I have multiple-field index on columns a,b,c,d and another unique index on column id. Is my query like below after adding id to ORDER BY slows large or i don't need to worry ? Query plan shows that sort get only 1%.

  (SELECT *,
          row_number() over (
                             ORDER BY a,b,c,d,id ) AS ROW
   FROM table1
   WHERE /* ... */) a
  AND ROW <= 20000;

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  • 1
    It is going to depend on the number of rows, and a few other factors such as if that id column is your clustering key for that table. You should show the entire query plan (brentozar.com/pastetheplan is very useful for that) as that sort step may not be the only effect of the change. Apr 3, 2020 at 10:54
  • index id is unique, multi-field index is not unique, table table1 has about 5-10 millions records. all indexes are not clustered and created by CREATE [UNIQUE] INDEX idx_name ...
    – marioosh
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


If ID is the clustered index, on SQL Server this index will have ID added as the last index key.

For a non-unique non-clustered index on a clustered index table the clustered index keys that aren't explicitly listed as non-clustered index keys will be added as additional non-clustered index keys. And the non-clustered index will actually be stored as a unique index. EG your index on (a,b,c,d) is implemented as a unique index on (a,b,c,d,id).

If the non-clustered index is unique, the clustered index keys will be present on the leaf level of the index, but will not be index keys.

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