So, I have a pretty bad computer. It has a relatively old Intel CPU (4th generation), and an i5 at that. Not even an unlocked one. And it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU. These are the main problems. What I need is a better CPU and GPU, but before I get to that, I wanted to squeeze as much performance from my computer as I can. To do that, I decided to give Xanmod a try.

The first kernel I installed was linux-xanmod-rt. My system ran significantly worse. From what I understood, the realtime kernel is suited for embedded devices and workstations those that highly prioritize low-latency tasks over anything else. Programs that do not support realtime will not work properly or will perform significantly worse. Hence, I recommend that you try the regular linux-xanmod.

When installing linux-xanmod from the AUR, it automatically detected my CPU and built it accordingly. It took about an hour or two to build. After I had reconfigured my bootloader to use that particular kernel, I rebooted and was met with a significantly faster desktop experience. I have not delved into what flags have been changed over the generic kernel, but they’ve done a pretty good job at optimizing it.

Although, personally, I’ve had a pretty positive experience with it, you might not. What first comes to mind is proprietary NVIDIA drivers. I don’t have much experience with them, so I can’t say for certain if they might work in your favor; better to try it out yourself and see.

That’s about it. I’m really pleased and hope that I’ll be able to squeeze this machine a little longer before I upgrade it.