Boost Gaming Performance And Reliability on Win 10 - Superfetch Hot Fix

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Nov 18, 2017 3:30 PM
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I’ve been having a bit of a nightmare these last few weeks. For the most part, my PC has been absolutely fine. Then along comes the terrifying duo that is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Call of Duty: WWII. Try as I might, I just could not get these two to run well. They were both crashing to desktop with an assortment of errors, and when they did run the frame rates were often dropping into single digits, regardless of the graphics settings used. Considering other games run fine, I figured there must a way to improve their gaming performance and stability.

So first of all for your point of hardware reference, my current gaming PC specs look like this:

I’ve been using a GeForce GTX 980 Ti with an Intel Core i5-4690K quad-core CPU clocked at 3.5GHz and 8GB RAM.

This gaming system setup meets the minimum system requirements for both Wolfenstein 2 and COD: WWII, and in the case of the CPU and GPU is a match for the recommended specs for both games. But still, I was getting constant crashes in both AAA titles and the feedback from Windows was suggesting RAM issues in-game and under closer inspection, I noticed there was a write-to-disk slowdown, where it seemed like the computer couldn't write to the hard drive fast enough.

In order to identify the performance problem, I was running diagnostics on the RAM and the hard drive, as well as testing the GPU in other games to see if similar issues were being found there. I also switched out the GTX 980 Ti for a GeForce GTX 970 but the problems still remained. In fact, performance didn’t drop at all with the GTX 970, so I was concluding that the performance fault lay somewhere other than the graphics card.

Pressing Alt + Tab while playing Wolfenstein II The New Colossus caused the game to crash

Wolfenstein II seemed to spit out random errors on each crash, but alt + tabbing was a guaranteed way to make it crash every time. COD: WWII was cutting out a few minutes into gameplay with a memory error. 8GB DDR3 memory isn’t a huge amount in 2017, but I was reading around and also exploring our own huge database of data and this was all confirming there were folks capable of running Wolfenstein 2 with just 4GB system memory. So I suspected something was awry. Opening up the Windows Task Manager I could see Wolfenstein II usually hovered around 4-5GB RAM usage while COD: WWII sat at around 5GB.

Closing all other processes the RAM was occasionally hitting 100% capacity, which ordinarily shouldn’t be causing a hard crash. I also noticed disk write speed was hitting 100%, an aspect of my system I don't usually pay much attention to. The performance dips happen when both RAM and Disk usage reaches 100% at the same time.

After what felt like days of poking around, I stumbled on a Windows 10 process called Superfetch. When both games were crashing I noticed that the Superfetch process' hard drive write usage would spike dramatically. So with the correlation between Superfetch and the PCs gaming performance, I felt like I had to find out what this Win 10 process was up to.

What does the Windows 10 Superfetch process actually do?

Superfetch is a Windows 10 process that automatically runs in the background, pre-loading and caching apps which Windows guesses you might be about to use. So if you usually run Discord while playing a game, when you boot up Call of Duty: WWII, Superfetch will prepare to run Discord behind the scenes so it can load it up super fast when you do want it.

What problems could Win 10 Superfetch cause to gaming?

The main problem comes when Superfetch is prepping all these processes and you’re also running a program with high RAM usage alongside it, like your new AAA game. Any benefits this program offers kind of fall by the wayside, hogging your system resources when really you need everything freed up for that one large process, in this case running Wolfenstein II or COD WWII. This maximises RAM usage and means the PC must now begin writing and reading from your slower HDD or SSD, causing frame rate drops and performance hitches.

So our solution to fixing low frame rates while using 8GB RAM with COD: WWII and Wolfenstein 2 was simple - disable Windows 10 Superfetch.

And this led to a gaming performance boost that a lot of Windows 10 users could benefit from. So if Windows 10 is telling you that you have RAM problems or write-to-disk slow down issues, while you are trying to play your game then it may be as simple a fix as turning off the Superfetch process to get back that missing game performance.

