> > >The "this day and age" argument isn't very convincing. Hard drive > > >capacity growth has far outstripped hard drive seek time > and bandwidth improvements. > > >Random access has more penalty than ever. > > > > In point of fact, there haven't been noticeable seek time > improvements > > for years. Transfer rates, on the other hand, have gone > through the roof. > > Er, yeah. I stated it wrong. The real ratio here is between > seek time and throughput. > > Typical 7200RPM drives have average seek times are in the > area of 10ms. > Typical sustained transfer rates are in the range of 40Mb/s. > Postgres reads 8kB blocks at a time. > > So 800kB/s for random access reads. And 40Mb/s for sequential > reads. That's a factor of 49. I don't think anyone wants > random_page_cost to be set to 50 though. > > For a high end 15k drive I see average seek times get as low > as 3ms. And sustained transfer rates get as high as 100Mb/s. > So about 2.7Mb/s for random access reads or about a > random_page_cost of 37. Still pretty extreme. > > So what's going on with the empirically derived value of 4? > Perhaps this is because even though Postgres is reading an > entire table sequentially it's unlikely to be the only I/O > consumer? The sequential reads would be interleaved > occasionally by some other I/O forcing a seek to continue.
What about the cache memory on the disk? Even IDE disks have some 8Mb cache today, which makes a lot of difference for fairly short scans. Even if it's just read cache. That'll bring the speed of random access down to a 1=1 relationship with sequential access, assuming all fits in the cache. //Magnus ---------------------------(end of broadcast)--------------------------- TIP 1: subscribe and unsubscribe commands go to [EMAIL PROTECTED]