harner I'm just curious how you all use your instance of Solus and hoping you don't keep it vanilla like mine!
I use Solus in parallel with Windows 11 (Dell Optiplex Micros sitting side-by-side), switching back and forth from one to the other during the course of the day, perhaps using one for Steam and the other for e-mail, browsing and word processing. I don't do anything demanding with either. Both are vanilla builds for the most part, with minor settings tinkering, by design. Because I have both set up more-or-less identically, I can move from one to the other without disruption, and which computer I'm using for which purpose on this day or that is more-or-less random.
Recently, frustrated by the difficulties of self-maintaining the Edge browser as a private eopkg, I have been using Ubuntu Budgie 22.04 LTS a lot, and may cut over to UB at the end of the year if Microsoft has not released a Snap or Flatpak by that time.
I also have two Dell Latitude 7000-series laptops, both currently running Windows 11. I spent two weeks evaluating Linux for use on the older of the two Latitudes, which is used as a remote laptop at a railroad museum where I spend two days a week and for travel. Linux battery life continues to be 70-75% of Windows 11 battery life and runs hotter, despite improvements in the kernel. In my case, battery life and heat are a deal-breaker. Windows 11 is back on the Latitude as of yesterday, and I have no plans evaluate again unless there is a dramatic change in Linux battery efficiency.
I came to Linux (via Unix) somewhat by accident after I retired in 2006. A friend's son set him up with a home-built Ubuntu build after my friend retired, and he was quickly in over his head because the university where he taught used tightly controlled Windows. I had a spare computer at that point and set it up with Ubuntu so that I could learn enough about Ubuntu to help him out. Over the course of a few years, I got interested in Linux more generally, looked for a disto I wanted to use for myself, and settled on Solus Budgie in 2017. For me, Solus Budgie is a near-perfect desktop environment.
At this point, I am coming to what I think will be the next fork in the road. I am 75 and decided that I am not going to try to maintain Windows and Linux running in parallel indefinitely, as I have been doing for years. Within a year or two, I am going to slim down to one Optiplex and one Latitude (or maybe just one Latitude), and, when I do, make a choice between Windows and Linux going forward.
So which? I'm not sure yet, but probably Windows, to be truthful.
harner Zotac mini PC with an i5 and 8GB. The weak link is really the mechanical hard drive.
Have you considered installing a minimal SSD instead? Dirt cheap these days.