KDE 4: like a dream on 256Mb/1Ghz/Intel!

So someone just asked in #kde4-devel whether it was worth trying KDE 4 on a 2500Mhz/256Mb computer and I was characteristically careful and guessed "It will work, but won't be good.". Then I decided to put my money where my mouth is and booted my Thinkpad X60 with "mem=256M maxcpus=1", logged into KDE 4 and set the power saving policy to "Powersave", which throttles the CPU to 1Ghz and locks it there. And then I used KDE 4 some, started Konqueror, browsed about a bit, configured a few things with System Settings, started Kopete and chatted a little. And I was pleasantly surprised with how well it all works. With a "debugfull" build from SVN. With kwin_composite 3d eye candy, on Intel. With KDE 3 libraries loaded too (for KPowerSave, since it's not ported yet). As they like to say here in Franconia, it's like "a'Traum".

[image:3136 align=left hspace=20 vspace=n border=n size=label width=300 node=3136] Kopete startup is slow (we _have_ to optimise that), but definitely usable. I'd love to get some more detailed figures but that will have to wait. This shows the benefits of KDE's integrated approach, and means one thing: KDE 4 is going to be a serious contender for a high-performance, good looking interface on low resource machines like the Eee PC, and I can't wait to try it out on one.


That is great news to hear, considering I am in the process of getting the Thinkpad X61. :)

Karol Krizka

By kkrizka at Mon, 12/10/2007 - 16:47

What do we think the PS3 performance would be like? Would be nice to actually use it as a real desktop.


By lovedaddy at Mon, 12/10/2007 - 18:10

That would indeed be interesting..

By Will Stephenson at Mon, 12/10/2007 - 19:09

...which throttles the CPU to 1Ghz and locks it there.

While a nice test, it's a bit skewed, since older - should I say vintage already!? - cpu's may not come with SSE2+, likely have much smaller caches and need more cpu cycles for a number of operations. Also the graphics card used in dated systems may influence the desktop experience. Last but not least, even if the desktop itself runs with 256MB, there is not much room for applications, let alone file caching. More some minimium requirements figure, which turns out painful in most real world cases.

By carlo at Mon, 12/10/2007 - 23:08

Good point, I should have noted this already. I'm building KDE4 on a Pentium M (Banias) 1.5Ghz laptop which throttles to 600Mhz at the moment, will report on that too.

By Will Stephenson at Tue, 12/11/2007 - 13:37

The PS3 has 512MB of total memory, and performance right now primarily depends on nouveau and the RSX hackers.
It's been a fully functional desktop for a while now. Just make sure you have fast swap. Don't use a flash drive.
KDE 3 runs fine. It looks here like KDE 4 will too-- once the vRAM access is made more efficient.
Also, if KDE 4 is multi threaded, it could be ported to the SPU's...

By ethana2 at Tue, 12/11/2007 - 04:19

I installed the late RC from Kubuntu repositories on my old Thinkpad T22 (256 MB of RAM, 900 MHz). Indeed I only played a bit with it, instead of heavily testing it. Anyway, its performance is well so far. Only the Desktop effects are not working, but i guess it is because of the graphics card (savage ix) and its not so good opengl capabilites.

By blizzz at Tue, 12/11/2007 - 07:44