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10. Principles and Patterns > Principles of Performance Tuning

Principles of Performance Tuning

The following sections cover some general principles of performance tuning.

Sometimes You Lose

You don’t know whether you can improve the performance of a system until you study it, but you risk wasting your time just figuring out that there’s nothing you can do, particularly when you are under tight budget or time constraints. You have to weigh the probable difficulty of the analysis against the potential gains. If the gains could be very large, it is a good bet to try to improve performance, but otherwise it’s not worth your time.

To Measure Something Is to Change It

The physicist Werner Heisenberg pointed out that measuring anything changes it, if only slightly, so there is some uncertainty to all measurements. This is called the uncertainty principle, and is definitely true when measuring computer performance.


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