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Noticed the docs for SQL Server 2016 CTP2 state "by default, setup adds as many tempdb files as the CPU count or 8, whichever is lower." https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb510411(v=sql.130).aspx

But I always thought that the "correct" ratio would be half the number of CPU cores, for boxes under 8 cores that is.

Should this be taken as the official recommandation from Microsoft and even applied to 2012/2014 ?

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According to Paul Randal the number of tempdb files should be:

  • equal to the number of CPU cores for 8 or less cores
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of CPU cores for more than 8 cores

I think it's a great news that Microsoft finally changed this default setting. The previous one was really bad - it caused problems with latch contention.

Paul Randal's article on the topic

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While installing SQL Server 2016 you can now specify the number of tempDB data files. By default it will be set to 8 or the number of CPU cores you have in your machine, and which ever is lower. The value can also be increased up to the number of cores.

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