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As it is known, in Windows, you can customize settings of the desktop and set it to the highest performance level, which deactivates the graphical effects. Is it possible to do the same in Linux or more specifically in my distro, SUSE 10.2?
Quite frankly, Linux is a true multi-tasking operating system, that alone is a sort of optimized feature, Windows has to resort to other means such as Core duo/dual core processors to help it catch up to a Unix's native "by design" performance features. There may be a magic button in some distributions like those that mimic WIndows, but because Linux is highly customizable compared to Windows it boils down to personal preference and/or knowledge.
You can buy a Pontiac Sunbird, or you can by a Mercedes Benz, it's up to you. But one big difference that is obvious is that if you want luxury, it's going to cost more than just getting the basic necessities.
Linux gives you the option to go as far as you want in either direction, it's up to you. If you want all the fancy bells and whistles, expect a "little" performance penalty. If you use a conservative approach, you can have a bad ass system, yet still have a modern system that can/will do anything Windows will and more. You can have a very basic Window Manager without 3D effects and drop shadows and transparency that will give you a big performance boost over a robust Window Manager that gives you all the "Eye candy", but that's luxury, right!.
Optimizing your Linux system is not an automatic thing, because you and I are different and have different tastes that Linux apparently caters to, not a general package deal like what Windows offers. More often than not, optimization features can be found in the applications you have installed, which can be different compared to what I have installed. Where the basic Linux system without the fancy GUI stuff will be the most optimized system.
It's a matter of necessities versus luxury. It's within the decissions you make.
I would say no. As noted, performance is Linux is mostly by design, and most applications don't have performance settings to really fittle with. Sure, some applications like games, have performance settings, but most others really don't. You can customize them pretty good, but in my experience, it rarely effects performance. The biggest performance worries i have seen are in web browsers where tunning its network performance can have a good impact, and in the theme of your current GUI toolkit. In GTK (used by GNOME, Rox, and XFCE) you can select from a wide range of theme options. Some of these are fast and light, others (such as pixbuf) allow for very precise themes, but can be slower or consume more memory. GNOME and KDE both have desktop performance settings you can work with, these increase/decrease the eye candy, and make things perform a little better.
But for the most part, both KDE and GNOME are slow no matter what you do. The best performance improvement you can do, is find applications that are to heavy, and replace them with alternatives. There are lots of lightweight window managers, Rox is a very fast file manager and desktop (compared to what KDE or GNOME offer), almost every possible application has at least one viable alternative that might perform better. In the end tho, it really matters what you mean by "performance", sure, you can tweak the system to get it moving faster, or computations to get done sooner, or for a desktop to feel more responsive. Mostly, its the type of performance that matters, which is why i recommend looking around at other applications. Also, if you know exactly the type of performance you want, sometimes a custom kernel can help provide this, but its a fairly drastic step if you don't know how to compile a kernel (and never have before).
Thank you very much for the replies. Let me explain my question in detail.
For example, in windows, when we choose Control Panel - System - Advanced (TAB) - Performance - and finally Visual Effects Tab, it prompts you the following actions;
1. Let Windows decide the best for this computer
2. Adjust for the best visuality
3. Adjust for the best performance.
Always, I select the 3rd option. I still have the desktop however, there is no visual effects such as window shading when you close one, etc.
In KDE or Gnome, can I do the same? Because, especially when you have 2 or 3 applications running, it tries to perform some eye-candy features such as window shading but in a slower manner. What I want to is to disable it.
Yes, those options should be in the control centers of those desktops. With GNOME, you can also change window managers to something that will cut or reduce eye candy. With KDE your stuck with what you get, but it has options about eye candy, and you can reduce them.