The table row count (NOT records! quit thinking this is a mag tape file system) is available at the table level, so three is no need to scan the table.
SQL will scan something to get a row count (from SELECT COUNT(*) or SELECT Count(<not nullable column>
). Not the table, unless there are no nonclustered indexes, but it will scan an index to do the row count, the one with the fewest leaf pages.
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)SQL In The Wild
: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability
We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass