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Re: int2 vs int4 in Postgres

From: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)alvh(dot)no-ip(dot)org>
To: Announce <truthhurts(at)insightbb(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: int2 vs int4 in Postgres
Date: 2005-09-26 18:42:53
Message-ID: 20050926184253.GA8295@surnet.cl (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-performance
On Mon, Sep 26, 2005 at 12:54:05PM -0500, Announce wrote:
> Is there an performance benefit to using int2 (instead of int4) in cases
> where i know i will be well within its numeric range? I want to conserve
> storage space and gain speed anywhere i can, but i know some apps simply end
> up casting 2byte data to 4byte (like Java int/short).
> 
> These int2 values will be used in primary and foreign key fields and I know
> that i must explicitly use tick marks (ex: where int2_column = '12') in
> order to make use of indexes, but my question is IS IT WORTH IT?  IS THERE
> ANY REAL GAIN FOR DOING THIS?

> An simple scenario would be:
> 
> Songs
> -------
> song_id serial pkey
> genre   int2   fkey
> title    varchar

Not in this case, because the varchar column that follows the int2
column needs 4-byte alignment, so after the int2 column there must be 2
bytes of padding.

If you had two consecutive int2 fields you would save some the space.
Or int2/bool/bool (bool has 1-byte alignment), etc.

This assumes you are in a tipical x86 environment ... in other
environments the situation may be different.

-- 
Alvaro Herrera       Valdivia, Chile   ICBM: S 39º 49' 17.7", W 73º 14' 26.8"
Voy a acabar con todos los humanos / con los humanos yo acabaré
voy a acabar con todos / con todos los humanos acabaré (Bender)

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