Summary of the multiple file compression benchmark tests


File type : Multiple file types (46 in total)
# of files to compress in this test : 510
Total File Size (bytes) : 316.355.757
Average File Size (bytes) : 620,305
Largest File (bytes) : 18,403,071
Smallest File (bytes) : 3,554

This test is designed to model 'real-world' performance of lossless data compressors. The test set contains a mix of different file types which are chosen with 'What do people use archivers for the most' in mind. The testset should contain data, weighted (in both type and proportion of files in the set) by how often these files are used for compression by normal users using compression software. So for example there will be more txt files then .ocx files in the set (yes, this is arbitrary). The set contains 100's of files and has a total size of over 300 Mb. The idea of a large collection is filtering out the 'noise'. A compressor might perform bad on 1 or 2 filetypes, but on a very large collection it will not hurt as much.

Some programs like CCM and BZIP2 can only compress one file at a time. For these programs a single TAR-file is created containing all files. The files in this TAR-file are ordered alphabetically on suffix, then name. Results of these compressors are marked with an 'Y' in the tarred column.

The testset consists of the following file types :

Filetype(s) Description % of total # of files
TOC, MBXEudora mailboxes12.31 16
EXE, DLL, OCX, DRVExecutables10.99 35
TXT, RTF, DIC, LNGText files in several languages10.21 41
BMP, TIFFBitmaps/TIF images7.88 15
LOGLog files6.34 6
HTM, PHPHTML files6.13 19
DOCMS Word files6.08 30
C, CPP, PAS, DCUSource Code6.00 235
MDB, CSVDatabases4.26 7
HLPWindows Help files4.23 7
CBF, CBGPrecompressed chess-databases3.55 2
WAVWave soundfiles3.45 9
XLSXLS Spreadsheets2.41 16
PDFAdobe Acrobat document1.59 6
TTFTrue Type Fonts1.15 15
DEFVirus definition files1.10 3
JPG, GIFImage files0.53 9
CHMPrecompressed help files0.49 2
INI, INFINI files0.42 10
OthersDAT,JAR,M3D,SYS,PPT,MAP,WP,RLL,RIB..10.88 27

Considering the fact it's supposed to be a 'real-world' test I will not look at the best possible (command-line or gui) switch combination to use for optimal compression, but only test a limited set as 'normal users' would do. For 7-zip this means for example I will use the GUI and select the Ultra compression method (which can be easily beaten with some good command line switches), WinRar will be tested with max dictionary size and solid archiving etc. Programs are allowed to use a maximum of 800 MB memory and must finish the compression stage within 12h. Compressed size must be 50% or less compared to the original size to be listed on MFC.

For my single file tests I got lots of requests to add the compression time to the tables. I did not do this for the reasons stated in the single file summary file, but I'm planning to measure compression times for this multiple file test!. I also decided to make this testset 'non public', so it's harder for developers to tune their program towards this specific test. I think this is the most fair way to get 'real life' performance tests.

Scoring system: The program yielding the lowest compressed size is considered the best program. The most efficient (read:use full) program is calculated by multiplying the compression + decompression time (in seconds) it took to produce the archive with the power of the archive size divided by the lowest measured archive size. The lower score the better. The basic idea is a compressor X has the same efficiency as compressor Y if X can compress twice as fast as Y and resulting archive size of X is 10% larger than size of Y. (Special thanks to Uwe Herklotz to get this formula right)


score_X = POWER(2; ((size_X / size_TOP) - 1) / 0,1) * time_X

with  score_X     efficiency score for a certain compressor X
      time_X      time elapsed by compressor X (comp + decomp time)
      size_X      archive size achieved with compressor X
      size_TOP    archive size by top archiver (smallest benchmark result)
Formula to calculate compressor efficiency based on compressed size and compression time
"0,1" represents 10% and power of 2 ensures that for each 10% worse results (compared
with top) the time is doubled, so any archiver (except top compressor) will get a
penalty on time. The score of top compressor is always equal to its time value.


Results sorted on Compression time (less time is higher speed in MB/s).

