Though I’m not the sort of person who believes that native 64-bit compilations of programs will automagically make them perform faster or better, I do like to keep an eye on the state of the art, since I was an early adopter of native 64-bit OSes (I’ve been using 64-bit Linux since about Fedora Core 2 or 3, and beta versions of Windows XP x64) when AMD launched their K8 platform.
This time, I decided to test various and sundry file compression utilities—more specifically, those which offer both 32- and 64-bit versions of themselves. This benchmark did not exhaustively test all potential combinations of compression options (if you’re interested in that, see Werner Bergman’s excellent Maximum Compression and Matt Mahoney’s Data Compression Programs), nor will it compare various compressors to each other; neither will it even list how well the programs actually compressed, since that’s not really a consideration here. The sole purpose of the benchmark was to compare the execution time of a 32-bit program with its 64-bit version.
The corpus in this case was enwiki9, compressed to a RAM disk to minimize the potential effects of write latency. I wanted the corpus to be sufficiently large to better tease out significant differences in these compressors over a large dataset.
The results for each compressor are listed on their own page, as well as an explanation of the compressor, its origin, and any additional notes. One notable exception to this list is WinRK, which is available in a 64-bit version but contains no command-line interface.