Threading lightly : Reducing contention
While it's common to hear that synchronized method calls can be 50 times as expensive as unsynchronized method calls, these numbers can actually be quite misleading. With each successive JVM version, overall performance has improved, and the cost of uncontended synchronization has been reduced, making the issue of uncontended synchronization overhead less significant. Contended synchronization, however, is quite expensive. Moreover, a high degree of contention is disastrous for scalability -- an application that had a high degree of contended synchronization will exhibit markedly worse performance as the load increases. This article explores several techniques for reducing contention, and hence improving scalability, in your programs.