Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:41
So I'm re-building an old emachines I was given, and I have a couple of questions.
It has 1 GB of RAM and an Intel Pentium 4 @ 3.00 Ghz that reads "EM64T Capable". I installed the 64 bit version of Ubuntu 12.10, but it seems to be "really" sluggish at times, particularly if I try watching a full screen flash video from pretty much any website. I see in the BIOS that Hyperthreading is available and enabled.
Anyway, I'm wondering if the 32 bit version would offer better performance, or if it wouldn't make a difference since this processor is apparently 64 bit. It's an emachines W3615 that was given to me by a neighbor who didn't want it, so I replaced the CPU fan because the old one had worn out and was rattling around inside its housing, put some fresh thermal paste on it and cleaned it out, and I'm giving it to my mother-in-law to use as a general web browsing computer, but it's performance is not all that pleasing at times.
I guess my question is, given the information above, what could I do to improve performance of Ubuntu? I'm currently using Unity, but in my experience using 12.04 a while back, switching from Unity to Ubuntu's version of Gnome 2 didn't really make any difference as far as system performance, so I'm hesitant to start messing around with other desktop environments.
Another question. I've applied fresh thermal paste and put a new fan on top of the heat-sink blowing down. When I first started the computer the CPU was at around 52 degrees celsius according to the "Hardware Monitoring" section in the BIOS. That was after having been shut off for a few days and having just had the thermal paste and heat-sink re-applied, so that was as cold as it was going to get. I booted Ubuntu, played a few high def videos on YouTube to get the CPU cranking and the fan speed has increased, then I rebooted to get into the BIOS and look at the temps. (lmsensors says there are no sensors installed that it supports) I've had it sitting there for about 10 minutes now and it has hung right around 90 degrees celsius, meanwhile my own personal desktop is hanging out at a cool 18 degrees celsius(also running Ubuntu 12.10 64 bit). It's worth mentioning I guess that the CPU fan came out of a Dell PC and had a different wiring configuration so I had to splice the connector from the old fan onto the new fan since the new one wouldn't plug onto the connector on the motherboard. The connections are insulated from each other and the fan is running fine and even changes speed when the CPU is under load, so I don't think that's the issue, and the wires on the two fans were all the same color and the fans were the same size, they just had different connectors so I had to swap them out.