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Thread: Which compressor for general use

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    Which compressor for general use

    Your opinion!

    I'd like to have a file compressor that is suitable for general use.
    PAQ is great, but is way too slow for general use and is heavily in development.
    I'm looking for something with better compression that 7-zip, but not as slow.

    I've tried (and translated) WinARC but that one just stops at some point and does not notify me and leaves me corrupt archives, so I'm looking for a little more solid application.

    Or should I stick safe with 7-zip?

    Your opinion please, you are the experts, what's your best compressor?

    I have a Quadcore X4 955 with 8GB Ram, so memory is not an issue, multitasking compressors are a pr

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    7zip, freearc, nanozip in order of decresed reliability and increased compression

    http://freearc.org/Maximal-Practical-Compression.aspx

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    Have you tried 7-zip 9?

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/sevenzip/files/

    It has support for LZMA2 which doesn't expand incompressible files much and has very good support for multithreading. With 8 GiB ram, you can use 3 threads and 600 - 700 MiB dictionary or 4 threads and 300 - 350 MiB dictionary.

    You can preprocess files with PreComp to make them more compressible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy View Post
    Your opinion!

    I'd like to have a file compressor that is suitable for general use.
    PAQ is great, but is way too slow for general use and is heavily in development.
    Try paq8... -1 instead of default -5, it's faster. Or LPAQ8. Or ZPAQ. All of those should be faster than default. Also try some of LovePimple's optimized compiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy
    I'm looking for something with better compression that 7-zip, but not as slow.
    7-Zip is one of the fastest around that still has really good compression! So unless you're compressing really really big files, it's fine. Of course you might get better Bzip2 or Gzip performance out of PBzip2 or PIGZ, respectively. Or use Ilia's "Gziphack" for better-than-default .gz compression while being faster to work than 7-Zip. BTW, 7-Zip also supports "-m0=ppmd", which is better compression than LZMA for some files (e.g. text).

    Or should I stick safe with 7-zip?
    Probably, esp. since it has various options that adjust the speed (e.g. fastest is reputedly "-mx1 -m0=bzip2").

    Your opinion please, you are the experts, what's your best compressor?

    I have a Quadcore X4 955 with 8GB Ram, so memory is not an issue, multitasking compressors are a pr?.
    Hard to imagine someone with a quadcore w/ 8 GB RAM worrying about speed / size!

    P.S. If you stick to Windows only, UHarc is pretty darn good and fast. And FreeArc seems pretty good (although lamentably I haven't tested it much, still only got "old" 0.50, heh).

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    Hard to imagine someone with a quadcore w/ 8 GB RAM worrying about speed / size!
    Well, Quadcore is fine, but when your compressor is still using 1 or maybe 2 threads, a single or dualcore cpu would be just as fast.

    Downside of 4 thread is, that these threads work separately, so when there are 2 identical files, in 2 different threads, they are compressed separately. would be great if one core handled some kind of comparing between the other 3 threads.

    PS. FreeArc crashes on me too much on large files, leaving a corrupted archive. There is no message about a crash so if you delete the originals, they are lost forever.

    Guess I'll stick with 7-zip (v9)
    Last edited by Fairy; 28th July 2009 at 17:14.

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    i would sugest using winrar AND 7-zip

    sometimes winrar make the smallest file (due to filter end preprocessors) sometimes 7-zip (sdue to stronger ompression)

    both file types can be opened p? the others products*




    *winrar doesn't support decompressiong of lzma2 in 7.zip files yet

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy View Post
    PS. FreeArc crashes on me too much on large files, leaving a corrupted archive. There is no message about a crash so if you delete the originals, they are lost forever.
    this is with 0.51 and maximum compression mode?

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    I Would sugggest using my software, PerfectCompress, which allows you to compress files using my own combination of formats (PAQ + 7z for compression or RZM + 7z for speed). The format is called UCA which means ULTRA Compressed Archive. The main feature of this format is that if a new version of paq is released, UCA will write which version of PAQ was used and will use the correct version when decompressing. I use this compression format a lot. If you plan to use it I recommend using UCA compression.

    You can find PerfectCompress on this same forum.

    NOTE: PerfectCompress may not work on Windows XP as it has been tested on both a Windows XP SP2 and SP3 with latest .NET version and service pack. The problem seems that the software looks for the DATA folder on the location were the compressed archive will go. So far, I have not found a solution for this. Also, this is strange since the software can find the DATA Folder in its default location on Windows 7 RC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulat Ziganshin View Post
    this is with 0.51 and maximum compression mode?
    Thats right. Is there a known bug + workaround?

    PS. 7-zip v9 isn't really my thing. LZMA2 is nothing more than leaving uncompressable files alone and ability to spread into more threads, but, you lose quite a lot of compression ratio on some datasets.

