GNOME stutters on old Intel i3

Hi, I’m running Fedora 36 (Silverblue) with GNOME on a 10 year old laptop. My system configuration is as follows:

  • Intel i3 3110M 4 cores @ 2.4GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • Toshiba 5400 rpm HDD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000

The GNOME desktop often stutters and sometimes hangs for upwards of 10 secs when switching windows/tabs, opening menus, opening apps, etc. Also if I run VS Code and a browser at the same time for some web dev work, both applications crash after about an hour of work.

I’m not dependent on this laptop but I’d like to get it into working shape as a backup machine. I’d like to know if

  1. GNOME can’t work smoothly on this hardware and I should try a different desktop environment?
  2. there are tweaks or config settings that can improve the performance?

P.S. I was running the laptop on the ‘balanced’ power management option and it was practically unusable with that. Once I switched to ‘performance’ I can at least use it well for basic tasks like browsing, watching videos, light development work, etc.

Hi, 4GB of ram and an HDD can make system starving for free memory and IOPS. If you can, add some ram and switch disk for an SSD. If not, at least lighter desktop environment like XFCE or LXQT should save some ram for other programs, but with browsers being more and more resource hogs, it won’t be much of an improvement.