2012 mac-mini memory usage

Greetings,

I was shopping for a distro to upcycle a 2012 mac mini:

Came across this video which shows Mate coming out slightly better than elementary on memory usage.

However, on a fresh boot of Mate I'm getting slightly higher numbers.
It's not a worry as there is plenty of memory but just curious also esp. about the CPU usage given there is nothing running yet.

Can I further optimise the system to ensure it's working efficiently?

I'm not fully confident yet that this is the distro for this computer.
Also, there are a couple other niggly issues but maybe that's a different topic.

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Didn't allow me to add a 2nd image because I'm new so having to do it in a reply, which I think is silly.

Welcome @amaroq! I'm not sure what you're looking for. Your Mac Mini has plenty of horsepower for a desktop computer, so the question really comes down to what you intend to use it for.

After researching and playing with a number of distros -- mostly for office servers -- I switched from CentOS (after the upgrade path became burdensome). I thought MX Linux, which is listed as #1 on Distrowatch.com might be my solution, but I couldn't get used to the DTE.

Which underscores my point: Usability. At some point, squeezing out every last erg from an OS becomes more trouble than it's worth. I like MATE because I very quickly found the UI to be usable and flexible, which then gave me the room to make the system usable. It is the best? I don't know. What I know is that it's been the best for me, and I've tried Lite, Ubuntu, kubuntu, lubuntu, Mint, and more. At some point, it became more important to be productive than to tweak the OS.

YMMV

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Thank you, @OldStrummer for your response: appreciate it.

Your Mac Mini has plenty of horsepower for a desktop computer

On paper it would suggest that, I agree. Not entirely sure though whether the CPU or perhaps the hard drive or combination of things is falling apart. It kept it upgraded to osx Catalina and worked fine over the years but suddenly or not so suddenly but perceptively eventually became undeniably clear that it was starting to flow like molasses. I do hope the hardware is still fine and just needed a gnu/Linux upgrade :yum:

the question really comes down to what you intend to use it for.

Initially, I was looking to buy a new computer with a recent processor and 32gb RAM with the intention of running Virtualbox in order to run windows in order to access certain windows-centric applications. I've put that on the backburner for now and working with this compromised solution as best as I can. If as an alternative I can run said applications through wine then that might do it for now. Otherwise, apart from that, just a general browsing, email, social-media, discord etc, streaming - no heavy-duty cpu/gpu video editing and such.

At some point, it became more important to be productive than to tweak the OS.

I'm completely with you on that. Years ago already when it came to a choice between KDE (kontrol) and konfigurability vs Gnome simplicity I took the Gnome road in my Linux journey. Where a distro is lacking in aethetics and usability configuration options are usually a mirage of hope. I end up cycling through each theme only to end up where I started and settling on some compromise.
I've always loved the Ubuntu aethetic and seen it change from the safari-orange hues to the present aubergine-orange themes. I just felt that Ubuntu(gnome)would be a bit heavy where I am already doubting the life of the present computer components and thought some compromise might get me a that-bit-snappier of an experience.
Initially, I was considering elementary OS as I find it beautiful out of the box without much if any tinkering and configuration and also very usable. For instance hot-spots are very helpful. File manager is nice. In contrast I found the folders on caja all very cramped with no space in between them. The video I referred to suggested Mate would be more efficient but maybe I don't need to worry that much about resources as you suggest I don't. As I said, when I ran htop consumption is not as low as in the video. Maybe, it's how I have Mate setup

I currently have Mate setup with cupertino as that mimics osx and elementary with the global menu and a single panel (no need for 2 panels) to maximise monitor real-estate.
Also, chose a dark theme with the wallpaper to mimic Ubuntu gnome. Ideally, I'd like to make Mate look like Ubuntu (gnome) with the purple /orange theming.

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Welcome @amaroq to the community!

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I agree with you that the CPU usage is too high if what you are showing is the system at idle after you have updated the OS. If I saw that with the specs you have I would be investigating what is going wrong, as in which software app is taking up the cycles.

Just my initial observation.

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exactomundo...

That is after a fresh boot, idle with nothing running except system monitor and htop in Terminal.

That's why I thought I would ask. Sorry, if the question was not clear and explicit enough.
I don't know enough to know how to begin looking, less fixing it if it's something that needs tweaking.

Thanks, for clarifying and bringing the core-question back into focus.

Yeah. I would kill System Monitor and just use htop. Sort it by CPU just like you have in the screenshot and see which app is taking up the cycles. It should be obvious pretty quickly.

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