LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #1
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quintessential Newbie with a *hardware* question


Hi all, I have installed Zorin on a blank hard drive and it seems to be working properly, but there is a lot of lag. I'm pretty sure I know the answer but thought I'd ask anyway.

History: this is an desktop I built a long time ago and it's been bullet proof (Intel D875 with a Pent IV - yep!). It's really only used for internet surfing nowadays and now that XP is no longer supported, I stuck in a blank drive and installed the Zorin on it.

Running Firefox on the original XP had gotten so laggy and I had hoped that the Linux would be faster. I know this setup is slow compared to modern processors but this used to fly on XP and Firefox.

With Linux/Zorin running Firefox, it's as about as laggy as the old system. Scrolling pages are choppy and actually watching videos on Youtube is worse on the new config. The audio is smooth but the videos are like a still slide show with the picture updating every few seconds.

So my question is whether browsers have gotten so heavy that an older Pent IV can no longer be used these days? FWIW, any program that was installed under XP ran perfectly smooth and fast, it was pretty much internet surfing that's been the problem both under XP and now Linux.

John
 
Old 08-22-2018, 12:35 PM   #2
rtmistler
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2011
Location: MA, USA
Distribution: MINT Debian, Angstrom, SUSE, Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 8,209
Blog Entries: 13

Rep: Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606Reputation: 3606
Hi and welcome to LQ.

Given that it's a very old system, have you cleaned up the interior? Such as cleared dust from everywhere? Airflow means a ton. If it is getting hot, the CPU may be slowing down to compensate, when it may not have too if the whole airflow situation were less obstructed.

The other one is RAM means a ton as well. If you can grab any spare RAM and maximize what that system has, it helps, for any OS.

Did you use Zorin Lite? That's meant for older computers.

The version of Zorin you're using might be relevant for people to know. And you may wish to consider other browsers to see which ones work best for you.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-22-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
Rickkkk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,216

Rep: Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450
Hi JohnCT,

... building off of rtmistler's comments above, I would add that, yes, modern browsers have generally become very resource-hungry applications. Consequently, running any current version of *most* browsers will likely be unsatisfactory on P4-era hardware.

One option you can try is, as quickly mentioned by rtmistler, a linux distro specifically targeted at old hardware. I have successfully run Puppy "Classic Pup 2.14x" version (maintained by ttuuxxx) on Pentium II and III machines, with as little as 192 MB RAM.

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42553

Others in this forum highly recommend AntiX.

As far as browsers go, specifically, the lightest and fastest one I've worked with that still qualifies as relatively full-featured would be Midori. The absolute worst in terms of performance, in my experience, is Firefox.

Cheers - let us know how things go !

Last edited by Rickkkk; 08-22-2018 at 12:59 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 09:38 AM   #4
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks folks. Some answers:

Yes, the processor heat sink is clean and the fan running properly (the Intel MB varies the speed with temp, and I do it pitch up with demanding apps running). I'm running the full Zorin OS 12, not the lite. I haven't tried any other distro yet.

I thought that since XP used to fly on this P4, any Linux (including the big full featured ones) should be an improvement and less hoggy than Windows. Playing around with it a bit last night, I found that there is no improvement at all when web surfing, and have decided that it's not the OS that's causing my issues, but the browser.

The Zorin distro comes Chrome, Firefox, and Midori and I tried all three. The Chrome and Firefox were about the same. Midori would load, but it would simply disappear after about 10 seconds - not enough time to see if it was any faster. I tried it many times including after a reboot, and it still just shuts down with no error message.

HOWEVER, using your sage advice, I double checked my RAM. Whereas I would have bet real money that I had at least 4G installed, system info says there's 1.5G actually reporting. Either I was mistaken about how much RAM I put in it, or I borrowed some to try in another PC and didn't put it back, or maybe there's a RAM or perhaps even a MB failure. I think you guys nailed it right on the head with the RAM.

Thanks again.


EDIT: BTW, my wife just called and asked if she can do Word docs on the Libre Office? I forgot to reconnect the Windows HD last night..


John

Last edited by JohnCT; 08-23-2018 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
Rickkkk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,216

Rep: Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCT View Post
Thanks folks. I haven't tried any other distro yet.

Midori would load, but it would simply disappear after about 10 seconds - not enough time to see if it was any faster. I tried it many times including after a reboot, and it still just shuts down with no error message.

HOWEVER, using your sage advice, I double checked my RAM. Whereas I would have bet real money that I had at least 4G installed, system info says there's 1.5G actually reporting.

John
Hey John - A P4 with 1.5GB should be able to run a light distro with a light browser ... Again, Classic Pup 2.14x or AntiX using Midori or an even lighter browser would likely be your best bet.