Pos Program Switches used TAR Q6600 Compressed Compression Comp time Decomp time Efficiency
  Size (bytes) Ratio (%) (sec) (sec) lower is better
000TESTSETNY3163557570.00
0
00
001QPress 0.38b-L2YY14807067253.19
1.8
3.672496
002THOR 0.96e1YY15193695451.97
1.9
3.6113415
003QuickLZ 1.40b9mode1NY15684000650.42
2.1
5.6273631
004LZTurbo 0.95-22YY13277381858.03
2.7
518922
005Zhuff 0.2(none)YY13243059058.14
3.2
6.623183
006LZOP 1.02rc1-1YY15499381451.01
3.7
3.4205556
007LZOP 1.02rc1(none)YY15538908950.88
3.7
3.5217801
008THOR 0.96e3YY12458865660.62
3.8
3.97628
009Etincelle RC2(none)YY12177806661.51
3.9
3.65438
010QPress 0.38b-L3YY14119460755.37
4.3
3.649438
011SLUG X(none)YY11228638364.51
4.4
5.22427
012BriefLZ 1.04(none)NY15161187652.08
5.2
7.9260559
013WinXP (NTFS)(none)NY19082252939.68
5.4
7.419775154
014LZTurbo 0.95-43YY11389820364.00
6.7
6.53991
015FreeARC 0.666-m2NY9165002871.03
6.9
7.8376
016SRANK 1.0(none)YY16411092948.12
7.3
7.81202732
017WINZIP 14SuperFastNY12527905760.40
9
6.416470
018QuickLZ 1.40b9mode3NY13397390957.65
10.1
4.741553
019THOR 0.96e5YY11227511264.51
12.6
3.84141
020FreeARC 0.666-m3NY8590588272.85
13.6
10.5326
021Crush 0.01cfYY12309034761.09
13.9
3.814847
022LZC 0.082YY14965190952.70
13.9
5.7313621
023Tornado 0.4a(none)YY10574292266.57
13.9
8.12690
024WinXP (Built-in Zip)(none)NY11632401163.23
15.1
18.613338
025GZIP 1.2.4(none)YY11544296463.51
15.5
10.29224
026PKZIP 2.50(none)NY11450126363.81
16
11.78955
027BZP 0.3(none)NN11148580264.76
16
177634
028File2Pack 2.0(none)NY11530590163.55
16.3
10.29368
029ALZip 7.0b1(normal)NN11849287762.54
17
812588
030AIN 2.32(none)NY11558711563.46
17.7
10.510285
031DZip 2.90(none)NY11526988263.56
18.4
10.610211
032VuZip 1.8DefaultNN11526112963.57
19
79145
033 BCArchive 1.08.7(none)NN11582112463.39
19
1412352
034BSC 3.0.0(none)YY10259824967.57
19.6
15.33010
035PKZIP 2.50-exxNY11402234763.96
19.8
12.49871
036EAZEL 1.0(normal)NN11530976263.55
20
79549
037DeepFreezer 1.06(none)NN12335035161.01
20
925038
038FlashZIP 0.99b8-m1NY9469008070.07
20.2
12.91187
039NanoZip 0.09a-cDpNY9063834871.35
20.7
9.1681
040ESP 1.92(none)NY11516457763.60
22.3
11.111623
041AIN 2.32-m1NY11517808263.59
22.6
13.212477
042SR3a(none)YN11818319962.64
23
2623839
043HYPER 2.5(none)NN12843987059.40
24
1559241
044FreeARC 0.666(none)NY8123495174.32
24.1
11.8289
045ARJ32 3.15(none)NY11610726563.30
25.8
10.614064
046LHARK 0.4d(none)NY11343906364.14
26.5
10.110517
047CODEC 3.21(none)NN11476727563.72
27
2015650
048WinTurtle 1.60(none)NN10356765867.26
28
305571
049UHARC 0.6b-mz -md32768 -mm+NY9925115768.63
28.6
363843
