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  1. #1

    Superfetch Benchmark

    I'm still encountering some people that say Superfetch is beneficial in gaming however I beg to differ. It does not load Textures into memory nor does it dynamically load/unload .Dll files pertaining to the game while you are playing on the same map. SuperFetch does NOT cache files - it prioritizes 4kb pages e.g. parts of files - which XP/Vista prefers to deal with... and loads them into memory ahead of time. Files contain 100s of 1000s of pages each.

    I have done some extensive benchmarks with 3dMark06 and Forged Alliance to confirm this.

    Test System = The Specs In My Sig
    Nvidia Driver = 181.22
    Forged Alliance Build = 1.5.3599
    3DMark06 Build = 1.1.0

    I always conduct my tests by doing 5 passes and then determine the total avg at the end. I have nothing running in the background while conducting these tests. The first pass is always after a fresh boot and then I continue on with the rest of the passes after the 1st.

    For 3dMark06, I simply clicked on "Run 3dMark". Since it's the basic version, I can't adjust anything which is the way it's supposed to be.

    3dMark06
    --------

    Superfetch Enabled
    ------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15369
    Cpu Score - 5737
    Sm2 ------- 6012
    Sm3 ------- 6441

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15412
    Cpu Score - 5823
    Sm2 ------- 6018
    Sm3 ------- 6440

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15405
    Cpu Score - 5802
    Sm2 ------- 6026
    Sm3 ------- 6435

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15359
    Cpu Score - 5763
    Sm2 ------- 5994
    Sm3 ------- 6439

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15366
    Cpu Score - 5765
    Sm2 ------- 5998
    Sm3 ------- 6440

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 15382
    Cpu Score - 5778
    Sm2 ------- 6009
    Sm3 ------- 6439


    Superfetch Disabled
    -------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15371
    Cpu Score - 5761
    Sm2 ------- 6004
    Sm3 ------- 6440

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15370
    Cpu Score - 5766
    Sm2 ------- 5999
    Sm3 ------- 6773

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15422
    Cpu Score - 5836
    Sm2 ------- 6021
    Sm3 ------- 6443

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15377
    Cpu Score - 5743
    Sm2 ------- 6015
    Sm3 ------- 6443

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15362
    Cpu Score - 5721
    Sm2 ------- 6009
    Sm3 ------- 6443

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 15380
    Cpu Score - 5765
    Sm2 ------- 6017
    Sm3 ------- 6508

    ----------------------------------------------------

    For Forged Alliance I used its built in benchmark which has some minor inconsistencies in how it plays through but, it is more real time than just a timedemo. To activate it, enter "/perf" at the end of the Target Address in the shortcut.

    Forged Alliance
    ---------------

    Superfetch Enabled
    ------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18190

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18192

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18193

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18244

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18185

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 18200


    Superfetch Disabled
    -------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18165

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18269

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18258

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18274

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 18162

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 18225


    My memory and HDD are quite fast which is why I don't see much of any difference on my end while even doing regular stuff outside of gaming. If it is any stipulation, I will do the same tests on a slower system later on to show the difference on slower hardware.
    Last edited by OBLIVIONLORD; 02-27-09 at 04:34 AM.

  2. #2
    e6600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    i think superfetch enabled on a lower memory (2gb) system should destroy performance
    Heat
    5820k, x99 ud4, 8gb 2133, gtx 470

  3. #3
    My other system is an AMD 4600x2 with a HD4650.. 2x1gb 667mhz DDR2 Ram. I think that will be a great system to do the test because the ram in general is slower than the 800mhz DDR2 Internal memory controllers capability. It also has a 320gb HDD which has a higher random access than the 640gb AAKS which will also be a factor.

    Ill do it tommorow.

  4. #4
    None of those tests bench load time, which is what makes SuperFetch nice for gaming. Anyone expecting higher fps was just confused.

  5. #5
    Member usp8riot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    mid-America
    I love these thorough benchmarks. But I do believe Johnz's right. I'd believe superfetch may be worth enabling on a slower system with lots of memory. I have it disabled.
    CPU - Phenom II 1055T x6 @ 4.1ghz (24/7 OC settings @ 3.0ghz) + Hyper 212 HSF
    Motherboard - Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
    Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8gb (SPD timing)
    GPU - MSI 560ti (Flashed to HAWK)
    PSU - Corsair CMPSU-750TX
    Audio - Nvidia HDMI/Onkyo HT-590 Receiver
    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium
    Case - Antec 900

  6. #6
    Member GTengineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by johnz View Post
    None of those tests bench load time, which is what makes SuperFetch nice for gaming. Anyone expecting higher fps was just confused.
    BINGO
    Last edited by GTengineer; 02-28-09 at 12:09 PM.

