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WinZIP is obsolete

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Ever since Stphrz revealed that he knows about as much as data compression as Napoleon I decided to run a test. I knew I would have the time to do it since my ISP has been about as reliable as a fiending heroin addict in the last few days.

The results were somewhat startling. Even though WinZIP focuses completely on Zip archival (unless you include the original DOS programs) it turns out that it's the WORST program for making zip files you can get.

For the staple in the test I used all four Doom iwads... doom.wad, doom2.wad, plutonia.wad and tnt.wad. All together they equal 61,164 Kb. I used a variety of popular formats, and in many cases, even different programs with the same format. For instance, when I made a zip file with WinRAR I named it doom_rar.zip.

Here are the results, in order of compression.

Format Filesize Comp. Program Used
====== ======== ===== ============
doom.cab 21,378 Kb 35% PowerArchiver 6.11
doom_ace.cab 21,379 Kb 35% WinACE 2.02
doom.ace 22,123 Kb 36.2% WinACE 2.02
doom_alt.rar 22,562 Kb 36.9% RAR32 2.71 DOS
doom.rar 23,049 Kb 37.7% WinRAR 2.71
doom.jar 23,262 Kb 38% JAR32 1.02
doom.tar.bz2 25,596 Kb 41.8% PowerArchiver 6.11
doom_pkz.zip 25,664 Kb 42% PKZip 2.5 DOS
doom.arj 25,988 Kb 42.5% ARJ 2.75a DOS
doom_rar.zip 26,080 Kb 42.6% WinRAR 2.71
doom_ace.zip 26,095 Kb 42.7% WinACE 2.02
doom.bh 26,096 Kb 42.7% PowerAchiver 6.11
doom_alt.zip 26,096 Kb 42.7% Powerarchiver 6.11
doom.zip 26,096 Kb 42.7% WinZIP 8.0
doom.tar.gz 26,156 Kb 42.8% PowerArchiver 6.11
doom_ace.tar.gz 26,157 Kb 42.8% WinACE 2.02
doom_alt.lzh 26,894 Kb 44% Powerarchiver 6.11
doom.lzh 27,825 Kb 45.4% LHA 2.55 DOS
doom.arc 35,892 Kb 58.7% ARCA 1.29 DOS
doom_ace.lzh 42,346 Kb 69.2% WinACE 2.02

(I did that in Notepad so I have no idea how it's going to look, hopefully it will be legible.)

This test folder takes up 514 megs on my second harddrive. I've taken a screenshot of the Explorer window; if you want to see it for yourself you can right here:
Might as well, it's only 9 Kb and it's proof of the results.

Note that two formats share the .jar extension, ARJSoft and JavaSoft. I used the ARJSoft format and didn't bother with the JavaSoft one, so the WinACE title there is incorrect.

Data compression is a harsh bitch goddess, that's for certian. Cab isn't always the best. Oddly enough, all 3 of my wads were actually smaller as rar files (but how could I disappoint Stphrz?). No single format is best in all testing... it's more of a matter of convenience on which one you use.

That's why zip is still the most popular format. Hell, Betamax has higher quality than VHS and who won that battle? ...any of you kids even heard of Betamax? =P

There's no doubt, though, that the 3 best formats are cab, rar and ace. However, whereas zip and rar are dinosaurs in data compression cab and ace are somewhat new, and are more likely to integrate changes/improvements since they're not that widespread.

For passing around I would say cab is best, since people don't need software to use it (Windows users can open them like any other folder).

For disk spanning I'm partial to rar and it's .r00 - .r99 extensions. Makes the job a little more predictable. Disk spanning sucks ass with zips and cabs, and I haven't tried it with ace yet. If ace does the same thing then it's just a matter of data content.

Of course, you can make spanning self extracting files with the rar DOS version that's available for free from WinRAR.com... and the latest beta version even has a gui so you can break away from the command line.

It's also worth mentioning that even the old standby pkzip.exe beat out WinZIP in terms of filesize. What the hell is the point, then? PowerArchiver has the same easy interface and it's free, plus it natively supports an assload of formats as opposed to a single one.

http://www.powerarchiver.com (Thanks Espi! =)

Here are some more links:
http://www.winzip.com (why not?)

Most of those have compression graphs available to look at, powerarchiver.com often shows that ace files beat out any of it's own formats.

If you have some more programs that can make zip files or any other format already covered (CuteZIP, PKZipWin) you can do the same thing I did and post your results here. Who knows, maybe WinZIP isn't the worst zipping program after all (although I doubt that). I'm still curious to the .sit format of Macintosh or some other cab programs. If anyone has them contributing to this would be considerate of you.

Oh, and no, I don't think there really was a point to this whole mess. Heheh.

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I really have to thank you again for telling me about Powerarchiver. It's a terrific program! Oh and deadnail, I knew about .rar compression :P I just didn't have a program to uncompress them, that's all. I was just having some fun giving you a hard time =).

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Hey, I said some good stuff about your new level :) I do hope you will stick with level editing. You're getting pretty good at it!

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Phoenix said:

Holy shit. Something better than winrar.

Powerarchiver is A1.

Something better than WinRAR? Well, just to prove a point of curiosity I went ahead and compressed 42 megs of Gameboy roms. Here's how it came out:

17.5 Mb Zip PowerArchiver (still better than WinZIP)
16.0 Mb Rar WinRAR
15.2 Mb Cab PowerArchiver
14.7 Mb Ace WinACE

This just goes to show that there probably never will be one set, defined winner... although right now it's a duel between ace and cab. Turns out that spanning disks with ace is a lot like rar files. =)

Spanning disks with cab is like the Windows cd. Cab1.cab, cab2.cab... interesting.

Just a few keynotes of importance with this... think about how much bandwidth could be saved on rom sites if they just switched formats! This was only 42 megs of roms, think about the 5 gigs on Cherryroms.com!

Still, for mass distribution you can't beat cab files... since they're natively integrated into Windows. =)

If you want to try cab files for yourself just make sure you use LZW compression... MSZip is the middle ground of compression. LZW is the full heavy-duty compression (and it beats the living shit out of LZH compression).

Bah. Enough talking about this. Just download PowerArchiver now and get it over with. I've already removed WinZIP and I feel like a limp dick for paying for it. :(


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deadnail said:

I've already removed WinZIP and I feel like a limp dick for paying for it. :(

Me too. Seeing as how Powerarchiver does a better job of making zip files than Winzip :P It's freeware to boot. I prolly never would have learned about it if I hadn't been such an ass :) I guess it pays sometimes eh?

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deadnail said:

?? It's Phoenix not Pheonix! (I should have used Hank!!! My real nick)
So far I saved 47MB storage space. As for the Powerarchive, very simple, I just will add a link to my site, so whoever wants to download from me just needs the program.
The main problem with WinZip it is rated very high with the average consumer.

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stphrz said:

Me too. Seeing as how Powerarchiver does a better job of making zip files than Winzip :P It's freeware to boot. I prolly never would have learned about it if I hadn't been such an ass :) I guess it pays sometimes eh?

If it did then you'd be a fucking billionaire.

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Guest RTC Marine
deadnail said:



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Are the .rar formats and other good compressions formats open standards, i.e. cross-platform etc. ? Just interested

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That all depends on whether or not someone makes the decompression software. I doubt there's cab decompression on Macintosh computers but I see no reason why ace and rar wouldn't work on anything that had software to support it.

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Guest fraggle`

tar.gz rules

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You're beginning to get annoying.... At first you were funny, but making too many stupid posts quickly loses its humor and takes on a new character of stupidity and annoyance.

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