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I love Mint's reliability, stability, predictability, dependability.........no sudden bad surprises. I have used Xfce (not my taste as UI) as well as MATE (matay....) and Cinnamon. Oh, and I tried LMDE2 on Cinnamon as well but the Debian is a bit rough around the edges, just a few minor things. My Mint Cinnamon 17.2 runs sweetly on just 2GB RAM on an old AMD from 2007. Just enable ZRAM....then all is well. No need to use a "thinner" desktop, go for Cinnamon.
I was able to install it on an old MacBook Pro 3.1 (mid 2007 vintage ) and everything works including the lighted keyboard! I'm also running Mint 17.2 on my desktop without issue, all is wonderful. Cinnamon Desktop is amazing!
My eXPerience with changing my OS was made easy by Linux Mint, beginning with Mint 13 xfce all the way to Mint 17.1 KDE. I have tried many other distros but keep returning to Mint....Many, many thanks to the Mint Team for making it so simple for the average user to switch...special thanks to Mr. Clem.