C# – the Efficiency and Performance of LINQ and Lambda Expression in .Net


I have used .Net 3.5 and VS 2008 for more than a month. Like most .Net developers, I have evolved from years experience in .Net 1.0 & 2.0 and VS 2005. Just recently, I discovered the simplicity and power of LINQ and Lambda Expressions, as in my recent questions such as Find an item in list by LINQ, Convert or map a class instance to a list of another one by using Lambda or LINQ, and Convert or map a list of class to another list of class by using Lambda or LINQ.

I admit that Lambda and LINQ are much simpler and easy to read and they seem very powerful. Behind the scenes, the .Net compiler must generate lots of code to achieve those functions. Therefore I am little bit hesitant to switch to the new syntax since I already know the "old" way to achieve the same results.

My question is the about the efficiency and performance of Lambda and LINQ. Maybe Lambda expressions are mostly in-line functions, in that case I guess Lambda should be okay. How about LINQ?

Let's limit the discussion to LINQ-to-Objects LINQ-to-SQL (LINQ-to-SQL). Any comments, comparison and experiences?

Best Solution

There's no one single answer that will suffice here.

LINQ has many uses, and many implementations, and thus many implications to the efficiency of your code.

As with every piece of technology at our fingertips, LINQ can and will be abused and misused alike, and the ability to distinguish between that, and proper usage, is only dependent on one thing: knowledge.

So the best advice I can give you is to go and read up on how LINQ is really implemented.

Things you should check into are:

And as always, when looking at efficiency questions, the only safe approach is just to measure. Create a piece of code using LINQ that does a single, know, thing, and create an alternative, then measure both, and try to improve. Guessing and assuming will only lead to bad results.