Originally Posted by shad0wboss
I am tired of windows 7 sluggish UI and the same themes tbh. I have tonnes of programs on this one, anti virus etc and i was thinking of installing Ubuntu as an OS besides windows 7 so i can dual boot them. I was considering the following things however i would like some honest suggestions and tips regarding this:
- Battery life (i'm on i7 3610qm)
- Smoothness compared to windows 7
- Gaming performance compared to windows 7
- Eye candy compared to windows 7 (themes etc)
Also which version of ubuntu would perform better. 12.04 or 13.04?
1) Battery life is kind of up to you. Like many things in Linux it all depends on how much tweaking you do that determines the results. That said, in my experience with the buntus (I run Kubuntu and Bodhi) they'll report less battery life than Windows would and I usually had about an hour difference between the default settings. With Windows though I was able to tweak it to a 25% max CPU utilization setting and that seemed to give Windows a larger battery life. In Linux I've been unable to match that. Still, since it's often faster to do things in Linux I usually don't have a problem with a slightly shorter battery life.
2) This is too subjective to really ask about. To me Windows 7 is more "polished" but slower while just about every DE in Linux is faster but can at times be slower. Not sure how to explain it.
3)Gaming is all over the place. Some games run faster and some run slower. If you have an ATI/AMD card be ready for a bit more frustration. If you have an Nvidia card GTX600 series or newer it seems the latest drivers really favor them compared to older cards as it's the first time I've seen benchmarks list them consistently ahead of Windows. For me with my old GTX275 games run fine...but not as good as in Windows.
4) This is one area Windows pretty much get's crushed. KDE, E17, even Gnome and Unity just look better and with some customization you can make them far more productive than Windows's Aero ever could hope to be. With most you can replicate a feature similar to OSX's "expose'" feature which shows all active windows on screen and in KDE you can type the name (usually just three letters), hit enter, and have switched to the window you wanted. For (useless in my opinion) eye candy you can even enable desktop Cube, Sphere, Cylinder, and so on for when you switch from one virtual desktop to another.
5) 13.04 is what I would recommend at this point. But you should be aware that it will lose support when 14.04 or 14.10 comes out in about a year (IIRC). My honest recommendation is always grab the latest release and always fresh install a latest release whenever you can. That only goes if you want the most up to date versions of programs. You can stick to an LTS but I don't recommend trying to add programs that are "newer"...just didn't work out when I tried it.