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We have SQL Server 2008 R2 database which is currently about 80Gb.

About 10Gb of this is down to one table, and I wondered if there would be a performance gain if I moved this table into it's own database, and created a referencing synonym so that existing queries and SPs remained functional.

This database is ripe for an overhaul anyway, so that may be the obvious answer but I wondered if the synonym idea would be a quick win.

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You don't have to move it to it's own database. You may be able to get a performance improvement by simply moving it to it's own filegroup within the existing database. The filegroup could then contain one or more files that are on a separate disk(s) from the ones the rest of the database is on.

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Unless the new database lives on a much faster disk, you're not going to see any performance improvement, and may see some degradation. Better to attack the problem through analysis of the queries, health of the database and server. There's no quick solution, except maybe throwing hardware at it, more RAM, more CPU's, faster disks.

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