The query cache stores the text of a
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 shared among sessions, so a result set generated by one client can be sent
in response to the same query issued by another client.
The query cache can be 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.
The query cache does not return stale data. When tables are modified, any relevant entries in the query cache are flushed.
The query cache does not work in an environment where you have multiple mysqld servers updating the same
The query cache is used for prepared statements under the conditions described in Section 188.8.131.52, "How the Query Cache Operates".
The query cache is not supported for partitioned tables, and is automatically disabled for queries involving partitioned tables. The query cache cannot be enabled for such queries.
Some performance data for the query cache follows. These results were generated by running the MySQL benchmark suite on a Linux Alpha 2×500MHz 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.
The query cache offers the potential for substantial performance improvement, but do not assume that it will do so under all circumstances. With some query cache configurations or server workloads, you might actually see a performance decrease:
Be cautious about sizing the query cache excessively large, which increases the overhead required to maintain the cache, possibly beyond the benefit of enabling it. Sizes in tens of megabytes are usually beneficial. Sizes in the hundreds of megabytes might not be.
Server workload has a significant effect on query cache efficiency. A query mix
consisting almost entirely of a fixed set of
statements is much more likely to benefit from enabling the cache than a mix in which frequent
statements cause continual invalidation of results in the cache. In some cases, a workaround is to use
SQL_NO_CACHE option to prevent results from even entering the cache for
SELECT statements that use frequently modified tables. (See Section 184.108.40.206, "Query Cache
To verify that enabling the query cache is beneficial, test the operation of your MySQL server with the cache enabled and disabled. Then retest periodically because query cache efficiency may change as server workload changes.