I have a Dell Inspiron 630m bought around December 2005 with 2 MB RAM and a single 1.73 GHz CPU core. Ubuntu dropped support for 10.04 "LTS," so it was time to find a replacement. Linux Mint was a no-brainer, and going with Linux Mint 13, Maya, allows me to play around with the new release. For the UI, I started with Cinnamon, but decided to also see if maybe Mate is ready to use--the answer on that is yes, which I'll discuss soon.
My main question was performance, and I see no difference on that account between Mint and Ubuntu 10.04. And it works. Thumbs up to Linux Mint 13 with Mate 1.2.0.