# data.table is Really Good at Sorting

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The `data.table`

`R`

package is *really* good at sorting. Below is a comparison of it versus `dplyr`

for a range of problem sizes.

The graph is using a log-log scale (so things are very compressed). But `data.table`

is routinely 7 times faster than `dplyr`

. The ratio of run times is shown below.

Notice on the above semi-log plot the run time ratio is growing roughly linearly. This makes sense: `data.table`

uses a radix sort which has the potential to perform in near linear time (faster than the `n log(n)`

lower bound known comparison sorting) for a range of problems (also we are only showing example sorting times, not worst-case sorting times).

In fact, if we divide the `y`

in the above graph by `log(rows)`

we get something approaching a constant.

The above is consistent with `data.table`

not only being faster than `dplyr`

, but also having a fundamentally different asymptotic running time.

Performance like the above is one of the reasons you should *strongly* consider `data.table`

for your `R`

projects.

All details of the timings can be found here.

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