At work today, I decided to do a test of various file archivers/compressors. I didn’t test for compression time because that would require a set testbed, and I have actually work I need to do while this is going on. However, in terms of compression ratios, this might be a handy guide. I chose my computer’s Windows folder, as it is a good mix of some multimedia, text, and binary files. Arguably, my methodology could be better, but this is by no means a definitive test.
|Compression Type||Version Settings||Short Size||Specific Size||Compression Ratio (higher is better)|
|zip1||Best||738 MB||774’632’117 bytes||53.83%|
|rar||3.5b4 / Best||641 MB||672’352’805 bytes||59.92%|
|7z||4.18b / Ultra||380 MB||399’218’775 bytes||76.21%|
|uha2||0.6 / PPM||418 MB||439’032’243 bytes||73.83%|
|ace||2.6 b5 / Maximum||523 MB||549’003’502 bytes||67.28%|
Conclusions: The clear winner here is 7-zip. Not only was it relatively fast, but it even manages to beat the fabled UHARC compression (which, arguably, may show better results in a purely multimedia test, from which it draws its lofty reputation), and all with a neat interface akin to WinRAR (which still captures the best overall compressor award for its interface and extra functions). I was extremely surprised at how well the 7z compression fared.
- while I have linked to WinZip, perhaps the most synonymous to Windows users (just as pkunzip was to DOS users), the Zip algorithm isn’t really the product of WinZip in that same way that other types, like 7z or Rar, are the products of their respective programs.[↩]
- UHARC is a command line compressor. For this test, I used BRHack’s UHARC GUI 3.06 b6. Since UHARC doesn’t have a home page, per se, I’ve linked to the BRHack website.[↩]