntu on my machine as described above, can I do my job faster and without lagging? (also, do all those things I am using exist for Ubuntu?)

Please help me understand if I can do all those task on my machine as described above. I'm not techie enough to understand my machine specifications and handle with ease. With my current system, I'm struggling with speed and lagging. I would appreciate if I could get a simple answer.

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    It is impossible to give an answer. It is a matter of opinion. The question should be closed. – Pilot6 Sep 18 '19 at 11:18
  • you should try to edit your question in order to have it re-opened. For example, change the title to "Windows 10 is heavy and slow on my computer; could Ubuntu prove to be lighter and faster on the same machine?" On the other hand it could be marked as duplicate anyway. – cipricus Sep 18 '19 at 12:14
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    @Pilot6 - I partly disagree. The specs are clearly given, the fact that on those specs Windows is slow is clearly stated. No matter of opinion til here. Now, concerning possible answers: given the specs and the fact that Windows is slow, could Ubuntu prove lighter, e.g. the internet browsing prove faster? Is it possible to give an answer? Well, yes. (Even if the question may prove a duplicate after all.) – cipricus Sep 18 '19 at 12:44
  • Changing the question from the "faster" issue to asking whether those 7 operations are possible in Ubuntu would clearly help it (while leaving the problem of speed in background, to which you have an answer). – cipricus Sep 18 '19 at 12:53
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    The OP may be accustomed to companies that have big marketing budgets, and used (fudged) comparisons to generate sales hype. Those don't exist here, so this seems like a classic hey-somebody-else-do-a-bunch-of-free-work-for-me request, which is typically and understandably ignored. We are volunteers, not a research-and-testing service. It's free and easy to conduct your own controlled testing, and the Ubuntu community will welcome you publishing your results. – user535733 Sep 24 '19 at 14:21
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Saying "Ubuntu is faster" makes sense only on machines on which Windows ALREADY proved to be heavy and slow. As all this is relative, the answer should be understood within such limits.

That being said, Ubuntu is lighter than Windows 10 and 7, especially with light desktops like Xfce and Mate, with heavier desktops like KDE/Plasma and Gnome also performing better overall. The difference is striking with lower specs computers and may tend to disappear with powerful CPUs. My experience with very similar specs is that boot time, application startup and general behavior of the desktop get faster in Ubuntu and especially with Xfce desktop (but also in Plasma, Mate, LXDE, LXQt, Budgie, Pantheon etc, also testing outside Ubuntu) while internet browsing is much better, with Firefox and Chrome much faster and with no lags.(SEE NOTE BELOW)


NOTE: By the way: the above is an understatement: with Xfce there is no trace that my "old" computer IS old, and that my "low" CPU is low! All works perfectly, and therefore these terms are relative to the way Windows operates on a such machine. I see Windows as uselessly heavy and bloated and not my specs as mediocre. In this sense it is not 'specs' that make a computer "powerful", just as it's not gas that makes a powerful car: it may be that the 'old car' that needs to be replaced is not the PC, but Windows.


I have not tested myself all programs you listed, but they doesn't seem heavy, given your specs.

Anyway, you could test Ubuntu along Windows if you want, either from a live USB or locally in a separate partition.

So, the answers are:

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. Never tested Viber, but there is an Ubuntu version that you could test: https://www.viber.com/download/
  4. The same as above:https://slack.com/intl/en-fr/downloads/linux
  5. There are many such tools for Ubuntu (Unity desktop had the option for the panel, for Gnome, here; also here; for Xfce, here (I could not add two digital clocks at the same time, but could add one digital and many of the other types); gworldclock can be used in any desktop in a separate window). An online solution should be available. There is also the Calendar Clock app for Chrome. Etc.
  6. It should work. Slim chances of problems there.
  7. Somewhat higher risks there, but it is easy to test (from a live usb) before full commitment.

(Hopefully you don't seem to need MSOffice, for which there is no Linux version and which can hardly be installed in Wine, where it operates rather poorly.)

As I said, you should test first from the live USB (that you need anyway in case you want to install), and if all goes well you could then test an installation on a separate partition. In case you don't like it you have to be sure you know how to restore your bootloader. In order to create a live usb I would recommend LinuxLive in Windows or Etcher in Linux. For a full installation of Ubuntu look here.

Be sure you understand risks and procedures (including backup) before going forward.

As you want a dual boot anyway, you could simply take that option, once you are confident about the risks involved by any formatting procedure etc.


NOTA BENE: Probably for commercial reasons, driver support may be problematic for certain specific devices in Linux compared to Windows, especially printers, wifi cards and video cards (although I have not experienced the last problem myself). Driver support can be easily tested before installation as indicated above though.

  • This is wrong. Ubuntu generally is not faster. Something can be faster, some slower. – Pilot6 Sep 18 '19 at 11:26
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    @Pilot6 Ubuntu (especially Xubuntu) is surely lighter and faster (especially browsing) on machines on which Windows is ALREADY heavy! - It all depends on the computer. The newer and stronger the CPU the less visible this all is. If you throw a big CPU at Windows all the faults will be swallowed anyway. I can confirm that on my laptop Xubuntu is much faster in all respects and browsing is incomparably better than on my Windows 7 (which I reinstalled after 10 showed almost useless on same machine). On the other hand Gnome is rather heavy, although not comparable to what Windows shows – cipricus Sep 18 '19 at 11:36
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    @Pilot6 - A big CPU is a fault-grinding mill. You need a mediocre machine to see how bad Windows is. This is indeed an infinite subject of dispute. (What about the horrific updating system of MSW! And this!). - Continuing my other comment: on the same machine that runs poorly Windows 7, latest Xubuntu and all internet action are run not just faster, but perfectly, no lag, no clue about the computer being old or in some way obsolete. – cipricus Sep 18 '19 at 11:49
  • Do you guys know if his cpu be affected by the baytrail bug. It is still a problem he should be aware of. With his specs Ubuntu with a light weight desktop should help him. – crip659 Sep 18 '19 at 11:58
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    @MarinosH - My answer is based on the specs, I have about the same myself, the tasks you listed are nothing that should stress too much even an older computer than what you have. The fact that your computer has problems running them in Windows means that Windows is to blame. Anyway, you should try: put Xubuntu 18.04 on an usb-stick with Lili in Windows, boot from that and, without installing the OS, install Viber, Slack and the rest within that non-persistent session. If there are improvements, they will be immediately obvious. - And please report back. – cipricus Sep 19 '19 at 12:37
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I'd say Ubuntu would be the best. It is not that resource-heavy. Windows definitely can slow down your computer. I have a Precision Tower (T1650) from 2012 that has an Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation) i7 with a 2 TB hard disk and 16 GB ram. I installed Ubuntu and now I can to heavy multitasking. I'm typing on it right now. My NP300E5C (Samsung Notebook Series 3) has an i5-3210m (Ivy Bridge 3rd Gen again), a 1 TB hard disk and 4 GB RAM. It worked super slow. I installed Ubuntu on it and now it runs super fast. For these reasons, I'd recommend Ubuntu.

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Ubuntu with the default graphical environment will most likely be slower on your machine. I've noticed, that Windows 10 runs MUCH more stable on old PCs, while Ubuntu tends to hang under very little load. I'd recommend you to stay on Windows 10.

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