Current Time in Milliseconds and Nanoseconds

This section provides a tutorial example on how to obtain the current time in milliseconds and nanoseconds using currentTimeMillis() and nanoTime() methods.

If you want to measure how long some code takes to execute, you can use System.currentTimeMillis() and System.nanoTime() methods. They returns the current time in milliseconds and in nanoseconds.

Here is tutorial example program to check the performance of the Math.sqrt() method:

/**
 * SystemCurrentTime.java
 * Copyright (c) 2010, HerongYang.com, All Rights Reserved.
 */
class SystemCurrentTime {
   public static void main(String[] a) {
      java.io.PrintStream out = System.out;
      out.println("Performance for 1000 operationonds:");
      out.println("   in milliseconds: "+milliseconds(1000));
      out.println("   in nanoseconds: "+nanoseconds(1000));

      out.println("Performance for 1000000 operationonds:");
      out.println("   in milliseconds: "+milliseconds(1000000));
      out.println("   in nanoseconds: "+nanoseconds(1000000));
   }
   public static long milliseconds(long max) {
      // Current time in milliseconds
      long time1 = System.currentTimeMillis();
      for (int i=0; i<max; i++){
        double input = 7.0;
        double output = Math.sqrt(input);
      }
      long time2 = System.currentTimeMillis();
      return time2 - time1;
   }
   public static long nanoseconds(long max) {      
      // Current time in nanoseconds
      long time1 = System.nanoTime();
      for (int i=0; i<max; i++){
        double input = 7.0;
        double output = Math.sqrt(input);
      }
      long time2 = System.nanoTime();
      return time2 - time1;
   }
}

When executed on my Windows 7 system with JDK 1.7.0, I got this result:

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 23423
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 8
   in nanoseconds: 7679683

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 23011
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 7
   in nanoseconds: 7661191

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 24655
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 7
   in nanoseconds: 7526821

The test result tells me that:

As a comparison, here is the result of the same program executed on my Windows XP system with JDK 1.6.0 in 2010:

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 144991
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 62
   in nanoseconds: 31467128

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 144990
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 63
   in nanoseconds: 41659764

C:\herong\jvm>java SystemCurrentTime
Performance for 1000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 0
   in nanoseconds: 144991
Performance for 1000000 operationonds:
   in milliseconds: 62
   in nanoseconds: 48716806

Note that my Windows 7 computer in 2013 is about 10 faster than my Windows XP computer in 2010!

Last update: 2014.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Downloading and Installing JDK 1.8.0 on Windows

 Downloading and Installing JDK 1.7.0 on Windows

 java.lang.Runtime Class - The JVM Instance

java.lang.System Class - The Operating System

 What Is java.lang.System?

 Standard Input, Output, and Error Streams

Current Time in Milliseconds and Nanoseconds

 Accessing System Environment Variables

 Getting and Adding System Properties

 ClassLoader Class - Class Loaders

 Class Class - Class Reflections

 Sun's JVM - Java HotSpot VM

 JRockit JVM 28.2.7 by Oracle Corporation

 JVM Runtime Data Areas

 Memory Management and Garbage Collectors

 Garbage Collection Tests

 JVM Stack, Frame and Stack Overflow

 Thread Testing Program and Result

 CPU Impact of Multi-Thread Applications

 I/O Impact of Multi-Thread Applications

 CDS (Class Data Sharing)

 Micro Benchmark Runner and JVM Options

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "int" Operations

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "long" Operations

 Micro Benchmark Tests in JIT Compilation Mode

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "float" and "double" Operations

 Outdated Tutorials

 References

 PDF Printing Version