Some notes on Linux - Opensource and the whole GNU :)
I prefer XFCE because it is highly configurable for the resources used. It is fairly intuitive as well. So gage you hardware needs - how much ram you have - how old your hardware is, do you have a broadcom wifi card
Now for distro choices:
If you have a Broadcom card - Mint 18.2 in XFCE, Peppermint 8, Korora in XFCE.
These three work well out of box and a good place for starters. Q4os excellent - best for those who like Windows like experience. In 32bit Trinity Q4os rivals lightweight champs like Bodhi, LXLE and AntiX.
With more experience, antiX and Bodhi are super light weight in ram usage. Bodhi legacy 32bit is a flat out homerun booting up at 70megs.
Lubuntu and LXLE also light weight and excellent. Mageia and Manjaro in XFCE, Plasma, Mate - great features but needed some extra work, such as loading Codecs for audio,
or install some support software. These distros are worth extra effort. Swag Arch - fast. There are studio versions for artists -
Ubuntu Studio, Sparky Multimedia. Recent testing Arco Arch just started and it is what appears to be the Mint of Arch distros - only faster.