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 (!$var)4 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms5 ms1381
if (empty($var))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
if ($var == '')1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms291
if ('' == $var)1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms314
if ($var === '')1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms236
if ('' === $var)1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms239
if (strcmp($var, '') == 0)1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms419
if (strcmp('', $var) == 0)1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms419
if (strlen($var) == 0)1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms296
if (!strlen($var))1 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms311

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($array) === 0 //by reference>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms167
count($array) === 0 //by value>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms127
$array === []>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms118
empty($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 ms113
$a === $b>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms100
!strcmp($a, $b)1 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms206
strcmp($a, $b) == 01 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms189
strcmp($a, $b) === 01 ms1 ms1 ms2 ms196
strcasecmp($a, $b) === 01 ms1 ms1 ms3 ms325

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, $needle)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms174
strpos($haystack, $needle) !== false>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
strstr($haystack, $needle) !== false>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms190
stristr($haystack, $needle)2 ms3 ms3 ms2 ms9 ms7015
preg_match("/$needle/", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms575
preg_match("/$needle/i", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms628
preg_match("/$needle/S", $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms543
strpos( strtolower($haystack), $needle )3 ms3 ms3 ms3 ms13 ms9426
strpos( strtoupper($haystack), $needle )3 ms3 ms3 ms3 ms11 ms8357
strpos($haystack,"NEEDLE") || strpos($haystack,"needle") || strpos($haystack,"Needle")>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms365

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 ms185
strncmp($haystack, 'needle', 6) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms159
strncasecmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms167
strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms255
substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms180
strcmp(substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms226
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0, strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms177
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms247
preg_match('/^' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '/', $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms520

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 ms106
substr($haystack, strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms130
substr($haystack, -strlen($needle)) === $needle>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms126
substr($haystack, -1) === 'n'>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
strcmp(substr($haystack, -strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms179
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle), strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms149
substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms122
preg_match('/' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '$/', $haystack)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms1350

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, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms116
preg_replace("/$search/", $replace, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms194
preg_replace("/$search/S", $replace, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms196
strtr($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, $subject)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms100
strtr($subject, $fromChar, $toChar)1 ms2 ms2 ms2 ms9 ms1631
strtr($subject, array($fromChar => $toChar))>0 ms>0 ms1 ms>0 ms1 ms191

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($string, ',')>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms100
preg_replace('/^,*|,*$/', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms1 ms1851
preg_replace('/^,*|,*$/m', '', $string)2 ms2 ms2 ms1 ms6 ms10519
preg_replace('/^,+|,+$/', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms310
preg_replace('/^,+|,+$/m', '', $string)>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms185
preg_replace('/^,+/', '', preg_replace('/,+$/', '', …))>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms>0 ms284

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 ms149
preg_match_all('/[^,]+/', $string, $matches)>0 ms>0 ms2 ms2 ms244

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); $i++) //by reference>0 ms210
for ($i = 0; $i < count($array); $i++) //by value>0 ms174
for ($i = 0, $count = count($array); $i < $count; $i++)>0 ms130
for ($i = count($array) - 1; $i >= 0; $i--)>0 ms128
for ($i = count($array) - 1; $i >= 0; --$i)>0 ms100
$i = count($array); while ($i--)>0 ms115

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 ms102
$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 ms137
$array[0] . ' ' . $array[1] . ' ' . $array[2]2 ms171
sprintf('%s %s %s', $array[0], $array[1], $array[2])2 ms210
vsprintf('%s %s %s', $array)2 ms170

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 ms100
"contains no dollar signs">0 ms100
'$variables $are $not $replaced'>0 ms113
"\$variables \$are \$not \$replaced">0 ms106
"$variables $are $replaced"3 ms1738
$variables . ' ' . $are . ' ' . $replaced4 ms2521
$variables . " " . $are . " " . $replaced4 ms2429

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