> On a variety of hardware with Redhat, and versions of postgres, we're
> not getting much better than 50 inserts per second. This is prior to
> moving WAL to another disk, and fsync is on.
>
> However, with postgres 7.4 on Mac OSX 10.2.3, we're getting an amazing
> 500 inserts per second.
>
> We can only put this down to the OS.
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You haven't really produced much evidence to support that statement.  Given that the 
differences in performance between Postgres
running on *BSD and Linux on Intel hardware are not large at all, it seems to be 
almost certainly false in fact.

It may of course be due to some settings of the different OSes, but not the OSes 
themselves.

It would help if you gave a straight PG7.4 comparison with hardware specs as well, and 
config file differences if any.

One thought: assuming the Apple has IDE disks, then the disks probably have write 
caching turned on, which is good for speed, but
not crash-safe.

matt





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