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 Decompression 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
001LZOP 1.02rc1-1YY15499381451.01
3.7
3.4205556
002LZOP 1.02rc1(none)YY15538908950.88
3.7
3.5217801
003QPress 0.38b-L2YY14807067253.19
1.8
3.672496
004THOR 0.96e1YY15193695451.97
1.9
3.6113415
005Etincelle RC2(none)YY12177806661.51
3.9
3.65438
006QPress 0.38b-L3YY14119460755.37
4.3
3.649438
007ULZ 0.02c6YY12795118159.55
30.8
3.749638
008THOR 0.96e5YY11227511264.51
12.6
3.84141
009Crush 0.01cfYY12309034761.09
13.9
3.814847
010THOR 0.96e3YY12458865660.62
3.8
3.97628
011WinRAR 4.1b3NormalNY9199523170.92
29.7
4.6912
012QuickLZ 1.40b9mode3NY13397390957.65
10.1
4.741553
013WinRAR 4.1b3Normal solidNY9036186671.44
36.2
4.7907
014LZOP 1.02rc1-9YY12960173359.03
64
4.7118720
015LZTurbo 0.95-22YY13277381858.03
2.7
518922
016SLUG X(none)YY11228638364.51
4.4
5.22427
017QuickLZ 1.40b9mode1NY15684000650.42
2.1
5.6273631
018LZC 0.082YY14965190952.70
13.9
5.7313621
019LZW 0.2(none)YY15328952051.55
154
5.73826627
020Secura Archiver 1.7(none)NN13987634855.79
131
6740640
021WINZIP 14SuperFastNY12527905760.40
9
6.416470
022LZTurbo 0.95-43YY11389820364.00
6.7
6.53991
023WINZIP 14Enhanced DeflateNY11150329064.75
47.9
6.512609
024MAR-gNY11255478664.42
112
6.530866
025Zhuff 0.2(none)YY13243059058.14
3.2
6.623183
026VuZip 1.8DefaultNN11526112963.57
19
79145
027EAZEL 1.0(normal)NN11530976263.55
20
79549
028VuZip 1.8MaxNN11467960863.75
37
714509
029aPLib 0.43(none)NN11759676262.83
253
7118523
0307-Zip 9.25aNorm LZMA2 16Mb ws=32 4thrNY8858041672.00
49.2
7.11024
031LZTurbo 0.95-59NY9364678470.40
126
7.24254
032WinXP (NTFS)(none)NY19082252939.68
5.4
7.419775154
033CA-ZIP 3.4(none)YY14024776255.67
32.4
7.5224784
034PACKET 0.91a-m6 -s9YY10454589166.95
153
7.617195
035FreeARC 0.666-m2NY9165002871.03
6.9
7.8376
036SRANK 1.0(none)YY16411092948.12
7.3
7.81202732
0377-Zip 9.25aUltra LZMA2 64Mb 3thrNY8719804672.44
91.1
7.81544
038BriefLZ 1.04(none)NY15161187652.08
5.2
7.9260559
039ALZip 7.0b1(normal)NN11849287762.54
17
812588
040Chaos Comp 3.0(none)NN12368156060.90
31
834932
041EAZEL 1.0(best)NN11472837063.73
41
816246
042Tornado 0.4a(none)YY10574292266.57
13.9
8.12690
043Tornado 0.4a-11YY9995983868.40
87
8.16120
044DeepFreezer 1.06(none)NN12335035161.01
20
925038
045JAR 1.02(none)NN10116907168.02
37
93386
046NanoZip 0.09a-cDpNY9063834871.35
20.7
9.1681
047CSC 3.2a6-m3YY9329546870.51
35.8
9.21382
048GZIP 1.2.4-9YY11485797763.69
35.1
9.915136
049LHARK 0.4d(none)NY11343906364.14
26.5
10.110517
050GZIP 1.2.4(none)YY11544296463.51
15.5
10.29224
051File2Pack 2.0(none)NY11530590163.55
