Winzip, WinRar, 7zip, WinAce rematch

Posted: July 2, 2009 in Software
Tags: , , ,

Couple of months ago, I posted a mini article regarding Winzip vs WinRar and 7zip and found out that 7zip beat em’ all. However, due to not so proper method that I used in that short test, the result is questionable. Furthermore, Winzip just launch their latest version of Winzip, known as Winzip 12.1 and according to their web, they are pretty confident with Winzip latest algorithm (zipx instead of good old zip). So, I guess it would be nice if I could compare Winzip, Winrar, 7zip and WinAce best compression algorithm.

So let get our hand dirty, shall we.


Operating System : Windows 7 RC 32bit.

Candidates Version :

Winzip version 12.1 build 8519

WinAce version 2.69

Winrar Version 3.90 beta 4

7zip version 4.65

Source Folder :

An OsRose Dev Rev 358 folders. Consist of 7448 files (from sql, text, bin, exe, aip etc). Notice that size on disk almost 20 MB more than actual size which indicate a lot of under 4 kB files in this folder.

You may download the source files : HERE

Compression Method : Best possible.

Winzip Configuration as follow :

WinRar configuration as below

7zip configuration as below :

WinAce configuration as below :



Detail : 7zip result

Time required to completely compress this folder : 42 secs

Detail : WinAce Result

Time required to completely compress this folder : 2 minutes and 46 secs

Detail : Winrar Result

Time required to completely compress this folder : 20 secs

Detail : Winzip 12 result

Time required to completely compress this folder : 1 minutes 8 seconds.

Result Summary:

Name Size (in MB) Size (Relative) Time (in seconds) Time (Relative)
WinZip 12.1




340 %

Winrar 3.90 beta 4




100 %

7zip 4.65




210 %

WinAce 2.69




830 %

Winner (size) : 7zip

From this simple test, clearly 7zip still the best files compressor. And yet, 7zip is an open source and completely free software. 7zip can compress almost 2 times better than winrar and winace and amazingly, more than 3x better than what Wizip 12.1 (with zipx enable) can achieve.

However, among all these candidates, if compress time is your concern than Winrar ace this test. While Winace require 166 seconds to do the very same job, Winrar just need 20 seconds to complete this task. In other word, with almost identical compress capability, Winrar is 8.3x faster than WinAce. Winzip compress time still bearable (68 seconds) which is 3.4x more than WinRar but what interest me here, 7zip doesn’t fall behind Winrar too much. 7zip able to compress file 2x better than winrar, but it also need 2x more time compare to Winrar J If size does matter, I full heartedly choose 7zip.

2nd Test

To be fair to Winzip 12.1 which their developer also claim that Winzip 12 now has better algorithm to compress JPEG files, I decide to run another test which is compressing a folder which is full of JPEG files (pictures from my Olympus pocket camera and Nokia N73). Let see how good Winzip 12 compare to other file compressor.

Operating System : Still Win7 32bit

Compression Configuration : Best possible (still same as above)

Candidate Version : Exactly same as above screenshot

Source folders is a 300 MB folders, consist of 157 JPEG files.

Result Overall :

Details : 7zip

Time required to compress this folder : 4 minutes and 16 seconds

Details : WinRar

Time required to compress this folder : 3 minutes and 51 seconds

Detail : WinAce

Time required to compress this folder : 5 minutes and 37 seconds

Detail : Winzip 12

Time required to compress this folder : 6 minutes and 10 seconds

Result Summary:

Name Size (in MB) Size (Relative) Time (in seconds) Time (Relative)
WinZip 12.1


100 %


160 %

Winrar 3.90 beta 4


126 %


100 %

7zip 4.65


125 %


111 %

WinAce 2.69




146 %

Winner (size) : Winzip

Amazingly, only Winzip 12.1 able to compress jpeg files effectively. Albeit it require the most time here, but 25% of files size reduction is an amazing achievement especially when we used to think that JPEG files no longer can be compressed effectively due to its highly compress nature. Kudos to winzip to break this belief. Winrar however still a freak demon here and 7zip follow closely behind it. However, even in jpeg department, 7zip still able to outperform winrar and winace. But, if JPEG compression is your top priority, look no further; Winzip 12 should be your answer.

Additional Test :

Source : Joomla_1.5.11-Stable-Full_Package (to represent web content)


Winner (size) : 7zip

7zip still beat em’ all in this test. Regarding time required, winrar still the fastest and 7zip trail it pretty close. Winace in the other hand is very slow. One interesting note here, Winace beat Winzip zipx and from this result, Winzip 12 zipx file format doesn’t offer significant advantage compare to legacy zip format.

