Updated March 4, 2023
Difference Between C++ and C#
C# is a multi-paradigm general object-oriented programming language and is designed for common language infrastructure (CLI) language. The NET framework helps build different applications such as web, window, embedded, distributed, and database applications. C++ is a general object-oriented programming language with imperative and generic programming features. It is an extension of the C programming language. C++ is an intermediate language as it has both high level and low-level language features.
What is C#?
C# was developed as the C-like object-oriented language, but later, it was released as NET with C# to avoid trademark issues. It is also called “C- sharp”. It improved many existing C and C++ features such as strict Boolean data type, managing inaccessible object memory – garbage collector and default conversions that are safe.
What is C++?
C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup. It can be called as hybrid language as we can write code in both C and C++ style. Initially, it was called “C with classes” as classes are an addition to the existing C language but renamed to C++ later. It is mostly used in system software development, driver, embedded and client-server application development. One of the main reasons programmers opting for C++ due to that it interfaces well with other programming languages and high performance. It influences many other programming languages such as C#, Java, and D, etc.
Head To Head Comparison Between C++ and C# (Infographics)
Below is the top 7 difference between C++ vs C#
Key differences between C++ and C#
Both are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major difference:
- C++ is not a pure object-oriented programming language, whereas C# is a pure object-oriented programming language.
- C++ doesn’t support bound checking for arrays, whereas C# supports bound checking of arrays.
- In C++, a programmer can use pointers anywhere in the program, whereas, in C#, programmers can use pointers only in unsafe mode.
- In the C++ switch statement, the decision variable can’t be a string, whereas it can be a string in the C# switch statement.
- C++ doesn’t have the support of automatic garbage collection, whereas C# has support for the automatic garbage collector for memory management.
- In the C++ programming language, the foreach loop is not supported, whereas in the C# foreach loop is supported.
- C++ programming language supports multiple inheritances, whereas C# programming language doesn’t support multiple inheritances.
- In the C++ programming language, access modifiers are private, public, protected, whereas, in the C# programming language, access modifiers are private, public, protected, internal and protected internal.
- Using a C++ programming language, the programmer can develop standalone applications, whereas, in the C# programming language, a programmer can’t develop standalone applications.
- In the C++ programming language, the programmer can write any code provided syntax is correct, but it causes issues to an operating system like crashes, whereas, in C# programming language, it alerts programmers about compiler warnings.
- C++ programming language supports a wide variety of platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac, whereas C# programming language supports only Windows and Microsoft is working towards cross-platform support.
- C++ programming language is used for application development. There is direct interaction with hardware and better performance requirements, where C# programming is used in web, desktop-based applications and where performance doesn’t matter.
- As C++ programming language is a compiled language, it converts source code into binary files, which are in a lightweight, whereas in C# programming language also converts source code into binary files, but they have more overhead and libraries before compiling, so their size is huge compared to C++ binary files.
- C++ programming language supports macros, bit fields, whereas C# programming language doesn’t support macros and bit fields.
C++ vs C# Comparison Table
The primary comparison is discussed below:
|The basis of comparison||
|Size of Binaries||C++ is a compiled language that will convert our code into binary files, which are light in weight. So C++ binary files are more lightweight than C#.||C# is also a compiled language that converts user code into binary files, but it has a lot of overhead and libraries included before it compiles. So binary files generated by C# is larger than C++.|
|Performance||C++ has a widely-used programming language when high-level languages are not efficient, as C++ code is faster than other programming languages. For example, network analysis applications need to be developed in C++ as performance matters here.||C# code is slower than C++ code comparatively as it has overhead and a lot of libraries before compiling only. We can develop applications in C# where we don’t bother about the performance.|
|Garbage Collection||In C++ programming, the programmer needs to handle memory allocation and de-allocation as it doesn’t have automatic garbage collection functionality.||In C#, the programmer doesn’t bother about memory management as it has an automatic garbage collector that de-allocates memory pointed by objects which are not in use.|
|Platform Target||C++ programming language has wide platform support like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.||The C# programming language is supported only for Windows, and Microsoft is working for the cross-platform support of C#.|
|Types of Projects||C++ programming language can be used in projects where there will be direct interaction with hardware and need better performance such as server-side applications, device driver development, embedded, networking and gaming.||C# programming language is mostly used for web, mobile, and desktop-based applications.|
|Compiler warnings||In a C++ programming language, a programmer can write any code until syntax is correct, but it might cause issues to the operating system; even though it is a flexible language, the programmer needs to alert with compiler warnings.||In the C# programming language, a programmer can write code for what they want to develop without concern about these warnings as it will alert the programmer, if any, without allowing users to proceed further.|
|Standalone applications||Using the C++ programming language, programmers can develop standalone applications.||Using the C# programming language, programmers can’t develop a standalone application.|
Finally, It’s an overview of the difference between C++ and C# programming languages. As both programmers will have different skill sets. So based on the project requirements, we need to decide which language we need to use. For projects like web and desktop application development, we need to use top-level languages such as C#. Whereas C++ can be used for development where low-level programming is required, i.e. accessing hardware and for efficient and fast application development.
This has been a guide to the top differences between C++ vs C#. Here we also discuss the key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –