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Derick Rethans' Blog: Collecting Garbage: Performance Considerations

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 14 September 2010.
PHPDeveloper

Derick Rethans has posted the third part of his series looking at the garbage collection handling in PHP (the first two parts are here: one, two). In this last part of the series, he'll look at some of the possible performance impacts the garbage collection functionality can have in your applications.

In the previous two parts of this column we have explored PHP's take on circular referenced variables and a mechanism that allows to clean up this particular problem with reference counted variable tracking. Of course, the implementation of the garbage collection mechanism in PHP 5.3 has some performance impacts. In this third and last part of the column I will cover the performance implications of the addition of this garbage collection mechanism.

He looks at the two possible places that the collection could have an impact - memory usage and run-time delays when the garbage collection routine is fired off and does its job. As before, each of the topics is accompanied by bits of code and a few graphs showing the differences between handling in PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3 as well as a handy way to get a bit more information out of PHP (using the GC_BENCH CFLAG when compiling).,/p