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Comparisons between the merits of row-wise storage (NSM) and columnar storage (DSM) are typically made with respect to the persistent storage layer of database systems. In this paper, however, the authors focus on the CPU efficiency tradeoffs of tuple representations inside the query execution engine, while tuples flow through a processing pipeline. They analyze the performance in the context of query engines using so-called "Block-oriented" processing - a recently popularized technique that can strongly improve the CPU efficiency. With this high efficiency, the performance trade-offs between NSM and DSM can have a decisive impact on the query execution performance, as they demonstrate using both microbenchmarks and TPC-H query 1. This means that NSM-based database systems can sometimes benefit from converting tuples into DSM on-the-fly, and vice versa.
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