Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th May 2009 20:43 UTC
Windows SuperFetch is a technology in Windows Vista and onwards that is often misunderstood. I decided to delve into this technology to see what it is all about, and to dispel some of the myths surrounding this feature.
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OSX does this
by mckill on Mon 11th May 2009 20:56 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

OSX has been doing this for a while, altho obviously not 'exactly' the same way, it does however cache almost everything and it's also the reason why a lot of typical or old memory tools and reading available memory doesn't apply for it.

it's also why tools that 'free' unused memory is a bad idea as you'll only end up slowing things down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSX does this
by Piranha on Mon 11th May 2009 21:30 in reply to "OSX does this"
Piranha Member since:
2008-06-24

By OSX do you mean Linux/UNIX? Because most (if not all) have been doing that for quite some time. You always hear from noobs, on forums, about "I barely have anything running but says I only have x% free!" because they are all used to Windows using only 'what-is-running'. Hell, I was a culprit of it at one point...

Just an FYI

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: OSX does this
by DavidSan on Tue 12th May 2009 04:56 in reply to "RE: OSX does this"
DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

By OSX do you mean Linux/UNIX? Because most (if not all) have been doing that for quite some time. You always hear from noobs, on forums, about "I barely have anything running but says I only have x% free!" because they are all used to Windows using only 'what-is-running'. Hell, I was a culprit of it at one point...

Just an FYI


Actually no, it is not similar to super fetch. Super fetch is thought to be an automatic technology active when you boot up the computer. You turn on the computer and, it checks your history, saved on disk, and then it starts a silent launching in the background.

Mac OS X and some *NIXs do differently. They are slow to lunch the app, but when you quit the app, not all resources are flushed out of memory... So if you later decide to re-open the application, the application will open faster. Just in that case. However, once you turn off your computer, all RAM memory is flushed, and those RAM caches are lost. The next time you turn on your computer the process start all over again. What Apple and *NIXs providers recommend is: Do not turn off your Mac or Workstation, unless you have to.

Super fetch tries to do something different. It is trying to guess what your habits are, how you use your computer and opening those apps you use according to your habits... All without asking. It can work sometimes. If it works is wonderful. But when it fails, it fails really badly, like a Pentium IV branch prediction.

So I believe it is not perceptually right for the user. It is like a roller coaster. Sometimes, the system would be incredible fast. Other times, it would be too slow. So users complain about it. If the system were slow always, the user would adapt to the speed of the system and it would not feel the difference... After all, we all have used slower computers in not a distant past. But the ups and downs in the speed is what get users frustrated.

Edited 2009-05-12 05:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: OSX does this
by stooovie on Tue 12th May 2009 02:34 in reply to "OSX does this"
stooovie Member since:
2006-01-25

Yet, all apps under OSX load supremely slowly. While I can launch Firefox under 3 secs on any hardware under Vista, under OSX, it never takes under 7-8 secs on any mac, including Mac Pro and my C2D iMac with 3 GB RAM. The same goes for iTunes, Adium, iPhoto (crap!), whatever. I`m not the "50 apps open at all times", so I need them to launch pretty quick. With Leopard, that is impossible.

Edited 2009-05-12 02:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: OSX does this
by DavidSan on Tue 12th May 2009 04:41 in reply to "RE: OSX does this"
DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

Yet, all apps under OSX load supremely slowly. While I can launch Firefox under 3 secs on any hardware under Vista, under OSX, it never takes under 7-8 secs on any mac, including Mac Pro and my C2D iMac with 3 GB RAM. The same goes for iTunes, Adium, iPhoto (crap!), whatever. I`m not the "50 apps open at all times", so I need them to launch pretty quick. With Leopard, that is impossible.


Yes, Mac OS X is slow lunching comparing to Windows, but it does not have to do with super fetch kind of technology, because OS X does not have it.

Mac OS X has pre-binding, that is different and cache optimizations to boot up. Cache optimizations is similar to what Windows XP offers.

Pre-binding is "something" that improve load of dynamic applications (Mostly Cooca ones). But it is not as super fetch, prebinding is a process of knowing where the applications parts are, so when you lunch it, the app has a fair idea of where to lunch components. In short, prebinding is the technology Apple uses to avoid a Windows Registry. A Windows-like registry would be faster, but it is easy to corrupt, and difficult to repair, as many PC users can testify.

Mac OS X is also slow to lunch apps for other reasons too... Cocoa dynamic nature, for example, which has a runtime kind of similar to a Java runtime, but without the emulation part. .Net Apps are slower to lunch than traditional Windows apps too. But, it has so many benefits to work using Cocoa, that lunching times are considered a bearable trade off. It happens the same with Java and .Net.

Reply Parent Score: 1