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Defined in header <ctime>
std::clock_t clock();

Returns the approximate processor time used by the process since the beginning of an implementation-defined era related to the program's execution. To convert result value to seconds divide it by CLOCKS_PER_SEC. Because the beginning of the std::clock era does not have to coincide with the start of the program, only the difference between two values returned by different calls to std::clock is meaningful. If the CPU is shared by other processes, std::clock time may advance slower than wall clock. If the current process is multithreaded and more than one execution core is available, std::clock time may advance faster than wall clock.




Return value

Processor time used by the program so far or (clock_t)(-1) if that information is unavailable.


On POSIX-compatible systems, clock_gettime with clock id CLOCK_PROCESS_CPUTIME_ID offers better resolution.

The value returned by clock() may wrap around on some implementations. For example, on a machine with 32-bit std::clock_t, it wraps after 2147 seconds or 36 minutes.

clock() is not required to be thread-safe.


This example demonstrates the difference between clock() time and real time

#include <iostream>
#include <chrono>
#include <ctime>
#include <thread>
// the function f() does some time-consuming work
void f()
    volatile double d;
    for(int n=0; n<10000; ++n)
       for(int m=0; m<10000; ++m)
           d += d*n*m;
int main()
    std::clock_t c_start = std::clock();
    auto t_start = std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
    std::thread t1(f); 
    std::thread t2(f); // f() is called on two threads
    std::clock_t c_end = std::clock();
    auto t_end = std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
    std::cout << "CPU time used: "
              << 1000.0 * (c_end-c_start) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC
              << " ms\n";
    std::cout << "Wall clock time passed: "
              << std::chrono::duration_cast<std::chrono::milliseconds>(t_end - t_start).count()
              << " ms\n";


CPU time used: 1520 ms
Wall clock time passed: 769 ms

See also

Template:cpp/chrono/c/dcl list ctimeTemplate:cpp/chrono/c/dcl list time
C documentation for clock