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Compression Comparison Guide Rev. 2.0
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WinRK was the best compressor in most filesets it encountered. So, it was not surprising that it was the overall compression champion. However, its performance was offset by its abysmally slow performance. Even with a really fast system, it still took ages to compress the filesets. On several occasions, it took more than 18 minutes to compress just 200MB of files. Thanks to this flaw, it had the dubious honour of being the most inefficient compressor as well.

SBC Archiver, which was just slightly poorer than WinRK at compression was much faster at the job. Although it was nowhere near the top of the speed rankings, its faster speed allowed it to attain a moderate efficiency ranking.

WinRAR, which is a favourite of many Internet users, displayed a surprisingly bland performance at default settings. Although it had a pretty good overall compression rate of just under 19%, it was very slow at its default settings. That made it the third most-inefficient compressor. Surprising, isn't it?

In contrast, another perennial favourite, WinZip which had a lower overall compression rate of 13% managed to attain a much higher efficiency rating because it was able to compress the filesets much faster than WinRAR. Quite surprising since many users have abandoned it for WinRAR in view of its rather dated compression algorithm.

StuffIt is a dark horse. It has a pretty good compression rate overall but with an unimpressive compression speed. However, its amazing performance with JPEG files cannot be denied. JPEG files is undeniably StuffIt's forte. No other compressor even comes within a light year of it.

gzip and ARJ32 are both the fastest and the worst compressors of the lot. They have unimpressive overall compression rates but more than make up for it with their tremendous compression speeds. Therefore, it isn't surprising to see them garner the top two spots in compressor efficiency. However, we would still recommend GUI alternatives like WinZip. It is almost as efficient as gzip and ARJ32 and far more user-friendly.

Based on our results, we can only come to one conclusion. If you do not like to change the settings of your data compressors and want a good, fast and user-friendly data compressor, then WinZip is the best one for the job.

So there you have it - the results of the Normal Compression Test. Click here to go back to the test results index.


Questions & Comments

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Date Revision Revision History
29-11-2002 1.0

Initial release.

15-04-2007 2.0 Part 1

Part 1 of the new compression comparison guide released.

23-04-2007 2.0 Part 2

Part 2 of the new compression comparison guide released.

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