C++ and C#

C# vs C++: Head to Head Comparison

Posted in C++, C#
C# vs C++: Head to Head Comparison

Are you looking for the difference between C# vs C++, Applications, Features and Uses.

C# and C++ are two of the top programming languages of 2020. Both are easy to learn and based on object-oriented programming concepts. Before we dig into the differences, let us explore some features of each and how they are contributing to the programming world.

What is C#?

Do you pronounce C# as C-hash every time you see it? Well, I do – but it’s more appropriate to call it C-sharp because the language has some really sharp features. Developed by Microsoft for the .NET framework, C# is a high-level component-oriented programming language.

Why C…. C++ and then C#?

The backbone of C# is C with a lot of improvements like automatic memory management, bound checking and many more.

What is a component-oriented language?

C# is also based on OOPS, but it follows a component approach because it was originally designed for use in .NET framework. With component-oriented programming, you do not have to bother about the internal workings of the code and can use the code as such because each block or module can work individually i.e. each module is a stand-alone component.

Learning C# needs more experience than C++. If you already know C, then you can choose any of the two, but as a non-programmer, it will be better to learn C or C++ before learning C#. And yes, C# is a lot similar to Java!

Features of C#

A simple yet powerful language, C# comes with a lot of features –

  • Automatic memory management (garbage collection).
  • Supports all the object-oriented programming concepts – encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance.
  • Robust due to good error handling features and type safety
  • Maximizes code reuse because of language interoperability, making it efficient
  • Structured programming language where a complex program can be split into smaller, reusable, and easy to understand methods.
  • Versioning allows easy deployment and management of applications
  • High-performance due to fast execution

.NET Common Language Runtime (.NET CLR)

Programs written in C# are converted into native code using CLR. In fact, CLR is the common runtime (as the name says) for all the .NET languages and that is where the interoperability comes from!

You can build web applications, games, web services, windows apps and forms using C# with ease.

Here is a simple code that takes name as an input from a user and then prints it with a message –

using System;
namespace PrintNameApplication {
 class PrintUserName {
 static void Main(string[] args) {
 /* Write user name to console */
 String userName;
userName = Console.ReadLine();
 Console.WriteLine("Hello, " + userName + ". How are you today?");
 }
 }
}

Here Console.ReadLine() gets the value from the user, stores it in a variable named username and prints the same using the Console.WriteLine method.

Check out some common C# interview questions here.

C++

C++ is an object-oriented language, which gave a major advantage over C because C was a procedural language, whereas, C++, just like C# is object-oriented. With OOP approach, data is the most important element and is tied more closely to the methods and functions operating on it, thus protecting it (data) from any unwanted or accidental changes.

Essentially, C++ is ‘C with classes’ and if you know C, you can learn C++ easily. Some features of C++ include –

  • A bottom-up approach focusing more on data than procedures
  • Case sensitive language – for example, break and BREAK are different
  • Platform independent
  • Simple and fast high-level programming language
  • Compiler-based language (not interpreter based)

C++ got its popularity as a huge improvement over C. For example, C++ introduced the concepts of OOPS, inline functions, method, and operator overloading.

Let us write our Print Username program in C++.

#include 
using namespace std;
int main() {
char username[30];
cout << "Enter user name-";
cin >> username;
cout << "Hello, " << username << ". How are you today?";
return 0;
}

Note that while we had defined username as String in C#, in C++ we declare it as a char array.

In this program, we have not created a class, but to get the OOPS essence, we should have a class definition in a program. In real-life applications, this is how we will be creating C++ programs -

#include 
class testclass
{
//member variables
int roll;
char name[30];
};
void testclass :: printname(void)
{
cout << “Enter your name: ”’
cin >> name;
cout << “\nGood morning, ” << name;
}
main(){
 testclass tc;
 tc.printname();
}

Thus, the general structure of a C++ program is something like:

  • include statements
  • class declaration
  • class functions and their definitions
  • main program

We have a comprehensive list of some of the best C++ tutorials. Check them out here.

So, which one do you think is better?

Well, that’s a tricky one to answer. C++ is more prominent and considered one of the foundation languages for many new programming languages, so a lot of legacy code is still in C++. However, C# provides a higher level of abstraction and offers automatic garbage collection. While C++ is faster, it doesn’t warn you of compilation errors, which makes it more prone to errors whereas C# is stricter and much more protected – it tells you most of the errors beforehand so you don’t get surprises when you run your program. When performance is not an issue and you want to build a web application, go for C#. If your application is for server-side software and needs to perform fast operations – C++ will be your ideal choice.

