SQL SERVER – Difference Between GETDATE and SYSDATETIME

Sometime something so simple skips our mind. I never knew the difference between GETDATE and SYSDATETIME. I just ran simple query as following and realized the difference.

SELECT GETDATE() fn_GetDate, SYSDATETIME() fn_SysDateTime

In case of GETDATE the precision is till miliseconds and in case of SYSDATETIME the precision is till nanoseconds.

SQL SERVER - Difference Between GETDATE and SYSDATETIME getdate_sysdatetime

Now the questions is to you – did you know this? Be honest and please share your views. I already accepted that I did not know this in very first line.

This applies to SQL Server 2008 only.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://www.SQLAuthority.com),

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59 Comments. Leave new

  • i knew both function but even i used this,but i did not know exact difference,i searched on google and i found it here .

    Reply
  • getdate () 2014-12-31 13:12:19.000
    SYSDATETIME() 2014-12-31 13:12:19.0003601

    Difference is after the miliseconds getdate() only 3 digit but sysdatetime() above three digit

    Reply
  • GETDATE returns a datetime datatype which only has precision of 3-4 ms whereas SYSDATETIME() returns a datetime2(7) datatype.

    Reply
  • i just got to know but for more details i found out your blog and we are on same page :) Thx Pinal!

    Reply
  • Thanks you for sharing the info. Yes, I too don’t know the difference before. Could you please provide the information on when to use GETDATE() and SYSDATETIME() functions?

    Reply
  • I just discovered why I need getdate() and not sysdatetime(). I needed to determine that line items on a customer order were updated as part of a single event. Our programmer originally used sysdatetime() which proved too accurate and the line items could would sometimes look like they were two different update events. I asked him to change to getdate() and this fixed this problem.

    Reply
  • I knew there must be a difference.

    Reply
  • but didnt know the difference AT ALL. thanks

    Reply
  • Nathan Evans
    March 6, 2017 4:24 pm

    I did very recently.

    However, it has made my rating of this site increase dramatically as I have a massive amount of respect for anyone, however senior they are in their field, that can admit that they didn’t know something – as that is all of us – I know I learn something new every day.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Rebecca Michener
    March 17, 2017 11:32 pm

    I didn’t know the difference and I was trying to decide if my using GETDATE() was incorrect for a particular use in a trigger and stored procedures. Because of your answer, I can now safely say I want GETDATE() and not the other way around. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Great blog, I didn’t know but should haven’t know better since each return different type. I always learn something new with your blog.

    Reply
  • Thank you for pointing out subtle difference between GETDATE() and SYSDATETIME() and explaining it visually clear.

    Reply

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