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If all the connections in the pool are taken, then the database wouldn't have been getting meaningful additional work done anyway, regardless of your scheme for accepting connections.

Having 100-1000x more active connections than you have cores on the box is worse than useless, it's actively detrimental.

Except it works just fine for RethinkDB because it was designed from the ground up to efficiently send changes from the shards directly to open connections. It's a design tradeoff postgres didn't make and they get other benefits rethinkdb doesn't have. But for this use case RethinkDB has a distinct architectural efficiency advantage

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