FEB
19
2003

LinuxPlanet: KDE 3.1 Shines on Low End Hardware

In a recent article featured on LinuxPlanet, senior technology consultant Rob Reilly ran KDE 3.1 through its paces using a low-end 133MHz PC with 128 MB RAM. According to the story, despite a number of new features and aesthetic
improvements, KDE 3.1 reverses the general desktop trend of increased
resource usage:
"Even though KDE took about two and 1/2 minutes to load, most of the programs, menus, icons and animations seemed to appear almost instantly
and ran without a hitch. [. . .] For the average
office or home user, the combination of an older PC and KDE 3.1
would work perfectly well for their needs."

Comments

Debug info sections are placed at the end of the file, so unless the file is fragmented (which it shouldn't be after 'make install'), they theoretically really shouldn't affect the execution in any way.


By L.Lunak at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

Thanks. Learn something new every day :-)


By Roberto Alsina at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

Debug info will end up in disk cache. This leaves less cache for real code.


By Stefan Heimers at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

Doubt that, since binaries are largely paged in on demand (which kind of sucks performance wise); and the debug info is in a different section....

The real difference between debug and release builds is what happens to kdDebug....


By Sad Eagle at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

If you still have the faulty ram, maybe you can use it, at least partly.

http://rick.vanrein.org/linux/badram/

I used this on a server with about 100 broken KB on a 256MB module, and it worked just fine (instead of locking up every hour or so ;-)


By Roberto Alsina at Wed, 2003/02/19 - 6:00am

Great! I was already hoping for such a solution, but did not find it before. I will try it as soon as I find the time.


By Stefan Heimers at Wed, 2003/02/19 - 6:00am

Also check http://www.memtest86.com/ for a memory tester that can give you the proper badram patterns. It's also a damn fine memory tester, in general.


By Anonymous Coward at Wed, 2003/02/19 - 6:00am

... it's still loading 15 minutes later ...


By Clicked on Open... at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

| most of the programs, menus, icons and animations seemed to appear almost
| instantly

No way. On my old AMD K6-2 300 with 192 MB ram and SCSI disk, it took seconds even for a simple konsole to open.

THE biggest problem of KDE is slowness. And while it may be largely caused by gcc, that doesn't matter to the end user.


By Erik Hensema at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

"THE biggest problem of KDE is slowness"
Startup times. Considering the context I think that's what you were refering to, anyway, I'd just like to stress that. Startup times are what really bothers me, when things are running they run pretty fine.


By Sr Stap Timbes at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

I share the author's dislike of the Crystal icons. In addition to looking pretty, shouldn't icons also be clear? They are not merely decorations, after all. I just installed 3.1 and reverted to the classic icons. The new ones are more abstract, fuzzier, and have too much blue among them. It's not as easy to distinguish their meaning: many of them look like bluish blobs. Frankly, I think icons should be more cartoonish: less pretty, but sharper, with more contrast and easier to understand. I hope KDE does not abandon the classic icon theme.


By chris at Thu, 2003/02/20 - 6:00am

It is strange, the memory usage. KDE 3.1 is not that slow in the sense of using the processor, but indeed needs very much memory. I have a P350 with 64 mb ram and enough swap.
Opening Konsole takes 12 seconds, after clicking "Settings-Configure Konqueror..." I have to wait 6 seconds, a new Konqueror window also takes about 3-4 seconds.
I can remember KDE 1.2, where a new KFM window opened in about 0.5 second...
Besides that you need at least 128 MB ram to run KDE well, I find it a very complete system. The things I often want to do, is browse the internet, edit my website with FTP and type some text. For that last, I rather use LyX with xdvi (because kdvi can take 50 mb of memory), but for browsing Konqueror is very good, KMail too, kghostview integration in Konqueror is hady for viewing PDF files in webpages, and Kopete is the best IM program for Linux I have ever found. And there is no better website editing tool than KWrite, thanks to VFS support.
So after all I think KDE would be better if it used less memory, but I am completely happy with it.


By Daan at Fri, 2003/02/21 - 6:00am

> And there is no better website editing tool than KWrite, thanks to VFS support.

Have you tried quanta yet? ;)


By Lam0r at Tue, 2003/02/25 - 6:00am

> And there is no better website editing tool than KWrite, thanks to VFS support.

Have you tried quanta yet? ;)


By Lam0r at Tue, 2003/02/25 - 6:00am

Whether you run KDE 3.1 or twm, as soon as you fire up Mozilla or OpenOffice on a machine with less than 64MB of RAM, youre going to be sitting there waiting.

KDE can't do anything to reduce the massive RAM requirements of these 3rd party apps, and the KDE developers should be applauded for taking the time and effort to reduce the performance impact of their project on low-end machines.

A lean, mean KDE will give users of low-end hardware more reason to work primarily in the KDE apps (Konq, KWrite, KMail), rather than go for the bloated Mozilla/OpenOffice etc.


By Pete Black at Wed, 2003/02/26 - 6:00am

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