16.3
10.29368
052ARJ 2.85(none)NY11610961263.30
35
10.217469
053FreeARC 0.666-m3NY8590588272.85
13.6
10.5326
054AIN 2.32(none)NY11558711563.46
17.7
10.510285
055AR 1.0(none)YY12214734261.39
128.4
10.5104931
056UC II 3.05(max compress)NY10562549666.61
157
10.520218
057DZip 2.90(none)NY11526988263.56
18.4
10.610211
058ARJ32 3.15(none)NY11610726563.30
25.8
10.614064
059ARX 1.0(none)NN13346419957.81
35
11122047
060SAR 1.0(none)NN12206742361.41
94
1178621
061ESP 1.92(none)NY11516457763.60
22.3
11.111623
062LHARK 0.4d-tobNY11187091564.64
59
11.116924
063UC II 3.05-TTNY10637088066.38
73
11.111027
064KZIP 14-APR-2007(none)NY11069493265.01
1778
11.3379128
065BIX 1.00 b7-mdG -sNY9707914169.31
152
11.57642
066PKZIP 2.50(none)NY11450126363.81
16
11.78955
067DZip 2.90-9NY11468849063.75
44.5
11.718551
068BIX 1.00 b7(none)NY9969443268.49
101
11.77042
069FreeARC 0.666(none)NY8123495174.32
24.1
11.8289
070WinACE 2.69Norm solid ace20NY8974271571.63
74
12.31787
071WinACE 2.69Max 4096Kb solid ace20NY8848521572.03
108
12.32166
072PKZIP 2.50-exxNY11402234763.96
19.8
12.49871
073FlashZIP 0.99b8-m1NY9469008070.07
20.2
12.91187
074ACE 2.6-m5 -d4096NY8848603172.03
109
12.92195
075AIN 2.32-m1NY11517808263.59
22.6
13.212477
076CABARC 1.00.0106-m LZX:17NY10314825667.39
89
13.29370
077CABARC 1.00.0106-m LZX:21NY9769144469.12
187
13.410026
078 BCArchive 1.08.7(none)NN11582112463.39
19
1412352
079SEMONE 0.6 b2(none)YN11144268664.77
81
1421871
080WINIMP 1.211 Normal MM 4Mb B=600KbNY9963886268.50
34.2
14.13000
081BZIP2 1.0.5(none)YY10772092365.95
48.7
14.19565
082NanoZip 0.09a(none)NY7990552574.74
58.4
14.1504
083WINIMP 1.211 BEST MM 16Mb B=1020KbNY9723772769.26
72.3
14.14110
084HYPER 2.5(none)NN12843987059.40
24
1559241
085BSC 3.0.0(none)YY10259824967.57
19.6
15.33010
086FlashZIP 0.99b8-m2 -c7NY9263546970.72
65.3
16.72340
087BZP 0.3(none)NN11148580264.76
16
177634
088WinHKI 1.74HKI1 maxNN10639121866.37
64
1810776
089WinXP (Built-in Zip)(none)NY11632401163.23
15.1
18.613338
090LZ2A-Cb12 -Szd26YN11358889764.09
138
1945869
091SQUEEZ 5.63Norm 4Mb M E SolidNY9408262270.26
54.3
19.22463
092SQUEEZ 5.63Max 8Mb M E SolidNY8769535872.28
155.7
19.22885
093DACT 0.8.42(none)YY10337871867.32
333
19.433146
094RZM 0.07h(none)YY8403037473.44
244
19.92898
095CODEC 3.21(none)NN11476727563.72
27
2015650
096LZ2A(none)YN11529898363.55
120
2049452
097LZPM 0.16(none)YY9552505169.80
448
20.818441
098BALZ 1.15exYY9912375368.67
108
21.37584
099ShipInBottle 1.0 b17alg:lzNN11405109163.95
481
22154691
100WinRAR 4.1b3Best solidNY8665821072.61
48.7
22.51047
101YZX 0.04-sNY12368870160.90
30.7
23.248317
