I agree with most of the sentiments in the comments above. Windows is bloated and my 8th gen core i7 laptop with Windows 11 feels slower than my Raspberry Pi 4 running Linux, with swaywm as the… well… window manager.
The processing on web pages is indeed faster, but opening up programs is definitely slower. This is because of a few things:
- On sway, I have no animations, so things will display as soon as they are processed
- I use minimalist software, so besides Firefox, Thunderbird and mpv, not a lot else, maybe sxiv, which also opens instantly
- I spend most of my time in the CLI, navigating through nnn on my dvtm tilled terminal window
The difference in experience is hard to believe and I’m certain the laptop running the same setup that I have on the Pi would smoke the Pi. But I don’t have a need for that much power on my daily activities, which is why the Pi 4 is my main desktop.
Now, there are some stuff that you can do in order to improve you experience on Windows. And that is to use Linux funnily enough…
You don’t need to throw away your old 1920x, you may either continue using it as your main PC and build a separate box, or use the 1920x for the next step and build yourself a faster PC. If you don’t need the PCI-E lanes, get a 5900x / 5950x or an Intel i7 12700k. I would suggest using the TR as a NAS and virtualization platform and building yourself a new system.
Use an Optane drive for the Windows boot drive. On the NAS build, do an all-SSD array and setup Samba on it and place all the things that can run from a shared storage there. Best part is that you get to offload some of the work that your machine does. Since you are running Linux on your NAS, your file system won’t be the dog slow NTFS. If speed is what you’re looking for, go for a md RAID 10 array, LVM on it and if you are working with many small files, do ext4, otherwise, do xfs. And make sure you have TRIM enabled.
Other than this, there isn’t really much else to do, other than reinstall Windows afresh and be mindful of what you install on your system. In all honesty, ever since Windows 10 came out, I didn’t feel a need to reinstall it because it was always getting rid of junk with every major releases. But that didn’t really last more than 2-3 years and I switched full time to Linux, but I kept running Windows on some VMs or side-computers and they didn’t need any fresh beginnings. It could be because I don’t install stuff on them, almost never, but before I switched to Linux, I used to do that, but I didn’t experience the slowdowns of the Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.1 eras.
Last thing you could do, which doesn’t involve spending money, is to use alternative software. Replace the explorer.exe window manager with Cairo DE, switch the file manager with Saladin, don’t use Google Chrome, it’s an absolute hog. Edge is very snappy and I use it on my work laptop. Don’t judge, I already have to log in with a MS business account and do other stuff MS related, so using Edge makes sense, I don’t have to share the same data with Google as well. Besides, I’m not using it for personal stuff, so whatever data MS gets from me using it, is useless in terms of advertisement.