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Test Setup

Harden Up: Can We Break Your Password With Our GPUs?
Test Hardware
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 3.3 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
Hard Drive
Samsung 470 256 GB
Palit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Asus GeForce GTX 570 1.28 GB
AMD Radeon HD 5870 1 GB

Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS
System Software and Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX 11
DriverNvidia 270.51
Catalyst 11.4
Visual Zip Password Recovery Processor
Version: 6.2
Advanced Archive Password Recovery
Version: 4.53
Accent Zip Password Recovery
Version: 2.01
Accent RAR Password Recovery
Version: 2.01
Parallel Password Recovery
Version: 1.6.0
Version: 15.5 Pro
Encryption: Zip 2.0 (default), AES-128, AES-256
Compression: No Compression, Zipx/PPMd (default), Zip/deflate
Version: x64 4.00
Encryption: AES-128
Compression: Normal, Store

It's important to point out that WinZip offers three different encryption options: Zip 2.0, AES-128, and AES-256, along with several compression schemes. WinRAR is much simpler in that it only offers AES-128 encryption and different levels of the same compression scheme. I'm testing with several variations to show you how this affects the speed of password recovery.

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