In general, irrespective of the actual distro chosen, the biggest impact on performance will come from the desktop environment (DE)(GUI) you choose to use. You can go really stripped down and use what is known as a "window manager" (WM) (very basic functionality, no extra apps included) or one of the lightest full desktop environments (I like LXDE for this).

Once you narrow the above down, the choice of browser will also affect your performance. Shoot for the best balance between functionality and speed ... Midori should not shut down like that - likely something was missing. Always try to install linux software using your distro's package manager first - it is supposed to verify and satisfy all dependencies. I am completely unfamiliar with Zorin .. again, perhaps another, lighter distro / DE / WM is in the cards for you.

Let us know how you make out !

*EDIT* Yes you can read and edit MS Office Word docs with LibreOffice. And although it's not as lumberingly huge and sluggish as MS Office, it's *not* a lightweight app. A pretty bloody good alternative word processor for old computers with impressive Word compatibility is Abiword.

Last edited by Rickkkk; 08-23-2018 at 11:23 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Xubuntu
Posts: 5,357

Rep: Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863Reputation: 1863
I have a computer which is older than the Pentium IV: it has the original model of the Pentium M and was one of the first machines to have the brand-new Windows XP installed! It runs Xubuntu but Firefox only runs in wounded-snail mode. I use Midori which is still a bit slow, but it takes only a third of the CPU time and RAM usage. You can check Midori by launching it from the terminal emulator and you will definitely get an error message left when it crashes. Basically, the internet has just got too complex: on Youtube, replacing Flash with HTML5 hasn't helped. Your RAM is adequate certainly more than enough for a 32-bit OS.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 12:21 PM   #7
mrmazda
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Distribution: openSUSE, Debian, Knoppix, Mageia, Fedora, others
Posts: 1,945

Rep: Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595
Earlier P4s are 32bit, later ones are 64 bit. Which is yours?
Code:
uname -a
will say, as will
Code:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
The latter will report its speed. If it's a slow one, dirt cheap upgrades are readily available. If the socket type is 775, then a 32 bit can be replaced with a 64bit, possibly even with a dual core CPU, depending on the motherboard BIOS support. Did Firefox come with Zorin, or are you using one from mozilla.org? Which version is it? Is it running Gnome? Gnome is more demanding than others DEs, probably hamstrung by having only 1.5GB of RAM. Some DEs run things in the background that take a while to stop hogging resources. It might be a simple matter to switch to a lighter DE/WM, such as XFCE or TDE, than what you are now running. If the gfx is Intel and there is a 16X PCIe slot available, adding a low cost used video card could make an immense difference. A lot of old Intel gfxchips are very poor performers. What does
Code:
inxi -Gxx
report? If the driver actually used is fbdev or vesa, it needs changing.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 03:42 PM   #8
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I know it's a 3Gig Pentium IV in a 478 socket and I think it's a 512m L2 cache. It's 32 bit on an Intel D875PBZ motherboard. The Intel D875 has no on-board video and has a video card installed. I did try to upgrade the card a few years ago but couldn't really find anything much better. I think the video is one of the bottle necks.

The three browsers I tried were included in the Zorin distro and installed that way.

I'm not with the computer right now but will try to get more into on the graphics.

John
 
Old 08-23-2018, 04:13 PM   #9
mrmazda
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Distribution: openSUSE, Debian, Knoppix, Mageia, Fedora, others
Posts: 1,945

Rep: Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595Reputation: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCT View Post
I know it's a 3Gig Pentium IV in a 478 socket and I think it's a 512m L2 cache. It's 32 bit on an Intel D875PBZ motherboard. The Intel D875 has no on-board video and has a video card installed. I did try to upgrade the card a few years ago but couldn't really find anything much better. I think the video is one of the bottle necks.
With AGP, your gfxcard selection is limited. All 64 bit 478 P4s are (rare) Extreme Edition Prescotts with 2M cache, hot running power hungry beasts (84W or 115W TDP). Your 875P DDR motherboard might be new enough to support one, but any money spent on hardware upgrade would most likely be better spent on a whole different/newer PC, or SATA motherboard/CPU/RAM/PS/(gfxcard).
 
Old 08-23-2018, 04:57 PM   #10
Rickkkk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,216

Rep: Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
... but any money spent on hardware upgrade would most likely be better spent on a whole different/newer PC, or SATA motherboard/CPU/RAM/PS/(gfxcard).
.... agreed. Do the best you can with the hardware you've got - I'm sure you can still squeeze some useful life out of it with the right combination of light software ... especially given that it has 1.5 GB RAM ..

Cheers.
 
Old 08-23-2018, 05:04 PM   #11
hydrurga
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2008
Location: Pictland
Distribution: Linux Mint 19.1 MATE
Posts: 8,018
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869Reputation: 2869
It may make a difference to the reactivity of your browsing if you install an ad blocker such as uBlock Origin and a general script blocker such as NoScript.
 
