MySQL Benchmarks: MySQL 5.5.11 vs Percona 5.5.10-20.1 vs MariaDB 5.2.5 – InnoDB and MyISAM

Updated MySQL benchmark results for MySQL 5.5.11 vs Percona 5.5.10-20.1 vs MariaDB 5.2.5 were made possible as I managed to gain further access to the Quad Intel Xeon Nehalem-EX L7555 Octo-Core 1.86Ghz, 64GB memory server.  Apparently, it sat untouched for nearly 3 weeks after I last used the server as the owner is switching to Dual Intel Xeon X5690 Hexa-Core 3.46Ghz Westmere based server with 2x 6 = 12 physical cpu cores and 12 virtual cores via Hyperthreading = 24 CPU cores total. I’ll update blog post and the charts here later on to add Percona 5.5.10-20.1 and MySQL 5.5.11 results to the mix.

For now, here’s summary of the MySQL benchmark comparison between MariaDB 5.2.5, Percona 5.5.10-20.1 and MySQL 5.5.11 using Sysbench v0.4.1.2 OLTP tests on both MyISAM and InnoDB storage engine configurations. The Sysbench test configuration settings and my.cnf settings used were all the same as listed in the original tests here.

Benchmark Tests:


Server Hardware Specifications:

  • Quad Intel Xeon Nehalem-EX L7555 Octo-Core 1.86GHz (4x8x2 = 64 cpu cores)
  • 64GB RAM DDR3 (16x 4GB DDR3)
  • Supermicro X8QB6
  • 6 x 64GB Intel X25-E Extreme SSD (SSDSA2SH064G1GC) – RAID 10
  • Adaptec 5805 SAS/SATA PCI-E Raid controller 512 MB cache + BBU Write Back cache
  • CentOS 5.5 64bit with WHM/Cpanel
  • 2.6.18-194.32.1.el5 SMP Kernel


Below are two sets of charts where horizontal axis is the number of cpu cores/threads tested and laid out as follows:

Set 1

  • Sysbench MyISAM read only results for all MySQL versions
  • Sysbench MyISAM read/write results for all MySQL versions

Set 2

  • Sysbench InnoDB read only results for all MySQL versions
  • Sysbench InnoDB read/write results for all MySQL versions


Sysbench MyISAM Read Only

MySQL 5.5.11 vs Percona 5.5.10-20.1 vs MariaDB 5.5.25

Sysbench MyISAM Read/Write

MySQL 5.5.11 vs Percona 5.5.10-20.1 vs MariaDB 5.5.25

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  1. Great Job! Have a question did you use MariaDB with InnoDB or XtraDB?

  2. MariaDB 5.2.x’s Innodb storage engine uses Percona XtraDB’s version of InnoDB so MariaDB InnoDB = Percona XtraDB. Hence, the nice boost in performance for innodb storage engine for MariaDB 5.2.x

  3. ah! Thanks – Good to know. I am planning on moving to MariaDB 5.3 (I know its beta but my performance greed knows no bounds). Once I figure out the cpanel quirks to this move and more importantly how to emergency roll back to mysql, I will make this move. I wish they gave out free whm licenses for personal test use so we can test things out in a test laptop before updating the production machines.

  4. Installed MariaDB 5.3.0 beta on test server as well 🙂

    Haven’t tried on WHM/Cpanel yet.

  5. so I chickened out and installed MariaDB 5.2 in my cpanel/WHM server using the instructions from – But it was very very unstable causing very high load, spitting out .MAD and .MAI files that filled out the disk, and timing out. So after fighting with it I sadly went back to cpanel ;( – is that the same way you upgraded?

  6. MAD/MAI files are MariaDB’S default Aria storage engine table data and table info and table index files I think. There should be no reason the tables of your existing databases are using Aria storage engine instead of MyISAM, unless you converted your database tables from MyISAM or InnoDB (if you had existing InnoDB tables) to Aria storage engine tables. It’s probably a configuration issue – incorrectly configured MariaDB 5.2. See and for more info on Aria storage engine which shouldn’t kick in unless you converted your existing database tables to Aria storage engine base.

    Do you remember which directories these .MAD and .MAI Aria engine data and index files were located ? i.e. /var/lib/mysql/dbname – where it contains tablename.MAD and tablename.MAI ?

    The instructions you linked to differ from my WHM/Cpanel method (which is more involved hence most my vB clients who use WHM/Cpanel hire me privately to switch them over to MariaDB 5.2 and optimize their MariaDB 5.2 settings for best performance). But I don’t seen anything in those linked instructions that would prevent MariaDB 5.2 from working on WHM/Cpanel despite the differences from my method. And it wouldn’t do what you experienced – spitting out Aria storage engine .MAD and .MAI data and index files unless MariaDB 5.2 was misconfigured setting wise and/or you converted tables to Aria storage engine.

  7. Hi – yeah i am sure I messed up the config – I got pulled into other items for the past week or so. the MAD/MAI filews were in the /var/lib/mysql dir. I am going to give it one more try but not too optimistic. btw how do I contact you to get some quotes for help moving to MariaDB and optimizing it?


  8. You can use the Contact form on the web site 😉

  9. Really excellent work. I have a client with a very busy social networking site and
    really struggling with InnoDB and MySQL 5.1.x on a quad cpu, octo-core system. Too
    many lock ups at high loads.

    This makes our migration path clear.
    Again, thanks for the good work!

  10. Folks,

    Just a quick follow up. I’m trying to confirm that these benchmarks were run with the Community version of MySQL 5.5 — and not the paid commercial version with the special innodb plugin?

  11. yes jmurtari they were on community release MySQL 5.5 🙂

  12. eva2000:

    I’d like to recommend changes to Sysbench parameters. Following links in your post, your scripts use the “–max-requests=100000” parameter which can execute a run (corresponding to one point in your charts) in a mere 20 seconds. I think this is too small to make any observations that can help users. It may make sense to set the run time for each run as 5 minutes (or more) and set “–max-requests=0”.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. thanks Darpan for suggestion. Unfortunately, you have to look at the test configurations in the context of the original post at where I had limited amount of time to do all tests. I initially only had 4 days to do all the tests so couldn’t afford to extend each test run too long as I would of run out of time to access the test server and end up with incomplete benchmark results.

    So for the subsequent benchmark posts and additional tests to remain comparable with original results at, I had to continue to test using the same configuration settings and thus shorter test runs.


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