050RINGS 1.65YY10579651466.56
28.8
28.47036
051WinRAR 4.1b3NormalNY9199523170.92
29.7
4.6912
052StuffIt 14.0Auto filetype L16 M30 BP ENY9012551571.51
30.1
672098
053YZX 0.04-sNY12368870160.90
30.7
23.248317
054ULZ 0.02c6YY12795118159.55
30.8
3.749638
055WinRK 3.1.2FastestNY9082141171.29
30.9
23.71274
056Chaos Comp 3.0(none)NN12368156060.90
31
834932
057WinTurtle 1.60SolidNN10312967267.40
31
335856
058StuffIt 14.0BWT L3 M23 BPNY8968339171.65
32.3
78.22273
059CA-ZIP 3.4(none)YY14024776255.67
32.4
7.5224784
060WINIMP 1.211 Normal MM 4Mb B=600KbNY9963886268.50
34.2
14.13000
061ARJ 2.85(none)NY11610961263.30
35
10.217469
062ARX 1.0(none)NN13346419957.81
35
11122047
063GZIP 1.2.4-9YY11485797763.69
35.1
9.915136
064StuffIt 14.0Auto Inline L9 M30 BP ENY8931014271.77
35.4
89.82471
065CSC 3.2a6-m3YY9329546870.51
35.8
9.21382
066WinRAR 4.1b3Normal solidNY9036186671.44
36.2
4.7907
067VuZip 1.8MaxNN11467960863.75
37
714509
068JAR 1.02(none)NN10116907168.02
37
93386
069TURTLE 0.07(none)YN11264674964.39
37
3518947
070TarsaLZP 21Aug2007(none)YN11099461464.91
39
4718839
071EAZEL 1.0(best)NN11472837063.73
41
816246
072QUAD 1.12(none)YN10821543465.79
44
2410942
073DZip 2.90-9NY11468849063.75
44.5
11.718551
074WINZIP 14Enhanced DeflateNY11150329064.75
47.9
6.512609
075GRZipII 0.2.4-b8m -aYN9748413669.19
48
434449
076GRZipII 0.2.4(none)YN10168637067.86
48
457249
077BZIP2 1.0.5(none)YY10772092365.95
48.7
14.19565
078WinRAR 4.1b3Best solidNY8665821072.61
48.7
22.51047
079PPMd var J rev.1(none)NY10274352567.52
49
569204
0807-Zip 9.25aNorm LZMA2 16Mb ws=32 4thrNY8858041672.00
49.2
7.11024
081YBS 0.03f(none)YY10507408366.79
51
34.99753
082M99 2.2.1(none)YN10829487665.77
53
3113636
083BSSC 0.95a(none)YY9581121869.71
53.9
25.33216
084BMA 1.35b(none)NN9872890068.79
54
405277
085SQUEEZ 5.63Norm 4Mb M E SolidNY9408262270.26
54.3
19.22463
086SZIP 1.12(none)YN10656717966.31
55
3011390
087RZIP 2.1(none)YN10541772366.68
56
259554
088SBC 0.970 rev3(none)NY8624528872.74
57
331264
089NanoZip 0.09a(none)NY7990552574.74
58.4
14.1504
090BA 1.01(none)YY9987309868.43
58.5
406278
091LHARK 0.4d-tobNY11187091564.64
59
11.116924
092SBC 0.970 rev3-b9NY8574026572.90
60
331235
093DARK 0.51(none)NN10087706268.11
60
386983
094Blizzard 0.24b(none)YN9829628268.93
60
525992
095DARK 0.51-b128mNN10078545068.14
61
397053
096Comprox 0.3.0e20YY11139190464.79
63
34.222252
097LZOP 1.02rc1-9YY12960173359.03
64
4.7118720
098WinHKI 1.74HKI1 maxNN10639121866.37
64
1810776
099BioArc 1.9NormalNN10001277768.39
64
748933
100RZIP 2.1-9YN10530541866.71
65
2610600
101FlashZIP 0.99b8-m2 -c7NY9263546970.72
65.3
16.72340
