Does KDE now take up the same RAM as MATE?

I read it someplace, but it's hard to believe. I know Gnome 3 is a RAM eater.

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Exact numbers will vary for different systems based on software installed - but I believe if you aren't absolutely correct, it's damn close to each other...

Jason Evangelho's Linux For Everyone podcast Episode 14 (as well as his Forbes article ) had compared it to XFCE and found they were basically dead even, and I know the MATE is pretty much dead even with XFCE so this is probably a true statement!

I switched from Ubuntu MATE 16.04 to Manjaro KDE quite some time ago, and was pleasantly surprised that the RAM usage is identical. I also have KDE running on an old Dell laptop.

Though as @MusicalCoder mentioned, it's going to vary depending on what's running in the background, what applications are used, uptime, drivers and the libraries your software uses (GTK3, Qt, GTK2).

On some relatively stock VMs I have of Ubuntu MATE:
  • 16.04: 291 - 600 MiB
  • 18.04: 461 - 632 MiB
  • 19.10: 495 - 758 MiB

On bare metal, I vaguely remember my 16.04 was about 800 MiB - 1 GiB after logging in.

To compare, I fired up my Manjaro KDE (a minimum install) VM and get:

  • KDE 5.17.5 | 376 - 396 MiB

My main system is about 0.8 GiB - 1 GiB after logging in.

Another VM - a super minimum, ugly looking 16.04.6 running MATE purely for compiling a piece of software: 119 - 128 MiB

Probably shouldn't have checked the KDE VM! :grin:

I think the misconception is that GNOME and KDE are fully featured desktop environments - as in, they have their set of applications and utilities, their own login manager (GDM vs. SDDM) whereas MATE is like a modular bunch of components that happen to nicely fit together. :jigsaw:

But, a properly tuned desktop environment could use much more or much less RAM. A lot of benchmarks will likely look at the defaults.

One thing for sure... GNOME Shell is definitely a RAM eater, but it's getting better, and I believe it's because a lot of written in JavaScript, which isn't exactly the lightest language around.

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I have found Mate to be very light on ram as well as cpu resources. If you boot the live usb on a low end machine that will tell all.

I had a friend of mine who does IT work for a living (allegedly) who claims that a lot of the improvement comes from the contributions of outside parties like Microsoft and the incorporation of Microsoft's Mono codebase. Is there any lick of truth to this or is this a bunch of BS?