102WinRK 3.1.2FastestNY9082141171.29
30.9
23.71274
103QUAD 1.12(none)YN10821543465.79
44
2410942
104QUAD 1.12xYN10696829166.19
71
2413310
105RZIP 2.1(none)YN10541772366.68
56
259554
106BSSC 0.95a(none)YY9581121869.71
53.9
25.33216
107SR3a(none)YN11818319962.64
23
2623839
108RZIP 2.1-9YN10530541866.71
65
2610600
109WINZIP 14Zipx Best MethodNY8627646272.73
95
27.51726
110MNZIP(none)YN9848804568.87
111
287597
111RINGS 1.65YY10579651466.56
28.8
28.47036
112SQUEEZ 5.63Ultra 32Mb M E SolidNY8356505873.59
181
29.62196
113WinTurtle 1.60(none)NN10356765867.26
28
305571
114SZIP 1.12(none)YN10656717966.31
55
3011390
115QLFC 6.6w(none)NN10293827667.46
343
3033410
116M99 2.2.1(none)YN10829487665.77
53
3113636
117HPACK 0.79a(none)NN12070201461.85
377
31262535
118WinTurtle 1.60SolidNN10312967267.40
31
335856
119SBC 0.970 rev3(none)NY8624528872.74
57
331264
120SBC 0.970 rev3-b9NY8574026572.90
60
331235
121UHARC 0.6b(none)NY8495450673.15
209
332945
122QLFC 6.6wBS=8388608NN10121754468.01
693
3353722
123FreeARC 0.666-mxNY7840622075.22
83.9
33.5691
124WinRK 3.1.2NormalNY7888289075.07
157
33.51181
125DGCA 1.10(none)NN8983430471.60
83
342447
126Comprox 0.3.0e20YY11139190464.79
63
34.222252
127YBS 0.03f(none)YY10507408366.79
51
34.99753
128TURTLE 0.07(none)YN11264674964.39
37
3518947
129UHARC 0.6b-mz -md32768 -mm+NY9925115768.63
28.6
363843
130DST 0.91b(none)YY10338637467.32
104
3713274
131Quark 0.95r(none)YN8474131473.21
702
378782
132DARK 0.51(none)NN10087706268.11
60
386983
133Quark 0.95r-l7 -d25YN8367356773.55
2095
3822513
134DARK 0.51-b128mNN10078545068.14
61
397053
135BMA 1.35b(none)NN9872890068.79
54
405277
136BA 1.01(none)YY9987309868.43
58.5
406278
137SBC 0.970 rev3-m3 -b62NY8473617673.21
102
401686
138Ultra7z Opt 0.05(none)NY8493233573.15
406
40.25416
139ZZIP 0.36c(none)NN10384540467.17
706
4173998
140ZZIP 0.36c-mx -a -6mNN10239264367.63
1598
41138179
141YBS 0.03f-m16mYY10746234666.03
73.8
41.317035
142UFA 0.04b1(none)NN9417563870.23
350
4213275
143GRZipII 0.2.4-b8m -aYN9748413669.19
48
434449
144QazaR 0.0 pre5(none)YY10816597965.81
66.6
4417699
145GRZipII 0.2.4(none)YN10168637067.86
48
457249
146NanoZip 0.09a-cONY7572069676.06
208
45.31106
147TarsaLZP 21Aug2007(none)YN11099461464.91
39
4718839
148CTXf 0.75(none)NY9003888471.54
74.7
51.72704
149Blizzard 0.24b(none)YN9829628268.93
60
525992
150BCM 0.12-b16YY10245033867.62
69.5
52.710369
151PPMd var J rev.1(none)NY10274352567.52
49
569204
152ASD 0.2.0(none)NN10910136065.51
158
5637992
153BMA 1.35b-m16m -ax -mxNN9528441869.88
101
616204
154COMPRESSIA 1.0bsol dict 15 MbNN8815278472.13
86
622568
155CHILE 0.3d(none)YN10607254266.47