102BioArc 1.9UltraNN9969905868.49
66
768878
103QazaR 0.0 pre5(none)YY10816597965.81
66.6
4417699
104BCM 0.12-b16YY10245033867.62
69.5
52.710369
105QUAD 1.12xYN10696829166.19
71
2413310
106DURILCA light 0.5(none)NY9682356569.39
71
806861
107LZXQ 0.4normalYN11449298763.81
71
10857817
108WINIMP 1.211 BEST MM 16Mb B=1020KbNY9723772769.26
72.3
14.14110
109UC II 3.05-TTNY10637088066.38
73
11.111027
110PPMd var J rev.1-m256 -o16NY9673751569.42
73
806885
111YBS 0.03f-m16mYY10746234666.03
73.8
41.317035
112WinACE 2.69Norm solid ace20NY8974271571.63
74
12.31787
113CTXf 0.75(none)NY9003888471.54
74.7
51.72704
114M1 0.3b-1text2.txtYY10437767667.01
75
7916184
1157-Zip 9.25aMax PPMD 64Mb ws=16NY9757374469.16
75.9
80.37713
116SEMONE 0.6 b2(none)YN11144268664.77
81
1421871
117PPMVC 1.2(none)NN9715252069.29
82
1018624
118DGCA 1.10(none)NN8983430471.60
83
342447
119FreeARC 0.666-mxNY7840622075.22
83.9
33.5691
120COMPRESSIA 1.0bsol dict 15 MbNN8815278472.13
86
622568
121M99 2.2.1-m 512mYN10174666267.84
86
7912948
122Tornado 0.4a-11YY9995983868.40
87
8.16120
123CABARC 1.00.0106-m LZX:17NY10314825667.39
89
13.29370
124WinHKI 1.74HKI2 normNN10020800668.32
91
9412238
1257-Zip 9.25aUltra LZMA2 64Mb 3thrNY8719804672.44
91.1
7.81544
126EPC 1.0(none)YY10125867067.99
92.6
100.314339
127SAR 1.0(none)NN12206742361.41
94
1178621
128WINZIP 14Zipx Best MethodNY8627646272.73
95
27.51726
129AMG 2.2(Max Compression)NN11466275863.76
97
9999932945907
130CTXf 0.75-meNY8835799272.07
98.3
75.43084
131BIX 1.00 b7(none)NY9969443268.49
101
11.77042
132BMA 1.35b-m16m -ax -mxNN9528441869.88
101
616204
133DC 0.99.307b(none)NY10131422467.97
101
999997487039
134SBC 0.970 rev3-m3 -b62NY8473617673.21
102
401686
135CCM 1.30c(none)YY7859898075.15
102
981202
136DST 0.91b(none)YY10338637467.32
104
3713274
137PPMX 0.07(none)YY10757558266.00
106
11132523
138CCM 1.30c6YY7792692275.37
107
1031171
139BruteCM 0.1d(none)YN10090260068.10
107
16019078
140DC 0.99.307b-b4096NY9954659068.53
107
999996153492
141WinACE 2.69Max 4096Kb solid ace20NY8848521572.03
108
12.32166
142BALZ 1.15exYY9912375368.67
108
21.37584
143ACE 2.6-m5 -d4096NY8848603172.03
109
12.92195
144LZPX(J) 1.2h(none)YY9207518370.90
110
1115927
145MNZIP(none)YN9848804568.87
111
287597
146MAR-gNY11255478664.42
112
6.530866
147LZPX(J) 1.2h-8YY9145135971.09
119
1185931
148LZ2A(none)YN11529898363.55
120
2049452
149WinHKI 1.74HKI2 maxNN9877107568.78
123
12614043
150LZTurbo 0.95-59NY9364678470.40
126
7.24254
151HOOK 1.4800YY10778894265.93
128
12438673
152PPMVC 1.2-o16 -m256NN9652507169.49
128
14712087
153AR 1.0(none)YY12214734261.39
128.4
10.5104931
