Mysql column with null values ​​- what are the space requirements?


I have a table with quite a lot entries. I need an additional column with an integer value or null. The thing is that only very few rows will have that field populated.

So i wonder whether its better to create a seperate table where i link the entries in an 1:1 relation.

I know one integer entry takes 4 bytes in mysql/myisam. If I have the column set to allow null values, and only 100 of 100 000 rows have the field populated, will the rest still consume 4 bytes for every null value?

Or is mysql intelligent enough to set the value where it is populated and just regard everything as null, where nothing is set?

This depends on the ROW_FORMAT value you give when you create your table.

Before version 5.0.3, the default format is set to "REDUNDANT" : any fixed-length field will use the same space, even if it's value is NULL.

Starting with version 5.0.3, the value is set to "COMPACT" : NULL values will never use any space in your database.

You can do an ALTER TABLE to be sure to use the correct format :


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