Key Differences between Rust and C++

Learn about the Key Differences between Rust and C++.
Submitted by IncludeHelp, on OCT 28, 2022

Rust Vs CPP (1)

Source: Incredibuild

Rust and C++ are both programming languages, but with significant differences in their design. For the most part, Rust is seen as a more modern language than C++. The general opinion corroborates this sentiment: Rust's syntax is much nicer than C++'s. This article highlights those key differences so you can learn more about them before choosing to use one of these widely-used programming languages.

What is Rust Used For?

Rust is an open-source programming language that was first developed at Mozilla Research. It was developed to make it easier to write concurrent and safe code. Rust offers support for concurrency and has fast low-level memory access. Its main designs provide code stability, memory safety and concurrency support. It is also designed to protect from memory errors such as data races.

The most innovative feature of Rust is memory management. Rust uses a combination of compile-time and dynamic memory tracking to reduce errors. Compile-time memory tracking, done by the compiler, helps solve some problems that are not solvable by dynamic tracking. But in some cases, dynamic tracking is better than compile-time tracking because dynamic tracing can be used to detect data races, while this cannot be done through static compilation.

What is C++ and Why Use it?

C++ is a high-level programming language renowned for its effectiveness, dependability, and performance. C++ code is utilized for programs that need high speed and concurrency due to its complicated syntax. The object-oriented method used by C++ provides us with a clear understanding of the complexity of the programs. It enables us to reuse our code, improving readability and lowering development costs.

C++ is user-friendly and portable, making it possible to create applications that run on various systems and giving users a great deal of control over a system's memory. C++ is also a very good language for working efficiently and has a built-in garbage collector that automatically collects memory that has outlived its use in your program. The C++ compiler gives you the option to choose what objects are allocated.


Why Should We Compare Them?

Comparing the two is essential since it helps us understand the languages better and helps to evaluate the pros and cons of each language. Comparing Rust to C++ is also helpful in learning how each language can be applied to solving problems. Looking at the features of these languages can allow you to decide whether you will opt for C++ or rust development services.

Key Difference of Rust and C++

Let's explore the major differences between Rust and C++:

1. Syntax

Rust and C++ both have a similar syntax in some sense, but the similarity ends there. Rust is designed with a more modern syntax than we generally see in modern-day languages. In addition, many of the concepts applied by Rust were implemented for the first time in Rust, making it much easier to learn how to code with it compared to C++. For example, the way Rust handles variables is much simpler. It takes a very complicated concept and simplifies it for use in programming.

2. Zero overhead abstraction

Rust and C++ both offer zero-overhead abstraction. This means they both enable us to choose a higher level of abstraction while still accessing lower-level features since they do not have any overhead. An example of zero-overhead abstraction would be Rust's type-system. This is particularly useful when porting code between different systems or when we need to switch between high and low-level features.

3. Memory safety

Rust offers increased memory safety which is a feature not seen in C++. The C++ language for example, has support for memory allocation and has to deal with low-level errors, which can lead to crashes. Rust, on the other hand, uses a compile-time analysis and builds runtime checks that can detect data races. This means that Rust is much safer than C++.

4. Ease of Use

If you are asking, “should I learn rust?” Yes, you should. Rust is easier to use than C++, much as it is easier to learn due to its modern syntax. Programming in Rust is fun since it uses syntax that can be read by people more easily, and the compiler provides hints for code creation. For instance , in Rust, we can create a new variable without having to specify the type of that variable. This means that the programmer's time is saved since he does not have to spend time working on reading the code.

5. User Interface

When it comes to creating advanced user interfaces, however, one might not be able to do so with C++ but can with Rust. Rust has an advanced package for creating user interfaces, a feature not available for C++. Creating GUI applications using Rust is easier, and the programmer need not build them from scratch.


Rust Vs C++ Performance: The Essential Features

Rust does not have a very low runtime latency compared to that of C++. In Rust, objects are not constructed until they are actually needed by the program, and successive calls to construct the same object may result in compaction overheads. This means that in C++, individual objects can be constructed once and then stored in memory while having their own memory address.

Programs in C++ are compiled and can be shipped to an end-user just after compilation, while Rust needs to be compiled online. This means that programs written in Rust take a lot more time than those written in C++ to reach an end user.

Some of the selected essential features of C++ include below:

  • Open and dynamic memory access
  • Object-oriented
  • Strict type checking
  • Support for advanced user interfaces
  • Comprehensive support for libraries

Rust has the following essential features:

  • Zero-overhead abstraction
  • Memory safety
  • Easy to use syntax.
  • Experienced and minimalist community
  • No runtime overhead
Rust Vs CPP (2)

Source: Ideamotive


Rust and C++ both have their strong points and their weak points. Rust is easier to learn, has a very extensive community, is memory safe, has support for advanced user interfaces, is easy to use and offers the flexibility of zero-overhead abstraction. On the other hand, C++ is more advanced regarding user interfaces, offers good performance with easy access to hardware resources, has extensive libraries available and supports multi-threading programming.

Given a choice, most developers would opt for the ease of use provided by Rust. However, it is important to remember that Rust is still a relatively new programming language, and some bugs are still present in it. Rust does not have the support in terms of libraries as C++ does. The choice of which language to use would ultimately be a matter of the specific needs of your project.

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