MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.2 Reference Guide

8.5.7 Optimizing InnoDB Disk I/O

If you follow best practices for database design and tuning techniques for SQL operations, but your database is still slow due to heavy disk I/O activity, consider these disk I/O optimizations. If the Unix top tool or the Windows Task Manager shows that the CPU usage percentage with your workload is less than 70%, your workload is probably disk-bound.