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5.13. The MySQL Query Cache

The query cache stores the text of a SELECT statement together with the corresponding result that was sent to the client. If an identical statement is received later, the server retrieves the results from the query cache rather than parsing and executing the statement again.

The query cache is extremely useful in an environment where you have tables that do not change very often and for which the server receives many identical queries. This is a typical situation for many Web servers that generate many dynamic pages based on database content.

Note: The query cache does not return stale data. When tables are modified, any relevant entries in the query cache are flushed.

Note: The query cache does not work in an environment where you have multiple mysqld servers updating the same MyISAM tables.

Note: The query cache is not used for server-side prepared statements. If you're using server-side prepared statements consider that these statement won't be satisfied by the query cache. See Section 25.2.4, “C API Prepared Statements”.

Some performance data for the query cache follows. These results were generated by running the MySQL benchmark suite on a Linux Alpha 2 x 500MHz system with 2GB RAM and a 64MB query cache.

  • If all the queries you are performing are simple (such as selecting a row from a table with one row), but still differ so that the queries cannot be cached, the overhead for having the query cache active is 13%. This could be regarded as the worst case scenario. In real life, queries tend to be much more complicated, so the overhead normally is significantly lower.

  • Searches for a single row in a single-row table are 238% faster with the query cache than without it. This can be regarded as close to the minimum speedup to be expected for a query that is cached.

To disable the query cache at server startup, set the query_cache_size system variable to 0. By disabling the query cache code, there is no noticeable overhead. If you build MySQL from source, query cache capabilities can be excluded from the server entirely by invoking configure with the --without-query-cache option.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire