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Selectivity threshold for a non-covering index

Assume you have a table with about 300 000 rows, and an indexed column ‘col1′ with only 9 distinct values. Now you got a query like ’select * from t1 where col1 = const’. The questions are

- when the index is faster to full table scan and vice versa?
- does MySQL use the optimal plan by default?

These questions became very relevant now that QOT got server access and is able to gather various table metrics including selectivity. Besides index selectivity the threshold value obviously depends on the storage engine used, so for me it is also interesting to see how our PBXT engine compares to others in this aspect. Namely to InnoDB - an engine with similar transactional properties and MyISAM - a very fast engine for read-only scenarios.

For the test I took the …

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