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

Results: Proprietary Formats, HT Enabled

We start with the proprietary compression formats supported by all four file archiving and compression tools in our round-up, using both the default settings as well as the best settings we could find in each tool's GUI.

This page shows the benchmarks with Hyper-Threading support turned on; the benchmark results gleaned with Hyper-Threading turned off are on the following page.

There’s a clear winner in this benchmark, and it's 7-Zip. The tool not only compresses files faster than any of its competitors, but it also manages to achieve the highest compression ratio. Even with the LZMA2 algorithm set to Fastest Compression, which prioritizes speed over compression ratio, 7-Zip produces noticeably smaller archive files than the competition, while finishing a full 19 seconds faster! Only LMZA’s Best setting pushes 7-Zip’s compression time all the way down to the bottom of the list. In return, though, it generates the smallest archive files. MagicRAR simply cannot compete with any of the more widely-known tools, at any setting.

  • 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