Saturday, February 1, 2014

LOCATE vs SEEK, which is faster?

From time to time someone would inquire which is faster?  LOCATE or SEEK? And the answer mostly is it depends, if the records are small, then the speed difference is negligible enough.  True.  But that does not still answer which really is faster.  When we say faster, it has to be at least a nanosecond quicker than the other one.  We are not arguing "how" fast but "which" is faster.

To understand better which is really faster, we have to first understand how the two differs.  How does LOCATE performs searching?  How does SEEK performs searching?  Let us start with SEEK() first.