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Is clearing Prefetch effective?


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#1
RichP

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Firstly, apologies if this is posted in the wrong place.

I've seen this recommended in several different forums. One as a supposed way to boost performance, another to help sort problems.

Having read this I'm now a bit confused.

Is it worth doing or not?

Thanks.
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi RichP...

Clearing the prefetch should only be used to help with certain problems. It will not improve performance as it will repopulate with fresh files when you reboot. It sometimes takes as many as four reboots to repopulate completely and will actually slow down the startup of the machine a bit until it's fully repopulated.

wannabe1
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#3
Spike

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Hey there RichP, what is prefetch?

An instruction that notifies the CPU that a particular cache line will be needed by a following instruction, permitting memory fetch to overlap execution. The prefetch instruction is simply a load that does not use its operand. Current SGI compilers can generate prefetch instructions automatically.

Basically, what windows prefetch does is it is supposed to open programs that have been opened before faster. In my opinion, these days prefetch doesn't do much since the computers are super fast you can't even see a difference. It's like IE Cache, when you open a page for the first time it will take 15 seconds (56k, example). But when you re-visted the site it will come up +-3 seconds.

I would recommend clearing your prefetch, once a month. I see no harm in not cleaning it at all though, unless instructed.

Cool :whistling:
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#4
RichP

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Thanks for the quick replies.

Clearing the prefetch should only be used to help with certain problems.


What kind of problems. I'm keen to learn stuff, as you may have guessed.
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#5
wannabe1

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Applications that open slowly or improperly, mostly. As spike_hacker_inc pointed out, the prefetch holds files that helps programs open more quickly when you execute them. Should these files become damaged or corrupt, the applications they belong to may have difficulty opening or may not open at all. Repopulating this folder with fresh files will, many times, solve these issues. Keep in mind that this process IS NOT a fix-all, but certainly will not hurt if you run into problems opening some applications.
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#6
RichP

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OK ta. :whistling:
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