as described on stackoverflow.http://stackoverflow.com/questions/38...
7 down vote accepted
I would EXPECT the first query to be quicker, mainly because you have an equivalence and an explicit JOIN. In my experience IN is a very slow operator, since SQL normally evaluates it as a series of WHERE clauses separated by "OR" (WHERE x=Y OR x=Z OR...).
As with ALL THINGS SQL though, your mileage may vary. The speed will depend a lot on indexes (do you have indexes on both ID columns? That will help a lot...) among other things.
The only REAL way to tell with 100% certainty which is faster is to turn on performance tracking (IO Statistics is especially useful) and run them both. Make sure to clear your cache between runs!