Recommend a lightweight Leap if needed

My first post, from Michigan, USA. Someone recently gave me the following hardware but I don’t care for the W10 on it. I really want to install Leap. The hardware is somewhat old… ASRock H55M Pro, Intel Xeon X3470 socket 1156, 8 GB of DDR3 1333, Nvidia GT240 w/ 512 MB or GDDR5, and a 250 GB SSD. The 4 ram slots are populated so would prefer to stay at the 8 GB of RAM. General computing, not a gamer.

I assume any of the desktop flavors would work fine but I wanted to make sure. I am familiar with Slackware (using since 1997) and really want to change things up for the experience. I really like what I have read and watched on openSUSE. Just need to read up on the man pages to gain some traction.

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Welcome to openSUSE (and to the Forums).
I think that your box is good enough for general computing and as you likely know being a bit old isn’t necessarily a problem with Linux. I have run Leap or Tumbleweed on similarly rated systems, mainly with Gnome but also tried KDE/Plasma, Xfce, LxQt occasionally, so choose what suits you the best or what you are used to.
Gnome is a bit hungry on RAM, but at 8GB I see no problem unless you are routinely doing video or heavy graphics editing.
KDE is lighter on RAM and maybe on CPU also if you switch off rendering effects etc.
A word of caution about the Nvidia GT240 which is rather old in terms of GPU support, so I would not install the proprietary driver, since the current one (550.xx) doesn’t support that card and you have to resort to the old 340.xx (still available, but rather unsupported AFAIK).
But if you are not a gamer the default oss driver should do the job.


In relation to RAM a lot depends on your expectations; I have a 17 year old Dell notebook with only 2GB of RAM which takes at least three minutes to boot into LXQt but once up and running is fine. Linux is pretty good at making best use of the available RAM. You will notice a real speed difference if you have an SSD rather than a traditional hard drive.
Choose LXQt if you are more familiar with KDE and xfce if you are more familiar with Gnome.

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Thank you for the quick response, I really appreciate it.

Thank you for the quick response. I’ll give the screenshots a view.

I have a number of PCs older than yours, mostly with less than 8GB RAM. IME with you coming from Slackware, I suggest to go with the DE that surely you must be familiar with, KDE. 8GB should be adequate if you’re not in the habit of keeping multiple web browsers and hundreds of tabs open most of the time. Surely you know that a default KDE installation opens a wealth of things in the background that you can disable if Plasma turns out to be too sluggish for your habits. If it still turns out to still be slower than you care for, you can try IceWM, which comes along by default, or install LXQt, LXDE, KDE3, or TDE, among others less demanding than a flagship. 250G is more than enough space for all and more.

I have 5 NVidia cards both older and newer than yours, by not very much either direction. Mine all work quite acceptably using two displays up to 1920x1200+1680x1050 at least with the default FOSS drivers for the older three. The two that are slightly newer support 2560x1440+1680x1050 at least. I think all 5 are OK with 2560x1440 alone.


e16 if you’re familiar with it is less resource/light and very fast. It is available in tumbleweed so probably it is available also in leap.

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It turns out the 3 older, all Teslas, do at least 2560x1440 on DVI + 1920x1200 on HDMI or DVI on pure FOSS software. Neither with HDMI ports will do more than 1920x1200 using them with the HDMI connector instead of DVI.

Do you have an idea how much “user data” you have?

What you do not want with btrfs is running out of disk space…

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Thank you. I replaced my old old file server with my quad core 775 Slackware rig so I have plenty of storage and got up and running smoothly this morning. Downloaded Leap 15.5 yesterday and will put the 1156 build together tomorrow. I have considered using one of my new old stock 500GB SSD’s and probably will as I doubt I’ll get to use them before I die. No one seems to want desktops or laptops anymore.

The hardware installation went smoothly but took a while as the case was very inexpensive and pretty tight. I took my time and had fun getting everything inserted in this poorly designed generic case. There wasn’t any sharp edges so at least there was that. I ended up using a 512MB SSD drive. It has a front LED fan and not a big fan of that. I will probably replace that a some point.

I was worried about the PSU a little as it is the most important piece of hardware and I usually use high quality. I read a couple of reviews but most people doing this are making money, or have no idea so I am cautious. I voided the warranty and opened it up and it was solid overall. It was not the best but it used quality components, safe, and tested fantastic. I bought off of Amazon, Aresgame AVG 500. The price was reasonable considering the quality of components. The efficiency was average but reflective on the cost. I would buy it again on a budget to mid level build. Not a gaming PSU.

I had to use my last 95 watt, socket 1156 CPU fan, Thermaltake Gravity i2. Very good CPU fan for budget builds.

While SuSE could be fine, I would recommend something with a MATE desktop simply because MATE isn’t the 800 pound gorilla that KDE and Gnome and Cinnamon are. If all else fails for you Puppy Linux is specifically for really old stuff.

Manjaro has a MATE community release I’m running on an old Azrock with AMD 6-core, NVIDIA drivers to run BOINC projects. It is snappy response wise.

Others have pointed out that with 250GB, you might be able to write the world’s greatest novel, but you won’t be downloading too many images or installing too much software from the Repo.

LXQt (and perhaps many Qt based desktops) have had serious problems with multiple monitors. As long as you connect them in the order it wants, it will open things correctly on the first/primary monitor. If you want the other to be primary/first, just sucks to be you. As I recall that bug has been there for decades plural.

SuSE has a MATE desktop so start with that. If your system runs like a 3-legged Chihuahua in deep snow, try one of the “lighter” distros that specifically target older hardware.

Thank you.

  • Max. capacity of system memory: 16GB

You can upgrade your DRAM memory.

  • 5 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions

Use SATA controller on PCIe card to get SATA3 6 Gb/s, such as using Asmedia ASM106x chip. Use newer SATA cables if needed.

KDE dislikes nouveau drivers. Replace video card with AMD/ATI chip - Radeon HD 2000 series (Terascale architecture) or newer (GCN architecture). Read more at

CPU is fast enough. No need for a lightweight DE after upgrading video card.
You can add PCIe card to get USB 3.x.

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