Just adding my semi-n00b thoughts to this thread,*if it is not perceived as relevant please delete*.
It is worth remembering,most of the equipment Linux migrators use,was set up for Windows and their assorted crapware,even though Microsoft,have been notoriously bad at optimising resources for its preinstalled packages.
So as Linux users,we are trying to fit our requirements around a criteria that was not properly implemented in the first place!
I try to get most of my insights from reading,people 'who know what they are talking about' - and that usually means a Unix/Linux administrator that has been day in/day out for at least 10 years...and enough of them nod in confident agreement towards Slackware/Salix for me to make a commitment.
Indeed Gentoo,Sourcerer or Arch will do their best to fit around your components,but with regards to dependency and resource management,their programmers are still taking a mean average guesstimate of the capabilities of your machine.And the results will be just as mixed.
With Slackware,you have TOTAL control ..you have the potential to fill all the corners and tick all the i's.....this i understand to be one of Salix's main objectives.to meet people halfway and take away some the more mundane compatibility tweaking..theres a few more aspects to SalixOS which i am not coherent enough to explain.... but SalixOS is pretty NEAT!!!
The only other suggestion to make life easier for Linux users,is buy Linux preinstalled machines at least there will be some semblance of agreeability between installed components and the operating system sat atop it.
And overclock to your hearts content!
Or..taking it to its most pedantic conclusion ..get the electronics manuals out ..buy a soldering gun and stack of circuit boards ..and work on the the latest Linux kernel.....and potential is unlimited.
A diesel powered Fiat does not do 0-100 in 2.5 seconds,it does not matter how many flames you paint down the side of it
Take care ,have fun ....keep learning