Finished building a new computer on Friday and installed Linux Mint version 9. It has been nearly four years since my last processor upgrade. That puts the new AMD quad-core 630 processor w/4GB of memory in a different universe from the old one. It is lightening fast.
Up into now it has been my practice to shut down all of the eye candy in order to improve speed. It was not necessary this time. In fact I was able to turn on extra eye candy without it impacting system speed.