This Just IN: Postgres is FASTER than MySQL

Ok, for those you "in the know", you already know that this is true. But, it has been the conventional wisdom for a long time that MySQL is the faster database (at least for read-only environments).

Well, it seems that everyday there is more and more validation that MySQL is not a faster database. And here are some links:

Converted from MySQL to PostgreSQL - October 8, 2007

Postgres Publishes First Real Benchmark(SPEC jAPPServer) - July 9, 2007

Tweakers Database Test: Dual Intel Xeon 5160 - November, 13, 2006

We know that each environment is unique, of course. But, I think we can all safely say that Postgres can and does outperform MySQL.

So, what does MySQL bring to the table? There are comparisons all over the net. Pay attention to them, however, because many are outdated and compare older versions of both Postgres and MySQL. (This tends to hurt MySQL more).

A recent and fairly decent comparison was led by Greg Smith and the PostgreSQL community a month or so ago and can be found here.

But, for those of you without the time, let me help. Here are some benefits of using MySQL over Postgres:

  1. With MySQL you aren't limited by those newfangled technologies like Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC).
  2. With MySQL, you are also not limited to those unbearable and strict rules of the calendar. You can easily add dates to February to make it conform to other months like February 31 (and January 32 for that matter).
  3. With MySQL you get CHOICES. You can get Foreign Keys (InnoDB) OR you can have Full Text Search (MyISAM) OR
  4. you can do clustering (NDB), but you have to choose only one because each of those lovely features is found in different storage engines.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. So, why is MySQL so successful? MARKETING. PostgreSQL is a true community with no company and thus no marketing engine behind it. All of the success of Postgres is through word of mouth or the companies around it like EnterpriseDB.

MySQL spends a lot of time and money marketing their offering. Its time for people to see through the marketing and go with the only REAL open source database, PostgreSQL.