Which sort-order should I choose for my SQL Server for the fastest performance?

A. Binary sort order is 15% faster than others for key comparisons. However this is only one TINY part of the processing that SQL needs to do and with the massive increase in processor speed since SQL Server was first released this is now really not an issue.

If you use binary (or another case-sensitive sort-order) then you may need to resort to queries with where clauses like "where UPPER(columnname) = UPPER(searchargument)". This prevents the query optimizer from selecting an index and forces a table-scan - with disastrous performance consequences.

Therefore it is recommended that you only choose binary for other reasons - not performance.

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