For anyone else who feels that the Win 10 Superfetch program could be slowing down your games, here is how you can disable Superfetch to get yourself access to the RAM boost or write speed boost your PC might need, when you are trying to power that RAM hungry AAA game.

How to disable Superfetch and Increase your RAM and HDD Gaming Performance

  • Tap the Windows key and type ‘msconfig’. Hit return.
  • Click the ‘Services’ tab.
  • Sort by name.
  • Look for Superfetch and uncheck the box.
  • Click ‘Apply’.
  • Reset your PC.

So to summarise, Windows own processes were running in the background and causing high write speeds, tanking in-game performance. Despite Windows 10 telling me this was a RAM issue during game crashes, it was in fact caused by one of Microsoft’s own system processes, Superfetch. Having more RAM or a faster HDD / SSD would both help performance, but for me, I had to disable the Superfetch process which is a quick and dirty fix without having to pay out for an expensive upgrade.

What gaming performance boost did we see when we disabled Win 10 Superfetch?

After doing this one simple change, turning off Windows 10 Superfetch, I am now running with a locked 60fps in both Wolfenstein II and Call of Duty: WWII with High graphics settings across the board. It's a one-minute fix than can significantly boost gaming performance.

I've Disabled Superfetch but I'm Still Having Performance Issues

Assuming you meet the system requirements for a game, if you're still suffering from abnormally poor performance then this may be due to an issue with Virtual Memory size. Virtual Memory is a portion of your hard disk that Windows uses as if it were RAM if you exceed your RAM capacity. Should you have messed around with Virtual Memory at some point, like me, this can also cause game crashes and system instability. For best gaming performance, Virtual Memory should be set to automatically manage paging file size. If you choose to set it manually and this figure is too low, it will cause high-RAM usage programs to crash.

How do I change my Virtual Memory size and prevent Windows applications crashing?

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Right-click 'This PC'.
  • Select 'Properties' from the drop-down list.
  • Click 'Advanced system settings'.
  • In the new window that opens, click on the 'Advanced' tab.
  • Look for the Virtual Memory section and click 'Change...'
  • Make sure the box marked 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives' is checked.
  • If that option isn't available, in the section below ensure it is set to 'System managed size'.
  • Click 'OK' and restart your PC.

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14:45 Nov-26-2017

Superfetch trick did not work for me but pagefile did. I set my pagefile a few mounths ago to manual value (400) and it stayed like that. Than I changed it back to default(manage automaticaly) and the game is working now without problems.

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05:34 Nov-25-2017

you can also disable it from typing ''services.msc'' in ''run'' and find the ''Superfetch'' and then double click on it and select disable and then click apply. that may help

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12:02 Nov-23-2017

Superfetch and Prefetch should ALWAYS be disabled on systems using SSDs!!!!!

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12:51 Nov-22-2017

I use an SSD 128gb for windows only, but have x2 HDDs in pc, will I benefit from it or leave it with having 2 hdds in?

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19:43 Nov-22-2017

I operate off of an SSHD. I can tell you right now, it's much better to turn it off. Unless it's a work PC that follows a strict routine of use each day, it's just better to turn it off.

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19:58 Nov-19-2017

Superfetch is really only good for systems using an HDD. Microsoft has been using it for a long time before Windows 10. One of the first things I did when I got my current laptop with Windows 7 was disable Superfetch because this laptop has SSDs. Basically using Superfetch with a SSD creates latency issues. A SSD is fast on it's own plus Superfetch will cause more read and write cycles for the SSD which will shorten it's lifespan. Superfetch can be great for a system on a traditional HDD, but terrible for SSD users. If I remember correctly Superfetch use to be called Prefetch. Windows already has it's own way of handling cache on the RAM separate from Superfetch so disabling won't hurt.

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20:04 Nov-19-2017

I had my HDD 100% disk usage and i disabled superfetch ..now its alright.

