# Is division slower than multiplication?

Which is faster? 10/2 or 10*.5 ?

Just wondering how different performance is between Multiplication and Division in RBLXLua

Multiplication is faster to an extent but itâ€™s negligble such that expressiveness matters more.

6 Likes

Refer to the first and second reply to:

Answer: it is a negligible/non-measurable difference, use whatever is clearest to you, premature optimization / micro-optimization is the source of all evil.

10 Likes

Interestingâ€¦

Itâ€™s a fun topic for people with OCD.

``````	local Start = tick()

for i = 1 , 10000 do
local X = 10/2
end

print("Division:",Start-tick())

local Start = tick()

for i = 1 , 10000 do
local X = 10*.5
end

print("Multiplication:",Start-tick())
``````

Results;

Division: -0.0001065731048584

Multiplication: -0.00010228157043457

`tick() - Start`*

1 Like

You get different results every time you run it. On my device the winner varies between the two and also the absolute values vary by ~20%, meaning the difference is so negligible it is not worth accounting for

1 Like

`local x = 10 / 2`

is compiled to

`local x = 5`. Your tests are not measuring the actual speed of division and multiplication.

5 Likes

So what does a real multiplication and division test look like?

Your test inputs should not be constant, for example

``````local random = math.random(100,1000)
local inverse = 1/random

local startTime = tick()
for i = 1 , 100000 do
local X = 10/random
end

print("Division:",startTime-tick())

local startTime = tick()
for i = 1 , 100000 do
local X = 10*inverse
end

print("Multiplication:",startTime-tick())``````
1 Like

Good pointâ€¦ rerunning the tests, these are my results.
Specs:

• 64 bit Debian
• i7-7800X @ 3.50GHz (4 cores, x3 threads)
• x4 quad channel ram (configured @ 2133 MT/s)
• eNVM SSD

Command: `time lua ~/Documents/test.lua`

Multiplication Test:

``````local function getRnd()
return math.random(1e8, 1e9)
end

local a = getRnd()
local b = getRnd()

for i = 1, 1e8 do
local _ = a*b
end
``````

Division Test:

``````local function getRnd()
return math.random(1e8, 1e9)
end

local a = getRnd()
local b = getRnd()

for i = 1, 1e8 do
local _ = a/b
end
``````

Control:

``````local function getRnd()
return math.random(1e8, 1e9)
end

local a = getRnd()
local b = getRnd()

for i = 1, 1e8 do
local _ = a
end
``````

Results:

``````Multiplication:
real 0m1.284s
user 0m1.284s
sys 0m0.000s

Division:
real 0m1.022s
user 0m1.022s
sys 0m0.000s

Control:
real 0m0.887s
user 0m0.887s
sys 0m0.000s
``````

Interesting, my results say that division is FASTERâ€¦ Yes, I even double checked that I didnâ€™t get the results crossed, and these results are significant / relatively stable.

1 Like

But still not relevant. Use whateverâ€™s more readable.

I think the sheer difference between them is shocking. Taking out the time spent on other processes as shown by the control, we are left with 0.397 seconds for the multiplication test and 0.135 seconds for the division test. That means that division is about 3 times faster than multiplication! Say WHAT?!? I tested with smaller numbers just in case multiplication with large numbers had some mysterious overhead, but I got the same result. If anyone knows why there is such a large difference in my test or has trouble replicating it, please let us know!

I get different results in Roblox Studio:

``````local function getRnd()
return math.random(1e8, 1e9)
end

local a = getRnd()
local b = getRnd()

local t = tick()
for i = 1, 1e8 do
local _ = a*b
end
print(tick() - t)

local t = tick()
for i = 1, 1e8 do
local _ = a/b
end
print(tick() - t)
``````

0.9564208984375
0.96046686172485

Woah, you have a beefy machine!

Interesting, when I jump onto windows on the same machine and run this code in studio:

``````local function getRnd()
return math.random(1e8, 1e9)
end

local a = getRnd()
local b = getRnd()

local t = tick()
for i = 1, 1e7 do
local _ = a*b
end
print(tick() - t)

local t = tick()
for i = 1, 1e7 do
local _ = a/b
end
print(tick() - t)

local t = tick()
for i = 1, 1e7 do
local _ = a
end
print(tick() - t)
``````

I get:

``````  1.2560431957245
1.2793955802917
1.2476074695587
``````

Which means that in studio multiplication is about 3.8 times faster than division:

``````0.0084357261657999 -- multiplication - control
0.031788110733 -- division - control
``````

Interestingâ€¦ why would I get such polar opposite results outside of Roblox?

Results from @Kampfkarren

1.034544467926

1.0435712337494

Results from @IdiomicLanguage

0.1039502620697

0.10268878936768

0.1026496887207

Where are these results from? I couldnâ€™t find those figures above. Is this running our posted tests?

Yes, from both of your Code.

I ran it with Roblox Studio Command Bar

I am locking this thread. Do not ask questions like â€śIs X faster than Y?â€ť, as there is no definite answer (since the difference is so small, results may differ between platform, architecture, etc), and even if test results are consistent, more often than not there is no noteworthy difference.

Only make threads concerning performance if you are actually experiencing performance issues.

5 Likes