Chad Callihan looks at the SET NOCOUNT ON option:
You may have a stored procedure that completes in an acceptable amount of time for the dozen or so times a day it gets called. Maybe it returns results in a few seconds and that makes the users calling it happy enough that you can move onto more pressing matters. But what about a stored procedure being called millions of times a day? The definition of acceptable can be drastically different when you consider the speed and traffic that type of stored procedure produces. When every millisecond matters, it’s worth checking to see what your setting is for SET NOCOUNT.
Click through for a demo and what you can realistically expect from
SET NOCOUNT ON. This works best with big loops, and incidentally, one pattern I like to use is to combine
SET NOCOUNT ON with an occasional
RAISERROR('%i iterations run...', 10, 1, @loopvar) WITH NOWAIT. That way, you can still see progress on the screen, but instead of printing results every single run, you might see one every 100 runs.