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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual
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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  Optimization  /  Buffering and Caching

8.10 Buffering and Caching

MySQL uses several strategies that cache information in memory buffers to increase performance. Depending on your database architecture, you balance the size and layout of these areas, to provide the most performance benefit without wasting memory or exceeding available memory. When you set up or resize these memory areas, test the resulting performance using the techniques from Section 8.13, “Measuring Performance (Benchmarking)”.