your exactly right about the choice of using a different window manager ... KDE and
GNOME are "heavy" desktop environments, and my personal recommendation is for
you to try out fluxbox ... its very lightweight, and you should see a drastic improvement
in speed ... the link to it is below :
and you'll notice above the top of the page, that there is different links, which one of
them includes "Documentation" .. it'll tell you everything about getting it up and running
plus more .. but to give you a trimmed down version, all your basically going to have
to do is your basic installaion of "most" tarballs ...
cd into the extracted folder
and i don't know how you boot your system, but i personally boot to init 3 (text mode)
and then when i am good and ready i type startx to load up the graphical
environment .. so what i do is add "exec fluxbox" to my .xinitrc file in my home folder for
it knows to initiate flux upon issuing the startx command ..