I began my encounters with Linux back in 1997. People would come into HPB bookstore to buy Linux Bible and other guides. I got curious. I was on Windows at that time. I progressed to Mac and we had a long, stormy marriage. Finally I found a teacher who introduced RH Linux and Apache server. Yes, this was in the phase just before RedHat went to the Big leagues and we were still manually installing with lilo. Fast forward to yesterday. I have been going back and forth with dual boot scenarios for my 2013 MAC. Nothing really satisfied. So i looked at what Apple software i was ACTUALLY using- hmm, not much. So, i thought, "Y'know, I'm done. Deuces Apple!" and I am very pleased with Zorin thus far.
Was thinking of distrohopping a few weeks ago until now, but i just couldn't find a replacement with the DE to surpass Zorin's aesthetics.
Been using it for more than a year and it's still rock solid albeit a bit resource heavy (GNOME's shortcoming though).
You can try XFCE. As far as gaming, I haven’t noticed a difference but the startup times are faster (just FYI that I switched completely to Lite rather than just installed XFCE, so your mileage may vary).
I'd like to try Lite someday to see the resource usage difference for myself. But for now i'm sticking with Core cause i really feel at home with the app grid. Does Lite have something like the app grid?
I never accessed the app grid while on Core. If you tell me how to, I can try to check on Lite.