On 20th of March, Andres Freund committed patch:

Use 128-bit math to accelerate some aggregation functions.
On platforms where we support 128bit integers, use them to implement
faster transition functions for sum(int8), avg(int8),
var_*(int2/int4),stdev_*(int2/int4). Where not supported continue to use
numeric as a transition type.
In some synthetic benchmarks this has been shown to provide significant
Bumps catversion.
Discussion: 544BB5F1.50709@proxel.se
Author: Andreas Karlsson
Reviewed-By: Peter Geoghegan, Petr Jelinek, Andres Freund, Oskari Saarenmaa, David Rowley

Couple of months ago, I wrote blogpost which checked how much slower are numerics.

Based on the data from there, I know that:

  • running sum(column) on int8 column took 265.88% of the time it took for int4
  • running avg(column) on int8 column took 249.17% of the time it took for int4

With this new patch by Andres, we should get better results. So, let's see:

$ create table test_int4 ( some_column int4 );
$ insert into test_int4 select i from generate_series(1,1000000) i;
INSERT 0 1000000
$ create table test_int8 ( some_column int8 );
$ insert into test_int8 select i from generate_series(1,1000000) i;
INSERT 0 1000000

Running single test wouldn't really be sensible, so I'll run each of:

  • select sum(some_column) from test_int4
  • select avg(some_column) from test_int4
  • select sum(some_column) from test_int8
  • select avg(some_column) from test_int8

10 times, and report just the best time, using such script:

    echo "\\timing"
    seq 1 10 | sed 's/.*/select sum(some_column) from test_int4;/'
) | psql -qAtX | grep ^Time: | awk '{print $2}' | sort -n | head -n1


  • sum(int4): 58.569ms
  • avg(int4): 64.883ms
  • sum(int8): 60.395ms – 3.1% slower than sum(int4) – virtually irrelevant overhead
  • avg(int8): 60.281ms – 7% faster than avg(int4)

The result for avg(int8) I think is simply because some random load fluctuations on the test machine. In any way – the time differences are so small, that it simply doesn't matter. Int8 operations are now as fast as int4 ones. Thanks to all involved.

  1. One comment

  2. # Anonymous
    May 17, 2015

    I am not a programmer but if its do with registry instructions then I surely look forward to utilizing avx2 (and fma) 256bits.

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