[dba-SQLServer]Large varchar fields -- performance implications?

Susan Geller sgeller at cce.umn.edu
Mon Dec 15 14:52:52 CST 2003

I am working on a data model and have some questions about large (that
is over 255) sized varchar fields.  

1.  Does it matter what size the varchar is once it is over 255? That
is, do you take the same performance hit for a varchar 260 as for a
varchar 8000?

2.  If I have a field in a table that needs to be over varchar(255), but
will only be populated about 20% of the time, should I put that field in
its own table with an id value and just store the id value in the table?
In other words, do I take a performance hit even when my field is empty?


Susan B. Geller
Office of Information Systems
College of Continuing Education
University of Minnesota
306 Wesbrook Hall
77 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone:  612-626-4785
Fax:  612-625-2568

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