Choosing between MySQL and PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL and MySQL are the two most extensively used RDBMSs. This article is my take on how to choose the database for your use case.

Link to my original article on Medium


  • Write Operation: Postgre writes are slower compared to MySQL because of its indexing algorithm and hence their bin logging strategy.
  • Read Operation: Postgre has better implementation for complex queries. Secondary Index queries are also faster in Postgre.
  • Data replication: Postgre is slower and the bin logs are more verbose. When there are more indexes on a table, then bin logs are larger, and more bandwidth is used to stream the logs to the replicas.
  • Caching: MySQL has its custom implementation of LRUs, while Postgre relies on the Linux cache. This again makes MySQL caching more efficient.
  • Connection Handling: MySQL uses thread-per-connection compared to process-per-connection used by PostgreSQL. Memory overhead for thread-per-connection is much lesser compared to process-per-connection.

When would I use Postgre

Postgre is best suited for cases where the read speeds are critical and when there is complex queries to be executed. Postgre also is favoured for GeoSpatial data storage and queries. Postgre DB is highly efficient and fast in handling complex queries. Postgre would be my goto DB if the application/service is more analytical and relies on faster results on complex queries.

When would I use MySQL

MySQL is best suited for transactional operations. Also, since the writes are much faster compared to Postgre, and read speeds are good (except for complex queries), my goto DB for any application would by MySQL. Efficient replication strategy by MySQL and better speeds are also my key reasons to choose MySQL for most of my applications.


Comments (1)

Purvi Barot's photo
  • PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system with an emphasis on extensibility and standards compliance.PostgreSQL also supports many NoSQL features as well.
  • MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Just like PostgreSQL, and all other relational databases for that matter, MySQL uses tables as a core component and has more-less the same feature set as PostgreSQL.
  • MySQL will be ideal for your project if you require a high-security RDBMS for web applications or custom solutions.PostgreSQL will be ideal for your project if your requirements revolve around complex procedures, integration, intricate designs and data integrity, and not around high-speed and ease of setting up.