Library to measure code execution times easily





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MGBenchmark Build Status Coverage Status CocoaPod


Easily measure code execution times. This is especially interesting for load operations that are difficult to profile with Instruments.


  • Measure total execution times
  • Measure individual steps of execution
  • Find steps that take longest
  • Get the average execution time of all steps
  • Have multiple benchmark sessions at the same time
  • Use macros for easy usage
  • Implement custom output targets
  • Measure times across different threads (thread-safe)

Installation via CocoaPods

    platform :ios
        pod 'MGBenchmark'
  • Run pod install from the command line
  • Open the newly created Xcode Workspace file
  • Implement your commands

Quick Guide

The quickest way is to use the provided macros. They give you the basic console log functionality with very little code. The benchmark will only work when MGBENCHMARK is set, this is done by default, when DEBUG is set.

#import "MGBenchmark.h"


// code to measure

MGBenchStep(@"Test", @"1"); // << BENCHMARK [Test/1] 0.01s (step 1) >>

// code to measure

MGBenchStep(@"Test", @"2"); // << BENCHMARK [Test/2] 0.01s (step 2) >>
MGBenchEnd(@"Test"); // << BENCHMARK [Test/total] 0.02s (2 steps, average 0.01s) >>

That's it. For most cases that should be enough. However if you want to customize the output that's possible as well.

Using Class Methods

The aforementioned macros use the following class methods under the hood:

[MGBenchmark start:@"demo"]; // start measuring

// code to measure

[[MGBenchmark session:@"demo"] step:@"1"]; // << BENCHMARK [demo/1] 0.01s (step 1) >>

// code to measure

[[MGBenchmark session:@"demo"] step:@"2"]; // << BENCHMARK [demo/2] 0.01s (step 2) >>
[[MGBenchmark session:@"demo"] total]; // << BENCHMARK [demo/total] 0.02s (2 steps, average 0.01s) >>

[MGBenchmark finish:@"demo"]; // garbage collect

Nevertheless [MGBenchmark start:@"foo"] returns an instance as well:

MGBenchmarkSession *session = [MGBenchmark start:@"demo"];

[session step:@"1"];
[session step:@"2"];
[session total];

[MGBenchmark finish:@"demo"]; // garbage collect

Live Environment

You can keep the benchmark code integrated even in the live environment. But rather then logging to the console, you should send the results to a tracking database. Or set the target to nil to ignore the results.

[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:[[MGConsoleOutput alloc] init]]; // log to console
[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:[[FlurryTarget alloc] init]]; // send to server
[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:nil]; // ignore results

Customizing the Logs

There are different ways to customize the benchmark results:

  • Directly use the results
  • Customize the default target
  • Choose another pre-defined target
  • Implement your own output target

Using Results Directly

You can easily create your own console logs. For that you should disable the default console output:

[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:nil];

Then you can use the return values of step: and total to do your custom logging:

MGBenchmarkSession *benchmark = [MGBenchmark start:@"custom"];

// code to measure

NSLog(@"%.2fs", [benchmark step:@"sleep1"]); // 1.01s

// code to measure

NSLog(@"%.2fs", [benchmark step:@"sleep2"]); // 2.01s

You can also access the amount of steps as well as the average execution times:

NSLog(@"%.2fs (steps: %d | average: %d)", [benchmark total], benchmark.stepCount, benchmark.averageTime); // 3.03s (steps: 2 | average: 2.02s)

Customize the Default Target MGConsoleOutput

The provided console target is very customizable. You can configure the output by providing strings containing placeholders. The available placeholders differ for the step: and total benchmark:





You can also change the measured time format. By changing the multiplier you can get measured times in milliseconds for example:

MGConsoleOutput *output = [[MGConsoleOutput alloc] init];
output.timeMultiplier = 1000; // to get ms rather than seconds
output.timeFormat = @"%.3fms"; // with 3 digits after comma
output.stepFormat = @"${stepName}: ${passedTime}";
output.totalFormat = @"total: ${passedTime}";

[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:output];

id session = [MGBenchmark start:@"demo"];
[session step:@"step1"];    // step1: 0.004ms
[session step:@"step2"];    // step2: 0.320ms
[session step:@"step3"];    // step3: 0.298ms
[session total];            // total: 0.884ms
[MGBenchmark finish:@"demo"];


Use this target to find steps that take longest. When using the total method it will print out all individual steps ordered by time.


[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:[[MGConsoleSummaryOutput alloc] init]];

... will result in these logs:

<< BENCHMARK [demo/total] 4.00138s (3 steps, average 1.33379s) >>
<< BENCHMARK 2.00084s (50.0%) step2 >>                           
<< BENCHMARK 1.00039s (25.0%) step1 >>                           
<< BENCHMARK 1.00010s (25.0%) step3 >>

You can customize this target as well (see the example code).

Custom Output Target

If you want to use a different output format, the best way is to define a custom target. For that you need to implement the MGBenchmarkTarget protocol. It declares 3 methods which are all optional:

  • passedTime:forStep:inSession – called for step time benchmark
  • totalTime:inSession – called for total time benchmark

Here is an example that sends the total benchmark to Flurry. Note that you need to initialize Flurry beforehand.

@interface FlurryTarget : NSObject <MGBenchmarkTarget>
@implementation FlurryTarget

- (void)totalTime:(NSTimeInterval)passedTime inSession:(MGBenchmarkSession*)session
    [Flurry withParameters:@{
        @"totalTime": [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%.5fs", passedTime],
        @"steps": @(session.stepCount),
        @"averageStepTime": [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%.5fs", session.averageTime]


Use your custom output target:

// set the default output for all sessions
[MGBenchmark setDefaultTarget:[[FlurryTarget alloc] init]]];


0.3.0 (2014/01/17)

  • [NEW] Macros for easier usage (Thanks Nano)
  • [CHANGED] Simplified output target session handling (no need to store session)

0.2.0 (2013/03/28)

  • [NEW] MGBenchmark is now thread-safe
  • [NEW] MGBenchmarkTarget protocol methods are optional now
  • [NEW] MGConsoleSummaryOutput for sorted step times (what takes longest?)

0.1.1 (2013/03/24)

  • [BUGFIX] More fault-tolerant (doesn't use NSAssert anymore)

0.1.0 (2013/03/24)

  • [NEW] Measure total execution times
  • [NEW] Measure individual steps of execution
  • [NEW] Get the average execution time of all steps
  • [NEW] Have multiple benchmark sessions at the same time
  • [NEW] Implement custom output targets


This library is released under the MIT licence. Contributions are more than welcome!

Also, follow me on Twitter if you like: @MattesGroeger.

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