What is the fastest language for multithreading?

Mar 17, 2024 ยท 3 min read

Multithreading can provide major performance improvements by allowing multiple threads to execute code concurrently. However, realizing the full benefits requires choosing an optimal language and effectively managing thread usage. This guide explores the fastest languages for multithreading and key optimization techniques.

What Makes a Language Fast for Multithreading?

Several factors influence multithreading speed:

  • Native support: Languages with built-in multithreading constructs allow easier thread management. C++, Java, and C# have robust native threading libraries.
  • Lightweight threads: Creating and managing threads has overhead. Using lightweight threads reduces this overhead. Go's goroutines and Erlang's actors are very lightweight.
  • Data sharing: Efficiently sharing data between threads is key for performance. Languages with shared memory (Java, C++) can be faster than message passing (Erlang).
  • Runtime: JIT compilation and smart garbage collection improves multithreaded runtime performance. Java, JavaScript, and .NET Excel here.
  • The Contenders: C++, Java, and Go

    Based on the criteria above, top choices are:

  • C++ - Native threads, lightweight with boost libraries, allows memory sharing, and efficient runtimes. Complex to program.
  • Java - Easy native threading, lighter weight threads than C++, shared memory, robust runtimes. More overhead than C++.
  • Go - Goroutines provide super lightweight threads, runtime handles scaling well. But lacks shared memory.
  • Honorable Mentions

  • Rust - Lightweight threads, no runtime, guarantees thread safety. Can match C++ speed with some extra programming effort.
  • Erlang - Outstanding scalability with super lightweight actor model processes. But message passing queueing can limit raw speed.
  • Key Optimization Techniques

    Here are 5 key ways to get maximum multithreading performance in your code:

    1. Size thread pools: Creating threads has overhead. Reuse thread pools rather than continually creating threads. But beware of resource contention with too few threads.
    2. Minimize shared state: More shared state means more locking overhead to prevent data races. Design code to minimize sharing where possible.
    3. Avoid unnecessary blocking: Blocking threads slows everything down. Only block where absolutely necessary and minimize blocking time.
    4. Scale up and down: Scale thread pools based on workload demands to right-size resource usage. Concurrency limits can automatically handle scaling threads.
    5. Profile and tune: Profile on target deployment platforms to catch thread contention issues. Tune concurrency limits and pools over time.

    Here is Go code optimizing a thumbnail generator with the techniques above:

    // Size thread pool 
    var throttle = make(chan int, 100) 
    func generateThumbnails() {
      for _, img := range images {
        // Minimize blocking 
        go func(img Image) {
            // Avoid shared state
            dst := createEmptyThumbnail() 
            // Scale thread usage
            throttle <- 1
            defer func() { <-throttle }()
            // Do work
            generateThumbnail(img, dst)

    Key Takeaways

  • C++, Java and Go provide the fastest multithreading due to lightweight threads, shared memory, and robust runtimes.
  • Optimize though thread pools, minimizing shared state, reducing blocking, scaling correctly, and profiling.
  • Rust and Erlang also provide excellent thread safety and scalability.
  • The right language and optimization provides large multithreading speedups. Consider starting with Go for its simple concurrency model before scaling up to Java or C++. Profile across platforms and workloads to ensure scaling threads maximizes real world performance.

    Browse by tags:

    Browse by language:

    The easiest way to do Web Scraping

    Get HTML from any page with a simple API call. We handle proxy rotation, browser identities, automatic retries, CAPTCHAs, JavaScript rendering, etc automatically for you

    Try ProxiesAPI for free

    curl "http://api.proxiesapi.com/?key=API_KEY&url=https://example.com"

    <!doctype html>
        <title>Example Domain</title>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
        <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" />


    Don't leave just yet!

    Enter your email below to claim your free API key: