This is a MacBook1,1. It is a dual-core 2 Ghz Core Duo with 2 GB of RAM.
I tried the Cinnamon edition first, but encountered some performance problems: 80%+ CPU usage by the cinnamon process, which causes this old MacBook's fans to run constantly and consume battery power quickly.
The MATE edition, on the other hand, works extraordinarily well. Everything responds crisply and performance is snappy.
Notably, WiFi works flawlessly. This is significant because WiFi performance in Mac OS X had deteriorated to the point that I could only maintain a reliable connection with an ethernet connection or a third-party USB WiFi dongle. This was the case even with a completely fresh installation of Snow Leopard (the last version of Mac OS X to support this model MacBook), so I had concluded it was a hardware issue with the built-in antenna. Evidently not!