The TimesTen In-Memory Database provides excellent performance on even commodity hardware. RDBMS performance has two important factors, latency and throughput. Latency is about how fast SQL Select, Insert, Update, Delete or Merge operations can be completed. TimesTen is known for enabling really low latency SQL transactions. We measure TimesTen latency in microseconds rather than milliseconds:
This latency benchmark was run on commodity Linux / Intel hardware:
Having really low latency also helps with throughput. RDBMS throughput is defined in terms of (ACID) transactions per second.
This throughput benchmark was run on the same commodity hardware:
The performance of TimesTen is dependent on the workload, hardware and tuned SQL statements. These TPTBM benchmarks used primary key lookups and the SQL statements in each transaction only affected a few rows. If your SQL workload has complex joins involving many tables or returns a huge number of rows then these operations will take longer. The hardware that the workload runs on also affects the performance. Faster CPUs in terms of GHz, size of the L3 cache and number of cores tend to give better TimesTen In-Memory Database performance.
Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and do not represent Oracle's official viewpoint in any way, shape, or form.