If you like to sift through tons of benchmark data about various
MySQL versions, Dimitri at the Sun Benchmark Labs have published
a serious amount of benchmark data in a report published here.
The report shows that the new MySQL 5.4.0 release
have a very good performance. The report also shows how the day
of a developer of performance improvements and the massive amount
of benchmark data that needs to be analysed and sifted through
to understand the impact of new performance improvements.
I personally met Dimitri the first time in 2002 when I was working
together with him for a couple of weeks on a benchmark on NDB Cluster
(the storage engine of MySQL Cluster). Our goal then was to perform
1 million reads per second on a 72-cpu SPARC box with UltraSparc-III
CPU's @900MHz. We struggled a lot at the time but finally we managed
to achieve the numbers we were hoping for. We actually surpassed the
goal and reached 1.5 million reads per second and we also tried an
update benchmark where we managed to do 340.000 update transactions
per second (generating a disk write bandwidth of 250 MByte per second).
This benchmark was interesting from a scientific point of view. When
I defended my Ph.D thesis I claimed that one could get superlinear
performance increases when adding more CPU's to a problem in the
database world. To achieve this the workload needs to be constant and the
number of CPU's increased. By increasing the number of CPU's and keeping
the workload constant more CPU cache memory is used on the problem.
This means that each CPU will execute more efficiently.
In the above benchmark we managed to verify my claim that I made when
defending my Ph.D thesis which I found very positive. The results we
achieved on a 16-node cluster was 500.000 reads per second and on a
32-node cluster we reached 1.500.000 reads per second.
Dimitri has a background from the past of developing his own
homegrown database, so we have had many interesting discussions both
then and now on how to achieve the best performance of NDB and
the MySQL Server.