File Compression Basics

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LHammonds
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File Compression Basics

Post: # 97Post LHammonds »

When it's all said and done, I prefer 7-zip over everything else. It has the best compression, it's free, the source code is freely available and you can decompress all archives and create 7z or zip archives.

If you want the best compression to save space, download and upload time, use the .7z format.
If you want the best speed during compression and best portability, use the .zip format. (good for small files so that even WinXP can open them)
The .rar format is simply a middle-of-the-road format.

Most Common Archive Formats (2010)

Filetype extension: .7z
Commonly referred to as: 7-zip (or SevenZip)
Program Web site: www.7-zip.com, File Mirror + Documentation @ TESNexus
Cost: FREE
License: Open Source, GPL
Compression: Best
Portability: To extract files in this format, each use must have 7-zip or the latest version of WinRAR
Native Support in Windows XP?: No

Filetype extension: .rar
Commonly referred to as: RAR
Program web site: www.rarlabs.com
Cost: $30
License: Trialware
Compression: Better than OK
Portability: To extract files in this format, each user must have WinRAR, 7-zip, or simular compatible program.
Native Support in Windows XP?: No

Filetype extension: .zip
Commonly referred to as: Zip
Program Web Site: www.winzip.com
Cost: $35
License: Trialware
Compression: OK
Portability: This format has been around so long that just about every program that deals with compression can handle it.
Native Support in Windows XP?: Yes

Compression Size Comparison:

Oblivion Mod to compress: Apophis: Armory of the Silver Dragon 0.9.3
Oblivion Mod uncompressed size: 151 MB

Archive Program: 7-Zip v4.65
Compression Setting: Maximum
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 33 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 5 seconds
Final compressed size: 55.5 MB

Archive Program: WinZip v14.5
Compression Setting: Best Compression (non-compatible)
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 59 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 7 seconds
Final compressed size: 63.2 MB

Archive Program: WinRAR v3.93
Compression Setting: Best
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 13 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 3 seconds
Final compressed size: 74.5 MB

Archive Program: WinZip v14.5
Compression Setting: Legacy (Zip 2.0 compatible)
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 40 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 4 seconds
Final compressed size: 75.5 MB

NOTE: The above results were from using the 32-bit versions of the programs on a Windows 7, 64-bit operating system.

Mirror Location: TESNexus
Mirror Location: OBMM How-To Site
Mirror Location: The Storm Raven Library

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