I'd be grateful if you can provide some of the (proper, as opposed to user comment) articles that say it's bad. Proper study? On you go.
I have read that prefetch/Superfetch is not recommended for SSDs as it invokes a defrag command for the boot files (not got an SSD, but I believe defrag is not great for SSDs). There's a thought. If your defrag scheduled task is disabled and you never defrag, the prefetch/Superfetch probably won't give any benefit.
There's a case for prefetch having little or no effect if you have little in the way of usage habits, or if the machine is shared with several users. One user ought to get a benefit from it though. To give an example, I disabled a couple of services last night, as I had missed them or figured they might be necessary (either at the time or later on).
Base Filtering Engine - All the services reliant on this are not enabled on my system.
Windows Firewall - I decided to take the plunge and see if my 3rd party one is up to the task.
Secondary Logon - Not sure...we'll see.
Machine Debug Manager - Do I want to debug others' scripts if they don't work? Of course not.
Windows Image Acquisition - Changed to Auto-DS
Also disabled Google update scheduled services, which were running at least once a day.
Rebooted...slower start-up. Why?
Because my previously 'habitual' system had steps in its habit taken out. In a week or two it will pick up again. I've seen Vista do this before. A client asked me to give the system a clean, as it was slowing down. Cleaned and tweaked to hell, and it was slower for a few days, then it picked up some speed.
It's actually academic for me, as I reboot 10-20 times a year these days, preferring to put the system into sleep mode. Boots up in 10 seconds that way.
Regarding articles on prefetch/superfetch working:
Vista keeps track of what memory pages are frequently requested and what files they are tied to, and based on that data SuperFetch will populate as much free memory as it can with pages it believes you will need in the future. This data contains both frequency and temporal history, so not only how often but when you run these applications will influence what SuperFetch does at any given time.
So if you always run a scheduled task at 12pm, superfetch will get it ready in memory, so it runs faster. Check your mail at 9am? It will be faster if you check it every day at that time.