How much time takes to print each sample using Serial.print and analogRead in each iteration?

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
#define Sensor A0
void setup() {
void loop() { 
  Serial.println(analogRead(Sensor));// RUN TIME??
  • It depends on how full the buffer is and how big the value being printed is.
    – Majenko
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:19
  • @Majenko The sensor output is between 0 and 100 in serial printing.
    – Mehran
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


It is quite complex to work out how "long" it will take to print. Why?

  1. If there is room in the serial buffer then the text just gets placed in that buffer. Takes almost no time at all to print.
  2. You are printing a variable length string. The longer the string the longer it will take to print if the buffer is full.


  • Each character consists of 10 symbols (8 data bits plus 1 start and 1 stop bit).
  • Characters are transmitted at 250000 symbols per second
  • Thus each character takes 1/(250000 / 10), or 40 microseconds to transfer through the actual wire.

So printing the number 100, which also has \r\n appended to it (characters 13 and 10) would need 5 characters. If the buffer is full it will take about 5*0.00004s = 200µs. If the buffer isn't full, it will take a fraction of that to just copy the data into the serial buffer.


1000 rounds of analogRead() takes about 100ms.

sustained serial writes will depend mostly on the baud rate picked.

  • Thanks, do you have a document indicating CPU cycles for different operations?
    – Mehran
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 17:28

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