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Compression Performance: 7-Zip, MagicRAR, WinRAR, WinZip

WinRAR 4.2

We’ve been using WinRAR as a benchmark program for a long time. Just like WinZip, it’s one of the most popular and best-known file archiving and compression tools out there. WinRAR scores points for its high compression speeds and full support for all RAR and ZIP compression formats. It can also extract 7z, ACE, ARJ, BZ2, tar.bz2, CAB, GZ, tar.gz, ISO, JAR, LZH, TAR, UUE, and Z. WinRAR has a wizard to guide users step-by-step though the compression process.

Just like 7-Zip and WinZip, WinRAR can be used via its own file manager, Windows Explorer context menus, or even the command line. It also offers optional 128-bit AES encryption. WinRAR can compress files and folders into self-extracting archives, and repair damaged or corrupted archive files. A stand-out feature is the size preview, which predicts the archived size for selected files and folders. This capability can come in very handy when you want to compress large amounts of data and want to know how large the archive file will be before going through the compression process.

WinRAR comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and while there is a shareware version available, the application costs $29 after the 40-day evaluation period ends.

  • audi90
    One does not simply buy WinRAR...
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    1. There is no difference between LZMA and LZM2 . Both are the same algorithm. The only difference is LZMA is limited to 2 threads. LZMA2 is much more threaded, but uses double the amount of RAM.

    2. PPMd is strictly for compressing text. It compresses text better than any other algo. But it is limited to 1 core only.

    3. WinRar 4.2 is much better threaded than previous versions.

    4.7z threading depends a lot on the type of file compressed. On large files, it can use 100% of any number of cores. For many small files, it generally uses only 1 complete core.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    7ZIP is even more impressive when you consider that the LZMA format was designed by one single person. And then the program 7ZIP was also coded by that single person only.

    Maybe contribute a few dollars to Igor Pavlov , the creator of 7Zip ?
    Reply
  • s3anister
    This is an interesting article, I was rather surprised by the overall poor performance of WinRAR in every aspect when compared to 7zip.
    Reply
  • belardo
    For reference, shouldn't the built in ZIP tool in the windows OS?
    Reply
  • ojas
    Hey i had written this in the Haswell preview, but i think Chris missed it, so i'm repeating it here, since it is related.

    Could we have an AES-256 encryption comparison between CPUs and/or archive managers?

    Like without encryption vs with encryption, encryption with and without OpenCL, etc.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ 7 zip can use the Hardware based Intel AES-NI extensions.
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    Nothing new here, 7zip > WinRar > WinZip for quite some time. Why the inclusion of MagicRAR is a mystery, maybe a paid (failed) review? I'd be interested in an examine of the Parity/Recovery option of WinRAR and others. While still far behind PAR2 (or even the shady ICE Ecc), it is an important feature in Archiving that deserves more attention.
    Reply
  • PreferLinux
    mayankleoboy11. There is no difference between LZMA and LZM2 . Both are the same algorithm. The only difference is LZMA is limited to 2 threads. LZMA2 is much more threaded, but uses double the amount of RAM.

    2. PPMd is strictly for compressing text. It compresses text better than any other algo. But it is limited to 1 core only.

    3. WinRar 4.2 is much better threaded than previous versions.

    4.7z threading depends a lot on the type of file compressed. On large files, it can use 100% of any number of cores. For many small files, it generally uses only 1 complete core.4. You mean the 7Z format rather than 7-Zip.

    I've seen 7-Zip, using the Zip format, hitting 100% CPU usage when archiving around 1500 – 2000 files, the vast majority of which (like >75%, if not >90%) were tiny, about half under 100 B and the other half between 1 kB and 4 kB. But with the same set of files I did a quick test, and using LZMA2 to 7z it was using 1 and a bit cores (going by my total CPU usage).
    Reply
  • LiviuTM
    Great article.
    Maybe you can add IZArc (http://www.izarc.org/) to the comparison.
    Reply