By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-11 Print this article Print

Performance. Users/testers of the two databases say that when the data model is complicated enough, PostgreSQL is faster than MySQL. Indeed, updates in PostgreSQL 7.4 included an impressive list of performance enhancements. To wit: Several major performance enhancements have been added in Version 7.4, enabling PostgreSQL to match or exceed the speed of other enterprise database systems. These included:
  • Hash aggregation in memory to make data warehousing and OLAP queries up to 20 times faster;
  • Improvements in subquery handling by the planner resulting in up to 400 percent speed increases in some complex queries;
  • New script to set more reasonable postgresql.conf defaults for shared buffers, yielding better "out of the box" performance;
  • New wire protocol (Version 3) increases the speed of data transfers;
  • Enhanced implementation of functional indexes allows better indexing on custom data types and composite fields.
    On the other hand, MySQL proponents say that, if configured properly, MySQLs MyISAM tables are indeed lightweight and make for a faster database.
    Next page: Which database has better support?

    Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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