Originally Posted by MS3FGX
You should also recompile your kernel with leaner options and targeted to your unique hardware configuration. This alone would net you a better performance boost than you are likely to get recompiling all your individual packages.
My thanks MS3FGX.
I have once had a (not very competent, it must be said), adventure with Gentoo, which I do not regret at all, even though I eventually got seduced into the joys of Ubuntu. Gentoo has /etc/make.conf
where compile control is kept.
I was thinking to choose (force??) the compile options at least for those programs I was compiling myself. From what you say, it seems a more flexible distro is a better option.
This is only partly about needing the performance (which I do). It is also about not simply ignoring the utility of all the expensively developed architectures, powerful pipelined instructions and suchlike so we can have a kernel that will even run on a 486.