154CCMx 1.30c6YY7707994975.64
130
1261300
155Secura Archiver 1.7(none)NN13987634855.79
131
6740640
156LZ2A-Cb12 -Szd26YN11358889764.09
138
1945869
157UHBC 1.0(none)YY10099006268.08
148
11819192
158BIX 1.00 b7-mdG -sNY9707914169.31
152
11.57642
159PACKET 0.91a-m6 -s9YY10454589166.95
153
7.617195
160LZW 0.2(none)YY15328952051.55
154
5.73826627
161DURILCA light 0.5-m800 -t1NY8166647474.19
155
761951
162SQUEEZ 5.63Max 8Mb M E SolidNY8769535872.28
155.7
19.22885
163EPC 1.0-m256 -o18YY9879716468.77
156
999995665076
164UC II 3.05(max compress)NY10562549666.61
157
10.520218
165WinRK 3.1.2NormalNY7888289075.07
157
33.51181
166ASD 0.2.0(none)NN10910136065.51
158
5637992
167SQUEEZ 5.63Ultra 32Mb M E SolidNY8356505873.59
181
29.62196
168CABARC 1.00.0106-m LZX:21NY9769144469.12
187
13.410026
169UHBC 1.0-b4m -m3YY10062322068.19
190
16024246
170NanoZip 0.09a-cONY7572069676.06
208
45.31106
171UHARC 0.6b(none)NY8495450673.15
209
332945
172Ocamyd 1.66 test1(none)YY12426269060.72
226
229434702
173PPMN 1.00b1 km(none)YY10118137068.02
232
23434345
174RZM 0.07h(none)YY8403037473.44
244
19.92898
175aPLib 0.43(none)NN11759676262.83
253
7118523
176DST 0.91b-meYY9356834770.42
275
18514562
177UHARC 0.6b-mx -md32768 -mm+NY7834487675.24
278
2342991
178Ocamyd 1.66 test1-m8 -s2YY10920010565.48
286
288103027
179PIM 2.90Best + filtersNY8963993971.66
299
907962
180CMM4 0.2b26YY8243545873.94
302
3075603
181BIT 0.7(none)YY8332188873.66
305
2986121
182QC 0.050(none)YY9905504468.69
308
12124970
183CODER 1.1-ew 4194304NN15878862149.81
330
10819323559
184DACT 0.8.42(none)YY10337871867.32
333
19.433146
185QLFC 6.6w(none)NN10293827667.46
343
3033410
186CHILE 0.3d(none)YN10607254266.47
345
6351752
187UFA 0.04b1(none)NN9417563870.23
350
4213275
188QazaR 0.0 pre5-d9 -l7YY10486710566.85
362
9951151
189Bee 0.7.9 bld 0316-m2 -d8NN9310349170.57
362
36821947
190PPMN 1.00b1 km-O9 -M:50 -DAYY9551381769.81
365
36528680
191SZIP 1.12-b41 -o40YN10579318366.56
373
7755336
192HA 0.999ba21NN10763741465.98
373
14177566
193HPACK 0.79a(none)NN12070201461.85
377
31262535
194Ultra7z Opt 0.05(none)NY8493233573.15
406
40.25416
195ABC 2.4(none)YY10366974467.23
424
9350225
196LZPM 0.16(none)YY9552505169.80
448
20.818441
197TC 5.2 dev2(none)YY8946477871.72
458
46018428
198NanoZip 0.09a-cc -m800mNY6985780377.92
464
4382054
199ShipInBottle 1.0 b17alg:lzNN11405109163.95
481
22154691
200LPAQ88YY7870418675.12
504
5076147
201UFA 0.04b1-mg -mx -mu32NN9342829270.47
521
13820540
202BigCrunch 0.4a1(none)NN15750260050.21
546
147677338794
203XPv5c2YY11355439864.11
564
114.5197471
204PPMonstr J(none)NY7844386275.20
568
