If you have an aging laptop, may I suggest that your tweaking time may be better used with Fluxbox?
While I appreciate there is better *promised* integration in the large DMs+WMs like GNOME, KDE, and XFCE, I know that when I've tried them, there is always some hacking needed to get them right. So, I then asked myself "what's an environment that is *designed* to facilitate 'hacking to get right'?" Answer: Fluxbox. :)