  7. #7
    Member usp8riot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    mid-America
    I can see how Superfetch would work in typical apps but how can it work inside of games? If the game needs gamelevel.pk3 when changing levels, how would Vista know to prefetch it? I just assumed it prefetches standard dll's and such to load the app or game and once loaded, it leaves the rest to the game. Any benchmarks to show any increases in level load time?
    CPU - Phenom II 1055T x6 @ 4.1ghz (24/7 OC settings @ 3.0ghz) + Hyper 212 HSF
    Motherboard - Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
    Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8gb (SPD timing)
    GPU - MSI 560ti (Flashed to HAWK)
    PSU - Corsair CMPSU-750TX
    Audio - Nvidia HDMI/Onkyo HT-590 Receiver
    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium
    Case - Antec 900

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by usp8riot View Post
    I can see how Superfetch would work in typical apps but how can it work inside of games? If the game needs gamelevel.pk3 when changing levels, how would Vista know to prefetch it? I just assumed it prefetches standard dll's and such to load the app or game and once loaded, it leaves the rest to the game. Any benchmarks to show any increases in level load time?
    I don't know about standard sp games(I don't play that many), but the load times are noticeably reduced in UT2k4. I mostly play on my clan server, so the map selection is fixed. In most games there's many recurring textures, and other attributes, so they could be prefetched fairly reliably.

    Edit:
    I'm first person to complain about empirical performance improvements that people make claims to. After playing UT2k4 for 3 years on XP(avg 4 hours per day), I immediately noticed the change when I went to Vista. It would be a PITA to bench, and I don't care too much tbh, but that's my subjective experience.

    Edit2:
    The boost in load times isn't so great that I think gamers should rush out and buy Vista. I'd put it under the category of a "nice bonus". If a map loads in 5 seconds as opposed to 10 seconds, it isn't really that big of a deal. You still have to wait for the others to join the game :^D
    Last edited by johnz; 02-28-09 at 01:46 PM.

  9. #9
    The faster HDD makes more of a difference in load times since you are loading maps. Superfetch does not preload maps into memory. It does load .dll files essential to the functionality of the program in pages. That still is very minor. The first pass of these games show virtually identical results to the other passes. The first pass on each test was initialized after the game was loaded and from a warm boot. There weren't any preruns of the game prior to the 1st pass on the tests.

    In essence you should get similar results on slower hardware while in game. However the results will be different and in favor for the system that has Superfetch enabled when it first loads since that's the main area where Superfetch comes into play. Games have their own caching systems for textures and such. If enabling superfetch made any game run faster, then it would mean the game coders suck. The game would probably run very slow to the point that it is unplayable. It's simply not the reason Superfetch is used for.

    However for the sake of the matter, I'll do some tests on my old system just as another reference. I am conducting these tests only because people think that Superfetch will increase performance. Again this is not about how fast the game loads.
    Last edited by OBLIVIONLORD; 02-28-09 at 03:41 PM.

  10. #10
    Ok I finished the tests on the other system.

    AMD X2 4600
    320gb HDD .. to lazy to look up the model
    2x1gb 667mhz DDR2

    At the times when Superfetch was enabled, I had to let the system sit for 5 minutes after a warm boot so it could load everything into memory. When Superfetch was disabled, I could just jump right into things without wait. This has alot to do with the HDD having a high random access time even though it's a 7200rpm drive compared to my AAKS which is a good 5ms lower. I'm sure the times would improve if I used the AAKS drive instead but, I was mainly going for an 'older' system comparison to a modern system.

    Anyway here are the results....

    3dMark06
    --------

    Superfetch Enabled
    ------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4218
    Cpu Score - 1713
    Sm2 -------- 1511
    Sm3 -------- 1855

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4213
    Cpu Score - 1731
    Sm2 -------- 1503
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4211
    Cpu Score - 1730
    Sm2 -------- 1500
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4215
    Cpu Score - 1720
    Sm2 -------- 1505
    Sm3 -------- 1856

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4221
    Cpu Score - 1748
    Sm2 -------- 1503
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ------ 4215
    Cpu Score - 1728
    Sm2 -------- 1504
    Sm3 -------- 1854


    Superfetch Disabled
    -------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4221
    Cpu Score - 1726
    Sm2 -------- 1511
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4221
    Cpu Score - 1733
    Sm2 -------- 1506
    Sm3 -------- 1855

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4217
    Cpu Score - 1726
    Sm2 -------- 1508
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4223
    Cpu Score - 1759
    Sm2 -------- 1502
    Sm3 -------- 1854

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ------ 4214
    Cpu Score - 1728
    Sm2 -------- 1503
    Sm3 -------- 1854

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ------ 4219
    Cpu Score - 1734
    Sm2 -------- 1506
    Sm3 -------- 1853

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Forged Alliance
    ---------------

    Superfetch Enabled
    ------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15481

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15526

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15537

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15585

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15337

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 15493


    Superfetch Disabled
    -------------------

    1st Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15450

    2nd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15556

    3rd Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15596

    4th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15567

    5th Pass
    --------
    Score ----- 15552

    Total Avg
    ---------
    Score ----- 15544

    These results show that there is no difference while in a game even on this older system.

    I will say that I much prefered the load times of these games as well as the other apps while Superfetch was disabled. The only way Superfetch made an impact to providing faster load times was if you opened an app while the system was completely at idle. Problem with this was that alot of the times you have to wait just for it to be in a complete idle state since it's constantly loading pages in memory. Again this is a slowdown do to the HDD. I had plenty of physical memory of the 2gb while doing the testing so the space wasn't an issue.

    I see Superfetch to be a great benefit on modern hardware since the performance hit is no longer an issue but, for older systems I would always recommend to disable Superfetch.

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