Performance Counter

What Does Performance Counter Mean?

A performance counter in .NET programming is a way for developers to get an idea of how their programs are actually performing. Performance counter components are a class in .NET that provides a number of measurable performance metrics. These measure the system state of any given application or part of the Windows operating system.


Techopedia Explains Performance Counter

Performance counters are a form of performance monitoring and debugging tool provided by .NET to aid performance testing of applications. These count a number of actions that both the application and the operating system perform.

These counters include:

  • Number of exceptions thrown
  • Number of filters per second
  • Loading time
  • Current classes loaded
  • Number of current and logical threads

These and other performance counters should give developers a sense of how their programs are performing in a more systematic way than just loading and interacting with them. A developer typically looks for “hot spots,” places where the program runs more slowly than in others. By seeing where the bottlenecks are in their code, they can tune programs to run more efficiently.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.