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11.6. Choosing the Right Type for a Column

For optimum storage, you should try to use the most precise type in all cases. For example, if an integer column is used for values in the range from 1 to 99999, MEDIUMINT UNSIGNED is the best type. Of the types that represent all the required values, this type uses the least amount of storage.

All basic calculations (+,-,*,/) with DECIMAL columns are done with precision of 65 decimal (base 10) digits. See Section 11.1.1, “Overview of Numeric Types”.

Calculations on DECIMAL values are performed using double-precision operations. If accuracy is not too important or if speed is the highest priority, the DOUBLE type may be good enough. For high precision, you can always convert to a fixed-point type stored in a BIGINT. This allows you to do all calculations with 64-bit integers and then convert results back to floating-point values as necessary.


 
 
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