I seem to be having a very similar ssortt of a problem... Except I can't say that Liinux is doing a very good job caching, sinnce my X is hellishly slow!!!!
a p4 - 1,8 G Toshiba Sattelite laptop...
with 512 Ram
and a GeForce4
it is mad annoying that even under Windows the GUI part of the system runs as fast as a rabbit, but once I switch to Linux it is actually slower than my old Acer lappy with 128ram and a bad bad bad videocard by neomagic.
It is slow to thee point where I caan actually see it redrawing the screen 10 times when I switch virtual workplaces... or ask it to shade a window (windowmaker style doubleclick on a titlebar)!!!
this is all the same whetthher I run the new drivers which come with the X distro or the NVIDIA provided drivers...
here is the info I have showing up in top:
Mem: 515620k total, 350308k used, 165312k free, 15660k buffers
Swap: 385452k total, 0k used, 385452k free, 194624k cached
22851 root 9 0 176m 47m 3480 S 7.3 9.5 1:34.95 X
here is the more alarming info I get from the Gnome thing
X -> using 176 MB memory and from
Total: 176 MB
Rss: 47,9 MB
Shared: 3.4 MB
this all seems to be verry alarming... anyhow, whenever I start a new app onnce X is running it seems that it has to go through swap slowing everrything down...
I do not have clue about the agp factor of it all...
is there any way to fix it???
or is this a commmon problem? if u can call it such?