Slow Performance of Zorin 16 - Switched from Windows

I am sure that most users will not agree with my feedback. But, I actually switched from Windows 11 with high hopes (trust me). Completed all the installation requirements with additional drives.
I accept that my machine is old with HDD, 8gb ram & no external graphics card (only inbuilt intel graphics card). But, the performance is even slower & sluggish than the windows 11.
I thought my pc performance will drop significantly if I forcefully switch to windows 11 from 10 as microsoft clearly mentioned that my pc does not meet the upgrade requirements. Still I updated and windows 11 performed as good as windows 10 (not fast but good).

The reason why I switched to zorin was to give my desktop more speed and agility as I run 2 browsers and 2-3 apps at the same time. But, to my surprise, the OS app launch & app switching is even slower than the windows 11. When I launch a browser, it takes minimum 15-20 seconds (doesn't matter which browser it is). When I switch between running apps and browsers, I can feel a clear lag & stuttering. I was facing video stuttering as well, but fixed it after going through some helpful posts & online research.
The only good thing is (till now), when I am inside a browser (eg: firefox), the performance is blazing fast. I mean, I am blown away as I have never seen such a performance even in windows 10. Other than that, I am actually sad with the performance drop of a desktop which was performing fairly well on windows 11.

Below are the hardware details of my PC -

description: Desktop Computer
product: HP Elite 7100 Microtower PC (WJ045AV)
vendor: Hewlett-Packard
version: xxx0204GRxxxxxxxx0
serial: INA103SC65
width: 64 bits
capabilities: smbios-2.6 dmi-2.6 smp vsyscall32
configuration: boot=normal chassis=desktop family=103C_53307F sku=WJ045AV uuid=64229E24-E323-E011-95D8-FC451D19DD37
description: Motherboard
product: 2A9Ch
vendor: MSI
physical id: 0
version: 1.0
description: BIOS
vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
physical id: 0
version: 5.15
date: 06/25/2010
size: 64KiB
capacity: 8MiB
description: CPU
product: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz
vendor: Intel Corp.
physical id: 4
bus info: cpu@0
version: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz
slot: CPU 1
size: 1423MHz
capacity: 3067MHz
width: 64 bits
clock: 133MHz

MemTotal: 8001544 kB
MemFree: 308152 kB
MemAvailable: 3238920 kB
Buffers: 172456 kB
Cached: 3386024 kB
SwapCached: 40 kB
Active: 1917852 kB
Inactive: 5327364 kB
Active(anon): 79412 kB
Inactive(anon): 4091900 kB
Active(file): 1838440 kB
Inactive(file): 1235464 kB
Unevictable: 53772 kB
Mlocked: 32 kB
SwapTotal: 2097148 kB
SwapFree: 2092760 kB
Dirty: 568 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 3740596 kB
Mapped: 817340 kB
Shmem: 486496 kB
KReclaimable: 152632 kB
Slab: 269324 kB
SReclaimable: 152632 kB
SUnreclaim: 116692 kB
KernelStack: 18544 kB
PageTables: 50524 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 6097920 kB
Committed_AS: 11913328 kB
VmallocTotal: 34359738367 kB
VmallocUsed: 36256 kB
VmallocChunk: 0 kB
Percpu: 6240 kB
HardwareCorrupted: 0 kB
AnonHugePages: 0 kB
ShmemHugePages: 0 kB
ShmemPmdMapped: 0 kB
FileHugePages: 0 kB
FilePmdMapped: 0 kB
HugePages_Total: 0
HugePages_Free: 0
HugePages_Rsvd: 0
HugePages_Surp: 0
Hugepagesize: 2048 kB
Hugetlb: 0 kB
DirectMap4k: 302592 kB
DirectMap2M: 7946240 kB

You can follow this guide:

If the above didn't help I would suggest you to move to zorin os lite

1 Like

Do NOT follow the First tip provided in the article linked (About decreasing boot time by changing the Grub Timeout). @Adithyansm is a good and helpful member and the article is over-all helpful. But that one tip can really shoot you in the foot if you need to boot into recovery mode. Leave the Grub Timeout configuration at the default setting unless you want to be tearing your hair out later trying to access Recovery.

I strongly agree about switching to Lite. I think Zorin OS Lite will run smoothly and swift on your machine.
Also, install Preload:

sudo apt install preload

What Preload is and what it does goes into why Win 11 seems faster.
So let's quickly cover that...
One of the advantages in using Linux is that it generally shows better performance than Windows. This includes Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
There are two important things to note here:

  • Not all Windows are the same. Windows comes with a tablet edition, for example. Windows is formatted for working with Lower end and higher end specs. So, in a way, there is such a thing as Windows Lite. This is why you can find Windows 10 running and working pretty decently on some rather old and low spec machines. It is a Lite Version and it has many things "switched off" in order to enhance performance.
  • Microsoft got their act together with Windows 11.
    Windows is also making more use of open source projects available on Linux, instead of simply trying to vilify or dismiss them. This includes: Preload. MS took and adapted this for Windows. Windows 11 is pretty fast and responsive.

That Windows 11 is pretty fast and responsive is undeniable and the development team deserves their credit.
The reasons to use Linux, instead, like Zorin OS, go beyond just performance, however. Privacy, easy of use, user control and customization and many other factors may be important enough to you to prefer a Linux Distro over Windows.

A note on using Preload:

Preload takes some time to learn the routine. What you open frequently gets cached in the buffer, decreasing launch and loading times. A user running and using applications is what teaches preload. So allow it time to learn... If you expect immediate blazing fast speeds, you will be disappointed. Like having expectations of Wonder Woman meeting you on a blind date, it really helps to keep expectations grounded and realistic.
For me, Preload has improved the launch time of some apps by cutting the load time by 2/3 - which is significant. But not all applications will launch that quickly. Some must communicate with shared object files and such and can vary in load time.

Your specs are good. 8 gigs of RAM is fine. And Intel Graphics are solid, well-supported and often reliable.

The only other thing you can do to increase load speed will be to switch to an ssd with at least sata 2. If the machine supports beyond that you're golden... otherwise you can buy the latest and greatest and still be stuck at 200mb/s read speeds.