Thursday, September 25, 2014

The super benchmark: WinRAR VS 7-Zip

**UPDATE - October 4 2016**

Here is the latest WinRAR vs 7-Zip benchmark:

Hello! In a debate on one of the two eternal wars (other being Firefox VS Chrome), I sort-of jump in through my blog to conclude which is the better of the two. This is a cauldron, as always, and does not cool down. So here I am with my comprehensive benchmark, which I did in a "test.txt". So I will copy all the Notepad text from there to show you the results.

winrar vs 7zip benchmark

But before that, two things.

One, the best archiver on the basis of feature set, supported by SqueezeChart 2014 benchmark was
concluded by me for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android on my other article. Here is the link:

Two, WinRAR with 1 GB dict size usage requires only 3 GB RAM. But 7-Zip requires 11 GB RAM for 1 GB dict size, which one rarely has in his PC or laptop. So WinRAR is better for common PCs.

My benchmark is here, below this line.
System Specs

Windows 7 Home Premium (OS also makes some difference in terms of optimisation of system resources)
Core i3-2120 3.3 GHz
1 GB AMD Radeon HD 6450 gfx card
Seagate 1 TB HDD @ 7200 rpm


MVSC (contains Cadillacs n Dinosaurs, Marvel Superheroes VS Street Fighter,
Marvel VS Capcom, Street Fighter Alpha 2, X-Men VS Street Fighter ROMs
and Final Burn Alpha emulator) 119 MB

NFS Most Wanted installed game folder 2.83 GB

Oni installed game folder 1.01 GB

Dict size used
RAR5 128 MB
7Z 64 MB (Best)
7Z 32 MB (Max)
7Z 16 MB (Normal)
7Z 1 MB (Fast)

Throughout, for 7Z, LZMA2 algorithm was used.
In each case Solid compression was used.

Note: In RAR and RAR5, Best and good were almost equivalent in size and time and
hardly made difference in memory usage,
which was doubling time to benchmark so to avoid time wastage, "good" was excluded.
Proof: you can see from the results.

Note: no test was done twice, as others say to remove hdd bottleneck.
This is a real-world performance test, and as expected, no one would compress a file
twice to ensure removal of bottlenecks as it will take nearly double the time to do such a task practically.


Time is in seconds throughout.


Folder Format Mode CompressTime ArchiveSize

MVSC 7Z Ultra 32.6 110 MB
MVSC 7Z Max 24.3 110 MB
MVSC 7Z Normal 18.4 110 MB
MVSC 7Z Fast 13 111 MB

MVSC RAR Best 12 111 MB
MVSC RAR Normal 13 111 MB
MVSC RAR Fast 12 111 MB
MVSC RAR Fastest 4.8 112 MB

MVSC RAR5 Best 23 111 MB
MVSC RAR5 Normal 31 111 MB
MVSC RAR5 Fast 21 111 MB
MVSC RAR5 Fastest 3 111 MB

NFS MW 7Z Ultra 657 1.84 GB
NFS MW 7Z Max 616 1.84 GB
NFS MW 7Z Normal 506 1.85 GB
NFS MW 7Z Fast 288 1.96 GB

NFS MW RAR Best 299 1.94 GB
NFS MW RAR Normal 317 1.94 GB
NFS MW RAR Fast 589 1.92 GB
NFS MW RAR Fastest 132 2.03 GB

NFS MW RAR5 Best 739 1.91 GB
NFS MW RAR5 Normal 661 1.91 GB
NFS MW RAR5 Fast 592 1.92 GB
NFS MW RAR5 Fastest 101 2.03 GB

NFS MW TAR+GZ Normal 105+166 2.08 GB *Just to prove how BAD GZip is, because people say GZip is superfast

Oni 7Z Ultra 216 313 MB
Oni 7Z Max 213 383 MB
Oni 7Z Normal 160 423 MB
Oni 7Z Fast 71 500 MB

Oni RAR Best 109 487 MB
Oni RAR Normal 86 482 MB
Oni RAR Fast 75 485 MB
Oni RAR Fastest 40 528 MB

Oni RAR5 Best 145 297 MB
Oni RAR5 Normal 115 298 MB
Oni RAR5 Fast 81 300 MB
Oni RAR5 Fastest 23 519 MB


7-Zip and WinRAR mean the time in seconds they took to decompress archives. N/A represents inability to extract archive.

Folder (Format Mode) 7-Zip WinRAR

MVSC - in all cases time varied between 0.7 and 2 secs

NFS MW (7Z Fast) 127 211
NFS MW (RAR5 Best) N/A 76
NFS MW (RAR Best) 93 80

Oni (RAR5 Normal) N/A 0:13


RAR5 with Fast setting with Solid compression is the best setting for common usage. But when you have to compress 1000's of files, whether big or small, and you may have to extract one of them sometime, uncheck Solid compression (in WinRAR) or select Non-Solid in 7-Zip.

WinRAR is better for daily life usage, even though 7-Zip has better compression (2-3%). But time is money, and 7-Zip wastes that to get smaller archives. WinRAR is efficient enough for daily life usage.

NOTE: If you want to see more efficient archivers than WinRAR, then look at FreeArc and NanoZip.

Hope for comments on this one.