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comp.lang.c FAQ list · Question 20.16

Q: Which is more efficient, a switch statement or an if/else chain?

A: The differences, if any, are likely to be slight. The switch statement was designed to be efficiently implementable, though the compiler may choose to use the equivalent of an if/else chain (as opposed to a compact jump table) if the case labels are sparsely distributed.

Do use switch when you can: it's certainly cleaner, and perhaps more efficient (and certainly should never be any less efficient).

See also questions 20.17 and 20.18.

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