On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 11:54 AM, Tomas Vondra
<tomas.von...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:
> Secondly, we limit the number of buckets to INT_MAX, so about 16GB (because
> buckets are just pointers). No matter how awful estimate you get (or how
> insanely high you set work_mem) you can't exceed this.

OK, so this is an interesting point, and I think it clarifies things.
Essentially, we're arguing about whether a 16GB limit is as good as a
512MB limit.  Right now, if we would have allocated more than 512MB,
we instead fail.  There are two possible solutions:

1. I'm arguing for maintaining the 512MB limit, but by clamping the
allocation to 512MB (and the number of buckets accordingly) so that it
works with fewer buckets instead of failing.

2. You're arguing for removing the 512MB limit, allowing an initial
allocation of up to 16GB.

My judgement is that #2 could give some people a nasty surprise, in
that such a large initial allocation might cause problems, especially
if driven by a bad estimate.  Your judgement is that this is unlikely
to be a problem, and that the performance consequences of limiting a
hash join to an initial allocation of 64 million buckets rather than 2
billion buckets are the thing to worry about.

I guess we'll need to wait for some other opinions.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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