The Stopwatch Class in .NET

Do you ever find yourself using DateTime to time a section of code?  Do you have code like the following?

DateTime start = DateTime.Now;

// Perform a long process
Thread.Sleep( 1968 );

DateTime end = DateTime.Now;
TimeSpan duration = end.Subtract( start );
Console.WriteLine( "This process took {0} ms", duration.TotalMilliseconds );

If you do, you should look at the System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch class that was introduced in the 2.0 framework.  You can convert the code above to the much more readable

Stopwatch stopwatch = Stopwatch.StartNew();

// Perform a long process
Thread.Sleep( 1968 );

Console.WriteLine( "This process took {0} ms", stopwatch.ElapsedMilliseconds );

3 thoughts on “The Stopwatch Class in .NET

  1. Thanks for the comment. I didn’t know about the static method.

    I do a similar thing by deriving from the Stopwatch and logging the elapsed time in the Dispose. I was going to blog about that next, but I guess you beat me to it 😉

  2. You can actually make this even shorter. There is a static method on the Stopwatch class called StartNew() that returns an instance that has been started for you.


    Stopwatch myStopwatch = Stopwatch.StartNew();


    Console.WriteLine(“Do Stuff took {0} ms”, myStopwatch.ElapsedMilliseconds);

    I’ve got a class called a StopwatchWriter that simplifies everything if you’re profiling multiple parts of the same method as well.

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