Good article. Has a lot of valuable information about the in's and out's of COUNT.
I've always used code similar to this for finding the row count, provided there is a clustered index.
SELECT ROWS FROM SYSINDEXES WHERE OBJECT_ID('ORDERS') = ID AND INDID < 2
This command only does "2" logical reads, so I'm guessing it performs, slightly better then
select count(*) from orders.
Gregory Larsen, DBA
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Gregory A. Larsen, MVP