SEVERE lag in Ubuntu on old laptop


Jan 16, 2013
I have a Dell Inspiron 8500. Even though it's extremely old and basically obsolete, I wanted to set up a second computer, and it's the only other one I have that's in decent shape. I couldn't find the Windows XP installation CD that came with it, so I installed Ubuntu 16.04 32-bit. The lag is so bad that it is indescribable. For example, when I click the Firefox icon, it takes about a minute for the browser to open. Keypresses and mouse clicks don't resolve immediately, and you can imagine how bad videos are. Surprisingly (for me at least), audio is fine. I never had any of this trouble when I was running XP.

computer stats:
512 MB RAM
Intel Pentium 4-M CPU 2.40GHz
R200 (RV250 4C66) x86/MMX/SSE2 DRI2 graphics
32-bit OS

Is my computer simply not powerful enough to run Ubuntu 16.04? If that's the case, can someone recommend a different distribution of Linux that might be better for me? All I really want to do is browse the web and play videos.