One of the long-standing defaults in SQL Server has been the maximum degree of parallelism (MAXDOP), which has always been 0, meaning use (up to) all cores when the engine believes that will help. For many OLTP workloads, 0 is not the optimal setting, and you may want to use a different number depending on the behavior of your workload. I don’t want to belabor the thought process here, but this will be based on settings like the number of cores exposed to SQL Server, whether they are divided into NUMA nodes, and if there are other instances, applications, or services running on the same Windows Server. Microsoft’s guidelines are published here.
Aaron shows us how to set MAXDOP as well as min and max server memory for our new instance. It’s nice to see these types of additions to the setup process—that makes it a bit more likely that the DBA who installs instances only occasionally doesn’t forget to set these afterward.