Registrations are now open. Join us today!
There is still a lot of work to do on the wiki yet! More information about editing can be found here.
Already have an account?

Microsoft KB Archive/172338

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 172338

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007



APPLIES TO

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Control Creation Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition



This article was previously published under Q172338

SUMMARY

When timing code to identify performance bottlenecks, you want to use the highest resolution timer the system has to offer. This article describes how to use the QueryPerformanceCounter function to time application code.

MORE INFORMATION

Several timers of differing accuracy are offered by the operating system:

Function                 Units                      Resolution
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now, Time, Timer         seconds                    1 second
GetTickCount             milliseconds               approx. 10 ms
TimeGetTime              milliseconds               approx. 10 ms
QueryPerformanceCounter  QueryPerformanceFrequency  same
                

If your system supports a high-resolution counter, you can use QueryPerformanceCounter and QueryPerformanceFrequency to do high-resolution timings.

The following sample code compares the various counters:

WARNING: ANY USE BY YOU OF THE CODE PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Microsoft provides this code "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.

Step-by-Step Procedures

  1. Enter the following code into a Module. If you enter it into a class, form, or report module, make the declarations Private.

           Option Explicit
    
          Declare Function QueryPerformanceCounter Lib "Kernel32" _
                                     (X As Currency) As Boolean
          Declare Function QueryPerformanceFrequency Lib "Kernel32" _
                                     (X As Currency) As Boolean
          Declare Function GetTickCount Lib "Kernel32" () As Long
          Declare Function timeGetTime Lib "winmm.dll" () As Long
    
          Sub Test_Timers()
          Dim Ctr1 As Currency, Ctr2 As Currency, Freq As Currency
          Dim Count1 As Long, Count2 As Long, Loops As Long
          '
          ' Time QueryPerformanceCounter
          '
            If QueryPerformanceCounter(Ctr1) Then
              QueryPerformanceCounter Ctr2
              Debug.Print "Start Value: "; Format$(Ctr1, "0.0000")
              Debug.Print "End Value: "; Format$(Ctr2, "0.0000")
              QueryPerformanceFrequency Freq
              Debug.Print "QueryPerformanceCounter minimum resolution: 1/" & _
                          Freq * 10000; " sec"
              Debug.Print "API Overhead: "; (Ctr2 - Ctr1) / Freq; "seconds"
            Else
              Debug.Print "High-resolution counter not supported."
            End If
          '
          ' Time GetTickCount
          '
            Debug.Print
            Loops = 0
            Count1 = GetTickCount()
            Do
              Count2 = GetTickCount()
              Loops = Loops + 1
            Loop Until Count1 <> Count2
            Debug.Print "GetTickCount minimum resolution: "; _
                        (Count2 - Count1); "ms"
            Debug.Print "Took"; Loops; "loops"
          '
          ' Time timeGetTime
          '
            Debug.Print
            Loops = 0
            Count1 = timeGetTime()
            Do
              Count2 = timeGetTime()
              Loops = Loops + 1
            Loop Until Count1 <> Count2
            Debug.Print "timeGetTime minimum resolution: "; _
                        (Count2 - Count1); "ms"
            Debug.Print "Took"; Loops; "loops"
          End Sub
                            
  2. Run the function from the Debug/Immediate window. Your output should appear similar to the following:

    Start Value: 3516284.3498
    End Value: 3516284.3521
    QueryPerformanceCounter minimum resolution: 1/1193182 sec
    API Overhead: 1.92761875388667E-05 seconds

    GetTickCount minimum resolution: 10 ms
    Took 650 loops

    timeGetTime minimum resolution: 10 ms
    Took 1565 loops

Multiple statements execute before either GetTickCount or timeGetTime record a change. The actual number of loops will vary depending on the background tasks the operating system is executing.

On the other hand, QueryPerformanceCounter changes value between successive API calls, indicating its usefulness in high-resolution timing. The resolution in this case is on the order of a microsecond. Because the resolution is system-dependent, there are no standard units that it measures. You have to divide the difference by the QueryPerformanceFrequency to determine the number of seconds elapsed. In the case above, the overhead for just calling the API is about 19 microseconds. This would have to be subtracted when timing other code as follows:

   Private Sub Time_Addition()
   Dim Ctr1 As Currency, Ctr2 As Currency, Freq As Currency
   Dim Overhead As Currency, A As Long, I As Long
     QueryPerformanceFrequency Freq
     QueryPerformanceCounter Ctr1
     QueryPerformanceCounter Ctr2
     Overhead = Ctr2 - Ctr1        ' determine API overhead
     QueryPerformanceCounter Ctr1  ' time loop
     For I = 1 To 100
       A = A + I
     Next I
     QueryPerformanceCounter Ctr2
     Debug.Print "("; Ctr1; "-"; Ctr2; "-"; Overhead; ") /"; Freq
     Debug.Print "100 additions took";
     Debug.Print (Ctr2 - Ctr1 - Overhead) / Freq; "seconds"
   End Sub
                

Sample output:

( 3630876.6256 - 3630876.6388 - 0.0013 ) / 119.3182
100 additions took 9.97333181358753E-05 seconds


NOTE: Because currency variables are used, the values returned are 10000 times smaller than the actual counters. Because the calculation of seconds involves a division operation, this factor is cancelled out.

REFERENCES

Microsoft Developer Network; topics: timeGetTime GetTickCount QueryPerformanceCounter QueryPerformanceFrequency

Keywords: kbhowto kbprogramming KB172338