C# vs C++: Head to Head Comparison

Now that you understand the basics of both, let us do a head to head comparison –

Sr.No. C++ C#
1 Supports OOPS concepts Supports OOP and component-based architecture (multi-paradigm language)
2 A low-level programming language with some high-level language features thus called as an intermediate-level language A high-level programming language with no complex features, thus easy to understand.
3 Low level of abstraction High-level abstraction
4 Memory management is manually done like in C Memory management is automatic like in Java
5 Performance is exceptionally high Good performance, but less than C++
6 Platform independent and can write programs for any OS (platform) Platform-independent but mainly targeted for Windows and .NET framework
7 Flexible, you can code anything, the compiler doesn’t generate warnings unless syntax is incorrect More level of control, the compiler generates warnings and error beforehand so that application runtime errors are reduced
8 Compiled using the light-weight compiler Interpreted using CLR into bytecodes thus includes all the libraries prior to compilation.
9 Good for high-performance applications like gaming, device drivers and server-side applications Great for web applications for desktop, mobiles, and tablets
10 Data types in C++ are similar to that of C.

Built-in – int, char, float, double, etc…

Derived – array, function, pointer

User-defined – enum, struct, union

Apart from the primitive data types like int, char, float, double, etc.., C# supports reference data types like String, arrays, classes, and interfaces, and pointer data type. It also supports enumerations and structures. C# also supports Collections.
11 C++ implements generics using templates which is slightly complex C# generics are flexible, however, limited in functionality as compared to that in C++. For more information on Generics, visit the Microsoft support page.
12 Supports multiple inheritance Doesn’t support multiple inheritances through class, but the same effect can be achieved through interfaces, thus simplifying architectural requirements.

Conclusion

C# is a simple, general-purpose language that has been standardized but we mostly see it with .NET framework on Windows, while C++ is used widely. C# was mainly developed as a Microsoft alternative for the robust Java. While C++ has to follow a proper architecture and the code has certain binding, C# code is developed as components so it can work as a set of stand-alone modules independent of each other. C++ comes with a lot of features that are extremely suitable for complex programming and gaming systems, whereas C# has limited and simple features that are mostly enough for a simple web application.

People are also reading:

Ramya Shankar

Ramya Shankar

A cheerful, full of life and vibrant person, I hold a lot of dreams that I want to fulfill on my own. My passion for writing started with small diary entries and travel blogs, after which I have moved on to writing well-researched technical content. I find it fascinating to blend thoughts and research and shape them into something beautiful through my writing. View all posts by the Author

Leave a comment

Your email will not be published
Cancel
Levi Jacobs
Levi Jacobs

Which compiler is used for C#?

Vanessa Hill
Vanessa Hill

C# mainly depends on the .Net framework so there is no explicit need to install a compiler for C#. The compiler already comes with the .Net framework to work with C# codes.

Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy 10 Points

There are several.
JIT Compilers (which compile to CIL, then Native though JIT and CLR):
1. Roslyn (requires .Net Framework)
2. Mono
3. Mono AOT (which mostly compiles AOT, but some JIT)
AOT Compilers (AOT compile to native)
1. Roslyn AOT (targeted OS)
2. Mono AOT (partial JIT, requires Mono)
3. Mono FSC
4. Bartok
5. IL2CPP
6. IL2CPU

Pamela Davis
Pamela Davis

Does C# run in a VM?

Omar Ward
Omar Ward

VM is a virtual machine where you cannot run the direct code; you need to generate IL code to run on VM. C# produces IL and is compatible for running IL code on VM. The IL is compiled after running an application and generates native machine code. This completely compiled code is executed on a real processor.

Lois Baker
Lois Baker

Is C# a native code?

Louis Briggs
Louis Briggs

Native code is programming code that is compiled to run with a particular processor and with its given set of instructions. If the same program has to run on a different processor then the program will run in emulation mode on a new processor with the provided software. Native code is different from bytecode that used to run on the virtual machine.

Gayle Wade
Gayle Wade

What does => mean in C#?

Darla Long
Darla Long

This => token is used in two forms lambda operator and the separator in an expression body definition.
If used as a lambda operator, it separates the input parameter on the left side from the body on the right side of the operator.
If used as an expression then the return type of the expression must be implicitly convertible to the member’s return type of the expression.

Carlton Washington
Carlton Washington

Why is C# slower than C++?

Kenneth Martinez
Kenneth Martinez

C++ is compiled and lightweight while C# has a lot of overhead and binaries before the C# code gets compiled thus making C# slower than C++.

Ruby Higgins
Ruby Higgins

Is C# good for AI?

Felicia Garcia
Felicia Garcia

Any programming language will work for AI but it is better if we prefer generic programming language to do complex things, so C# will work well to some extent as other languages do.

Beth Tate
Beth Tate

Is C# fast enough for games?

Alberta Torres
Alberta Torres

If you are working and developing small games then C# will work for you. C# is not fast enough and efficient thus many companies are using C++. C# cannot handle heavy codes with ease thus it lacks performance. If we consider Unity game then it works well because it is written in C# but the engine itself is written in C++ that maintains the performance.

Clinton Tucker
Clinton Tucker

Is C# or C++ better for games?

Regina Henderson
Regina Henderson

If you are going for game development that has native support for all possible platforms then you should go for C++. C++ has the capability to manage the memory on any object which in turn increases the performance of your game. You have to manage it well else it may cause you problems. C++ has some flexibility than C#.