PHP Performance Benchmarks

This page allows you to view different processign speeds of various PHP functions, iterated for 10000 (or less in some cases). The info shows the relative speed of these functions on this server, runnin PHP version 7.4.33. The benchmarks are done live. Reload the page to get fresh numbers. This page was created by Thiemo Mättig, check his website for more awesome tools.

Please note that these are micro benchmarks. Micro benchmarks are stupid. I created this comparison to learn something about PHP and how the PHP compiler works. This can not be used to compare PHP versions or servers.

Check if a String is empty

Method Undefined Null False Empty string String '0' String '1' Long string Summary Index
if (!$var)2 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms3 ms1089
if (empty($var))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
if ($var == '')>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms299
if ('' == $var)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms304
if ($var === '')>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms231
if ('' === $var)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms239
if (strcmp($var, '') == 0)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms426
if (strcmp('', $var) == 0)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms418
if (strlen($var) == 0)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms323
if (!strlen($var))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms330

My conclusion: In most cases, Do not use empty() because it does not trigger a warning when used with undefined variables. Note that empty('0') returns true. Use strlen() if you want to detect '0'. Try to avoid == at all because it may cause strange behaviour (e.g. '9a' == 9 returns true). Prefer === over == and !== over != if possible because it does compare the variable types in addition to the contents.

Check if an Array is empty

Method Empty array 100 elements Summary Index
count($array) === 0 //by reference>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms163
count($array) === 0 //by value>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms151
$array === []>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms137
empty($array)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
(bool)$array>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms105

My conclusion: Why count if you don't care about the exact number?

Compare two Strings

Method Equal First character not equal Last character not equal Summary Index
$a == $b>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms100
$a === $b>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms127
!strcmp($a, $b)1 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms188
strcmp($a, $b) == 01 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms205
strcmp($a, $b) === 01 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms194
strcasecmp($a, $b) === 01 ms1 ms1 ms3 ms356

My conclusion: Use what fits your needs.

Check if a String contains another String

Method Not found Found at the start Found in the middle Found at the end Summary Index
strstr($haystack, $needle)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms169
strpos($haystack, $needle) !== false>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
strstr($haystack, $needle) !== false>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms165
stristr($haystack, $needle)2 ms2 ms2 ms2 ms9 ms6240
preg_match("/$needle/", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms499
preg_match("/$needle/i", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms608
preg_match("/$needle/S", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms420
strpos( strtolower($haystack), $needle )3 ms3 ms3 ms4 ms12 ms9055
strpos( strtoupper($haystack), $needle )4 ms3 ms3 ms3 ms13 ms9616
strpos($haystack,"NEEDLE") || strpos($haystack,"needle") || strpos($haystack,"Needle")>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms447

My conclusion: It does not matter if you use strstr() or strpos(). Use the preg…() functions only if you need the power of regular expressions. Never use the ereg…() functions.

Check if a String starts with another String

Method Not found Found at the start Found in the middle Found at the end Summary Index
$haystack[0] === 'n'>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms178
strncmp($haystack, 'needle', 6) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms170
strncasecmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms206
strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms300
substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms195
strcmp(substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms210
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0, strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms161
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms130
preg_match('/^' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '/', $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms445

My conclusion: strpos() is very fast and can be used in almost all cases. strncmp() is good if you are looking for a constant length needle.

Check if a String ends with another String

Method Not found Found at the start Found in the middle Found at the end Summary Index
$haystack[strlen($haystack) - 1] === 'n'>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
substr($haystack, strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms142
substr($haystack, -strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms122
substr($haystack, -1) === 'n'>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms126
strcmp(substr($haystack, -strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms211
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle), strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms180
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms141
preg_match('/' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '$/', $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms1458

My conclusion: Using substr() with a negative position is a good trick.

Replace a (>1 Character) String inside another String

Method Not found Found at the start Found in the middle Found at the end Summary Index
str_replace($search, $replace, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms135
preg_replace("/$search/", $replace, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms250
preg_replace("/$search/S", $replace, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms184
strtr($subject, array($search => $replace))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100

My conclusion: Never use the ereg…() functions.

Replace a Character inside a String

Method Not found Found at the start Found in the middle Found at the end Summary Index
str_replace($fromChar, $toChar, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms112
strtr($subject, $fromChar, $toChar)1 ms2 ms2 ms2 ms7 ms1489
strtr($subject, array($fromChar => $toChar))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100

My conclusion: Since PHP 7.0 strtr() can sometimes beat str_replace().

Trim Characters from the Beginning and End of a String

Method Not found Found at start Found at end Found at both sides Summary Index
trim($string, ',')>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
preg_replace('/^,*|,*$/', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms2269
preg_replace('/^,*|,*$/m', '', $string)2 ms1 ms1 ms1 ms6 ms13868
preg_replace('/^,+|,+$/', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms390
preg_replace('/^,+|,+$/m', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms312
preg_replace('/^,+/', '', preg_replace('/,+$/', '', …))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms384

My conclusion: Always benchmark your regular expressions! In this case, with .* you also replace nothing with nothing which takes time because there is a lot of “nothing” in every string.

Split a String into an Array

Method Empty string Single occurrence Multiple occurrences Summary Index
explode(',', $string)>0 ms>0 ms1 ms1 ms100
preg_split('/,/', $string)>0 ms>0 ms1 ms1 ms150
preg_match_all('/[^,]+/', $string, $matches)>0 ms>0 ms1 ms2 ms247

My conclusion: Don't use split(). It got deprecated in PHP 5.3 and removed from PHP 7.0.

Loop a numerical indexed Array of Strings

Method Summary Index
for ($i = 0; $i < count($array); $i++) //by reference>0 ms180
for ($i = 0; $i < count($array); $i++) //by value>0 ms175
for ($i = 0, $count = count($array); $i < $count; $i++)>0 ms136
for ($i = count($array) - 1; $i >= 0; $i--)>0 ms137
for ($i = count($array) - 1; $i >= 0; --$i)>0 ms100
$i = count($array); while ($i--)>0 ms111

My conclusion: count() could have been horribly slow in PHP 5 and below when copy-on-write accidentally kicked in. Always precalculate it, if possible.

Get Elements from an Array

Method Summary Index
$array[0]8 ms101
$array['key']8 ms100

My conclusion: I like associative arrays.

Implode an Array

Method Summary Index
implode(' ', $array)1 ms100
"$array[0] $array[1] $array[2]"1 ms128
$array[0] . ' ' . $array[1] . ' ' . $array[2]2 ms170
sprintf('%s %s %s', $array[0], $array[1], $array[2])2 ms176
vsprintf('%s %s %s', $array)1 ms143

My conclusion: String concatenation is a cheap operation in PHP. Don't waste your time benchmarking this.

The single vs. double Quotes Myth

Method Summary Index
'contains no dollar signs'>0 ms109
"contains no dollar signs">0 ms104
'$variables $are $not $replaced'>0 ms100
"\$variables \$are \$not \$replaced">0 ms104
"$variables $are $replaced"3 ms1610
$variables . ' ' . $are . ' ' . $replaced4 ms2368
$variables . " " . $are . " " . $replaced4 ms2308

My conclusion: It does not matter if you use single or double quotes at all. The inclusion of variables has a measurable effect, but that's independent from the quotes.

© Thiemo Mättig, created in September 2008, updated in August 2017
Free sourcecode of this script is available