Performance Guidelines

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Consider using Any() to determine whether an IEnumerable<T> is empty (AV1800)

When a member or local function returns an IEnumerable<T> or other collection class that does not expose a Count property, use the Any() extension method rather than Count() to determine whether the collection contains items. If you do use Count(), you risk that iterating over the entire collection might have a significant impact (such as when it really is an IQueryable<T> to a persistent store).

Note: If you return an IEnumerable<T> to prevent changes from calling code as explained in AV1130, and you’re developing in .NET 4.5 or higher, consider the new read-only classes.

Only use async for low-intensive long-running activities (AV1820)

The usage of async won’t automagically run something on a worker thread like Task.Run does. It just adds the necessary logic to allow releasing the current thread, and marshal the result back on that same thread if a long-running asynchronous operation has completed. In other words, use async only for I/O bound operations.

Prefer Task.Run or Task.Factory.StartNew for CPU-intensive activities (AV1825)

If you do need to execute a CPU bound operation, use Task.Run to offload the work to a thread from the Thread Pool. For long-running operations use Task.Factory.StartNew with TaskCreationOptions.LongRunning parameter to create a new thread. Remember that you have to marshal the result back to your main thread manually.

Beware of mixing up async/await with Task.Wait (AV1830)

await does not block the current thread but simply instructs the compiler to generate a state-machine. However, Task.Wait blocks the thread and may even cause deadlocks (see AV1835).

Beware of async/await deadlocks in special environments (e.g. WPF) (AV1835)

Consider the following asynchronous method:

private async Task<string> GetDataAsync()
	var result = await MyWebService.GetDataAsync();
	return result.ToString();

Now when a button event handler is implemented like this:

public async void Button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
	var data = GetDataAsync().Result;
	textBox1.Text = data;

You will likely end up with a deadlock. Why? Because the Result property getter will block until the async operation has completed, but since an async method could automatically marshal the result back to the original thread (depending on the current SynchronizationContext or TaskScheduler) and WPF uses a single-threaded synchronization context, they’ll be waiting on each other. A similar problem can also happen on UWP, WinForms, classical ASP.NET (not ASP.NET Core) or a Windows Store C#/XAML app. Read more about this here.

Await ValueTask and ValueTask<T> directly and exactly once (AV1840)

The consumption of the newer and performance related ValueTask and ValueTask<T> types is more restrictive than consuming Task or Task<T>. Starting with .NET Core 2.1 the ValueTask<T> is not only able to wrap the result T or a Task<T>, with this version it is also possible to wrap a IValueTaskSource / IValueTaskSource<T> which gives the developer extra support for reuse and pooling. This enhanced support might lead to unwanted side-effects, as the ValueTask-returning developer might reuse the underlying object after it got awaited. The safest way to consume a ValueTask / ValueTask<T> is to directly await it once, or call .AsTask() to get a Task / Task<T> to overcome these limitations.

// OK / GOOD
int bytesRead = await stream.ReadAsync(buffer, cancellationToken);

// OK / GOOD
int bytesRead = await stream.ReadAsync(buffer, cancellationToken).ConfigureAwait(false);

// OK / GOOD - Get task if you want to overcome the limitations exposed by ValueTask / ValueTask<T>
Task<int> task = stream.ReadAsync(buffer, cancellationToken).AsTask();

Other usage patterns might still work (like saving the ValueTask / ValueTask<T> into a variable and awaiting later), but may lead to misuse eventually. Not awaiting a ValueTask / ValueTask<T> may also cause unwanted side-effects. Read more about ValueTask / ValueTask<T> and the correct usage here.