I have installed the following OS on my PC of following configuration.
Hardware: PIII-800MHz/192MB/20GB/Intel 82815 Video
OS: Ubuntu 6.06 / Suse 10.1 / Fedora 5 / Debian 3.1
I have installed all these OS, with mostly same configuration (2.6 kernel/ GNOME interface, services…). I have not done any tweak. Here is my observation with ranking. This ranking is based on performance on my PC only.
Rank 4. Suse 10.1:
Installation – slow, Eye candy desktop, Monitor not recognized properly.
After installation – Very slow desktop
Rank 3. Fedora Core 5:
Installation – dead slow, wonderful X configuration
After installation no X, due to issue in locale setting
Rank 2: Debian 3.1:
Installation: Easy and fast first phase installation, second phase installtion after reboot failed (but managed with apt-get manually, package selection interface is not user friendly
After installation – Cool, wide range of applications
Rank 1: Ubuntu 6.06:
Installation: crashing but managed through command line (using fdisk, mkswap and swapon), installation speed is normal
After installation – Fast, Cool, eyecandy, high performance.
Moral: Good installation method does not mean good desktop performance. Ubuntu wins!