nginx+mysql5 loadtesting configuration strangeness

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http://serverfault.com – i am trying to setup a new server running on debian6 and trying to make it work smooth under load. i ve used a wordpress site as a test object, and tried the configurations on http://blitz.io. when i increase the mysql max_connections from 50 to 200 lots of timeouts start to occur. but on 50 , no timeouts and pretty well response times. nginx configuration is fine , i tuned the config so i dont see errors. so i presume it's related to the other configuration options of my.cnf . i read some about options but still cant find what max_connections problem is all about. btw, the server has 16gb of (HowTos)