Why does println! print different outputs for f32 and f64?

Given this code:

let a: f64 = 0.1 + 0.2;
let b: f32 = 0.1 + 0.2;
let c: f32 = 0.30000000000000004;
let d: f32 = 0.300000012;

println!("{}", a); // 0.30000000000000004
println!("{}", b); // 0.3
println!("{}", c); // 0.3
println!("{}", d); // 0.3

Why does Rust only print the full floating point value (0.30000000000000004) for f64?

I know that in memory, variables a and b will not be exactly equal to 0.3. But I can't understand why Rust prints as it is in memory for f64, but for f32 it uses a different approach and only prints 0.3.

As I understand it Rust will round floats as much as possible while still being able to roundtrip to the original value. In the cases of b, c and d the in memory representation of the float is close enough to 0.3 that it can display it as 0.3 without loosing any precision. However for a there is a slight rounding error making it just a tiny bit larger such that 0.3 would result in a different float value and as such it has to show the extra decimals.


You might also like this visualisation if the raw float bits to see why 0.1 + 0.2 as f32 gives 0.3, but not for f64: Rust Playground

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Here's my favourite site for understanding this stuff:
0.3_f32 https://float.exposed/0x3e99999a
0.3_f64 https://float.exposed/0x3fd3333333333333

In f32

The closest f32s to 0.1, 0.2, and their sum in the reals are exactly

   + 2.0000000298023223876953125  ​×10⁻¹

Whereas the f32 closest to 0.3 and the values before and after it are exactly

prev: 2.999999821186065673828125×10⁻¹
 0.3: 3.00000011920928955078125 ×10⁻¹
next: 3.000000417232513427734375×10⁻¹

Of those three possibilities, the one that can be reasonably displayed as "0.3" is closest, so that's what you see.

(If you ask Rust to shot that next value, perhaps via 0.3_f32.next_up() in nightly, then you'll see that it displays as "0.30000004", which is just enough digits to distinguish it from the the previous f32.)

In f64

The numbers are longer, but we can do the same thing

    + 2.00000000000000011102230246251565404236316680908203125​ ×10⁻¹

But whereas in f32 0.3 also rounded up to get to a float, in f64 it rounds down, and those three under-½ULP-differences end up being just enough to matter:

prev: 2.9999999999999993338661852249060757458209991455078125​ ×10⁻¹
 0.3: 2.99999999999999988897769753748434595763683319091796875​×10⁻¹
next: 3.000000000000000444089209850062616169452667236328125​  ×10⁻¹

It turns out the sum above is exactly the midway point between 0.3_f64 and the next value, so it does bankers' rounding to the one that has a zero as the last bit, which turns out to be the higher one, so you see "3.0000000000000004", the decimal with the fewest sigfigs that parses to that exact f64 value.


Or, to answer this question directly, because that's way too much precision to fit in an f32.

The representable values go from 0.300000011920928955078125 to 0.3000000417232513427734375, which is a change of about 3e-8, so your attempt to adjust the value of the f32 by 4e-17 can't possibly do anything.

You get about 7 decimal sigfigs with f32, and about 16 decimal sigfigs with f64. If you try to use 0.300000000000000004_f64 you'll see that it's also trying to use too much precision, so doesn't actually differ from 0.3_f64.

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Here is how it looks in binary.

0.1 = 0.0(0011)
0.2 = 0.(0011)
0.3 = 0.01(0011)
(the part in parentheses recurring)

f32 has 24 bits of precision:

0.1 = 0.000110011001100110011001101
0.2 = 0.00110011001100110011001101
after rounding:
sum = 0.0100110011001100110011010
0.3 = 0.0100110011001100110011010

So in f32, 0.1 + 0.2 = 0.3

f64 has 53 bits of precision:

0.1 = 0.00011001100110011001100110011001100110011001100110011010
0.2 = 0.0011001100110011001100110011001100110011001100110011010
after rounding:
sum = 0.010011001100110011001100110011001100110011001100110100
0.3 = 0.010011001100110011001100110011001100110011001100110011

So in f64, 0.1 + 0.2 != 0.3

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There's an error in this playground. You might wanna change the 3.0f64 to 0.3f64.

My bad. Thanks for catching this!

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