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I'm having P4 1.6GHz m/c with 128MB SDRAM, 40GB HDD. dual boot (30GB for WinXP and 10GB for RedHat linux 9.0). Video chipset is SiS650. I've Generic VESA driver automatically detected and installed by RedHat and Video shared memory is 16MB. My problem is that all of my GUI applications are very slow. It takes 50 seconds to launch the OpenOffice writer 1.0 at first time and second time it takes 40 seconds. Mozilla is also taking 30-40 seconds. the SWAP partition is of 256MB. BOOT partition is of 100MB.
I want to know where the problem lies. Is increasing the SWAP partition from 256MB to 1GB works?
what I've to do now?
Just for reference.... I use RH9 on an AMD K-6 300 MHz system with 128 MB RAM, 8 MB video, slow hardrive. OOo loads in 20 sec, mozilla in 15 sec. This is with KDE 3.1 and not much performance tweaking (I don't really know how!) Maybe you should check out /sbin/hdparm. It might be that DMA or 32 bit disk write is disabled.
by the way, openoffice DOES take along time to load by nature (of course not the 50 seconds it's taking you)... i think the new version loads faster... everybody who uses openoffice installed via rpm knows that it takes way too long to load. i've heard that if you compile it yourself you can actually notice the speed boost, but i'm not sure. i'm waiting for version 1.1 stable (right now it's 1.1rc4).
i went to mandrake's hardware compatibility page (good red hat based distro well known for being compatible with LOTS of hardware) and found that there was like only ONE sis card in there... it wasn't your 650... this was kinda weird considering there was like dozens for ati and nvidia and trident and such... so i did a little research on that weirdness and what i found isn't too encouraging..
to sum it up: it looks like sis video support for linux really sucks. apparently the 650 won't even go 3d... i think it can be made to work, but there's a lot of "issues"...
i haven't been able to look into it yet, but here's some links for inspiration (the point of all this being that PERHAPS it's a video chip incompatibility that's screwing your performance)...