Looking for a OS that will work well on a lightweight netbook

john-420

Prominent
Feb 20, 2017
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510
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Hi guys, this is the section I thought this is the most appropriate to ask in. I got my nephew a netbook to play flash games as he likes to play online flash games. It is a refurbished asus eeepc and the hardware all runs fine. It has an intel atom processor (forgot exactly what speed but I think it's 1.6ghz), 1gb RAM and 160gb hard drive. It came with windows 7 64-bit, which I found odd as it only has 1gb ram so surely it makes more sense to put 32-bit on instead?

Anyways, I put libuntu 32-bit on and it's running a lot better than windows but flash games and YouTube videos still glitch. I can watch a .mkv or .avi movie on vlc media player perfect though, so definitely nothing to do with the hardware, it's just lightweight hardware.
 

Yes, for low-RAM systems, a 32-bit OS makes more sense than a 64-bit OS. However, I think some of these netbooks shipped with a cut-down version of Windows 7 (Starter).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions#Main_editions

Anyways, I put libuntu 32-bit on and it's running a lot better than windows but flash games and YouTube videos still glitch. I can watch a .mkv or .avi movie on vlc media player perfect though, so definitely nothing to do with the hardware, it's just lightweight hardware.
Video playback is handled by the GPU, not the CPU. There is dedicated hardware onboard to decode the video formats used in mkv, avi, vetc. formats. This is how low-power devices like phones can handle 1080p or even 1440p video without blinking or rapidly draining the battery.

Streamed copyrighted movies (Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, etc) is decoded by the CPU. Hollywood is paranoid that you'll save the stream to make a copy of the movie, so they insist that they be decoded in an encrypted virtual machine. This means the computer can't use the hardware decoder on the GPU - everything has to be done by the CPU. The lower end CPU in your netbook will have problems with some of these streams, especially if you're trying to play back at 1080p.

YouTube typically uses Flash or VP8/VP9 to dencode its videos. Try playing around with the browser advanced options (varies with browser) to enable or disable hardware video decode. Whether hardware or software decode works better depends on your hardware and which format the video is encoded in. Unfortunately, your hardware may be so old its GPU is unable to decode contemporary YouTube videos in hardware.
 

john-420

Prominent
Feb 20, 2017
2
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510
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Thanks, yes the sticker on the netbook is a windows 7 starter one. And as you say there's no telling how well the cpu performs compared to a new one with it being second hand. I think I will try some other linux os's and see how it is with them. What you said makes complete sense I understand that.
 
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