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TidBITS#42/Compression

Ken Hancock No comments

Compression Wars

by Ken Hancock -- [email protected] -- khancock on AOL With all the recent hubbub regarding the various file compressors, I thought it was well past time for a review and comparison of the leaders: StuffIt, Compactor (now Compact Pro), and DiskDoubler. Before I begin, let's lay down the foundation used for the timing tests: All tests were done on a Macintosh SE/30 with 8 MB memory, running 6.0.7 under Finder on a Wren IV drive

Ken Hancock No comments

Compression Rankings

Best Compression - Binaries % saved %/min efficiency StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 "Best Guess" 42.3 7.11 Compactor 41.94% 13.90 StuffIt Classic 1.6 "Best Guess" 41.94% 5.67 DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method B" 35.34% 11.91 Best Compression - Graphics % saved %/min efficiency Compactor 55.66% 11.80 StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 "Best Guess" 55.10% 8.59 StuffIt Classic 1.6 "Best Guess" 54.33% 7.12 DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method B" 51.09% 19.52 Best Compression - Text % saved %/min efficiency Compactor 53.98% 87.54 StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 "Best Guess" 52.59% 24.85 StuffIt Classic 1.6 "Best Guess" 52.15% 27.94 DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method A" 51.41% 140.2

Ken Hancock No comments

Efficiency Rankings

Best Efficiency - Binaries %/min efficiency % saved DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method A" 18.21 25.19% StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 "Faster" 14.62 13.89% Compactor 13.90 41.94% DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method B" 11.91 35.34% Best Efficiency - Graphics %/min efficiency % saved DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method A" 39.15 47.63% StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 "Faster" 34.95 33.20% StuffIt Classic 1.6 "Fast" 28.34 49.13% StuffIt 1.5.1 "Try both" 25.51 48.47% Best Efficiency - Text %/min efficiency % saved DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method A" 140.21 51.41% Compactor 87.54 53.98% DiskDoubler 3.1 "Method B" 83.22 48.54% DiskDoubler 3.1 "Smallest" 71.74

Ken Hancock No comments

Expansion Ratings

At least a few people out there want to decompress files for some strange reason and might be interested in how fast the various compression programs do this

Ken Hancock No comments

Compactor

Compactor, a relatively recent introduction into the compression world from Bill Goodman, takes the simple approach: easy, fast, and compact. In all of the trials, Compactor files were never more than 1% larger than StuffIt Deluxe's "Better"/"Best Guess" modes, but anywhere from 25% to 400% faster

Ken Hancock No comments

StuffIt

I've been a big fan of StuffIt ever since Raymond Lau released it way back when. Before that, PackIt was the standard, and it didn't take long before everyone noticed that StuffIt was faster and better

Ken Hancock No comments

DiskDoubler

DiskDoubler was the biggest surprise for me, probably because I was least familiar with it. When I ran the "Text" test on it, all I could say was "Wow." No wonder Apple decided that a site-license for it would be a good thing

Ken Hancock No comments

Compression Conclusions

The common denominator remains the old StuffIt 1.5.1 format, since all of the compression programs can expand 1.5.1 files (this is why we included a StuffIt 1.5.1 file in the decompression tests)