decimal vs double! - Which one should I use and when?

asked May 9, 2015 in Asp.Net by rajesh
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2 Answers

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For money, always decimal. It's why it was created.

If numbers must add up correctly or balance, use decimal. This includes any financial storage or calculations, scores, or other numbers that people might do by hand.

If the exact value of numbers is not important, use double for speed. This includes graphics, physics or other physical sciences computations where there is already a "number of significant digits".

answered May 9, 2015 by rajesh
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decimal for when you work with values in the range of 10^(+/-28) and where you have expectations about the behaviour based on base 10 representations - basically money.

double for when you need relative accuracy (i.e. losing precision in the trailing digits on large values is not a problem) across wildly different magnitudes - double covers more than 10^(+/-300). Scientific calculations are the best example here.

which type is suitable for money computations?
decimal, decimal, decimal

Accept no substitutes.

The most important factor is that double, being implemented as a binary fraction, cannot accurately represent many decimal fractions (like 0.1) at all and its overall number of digits is smaller since it is 64-bit wide vs. 128-bit for decimal. Finally, financial applications often have to follow specific rounding modes (sometimes mandated by law). decimal supports these; double does not.
answered May 9, 2015 by rajesh