Abigail-II did a lot of benchmarking on it. Maybe Abigail-II would like to elaborate?
The benchmark was fairly simply: take about million different
words, insert them in a hash, measure how long it takes and
what the average chain length is. They are all common words,
it's the combination of various English wordlists I once
grabbed from a puzzle site, and long list of Dutch words.
No specially prepared input. The average chain length was
1.27 on 5.8.0, 5.8.1, 5.8.2-RC1 and 5.8.2-RC2. The only interesting thing was the time - it took about 17.5 seconds
on 5.8.0, 5.8.1 and 5.8.2-RC2, and less almost 4 seconds
less on 5.8.2-RC1.
A same hash key list length of 1 for all hash keys, would be optimal if there were no other "costs" involved. However, the re-hashing of existing keys is not something to be done lightly, especially if the number of existing keys is high. So you need to find the best possible combination of same hash key list length and re-hashing. In that respect, the ideal same hash key list length is not 1!
I do not agree with the latter conclusion. The best possible
combination of max chain length and re-hashing depends
on the ratio number of inserts vs number of queries (for the
sake of simplicity, let's not consider deletes). The lower
this ratio is (that is, the more queries you have), the more
time you can spend on inserts to get a better overal performance. That is, if you have enough queries, it pays
to have max chain length of 1.