"One must be careful to distinguish GTK+ apps from GNOME apps.
GNOME provides extensions to the GTK+ toolkit, and brings
additional functionality at the expense of a little speed. The KDE
analogue of GTK+ is QT. From my own experience, most GNOME apps are
faster than comparable KDE apps. Moreover, many "GNOME" apps are
really GTK+ apps, while most QT apps also require KDE. While it is
true that KDE 3.x is much faster than the 2.x series, I still find
GTK+/GNOME apps to be a little faster, even when I'm running
"There is one big exception to this: Nautilus. Nautilus has been
the target of much ridicule since it was released a little over a
year ago, and much of this is probably well-deserved. An impressive
interface cannot hide the fact that Nautilus is slow and bloated.
Nautilus was originally designed by Eazel as a vehicle through
which they could sell and deliver services. With venture capital
drying up, Eazel were forced to release their creation early in
order to secure a revenue stream to keep the company afloat. After
that, most of the active development on Nautilus shifted to the
GNOME2 version, and the GNOME1 version was left mostly alone.
Golden Rule Number One for Improving GNOME Performance is to turn
off Nautilus through its preferences menu. As a replacement, you
can use GMC, the predecessor of Nautilus. You can even choose not
to have a desktop manager at all, freeing RAM in the process. I
personally use Endeavour Mark II and Konqueror for my file
"There's a silver lining to this story, however: Nautilus 2.0
has been released, and it leaves its predecessor in the dust. It is
now integrated into GNOME2, instead of just 'bolted-on', and it is
much faster and leaner..."