Node.js is commonly touted as being faster than C++, but the truth of the matter is, the answer is not so simple. In many cases, Node.js has a performance edge, but it also depends on the specific application, workload, and environment being used.
When we measure the speed of Node.js against C++, we must evaluate the performance of each language in several categories such as single-threaded, asynchronous, and multi-threaded applications.
Single-threaded programs tend to be faster with Node.js compared to C++, since Node.js is based on an event-driven design that allows it to handle multiple requests concurrently. The downside is that when the number of requests increases, the performance of Node.js can suffer due to its single-threaded design. On the other hand, C++ has the advantage of being compiled as a single-threaded application and can also be optimized for execution speed.
In asynchronous applications that make heavy use of asynchronous programming techniques, Node.js tends to outperform C++. This is because Node.js is designed to take advantage of non-blocking I/O calls, which results in faster response times and better performance. C++ can still use asynchronous programming techniques, but it relies on an inefficient system of message passing to harness asynchronous behavior.
Finally, for multi-threaded applications, the comparison of the two languages is more nuanced. C++ has an edge in terms of runtime performance because it is compiled language and its compiler can take advantage of multi-threading capabilities. However, Node.js has the advantage of being a runtime environment and as a result, its developers can leverage platform specific optimizations that can yield a performance gain.
In summary, the speed of Node.js and C++ depends highly on the type of application and workload, and it is difficult to definitively state that one language is faster than the other. Node.js has the advantage in terms of asynchronous applications and C++ leads in terms of single-threaded and multi-threaded applications; however, this is not always the case. Ultimately, it’s best to evaluate both languages for the specific application and workload prior to making a decision.