How to actually check mysql variable for performance?

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http://serverfault.com – I have installed XAMPP on my Mac. I know that XAMPP is tuned for very slow desktop and as I have almost 3 million records which I need to join. I have to change something. My tables are MyISAM. As everybody suggests I should have a look at key_buffer_size. However, I'm not sure if my configuration is correct. I have changed key_buffer_size in /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/my.cnf # The MySQL server [mysqld] port = 3306 socket = /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/var/mysql/mysql.sock skip-locking key_buffer = 16K #max_allowed_packet = 1M table_cache = 4 #sort_buffer_ (HowTos)