Basically, the value of estimate percentage is always the higher the better. But with limited resources, you can only choose a sufficient or good enough percentage to optimize. How high is sufficient enough? It really depends on the

**evenness**of the table, which means that if every row in the table is very similar or uniform in length, block usage and characteristics (e.g. distinct values, null values), you can choose a low sampling percentage, say, 10%, even 5% might be good enough.

On the other hand, if the data in the table is not evenly distributed, you have to prepare a high estimate percentage, for example, 30% or more. Please note that, with estimate percentages larger than 49% (50% ~ 100%), the database will COMPUTE the whole table instead.

With an unpredictable table, I recommend you to use 30% as a starting point and decrease the percentage gradually. This value usually brings me a pretty confident statistics. Believe it or not, the statistics result between 20% and 30% could make the same statement execute with different SQL plans, which costed me a lot of time to solve.