Relative newb here.
I have an older PC, AMD Athlon , running at 1100 ghz, 2G RAM, with Linux running on a 160 gb SATA drive. I originally set this up with Linux Mint 9, then moved to 10, 11, and for a brief time, 12. My problem is (and has been since I started this) that the video (onboard) seems very slow, especially compared to the other machines on which Ive installed Linux.
Videos on Youtube, Vimeo, etc., are choppy, or will only show a still at three second intervals (audio is fine). Browsing (for example) Reddit with several tabs becomes impossibly slow. For example, a typical session might be a couple of imgur links, a video, and some rage comics. Even switching between tabs is slow, and scrolling becomes too frustrating to bother.
I noticed that I have similar performance with WinXP (I still have an old XP drive on this).
The other day, I made a live USB stick with PCLinuxOS - the unofficial 2012 Gnome version (I don't care for KDE, and I've run older PCLOS Gnome versions in the past). I'm running it now, and it's much faster, videos play normally, and I can scroll through a whole bunch of Tumblr posts with nary a glitch.
I tried the live Mint CDs, but hadn't paid much attention to the speed at the time, so I don't remember how they ran. So, it would seem that PCLOS might be a better choice for this particular machine... but I'm wondering if an actual install might become just as slow for reasons that aren't apparent to me.
Since it would only take an hour or so to try it out, and I don't have much data on the machine as it is, I guess I could just install it and try it out; it's just that I'd hate to spend the time if I didn't need to do so.