Yet another question.. thanks to everyone responding to all these so far.. ;)

This one is basically.. given I have a big table already in COPY format, about 28 million rows, all keys guaranteed to be unique, I'm trying to find out which of the following will get the import finished the fastest:

a) CREATE TABLE with no indexes or keys. Run the COPY (fast, ~30min), then CREATE INDEX on each column it's needed on, and ALTER TABLE for the pk and each fk needed.

b) Same as above, but instead of ALTER TABLE -- ditch the FK, and CREATE UNIQUE INDEX on the PK.

c) CREATE TABLE with the PK/FK's in the table structure, CREATE INDEX on needed columns, then run the COPY.

d) .. is to c as b is to a .. Don't create PK/FK's, just CREATE UNIQUE INDEX after table creation, then run the COPY.

My gut instinct tells me that in order, fastest to slowest, it's going to be d,b,c,a; this is what I've experienced on other DBs such as MSSQL and Oracle.

If there isn't a significant difference between all of them, performance wise, I think something is dreadfully wrong here. Running "a", the ALTER TABLE to add the PK ran for 17 hours and still wasn't finished.

The table without indexes or keys is:
id BIGINT NOT NULL DEFAULT nextval('foo_id_sequence'),
master_id BIGINT NOT NULL,

Details on machine and configuration are:

The machine is the same one I've mentioned before.. SMP AthlonMP 2800+ (2.1GHz), 4x18GB 15krpm SCSI RAID-0 with 256MB onboard cache on a quad-channel ICP-Vortex controller, 2GB physical memory. Running FreeBSD RELENG_4, relevant filesystems with softupdates enabled and mounted noatime.

kernel options are:
maxusers        0

options MAXDSIZ="(1536UL*1024*1024)" # maximum limit
options MAXSSIZ="(512UL*1024*1024)" # maximum stack
options DFLDSIZ="(512UL*1024*1024)" # default limit
options VM_BCACHE_SIZE_MAX="(384UL*1024*1024)" # cache size upped from default 200MB
options SYSVSHM #SYSV-style shared memory
options SYSVMSG #SYSV-style message queues
options SYSVSEM #SYSV-style semaphores
options SHMMAXPGS=262144
options SHMALL=262144
options SHMSEG=256
options SEMMNI=384
options SEMMNS=768
options SEMMNU=384
options SEMMAP=384

postgresql.conf settings are:

shared_buffers = 30000
max_fsm_relations = 10000
max_fsm_pages = 2000000
max_locks_per_transaction = 64
wal_buffers = 128
sort_mem = 1310720 (1.2GB)
vacuum_mem = 262144 (256MB)
checkpoint_segments = 64
checkpoint_timeout = 1200
commit_delay = 20000
commit_siblings = 2
random_page_cost = 1.7
cpu_tuple_cost = 0.005
cpu_index_tuple_cost = 0.005
cpu_operator_cost = 0.0012

stats_start_collector = true
stats_command_string = true
stats_row_level = true
stats_block_level = true

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