Another example of when TempDB is used, is when you make use of the 'SORT_IN_TEMPDB' option when you create or rebuild an index. This option tells SQL Server's Database Engine to store the intermediate sort results that are used to build the index in the TempDB system database.
For all the above, and more, properly configuring the TempDB database plays a significant role to SQL Server's performance.
Until SQL Server 2014, you would usually install the SQL Server instance and then tune the TempDB database after installation.
SQL Server 2016 now provides you with the capability of configuring the TempDB database during the installation of a SQL Server instance along with some other other enhancements. These are:
- All files will grow at the same time (no need for Trace flags 1117 and 1118)
- By default Setup adds as many tempDB Files as the CPU count (max=8)
- Through Setup you can specify:
- No. of tempdb database files, initial size, autogrowth and directory placement (you can set multiple volumes for tempDB database files)
- Initial size of log file, autogrowth and directory placement
The above assist the DBA to properly configure the TempDB system database faster and simpler during the setup of SQL Server, thus ensuring a performant tempDB configuration.
Below you can find a screenshot taken during the installation of SQL Server 2016 (CTP 3.0) that illustrates the TempDB configuration dialog:
MSDN Library Article: tempdb Database
MSDN Library Article: SORT_IN_TEMPDB Option For Indexes
SQL Server 2016 Top Features