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Win9x/ME is far, far slower than NT/2000. In some cases, I've heard that it causes memory thrashing on 96MB machines on win98. Anything slower than 400MHz is also likely to have a problem.
Don't bother with Mozilla 0.7, though... Mozilla 0.8 branched on Wednesday, I believe, and NS6.01 should also be newer than 0.7. I don't know at what point they branched, though, since NS isn't nearly as open about things as mozilla.org. 0.8 should be available for download within a few days.
The really big speed boosts will likely come with Mozilla 0.9. The image library contributes mightily to both loading times and runtime performance problems. A new one should land any day now.
I continue to recommend a current Mozilla release over the latest NS. The continued improvement to the core features is enough to make the somewhat lower stability worthwhile.