ES 7.8.0: query_string with fields: ["*"] vs default_field: "*" performance

I'm getting very different performance searching a small (< 200MB) index with a query_string filter, depending on how I specify the fields to be searched:

  • fields: ["*"] - 1600ms consistently
  • default_field: "*" - < 100ms consistently
  • neither option: same as setting default_field

This is on ES 7.8.0, 3-node cluster, index has one shard and one replica. Index has < 10k documents with ~ 30 fields each. I just want to understand the huge performance difference between the fields and default_field parameter since I would have thought they do the same thing.

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