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How can I improve overall system performance?

My system config is-
chipset - Intel Brookdale-G i845GEV
motherboard - 01/25/2005-i845G-W627-6A69VM4YC-00
video adapter - Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller

I have noticed that Windows Xp is way faster than Ubuntu. Are there any compatibility issues? Should I be using an older version of Ubuntu, if yes which version? Please help.

  • 4
    Despite the very detailed answer below, it may be helpful if you indicate exactly where Ubuntu is "way slower" than Windows. I find it to be quite the opposite. Do you mean for instance that the user interface and programs feel sluggish, or that it actually "calculates" stuff slower than Windows?
    – roadmr
    Jan 14, 2012 at 15:30
  • 2
    Continuing @roadmr's question: Or is it the boot process, or identic programs startup time (OpenOffice, Firefox) or how do you compare them? Note that Xp was developed for about 8 years old machines, while Ubuntu is in permanent progress, and should be more aimed to actual machines. Jan 14, 2012 at 16:57
  • 2
    Please add how much ram do you have
    – gajdipajti
    Jan 14, 2012 at 18:16
  • I think that's because unity is bad for performance, and it isn't even good looking imho
    – Dr_Bunsen
    Oct 30, 2012 at 13:10
  • You can use Ubuntu 10.04.
    – KK Patel
    Oct 30, 2012 at 13:10

5 Answers 5


Unity uses a lot of CPU resources. You may look to a method of removing Unity and using gnome. Of course, if you remove a lot of the defaults of the distro you might lose some support for other functions that might be associated with the distro.

I understand a lot of public sentiment that lots of wasteful resources are built into the various OS' each day. The developers try to make things convenient for the users and add features. These features take up CPU cycles. That's why XP was slower than Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.1 was slower than DOS. Each generation required more resources from the computer. If Windows XP could run on one of the earlier computers (a 286 for example) because of the CPU cycles, it would probably take nearly a year for it to boot up. It would probably also take a week for a mouse movement position to be updated.

Please consider that hard drive space of a new computer is measured in 100's of gigs rather than 100's of megs as when XP was release. Of course when DOS first came out the hard drive sizes were measured in Mbs (not 10's of Mbs). Thge first hard drive I bought was actully 2 megs for two dollars.

The CPU speed of the computers running DOS were less than 1MHz. The CPU speeds of computers today is measured in GHz... still in the single digits, but imagine what the applications will be doing when the hard drive space and speed is 1000 times what they are today and the CPU's are measured in triple digits of GHz. The developers will add even more functionality that will take even more cycles.

I believe the best suggestion for you is to look for a Linux distribution that requires less resources and has less default functionality, or get a higher performance computer, or deal with the slower operation.

As computers develop in performance, the developers are going to put the CPU cycles to use... not only the developer for the OS, but the developers of each of the application that you load to the computer.

I understand my answer might not be the best and the most direct answer, but hopefully it might ease some of your aggravation and get you quicker to the resolution of changing distros if Ubuntu isn't for you. Looking for an older version might cause you to lose support from the developers.

But you can always pick the oldest version of Ubuntu that is currently supported. The performance would most likely be higher, because it'll actually do less in the background.


Use Xubuntu or Lubuntu. They will eat less memory, and use less cpu. The ubuntu applications are there in the repository, so you can install them at any time.


The minimum hardware requirements for Windows XP Home Edition are:

  • Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
  • At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)


The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 12.04 is 384 MB of memory for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal.


But Ubuntu does not perform well with the very low minimum specifications they say will work with less than 1GB of RAM.

The minimum requirements alone already answer your question. I have both installed on a old computer (dual boot - clean install). Windows XP is much faster.

  • 1
    Have you ever tried to get Windows XP running on a P2-300 with 64MB or even 128MB of RAM? It might be the official minimum requirement, but I'm betting that you wouldn't be able to do much with that PC.
    – Aaron
    Oct 30, 2012 at 13:15

If the UI is sluggish, then it could be that your computer isn't fast enough or there are problems with drivers. If programs load slowly, then that means that you should get a faster hard drive. Also keep in mind that Ubuntu 11.10 uses considerably more resources than Windows XP because of the visual effects and the fact that Windows XP was designed many years before Ubuntu 11.10 for much slower computers.


use xubuntu if ur very much concerned about the speed , otherwise gnome shell is quite fast , also ubuntu 11.10 is comparable to win 7 or win 8 not with xp also the security and features in xp do not match with the advanced ubuntu 11.10 , so for the features and the look u will have to sacrifice something , also u can use preload to get some speed also remove unwanted programs....sorry for my poor english.

sudo apt-get install preload or u can install from synaptic too

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