345
6351752
156StuffIt 14.0Auto filetype L16 M30 BP ENY9012551571.51
30.1
672098
157BioArc 1.9NormalNN10001277768.39
64
748933
158CTXf 0.75-meNY8835799272.07
98.3
75.43084
159BioArc 1.9UltraNN9969905868.49
66
768878
160DURILCA light 0.5-m800 -t1NY8166647474.19
155
761951
161SZIP 1.12-b41 -o40YN10579318366.56
373
7755336
162StuffIt 14.0BWT L3 M23 BPNY8968339171.65
32.3
78.22273
163M1 0.3b-1text2.txtYY10437767667.01
75
7916184
164M99 2.2.1-m 512mYN10174666267.84
86
7912948
165DURILCA light 0.5(none)NY9682356569.39
71
806861
166PPMd var J rev.1-m256 -o16NY9673751569.42
73
806885
1677-Zip 9.25aMax PPMD 64Mb ws=16NY9757374469.16
75.9
80.37713
168StuffIt 14.0Auto Inline L9 M30 BP ENY8931014271.77
35.4
89.82471
169PIM 2.90Best + filtersNY8963993971.66
299
907962
170ABC 2.4(none)YY10366974467.23
424
9350225
171WinHKI 1.74HKI2 normNN10020800668.32
91
9412238
172CCM 1.30c(none)YY7859898075.15
102
981202
173QazaR 0.0 pre5-d9 -l7YY10486710566.85
362
9951151
174EPC 1.0(none)YY10125867067.99
92.6
100.314339
175PPMVC 1.2(none)NN9715252069.29
82
1018624
176CCM 1.30c6YY7792692275.37
107
1031171
177LZXQ 0.4normalYN11449298763.81
71
10857817
178CODER 1.1-ew 4194304NN15878862149.81
330
10819323559
179PPMX 0.07(none)YY10757558266.00
106
11132523
180LZPX(J) 1.2h(none)YY9207518370.90
110
1115927
181XPv5c2YY11355439864.11
564
114.5197471
182LZPX(J) 1.2h-8YY9145135971.09
119
1185931
183UHBC 1.0(none)YY10099006268.08
148
11819192
184QC 0.050(none)YY9905504468.69
308
12124970
185HOOK 1.4800YY10778894265.93
128
12438673
186WinHKI 1.74HKI2 maxNN9877107568.78
123
12614043
187CCMx 1.30c6YY7707994975.64
130
1261300
188UFA 0.04b1-mg -mx -mu32NN9342829270.47
521
13820540
189HA 0.999ba21NN10763741465.98
373
14177566
190PPMVC 1.2-o16 -m256NN9652507169.49
128
14712087
191BruteCM 0.1d(none)YN10090260068.10
107
16019078
192UHBC 1.0-b4m -m3YY10062322068.19
190
16024246
193ASD 0.2.0-m5 -mdgNN10510974066.77
2425
163294995
194DST 0.91b-meYY9356834770.42
275
18514562
195M03(none)YN9993465168.41
1356
221101205
196Ocamyd 1.66 test1(none)YY12426269060.72
226
229434702
197PPMN 1.00b1 km(none)YY10118137068.02
232
23434345
198UHARC 0.6b-mx -md32768 -mm+NY7834487675.24
278
2342991
199Ocamyd 1.66 test1-m8 -s2YY10920010565.48
286
288103027
200BIT 0.7(none)YY8332188873.66
305
2986121
201CMM4 0.2b26YY8243545873.94
302
3075603
202PPMN 1.00b1 km-O9 -M:50 -DAYY9551381769.81
365
36528680
203Bee 0.7.9 bld 0316-m2 -d8NN9310349170.57
362
36821947
204NanoZip 0.09a-cc -m800mNY6985780377.92
464
4382054
205TC 5.2 dev2(none)YY8946477871.72
458
46018428
206LPAQ88YY7870418675.12
504
5076147
