oh yea, gnome is totally bloated like, to a ridiculous degree. I try running stock ubuntu and even my GTX 1060 is like "haha if you say so" it's like, that bad
Gnome went in a... very strange direction with version 3. Many people hated it, but the reaction from the devs was a "screw you we're doing what we want" and it resulted in forks like Mate and Cinnamon. Gnome is now more akin to a weirder, somewhat more spiteful version of modern macOS. I gave it an honest try and all I felt was confused and anxious. Some people like the way it works, so uh... good for them
KDE on the other hand, they started taking notes from Windows and figured out what worked best and what could be improved to make a very solid (albeit kinda heavy) DE, now called Plasma. This is why I recommend it to newbies, you can effortlessly translate 95% of existing Windows 10 skills to it.
Xfce is virtually unchanged from how it was back in the late 2000s.
Shoutout to XFCE still being no-nonsense and straightforward! I use it for my daily driver's desktop environment, from my first Arch box back in the 2010s to my current Manjaro workstation, and it is nice having something so straightforward and reliable to turn to when everything else always is in such a state of flux.
Admittedly, I may not be the best candidate for rolling release systems, but I feel like the pendulum swings too far the other way with debian-based systems too. I like a long-term kernel and libc environment with access to more current userland software. Manjaro provides something of a happy medium, but its logo also looks like fucking Homestuck and that bugs the crap out of me.
I also virtualize Windows in a PCI passthrough setup for certain gaming needs, though my previous system was fairly old and struggled a lot with memory bandwidth due to the concessions I had to make setting it up, badly enough that my 1070 never used more than half its total processing power. Nowadays though, that's no problem whatsoever, even if I had to make some other weird concessions to get my system to work in (mostly) perfect harmony.