In Ruby, I’ve seen two ways of converting an array into a hash. Usually, this is right after having to map through every key/value pair, which comes back with an array that looks like:

array_of_pairs = [
  [ :key1, "value2" ],
  [ :key2, "value2" ],
  [ :key2, "value2" ],

I’ve seen two ways of converting this back into a hash: Hash[array_of_pairs] vs array_of_pairs.to_h

I wondered if one is faster than another or if it was a matter of syntax. To decide if there’s a hard reason I should choose one over the other I ran a benchmark. I also tried using an imperative loop, which is also common.

require 'benchmark'

s = 100
n = 100_000 do |x|'hash') do
    a = { |i| [:"x#{i}", rand] }
    n.times { h = Hash[a] }
  end'to_h') do
    a = { |i| [:"x#{i}", rand] }
    n.times { h = a.to_h }
  end'imperative') do
    a = { |i| [:"x#{i}", rand] }
    n.times do
      h = {}
      a.each do |(k,v)|
        h[k] = v

Hash[] and to_h performed similarly, enough such that it really doesn’t matter one way or the other. Using a loop was a little less than twice as slow.

                 user     system      total        real
hash         0.730000   0.020000   0.750000 (  0.744900)
to_h         0.680000   0.020000   0.700000 (  0.708484)
imperative   1.220000   0.010000   1.230000 (  1.228013)

I chose to do this on a reasonably sized hash of 100 elements. I tried this on a hash with 10,000 elements and got similar results but took 100x as long, which is expected.