207BBB ver1m512YN10636476166.38
12294
5111677772
208PPMonstr J(none)NY7844386275.20
568
5736739
209777 0.04b1-mg -mu32NN9022947771.48
1067
59136231
210PPMonstr J-m800 -o32NY7769968675.44
587
5936417
211BOA 0.58b(none)NN9685751569.38
596
62055457
212777 0.04b1(none)NN9054438271.38
1215
63341820
213DURILCA 0.5-m800 -t1NY7217557877.19
738
6574109
214Bee 0.7.9 bld 0316-m3 -d8 -sNN9200398070.92
654
65834912
215SYMBRA 0.2-m5YN12212055861.40
1110
6701340701
216BOA 0.58b-m15 -sNN9508046869.95
773
78658372
217Bicom 1.01(none)YN10394051367.14
826
838166586
218EPM r9(none)YY8272785273.85
903
90417172
219DURILCA 0.5(none)NY7760445375.47
947
95110213
220WinRK 3.1.2HighNY6900345878.19
1311
9804745
221EPM r9-m800YY8193490974.10
980
98817126
222ACB 2.00cuNN9505528969.95
1056
110780761
223ZPAQ 2.05max.cfgNY7632855975.87
1107
111110359
224KGB 1.1 (PAQ6)(normal)NY8687845872.54
1133
115734498
225WinUDA 0.291mode-0NY7971066974.80
1178
118016031
226BigCrunch 0.4a1(none)NN15750260050.21
546
147677338794
227Slim 0.23d(none)NY7378197276.68
1555
148610706
228Slim 0.23d-m800 -o64NY7366468376.71
1574
152910783
229ShipInBottle 1.0 b17alg:ppm :mem:128NN10674242266.26
1620
1635444745
230PIMPLE2(none)YN7962815774.83
2195
220729654
231LCSSR 0.2-l9 -b6YN12637878760.05
2918
27856891230
232CTW 0.1(none)YN13468738057.43
2661
285116751159
233BWMonstr 0.01(none)YY10307340767.42
6010
3372853058
234UDA 0.301(none)YY7147876777.41
3369
341218487
235ASH 07-m800 -o60YY8622563272.74
3641
3639102003
236WinUDA 0.291mode-3NY7373557476.69
3663
369125756
237SCM 0.01b(none)YY9737395869.22
4615
4645447233
238Ocamyd 1.66 test1-m8 -s0YN8288038573.80
4666
466490177
239AI 1.1(none)NN14025973555.66
3523
584652852078
240KGB 1.1 (PAQ6)(very good)NY7534137576.18
7830
788965796
241WinRK 3.1.2MaximumNY6429424379.68
14265
1398534692
242PAQ8JC-6 (dir /oen)NN6619113979.08
18908
1621253237
243PAQ8P-7NY6268317280.19
17976
1665335562
244PAsQDa 4.4-7eNN6910918778.15
21101
2117388594
245PAQAR 4.5-7e (dir /oen/b)NN6843571578.37
21322
2141083103
246PAQ8px-7NY6244373880.26
23427
2201945446
247AI 1.1-mtNN10736515166.06
27097
377369492408
248AMG 2.2(Max Compression)NN11466275863.76
97
9999932945907
249DC 0.99.307b(none)NY10131422467.97
101
999997487039
250DC 0.99.307b-b4096NY9954659068.53
107
999996153492
251EPC 1.0-m256 -o18YY9879716468.77
156
999995665076
252COMPRESSIA 1.0bmax sol dict 15 MbNN8069834074.49
803
99999764699
253ENC 0.15-d256NN8975052871.63
1440
999992101919
254ENC 0.15abies -d256NN8795559072.20
3498
999991757147


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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