# Tutorial :What is the difference between Switch and IF?

### Question:

I know this may be simple question but want to know every ones opinion on this.

what is the difference between switch and IF function in PHP?? What I can see is where ever "switch" function uses "IF" function also applies there..correct me if I am wrong..

Or any performance wise difference between two??

### Solution:1

Or any performance wise difference between two??

Forget about the performance difference on this level- there may be a microscopic one, but you'll feel it only when doing hundreds of thousands of operations, if at all. `switch` is a construct for better code readability and maintainability:

``switch (\$value)    {   case 1:   .... break;   case 2:   .... break;   case 3:   .... break;   case 4:   .... break;   case 5:   .... break;   default:  .... break;   }  ``

is mostly much more clean and readable than

``if (\$value == 1) { .... }  elseif (\$value == 2) { .... }  elseif (\$value == 3) { .... }  elseif (\$value == 4) { .... }  elseif (\$value == 5) { .... }  else { .... }  ``

Edit: Inspired by Kuchen's comment, for completeness' sake some benchmarks (results will vary, it's a live one). Keep in mind that these are tests that run 1,000 times. The difference for a couple of `if`'s is totally negligeable.

• if and elseif (using ==) 174 Âµs
• if, elseif and else (using ==) 223 Âµs
• if, elseif and else (using ===) 130 Âµs
• switch / case 183 Âµs
• switch / case / default 215 Âµs

Conclusion (from phpbench.com):

Using a switch/case or if/elseif is almost the same. Note that the test is unsing === (is exactly equal to) and is slightly faster then using == (is equal to).

### Solution:2

If you have simple conditions, like if something equates to something else, then a switch is ideal.

For example, instead of doing the following:

``if(\$bla == 1) {    } elseif(\$bla == 2) {    } elseif(\$bla == 3) {    } etc...  ``

It's better to do it like this:

``switch(\$bla) {    case 1:      ...      break;    case 2:      ...      break;    case 3:      ...      break;    default:      ...      break;  }  ``

Alternatively, if you have complex conditions, you should use an if/else.

I think that this is all a matter of opinion though - some people just don't use switch statements at all, and stick with if/else.

### Solution:3

No, you are right.
There are not much difference between these statements.
You may use one you like.

Just bear in mind that if you have to use more than 3-4 consecutive conditions - that means you most likely have design faults.

Usually you can substitute such a statement with a loop or with more clear application design.

### Solution:4

Don't forget, though, that a switch does not necessarily work as a simple if statement. Remembering that a switch does not require a break at the end of each case and leaving that break off allows you to 'fall through' to the next case, too, can allow some interesting and somewhat complex 'ifs'.

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