Bitmask checks vs. number comparison: which is more efficient?

Is a bitmask-based check more efficient than comparing numbers?

Compare the following two methods of performing a check:

Method Code
Bitmask-based if (val & IMPORTANT_BIT) ...
Number Comparison if (val == IMPORTANT_VAL) ...

In both cases, the value of val must be fetched from memory. Does the compiler do something special with bitmask-based checks, making them more efficient than number comparisons?

Yes, the bitmask-based check is more efficient than comparing numbers because it involves bitwise operations that are faster than arithmetic operations. Additionally, the compiler can optimize the bitmask-based check by using logical AND operations to avoid unnecessary memory accesses.