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When a relational database, like MySQL, has better performance than a no relational, like MongoDB?

I saw a question on Quora other day, about why Quora still uses MySQL as their backend, and that their performance is still good.

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    $\begingroup$ This page mongodb.com/nosql-explained provides some details about it $\endgroup$ – Michele May 17 '14 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on what kind of performance you are interested in: being able to handle a very large number of concurrent requests, being able to retrieve a specific record among a very large amount of records, being able to compute complex summary values from the data, etc? $\endgroup$ – damienfrancois May 18 '14 at 13:43
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It depends on your data and what you're doing with it. For example, if the processing you have to do requires transactions to synchronize across nodes, it will likely be faster to use transactions implemented in an RDBMS rather than implementing it yourself on top of NoSQL databases which don't support it natively.

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