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timer: change new Date to for performance

Speeds up benchmark/settimeout.js by about 30%.
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Shigeki Ohtsu authored and bnoordhuis committed Jul 10, 2012
1 parent f210530 commit 76104f3414f10bd5df1aa8cdc69cff9f73e64b9d
Showing with 4 additions and 4 deletions.
  1. +4 −4 lib/timers.js
@@ -51,7 +51,7 @@ var lists = {};
// the main function - creates lists on demand and the watchers associated
// with them.
function insert(item, msecs) {
item._idleStart = new Date();
item._idleStart =;
item._idleTimeout = msecs;

if (msecs < 0) return;
@@ -71,8 +71,8 @@ function insert(item, msecs) {
list.ontimeout = function() {
debug('timeout callback ' + msecs);

var now = new Date();
debug('now: ' + now);
var now =;
debug('now: ' + (new Date(now)));

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mscdex Jul 10, 2012

If we're concerned about performance, new Date(now) is still being evaluated here every time, no matter whether debug() is a no-op or not.

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bnoordhuis Jul 10, 2012


I've timed benchmark/settimeout.js with and without that debug statement and I couldn't find a measurable difference.

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shigeki Jul 11, 2012

@mscdex You are right that the arguments of debug() are immediately evaluated in regardless of NODE_DEBUG and it seems to affect the performance. But it is called only once in benchmark/settimeout.js because all timeout callbacks are stored in the same timer array as 1000.
If the delay timers of setTimeout()'s are all different in a benchmark, the debug()s are called at every ontimeout callbacks, however, their overheads are not accumulated as long as they are finished within 1msec so that we need not worry about it.

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AlexeyKupershtokh Oct 22, 2012

Guys, take a look at the project.
I understand that caching time is usually a bad idea, but probably it's the place it worth using it. It has some drawbacks though, so if you are interested, please check the module's principles.

I've modified your lib/timers.js & benchmarks/settimeout.js sources, you can find them at
The results are:

wicked@wicked-desktop:~/node-perf-time/bench$ node settimeout.js
smaller is better
startup: 12263
done: 1299
wicked@wicked-desktop:~/node-perf-time/bench$ node settimeout2.js
smaller is better
startup: 4752
done: 1001

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AlexeyKupershtokh Oct 22, 2012

Practically the mail project's weaknesses are garbage collection and cycles like this:

for (i = 0; i < 1000; i++) {
  var now = t.get();
  long_sync_stuff_that_does_not_get_time(now); // there is no t.get() inside

In this case time cache can stale for milliseconds or even seconds because neither rate-flush nor settimeout-flush would work.

var first;
while (first = L.peek(list)) {
@@ -155,7 +155,7 @@ = function(item) {
if (!list || L.isEmpty(list)) {
insert(item, msecs);
} else {
item._idleStart = new Date();
item._idleStart =;
L.append(list, item);

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