5736739
205PPMonstr J-m800 -o32NY7769968675.44
587
5936417
206BOA 0.58b(none)NN9685751569.38
596
62055457
207Bee 0.7.9 bld 0316-m3 -d8 -sNN9200398070.92
654
65834912
208QLFC 6.6wBS=8388608NN10121754468.01
693
3353722
209Quark 0.95r(none)YN8474131473.21
702
378782
210ZZIP 0.36c(none)NN10384540467.17
706
4173998
211DURILCA 0.5-m800 -t1NY7217557877.19
738
6574109
212BOA 0.58b-m15 -sNN9508046869.95
773
78658372
213COMPRESSIA 1.0bmax sol dict 15 MbNN8069834074.49
803
99999764699
214Bicom 1.01(none)YN10394051367.14
826
838166586
215EPM r9(none)YY8272785273.85
903
90417172
216DURILCA 0.5(none)NY7760445375.47
947
95110213
217EPM r9-m800YY8193490974.10
980
98817126
218ACB 2.00cuNN9505528969.95
1056
110780761
219777 0.04b1-mg -mu32NN9022947771.48
1067
59136231
220ZPAQ 2.05max.cfgNY7632855975.87
1107
111110359
221SYMBRA 0.2-m5YN12212055861.40
1110
6701340701
222KGB 1.1 (PAQ6)(normal)NY8687845872.54
1133
115734498
223WinUDA 0.291mode-0NY7971066974.80
1178
118016031
224777 0.04b1(none)NN9054438271.38
1215
63341820
225WinRK 3.1.2HighNY6900345878.19
1311
9804745
226M03(none)YN9993465168.41
1356
221101205
227ENC 0.15-d256NN8975052871.63
1440
999992101919
228Slim 0.23d(none)NY7378197276.68
1555
148610706
229Slim 0.23d-m800 -o64NY7366468376.71
1574
152910783
230ZZIP 0.36c-mx -a -6mNN10239264367.63
1598
41138179
231ShipInBottle 1.0 b17alg:ppm :mem:128NN10674242266.26
1620
1635444745
232KZIP 14-APR-2007(none)NY11069493265.01
1778
11.3379128
233Quark 0.95r-l7 -d25YN8367356773.55
2095
3822513
234PIMPLE2(none)YN7962815774.83
2195
220729654
235ASD 0.2.0-m5 -mdgNN10510974066.77
2425
163294995
236CTW 0.1(none)YN13468738057.43
2661
285116751159
237LCSSR 0.2-l9 -b6YN12637878760.05
2918
27856891230
238UDA 0.301(none)YY7147876777.41
3369
341218487
239ENC 0.15abies -d256NN8795559072.20
3498
999991757147
240AI 1.1(none)NN14025973555.66
3523
584652852078
241ASH 07-m800 -o60YY8622563272.74
3641
3639102003
242WinUDA 0.291mode-3NY7373557476.69
3663
369125756
243SCM 0.01b(none)YY9737395869.22
4615
4645447233
244Ocamyd 1.66 test1-m8 -s0YN8288038573.80
4666
466490177
245BWMonstr 0.01(none)YY10307340767.42
6010
3372853058
246KGB 1.1 (PAQ6)(very good)NY7534137576.18
7830
788965796
247BBB ver1m512YN10636476166.38
12294
5111677772
248WinRK 3.1.2MaximumNY6429424379.68
14265
1398534692
249PAQ8P-7NY6268317280.19
17976
1665335562
250PAQ8JC-6 (dir /oen)NN6619113979.08
18908
1621253237
251PAsQDa 4.4-7eNN6910918778.15
21101
2117388594
252PAQAR 4.5-7e (dir /oen/b)NN6843571578.37
21322
2141083103
253PAQ8px-7NY6244373880.26
23427
2201945446
254AI 1.1-mtNN10736515166.06
27097
377369492408


