Any ideas if I can optimize the gas of the following function from Math library of OZ:

function max(uint256 a, uint256 b) public pure returns (uint256) {
    return a >= b ? a : b;

*I checked all possible gas optimization patterns but still no answer. Personally, it is already as optimized as possible.

1 Answer 1


Just playing around, but it seems that this version is slightly more gas efficient :

function max(uint256 a, uint256 b) public pure returns (uint256 result) {
   assembly {
     let tmp := gt(a, b)
     result := add(mul(tmp, a), mul(sub(1, tmp), b))

Which basically reworks the branches into a single arithmetic expression. Your original ternary version uses 21666 gas (a > b) or 21676 gas (b > a) on default settings, giving an average gas cost of 21671, while this one uses a constant 21645 gas.

The improvement is marginal at best and doesn't justify the loss of readability of assembly in my opinion...

  • you meant to use Yul. can you do the same but for a minimum function like this? return a < b ? a : b;
    – Decode_me
    May 24, 2022 at 11:18
  • I don't understand your comment ? the assembly block is just another way to write return a < b ? a: b;
    – hroussille
    May 24, 2022 at 12:19
  • I meant how to transform it into assembly code
    – Decode_me
    May 24, 2022 at 13:05
  • This is already inline assembly.. You can replace your function with the one I proposed. It's all valid solidity.
    – hroussille
    May 24, 2022 at 13:43
  • I talked about this part: return a < b ? a: b; To code in assembly
    – Decode_me
    May 24, 2022 at 17:56

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