query governor cost limit Option
Use the query governor cost limit option to specify an upper limit on the time period in which a query can run. Query cost refers to the estimated elapsed time, in seconds, required to complete a query on a specific hardware configuration.
If you specify a nonzero, nonnegative value, the query governor disallows execution of any query that has an estimated cost exceeding that value. Specifying 0 (the default) for this option turns off the query governor, and all queries are allowed to run without any time limitation.
If you use sp_configure to change the value of query governor cost limit, the changed value is server wide. To change the value on a per-connection basis, use the SET QUERY_GOVERNOR_COST_LIMIT statement.
The query governor cost limit option is an advanced option. If you are using the sp_configure system stored procedure to change the setting, you can change query governor cost limit only when show advanced options is set to 1. The setting takes effect immediately (without a server restart).