Green Compression Ratio (larger bar is better)   Red Compression Time (shorter bar is better)   Blue Efficiency Ratio (larger bar is better)

Remarks:
Ten programs so far crashed during compressing:
- Emilcont 0.3a
- RKC 1.02
- PPMZ2 0.81
- HIPP 0.5819
- OrangeArchiver 1.05
- PPMT 1.0
- HIP beta1
- LZ 1.0
- HuffComp 1.3
- Chile 0.5

- Some programs fail to correctly decompressing the archive created. Those programs are marked with a red penalty time of 99999 seconds. Do *not* use these programs to backup your data!.

- (De)compression time of ACB 2.00c is an approximation as ACB only runs under Win98 (which is installed on the 1800+ machine only). Measured time on the 1800+ is devided by the approximate ratio of compression speed on both machines.

- The command-line version of Squeez 5 seems to get different compression then the GUI version. The switch combination '-m5 -MD32768 -uxx9 -ME -MM -s' gets it down to 83.384.794 bytes...

- Stuffit 12.0 contains recompression techniques for several file types like JPG, GIF, BMP and PDF. For the MFC test I disabled PDF recompression as it appears to be "pixel perfect" rather then "bit-perfect" for most PDF files. This hurts compression a bit, but prevents the decompressed file to be slightly different than the original. This would be fine for normal users, but this is a lossless compression test. It would be unfair towards the lossless "bit perfect" compressors to include these result.

Conclusions and observations:
- Top performers (based on compression) in this test are PAQ8 and WinRK (PWCM). They are able to compress the 300+ Mb testset to under 62 Mb (80% reduction in size) but take a minimum of 8,5 hour to complete the test. The number one program (PAQ8P) takes almost 12 hours and number four (PAQAR) even 17 hours to complete the test. WinRK, the program with the 2nd best compression (79.7%) takes about 8,5 hours. Not surprisingly all mentioned programs make use of a PAQ(-like) engine for compression. If you have files with embedded images (e.g. Word DOC files) use PAQ8, it will recognize them and separately compress them, boosting compression significantly. All mentioned programs (except the current number 2, WinRK) are free of charge.

- WinRAR but especially NanoZip and FreeARC score very well on efficiency, they have good compression and are reasonably fast. FreeARC and NanoZIP are capable of compressing the testset down to 79 Mb in under 3 minutes. CCM takes just under 5 minutes. SBC compresses to about 85 MB but only needs 2 minutes for that. People looking for good (but not ultimate) and fast compression should have a look at those programs. Of the mentioned programs NanoZIP and CCM have the best compression, SBC and FreeARC are the fastest (FreeARC being both faster and the better compressor). Best 'super' compressor with a not to dramatic compression time is NanoZip, compressing then MFC testset to under 69 MB in 18 minutes using CM-mode.

- The speed-kings in this test are THOR, QuickLZ, SLUG and LZOP, the first two compress the total testset of 300+ MB in under 3.4 seconds (which generates a total data stream of 300 MB input + 150 MB output / 3.5 sec = 128 MB/s). At this speed IO/harddisk performance has a large impact on the compression speed, when compression from-to memory probably even higher compression speeds are possible. As a consequence of this speed compression ratio is not very high (barely 50%). Other fast compressors, with a bit better compression, are the oldies Pkzip, Arj and Gzip. If you are looking for a fast compressor with still good compression, consider UHARC 0.6b using LZP-mode (-mz) or FreeARC in m1 or m2 mode.

- Decompression speeds are usually a lot faster then compression speeds except for the compressors using a PPM or PAQ-engine. Decompression times of 5-7 seconds seem to be the systems (IO/hardisk) limit; compressing to ramdisk (or /dev/null) should probably be even faster...

- Normally I would expect 7-Zip to outperform WinRAR, but in this case I suspect WinRAR beats 7-Zip because there are (embedded) multimedia files (wav,bmp etc) which can be handled by WinRAR's multimedia filter. 7-Zip still lacks such a filter. I included multimedia files because many games are distributed in compressed form (games typically have lots of bmp and wav-like files).

- The higher the fraction of pre-compressed files the smaller the difference between the top and the other compressors. Because the testset contains files like chm,gif,jpeg the difference between the compressors looks rather small. I will probably make a 2nd testset with easy to compress non-multimedia data later on. Home

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