EXPLAIN EXTENDED

How to create fast database queries

Archive for October 23rd, 2009

MySQL ORDER BY / LIMIT performance: late row lookups

with 17 comments

From Stack Overflow:

When I run an SQL command like the one below, it takes more than 15 seconds:

SELECT  *
FROM    news
WHERE   cat_id = 4
ORDER BY
        id DESC
LIMIT   150000, 10

EXPLAIN shows that its using where and the index on (cat_id, id)

LIMIT 20, 10 on the same query only takes several milliseconds.

This task can be reformulated like this: take the last 150,010 rows in id order and return the first 10 of them

It means that though we only need 10 records we still need to count off the first 150,000.

The table has an index which keeps the records ordered. This allows us not to use a filesort. However, the query is still far from being efficient: 15 seconds for 150,000 records (which are already ordered) is way too much.

To better understand the reason behind the low performance let's look into this picture:

Structure
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Written by Quassnoi

October 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in MySQL