Old 08-24-2018, 07:38 AM   #12
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Here's what I got:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
Code:
uname -a
Linux M5 4.15.0-32-generic #35~16.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Fri Aug 10 21:52:48 UTC 2018 i686 i686 i686 GNU/Linux


Quote:
Code:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 15
model : 2
model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz
stepping : 9
microcode : 0x2e
cpu MHz : 3000.041
cache size : 512 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 2
core id : 0
cpu cores : 1
apicid : 0
initial apicid : 0
fdiv_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 2
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe pebs bts cpuid cid xtpr
bugs : cpu_meltdown spectre_v1 spectre_v2 spec_store_bypass l1tf
bogomips : 6000.08
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 128
address sizes : 36 bits physical, 32 bits virtual
power management:

processor : 1
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 15
model : 2
model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz
stepping : 9
microcode : 0x2e
cpu MHz : 3000.041
cache size : 512 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 2
core id : 0
cpu cores : 1
apicid : 1
initial apicid : 1
fdiv_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 2
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe pebs bts cpuid cid xtpr
bugs : cpu_meltdown spectre_v1 spectre_v2 spec_store_bypass l1tf
bogomips : 6000.54
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 128
address sizes : 36 bits physical, 32 bits virtual

Quote:
Code:
inxi -Gxx
graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RV280 [Radeon 9200 SE]
bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:5964
Display Server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: N/A
Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
GLX Renderer: llvmpipe (LLVM 6.0, 128 bits)
GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 18.0.5 Direct Rendering: Yes


Thanks

John
 
Old 08-24-2018, 07:45 AM   #13
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
.... agreed. Do the best you can with the hardware you've got - I'm sure you can still squeeze some useful life out of it with the right combination of light software ... especially given that it has 1.5 GB RAM ..

Cheers.
I *know* I've got some RAM that will fit this MB somewhere (LOL), and that's the only hardware change I intend to make. If it doesn't come up to a comfortable browsing speed, I'll retire the old boy. I've got a little bit of an unreasonable sentimental attachment to this boat anchor (I'm typing this on it right now). Since I built it around 04 or thereabouts, it's never froze, randomly shut down, blue screened, or needed to be rebooted. The only exception was a dying HD. Very stable, very reliable, but just can't keep up anymore.

If the RAM gets me up to speed, I'll let it surf the web until it dies. If not, well...

John
 
Old 08-24-2018, 09:22 AM   #14
Rickkkk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,216

Rep: Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCT View Post
I *know* I've got some RAM that will fit this MB somewhere (LOL), and that's the only hardware change I intend to make. If it doesn't come up to a comfortable browsing speed, I'll retire the old boy. I've got a little bit of an unreasonable sentimental attachment to this boat anchor (I'm typing this on it right now). Since I built it around 04 or thereabouts, it's never froze, randomly shut down, blue screened, or needed to be rebooted. The only exception was a dying HD. Very stable, very reliable, but just can't keep up anymore.

If the RAM gets me up to speed, I'll let it surf the web until it dies. If not, well...

John
... I share your enthusiasm for keeping *mature* ( .. ..) hardware working ... Go for it !

Let us know if we can be of any help down the road.

Cheers, John !
 
Old 08-28-2018, 09:45 AM   #15
JohnCT
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2018
Distribution: Zorin 12.4
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Well, I pulled the plug on the Linux/Zorin HDD. After living with it for a week, I reconnected the old HDD with the XP and the computer is much faster. Clicking on something took between 2 and 3 seconds before anything happened, XP is between half a second and a second (still slow I concede). I can also watch YT videos smoothly in XP where in Zorin the "video" was like a slide show updated every couple of seconds.

I haven't had the time to add any RAM (which I have somewhere in a box I'm sure) so I swapped back to XP for the time being. When I get a chance to install more RAM, I'll try the Zorin again.

I like the Zorin. It installed easily and connected immediately to my wireless USB wifi without any intervention from me. My wife was able to use the included Office Libre and run MS Office files for her work. It's the only distro I tried but I selected it as it purportedly is a good choice for those who are more familiar with Windows. As a Windows user (XP and 7), I had no trouble adapting to the Zorin.

When I get some more RAM installed, I'll try again but I don't think it's a RAM issue.

Thanks to all for your time and advice in this matter. Great group!

John
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A general (newbie) question about hardware david888 Linux - Hardware 5 10-16-2017 12:28 PM
Very Newbie Question Regarding New Hardware NotAComputerGuy Linux - Hardware 10 08-26-2013 06:22 AM
Newbie with hardware question Miggab Linux - Newbie 4 10-18-2007 08:31 PM
RE: Suse 8.0 hardware question {newbie question, pls help} Radiouk Linux - Distributions 2 06-04-2002 01:53 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:33 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration