Andrei, I read your original question as "what should I use if I'm receiving an unknown number of strings I have to concat together". For this situation, as well as a very efficient seek and replace, StringBuilder is the way to go. Here are metrics that indicate the magic number you are looking for is about 8 concats: http://www.heikniemi.net/hc/archives/000124.html Another, non-performance-oriented point: which of the following two statements is more likely to fail the first time you code it and require debugging? A. string sql = "SELECT * FROM customers WHERE fname = '" + fname + "' AND '" lname = '" + lname + "'" + " AND title LIKE %" + title + "% " + "ORDER BY 1"; B. StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(); sb.Append("SELECT * FROM customers WHERE fname = '@fname' AND lname = '@lname' AND title LIKE %@title% ORDER BY 1"); sb.Replace("@fname", fname); sb.Replace("@lname", lname); sb.Replace("@title", title); Microsoft best practices simply state that you should think of the StringBuilder as an aggregator and consider it the best choice when the number of runtime concatenations in unknown. Darren Shaffer Principal Software Architect Connected Innovation Microsoft .NET Compact Framework MVP darrens@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (303) 886-1932 -----Original Message----- From: comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andrei P. Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:02 PM To: comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [CoMoDev] Re: Garbage collection Dick, You are absolutely right, that StringBuilder comes with a price. I the days of good old COM we did a lot of performance experiments and come to a result that for example it takes 30 microsecond to create a COM object (on my Pentium those days) and we made our design decisions keeping in mind those results. So I believe there is a performance penalty for the SB creation in oppose to just allocation a piece of memory for a string. Also if string variable is declared in a function, it is so called automatic variable and goes to a stack and does not need GC at all. In this case the only overhead comparing to say Int32 variable is a stack allocation operation. Am I correct here about .NET? Java? Strings are immutable in any language. And there is an overhead if one uses them. For some reason Microsoft started to emphasize it in .NET (like Sun in Java). Looks like in VB6 it was not so, but it was. So my point is: there should be a rule like: use strings if you are concatenating up to X of them, if more, use SB. I am determined to find this X experimentally on the device, just need a couple of free hours. I wish I had time to disassemble my future tests and see what is actually happening behind the scenes. I usually concatenate up to ten strings (example: socket request) hoping that SB would imply a bigger overhead. My heaviest multiple-string operation is parsing a socket response using string.Split(). My code is so much shorter and more attractive there, then using Substring() and other string operations. That's where I'm getting sometimes up to a hundred strings array. I may reconsider my algorithms when I'll know X. Andrei -----Original Message----- From: comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of dick_grier Grier Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:55 AM To: comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [CoMoDev] Re: Garbage collection Hi Andrei, In general, I agree with Darren. I use StringBuilder when concatenating, with one exception (and this can be important, IMO). The exception is when you must parse the resultant string (for whaterver reason), immediately after concatenation. If you have to parse, you must convert the StringBuilder object to a String, and the result is that the use of the StringBuilder actually can incure a performance penalty (especially if the parsing process involve creation of multiple substrings). However, if the job simply involves appending new data, and perhaps occasional cleanup, then StringBuilder is the way to go. Dick Richard Grier (Microsoft MVP - Visual Basic) Hard & Software 12962 West Louisiana Avenue Lakewood, CO 80228 303-986-2179 (voice) 303-593-9315 (fax) Author of Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Serial Communications, 4th Edition ISBN 1-890422-28-2 (391 pages) published July 2004. For faster service, contact the publisher at http://www.mabry.com/vbpgser4.