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It's not just that the defaults are dangerous, but that if you change the default, you give up much of the performance benefit of choosing Mongo in the first place.

If you don't care whether a write succeeds or not then you can get even more performance by not making the call to the DB in the first place!

Sorry but NOBODY is choosing MongoDB purely based on speed.

If they were they would go with something like MemSQL, Redis etc.

They did it more when it first came around. Redis wasn't in the same category. It was usually compared to CouchDB, another one I don't remember, and then traditional SQL DBs. Couch for example looked much worse in benchmarks because it tried a bit harder to take care of users' data and didn't just fling it over the fence. But it mostly lost out because OMG benchmarks!

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