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20:10 Nov-19-2017

Yes it will keep disk usage high a lot of times, but it allows Windows to cache more things onto system RAM than the default Windows memory cache system. So even though disk usage is high the system can actually run peppier because extra things are being cached onto RAM. It is basically a double edged sword in that regard. Either way it is definitely not a good setting to have turned on for SSD users. SSDs do better on their own because Superfetch "can" (as in sometimes) cause latency issues with SSDs. Always reading more for sure.

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18:50 Nov-19-2017

I always disable superfetch by default. It's a cool idea and I can see it being useful in certain scenerios (Work PCs), but it kills my gaming performance.

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15:41 Nov-19-2017

I always disable Superfetch on low end pc's. It causes unnecesary disk usage (100% most of the time).

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00:45 Nov-19-2017
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06:56 Nov-19-2017

What are those monitoring tools you're using ?

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07:18 Nov-19-2017

MSI Afterburner. The one on the right on Wolf is a setting in game.

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22:33 Nov-18-2017
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20:21 Nov-18-2017

I'm using Win 7 and Superfetch seems to be an option here too. Will test to see if it makes a difference, although I just uninstalled CoD, which is where I was getting some stuttering in the cut-scenes

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09:48 Nov-19-2017

Let us know if it has any effect!

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20:15 Nov-18-2017

I actually stumbled on this while searching for ways to improve fps on rainbow six siege.I used to get drops from 75 to 35-40 all the time and it made aiming really difficult.After disabling this it only drops as low as 60.That's a night and day difference.

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20:01 Nov-18-2017

I remember doing this before with 8GB of RAM with slight differences in performances but I don't think this has any effect with 16GB RAM. Only memorable ram issues I ever had was with GTA V and the pagefile/slow HDD issue, PUBG and the BF1 Beta (putting 16 GB made a huge difference with my 1GB VRAM GPU back then).

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18:15 Nov-18-2017

prefetch and superfetch makes zero sense with SSDs, should be disabled by default lol
about the pagefile, actually setting it to manual and putting some very low starting values is more sane than letting Windows 10 do it :P

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09:47 Nov-19-2017

Yeah I guess this is just one of those things you just know or you don't, but it's certainly made a major difference to me. The obvious solution would be to buy more RAM but I'm not very keen to buy more DDR3 in 2017 lol

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07:50 Nov-20-2017

ah right,
obvious solution could be if Microsoft made their OS right ;))

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18:08 Nov-18-2017

I disabled superfetch a long time ago.

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16:56 Nov-18-2017

Well, TBH, i didnt have any problems in WWII & WolfII (Kinda) but still i just Stopped and Disabled "Superfetch" from Services.msc to see what happens... and idk about "Virtual Memory" i changed that once and it ****ed up alot of things. so wont mess around with that for now.


anyway, Thanks man.

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20:05 Nov-19-2017

Virtual Memory is a completely different setting. If you are limited on RAM you need a bigger Virtual Memory cache allocation. If you have lots of RAM then use minimum Virtual Memory cache allocation.


Superfetch is good for a HDD, but not good for a SSD. If you are using a SSD disable it.

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16:31 Nov-18-2017

The only major problem i had with wolfenstein 2 is the game would freeze once in every 2 chapters ( not 3 or 1 exactly 2 chapters ) so every 2nd chapter i saved the game like a noob xD

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16:12 Nov-18-2017

Well, I disabled it as soon as i installed an SSD in my system and everyone with SSD whould do too
Thanks for the tip Jon :D

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16:02 Nov-18-2017

You know, for games in late 2017 8GB ram is minimum. Of course, this is only for 8GB or fewer people. And what we all know, minimum spec is mostly for low setting and even not stable 60FPS but just to run game :P. I forget times when people must disable most services in background for more free RAM or less CPU usage :P

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15:44 Nov-18-2017

Thanks for sharing! Things you dont need.... Microsoft Edition -.-

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