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy View Post
    Thats right. Is there a known bug + workaround?
    not exactly. there are several problems arising from use of so much memory. i recommend you to upgrade to 0.52 alpha and check whether it works fine

    but i agree that freearc isn't ready for general purpose use. now it's great for distribution-type tasks where you anyway hold originals and just need to send data to other parties (or places)

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    Matt Mahoney's Avatar
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    I suggest zip. I think having a stable, widely supported, documented, and bug-free format is usually more important to most people than squeezing out the last bit of compression. Disk space is cheap. If you really need good compression, then rar, 7zip, and ppmd are pretty stable and fast enough.

    (Yeah I know that sounds strange coming from me. paq is the exact opposite of what you want. But I think experimental programs are important because they will lead to stable formats where advances and new formats won't break compatibility (hopefully like zpaq)).

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mahoney View Post
    I suggest zip. I think having a stable, widely supported, documented, and bug-free format
    i think that except for widespreadness, 7zip format isn't any worse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mahoney View Post
    I suggest zip. I think having a stable, widely supported, documented, and bug-free format is usually more important to most people than squeezing out the last bit of compression.
    If the difference is small, sure go with Zip. But Zip is often very inefficient for some things. I feel like a sap downloading Zip files that would be 5x smaller with a better compressor (.7z, .bz2, etc).

    Disk space is cheap.
    RAM is cheap, disk space is cheap. Uh, you know what else is cheap? Talk. (Tired of cliches.)

    No seriously, in a perfect utopia we wouldn't have to compress anything. But as is, e-mail attachments, storage limitations, file system max. sizes, file format caps, etc. all make us want to compress better and better. And in some cases nothing (popular) comes close to PAQ8!

    If you really need good compression, then rar, 7zip, and ppmd are pretty stable and fast enough.
    7-Zip supports PPMD method as well as Zip, so by that account, you'd be using it all the time. But I suspect not.

    (Yeah I know that sounds strange coming from me. paq is the exact opposite of what you want. But I think experimental programs are important because they will lead to stable formats where advances and new formats won't break compatibility (hopefully like zpaq)).
    Well, PAQ8 is "stable enough" if you stick to one branch (e.g. paq8f). It's not exactly cryptic to use, so I can't imagine it not being "ready for primetime". But yeah, I guess average users would probably prefer WinZip or whatever.

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    Member Skymmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy View Post
    I'm looking for something with better compression that 7-zip, but not as slow.
    I suppose you also want some functionallity? Then the answer is FreeARC. With different tricks it has you'll get not only better compression then 7-zip but also some goodies like both GUI and console versions, guaranteed backward (and forward I believe) compatibility, recovery data and SFX support. Yes, there is still a lot to do (at least support for other formats except ARC) but nobody prevents you to have a couple of archivers installed at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by moisesmcardona
    I Would sugggest using my software, PerfectCompress
    From my modest point of view its not an option at all. The main reason is that it has no self-developed compression core so if something will go wrong with some external programm it uses then you'll unable to do something with it, only wait if original developer will fix it. Furthermore there are some big issues and you even know them for yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy
    PS. 7-zip v9 isn't really my thing. LZMA2 is nothing more than leaving uncompressable files alone and ability to spread into more threads, but, you lose quite a lot of compression ratio on some datasets.
    Well, 7-zip 9 doesn't mean LZMA2 only. Nothing prevents you from using old good LZMA.


    Besides all that I'm still thinking about RAR as suggestion. From my point of view its excellent piece of software. Of course compression ratio is not so extreme but there are lot of other goodies. First of all RAR has a long development history and prooved itself as stable, functional and very handy archiver. Console version just rocks and GUI... Ohhh that GUI! I think all the GUI developers should take it as some kind of etalon. Seriously. Its not overbloated with useless, buggy, market-oriented functions (like in StuffIt) but has a nice and good-looking design and wisely crafted structure. For example you can create profile which will remember not only the compression settings but also files-to-archive and destination archive and you can make WinRAR to place a shortcut for this profile on your Desktop so you can make your backups with one click. Also, WinRAR is translated to a lot of languages, has both 32 and 64 bit versions and ported to Pocket PC, Linux, Linux x64, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and MS DOS. Damn! WinRAR is always my first candidate in context-menu. Whoof, I'm talking like WinRAR advertiser but seriously - currently its probably the best archiver I think.
    Yes, there is one big drawback - it coasts 29$ per single license but from another... I've heard a lot of whimpering from the people: "Ohhh, 30$ is too much!" "Holy crap" - I thing at this moment - "How much you spend on Saturday nignt? Drinking barrels of beer and abusing drugs?" That's how.
    Fairy, I'm not talking it to you so don't worry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skymmer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moisesmcardona
    I Would sugggest using my software, PerfectCompress
    From my modest point of view its not an option at all. The main reason is that it has no self-developed compression core so if something will go wrong with some external programm it uses then you'll unable to do something with it, only wait if original developer will fix it. Furthermore there are some big issues and you even know them for yourself.
    Basically you're right about the software not having its own compression core, as the software is designed to be just a GUI for the compressors. About the "big issues", they are just for Windows XP, since it is 100% compatible with Vista and Windows 7.

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