I recently purchased a used Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. While it seems fine for my purposes, it would be nice if it were just a bit faster, in terms of loading different pages more quickly. From what I've seen, Cyanogenmod claims that it's faster than many stock roms, since it doesn't use the company's extra interface, which, in this case, would be TouchWiz. However, Cyanogenmod would also bring my operating system up to Android 4.4, and I'm not sure how much additional power that would take. I'm also open to using older versions of Cyanogenmod, if that's feasible.

Would it be better in terms of performance to keep my phone at the stock rom or to install Cyanogenmod?

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    Actually it's said 4.4 is well suited for "smaller devices" (not using as much resources), so that should even be on the "pro list" – especially in case the device is currently running JellyBean. But having neither that device nor Kitkat, I cannot give a definite answer, sorry. – Izzy Jul 13 '14 at 21:07
  • Chances are this phone is out of warranty by now, so there is nothing preventing you from trying CyanogenMod and seeing if the phone feels faster. You can always revert to the stock ROm if you find CM not to your liking. – Chahk Jul 17 '14 at 13:10

In theory, your phone should perform considerably faster with CyanogenMod 11, because KitKat was designed with entry/mid-level phones in mind; requiring only 512 MB of RAM to run. (See this page about Project Svelte for more information.)

CyanogenMod also adds a whole slew of features like Heads Up Notifications and Privacy Guard on top of the AOSP code, so your phone will not only be fast but also be very useful.

Keep in mind, however, that CyanogenMod (along with others such as PA and OmniROM) are third-party ROMs, and therefore lack the various "enhancements" that the manufacturer has made in the stock ROM; so don't be surprised if you see that the camera doesn't perform as well, the battery drains faster than usual, etc.

  • +1 for mentioning the theory and the actual reality for custom ROMs (not all of them of course) – RossC Jul 14 '14 at 13:16

Never do that. Perhaps it helps to increase your speed but it consumes much more power. If performance in CPU increases, undoubtedly,the power usage will increase dramatically. Try to keep your factory ROM and looking for some good free app in the market for increasing the speed.

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    Why not do it? You haven't explained any reason not to? If anything Kitkat should use LESS resources on the device. Apps for increasing speed are notoriously bad, and task managers are absolutely rubbish. Also if CyanogenMod doesn't suit the OP there are other roms available from AOSP that should be better than Samsung's awful resource hog Touchwiz. – RossC Jul 14 '14 at 7:49
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    Can you name any sources for your arguments? They don't sound convincing. Performance enhancements are not made by heavier CPU use, but by cleaning up/rewriting code so it behaves "friendlier" to resources like CPU, which makes it snappier and more battery-friendly – just the opposite of what you write. Are your claims based on personal experience (then please elaborate), on some tests published somewhere else (please name the link), or are they "just assumptions without a base"? – Izzy Jul 14 '14 at 10:47

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