Last Test is a folder that consist a lot of .doc, .docx, pdf and chm files to represent e-document.

Source :

Result :

Winner (size) : 7zip

7zip still beat em all but not by huge margin. In fact, the different between 7zip and Winrar is almost identical.

Verdict :

3 out of 4 tests, 7zip perform brilliantly in term of compress file size. Winrar is still the speed champion but 7zip still manage to follow it pretty close (compare to other product). And best of all, 7zip is an open source and free of charge. Free as freedom and free as air. All 4 candidates can open/view/decompress various kind of archive extension (rar, zip, 7zip etc) without any problem. So, which is the best file archiver and compressor here?

Obviously the answer should be 7zip especially when we take price into account J

Happy Archiving :]

  1. Janus Daniels says:

    Thanks; I’d wondered which compression utility to use, and prefer OSS.
    I use compression (mainly) to back up my DVDs; any further suggestions?

  2. dave says:

    you should compare the stable Winrar rather than a beta imo

  3. ptcruisergt says:

    It seems as if Winzip 12.1 is the same as 12.0. Only difference is that 12.0 used same .ZIP extension if you enabled JPEG compression. 12.1 uses .ZIPX extension in order to differentiate compatibility of JPEG-compressed ZIP’s and legacy-compressed ZIP’s. So, 12.1, not really much new 😦

  4. PuZo says:

    Some other archivers worth testing would be FreeArc and NanoZip.

  5. PsychoFX says:

    I’ve done some testing myself and for many situations 7-Zip outperforms WinRAR in final archive size, but then I ran into a .CDR with many pictures (CorelDRAW X3 file) which was 175,538 Kb. These were the results:
    7-Zip 4.65: 104,315 Kb – 6:48 minutes
    WinRAR 3.71: 83,885 kb – 2:01 minutes
    WinZip 10: 100,201 Kb – 3.18 minutes
    7Zip came 340% slower and 21% bigger than WinRAR, but more disturbingly, it was ouperformed by WinZIP 10.
    I’m not bashing 7-Zip, I think it’s a great compression format, I don’t care about the “rustic” look of the GUI (as long as every possible option is available for me to use it), and I don’t use it more than for general archiving purposes cause I’m the only one I know that uses it, so I can’t send .7z files to anyone (my friends and family won’t know what to do with a .7z file). As I said, 7zip almost always outperforms RAR by some kb at least, but it’s not ALWAYS the best compressor, and just ’cause it’s paid it doesn’t mean that automatically anything that isn’t, is better either. Besides the nagging screen, I haven’t seen any functionality reduced in an out-of-trial-period copy of WinRAR.

  6. expertester says:

    Every archiver has its own unique compression algo. Perhaps, win rar algo handle CDR file better.

    regarding the .7z extension, lol..most of end user doesnt know what to do..but if they have winrar, they will see it as one of winrar file. Winrar could handle 7z file by default.

  7. Stormy says:

    Winrar! Stable, very fast, easy integration, etc. Some types/collections author “forgot” to test: a computer game (which, oh surprise, are very diverse on file types) or at least some save games, loss-less audio formats, psd/cdr graphic files, etc.
    Also some things author “forgot” (again) to mention about WinRar: it is the only archiver so far that is multi-threaded. Which means it is not only faster on 1 core but its speed can be increased _alot_ on a quad core CPUs.
    Additionally, WinRar’s “solid archive” is not a smart choice for long-therm archiving. Not only you have to add a recovery record (or else you loose the chance of any archive recovery) but it is slower when you need to update (oh, and that’s another thing author “forgot” about) files in the archive. Yes it makes archives smaller but they also become very “fragile” and slow to extract when you need some but not all of the files.
    The GUI has options for background archiving, very powerful SFX module, strong password encryption system, authenticity record and so on.
    If you put aside the best scen. size differences between 7z and Rar (where 7z sacrifices too much speed for too small size gains) – I’d say WinRar is the obvious winner here.

    • expertester says:

      Thanks Stormy πŸ™‚

      Just to clear up some things : This mini benchmark was done using my own PC which use AMD Phenom 955BE @ 3.6 GHz (Quad Core). So, results that I gathered were based on multi core processor. If WinRar support multi thread tech, mean the performance advantage that winrar has here probably because of its superior support of multi thread technology.

      Solid Archive was chosen because my objective was to find which product able to produce smallest archive. But I do agree with your statement, that compress in Solid Archive is risky. However, if I don’t switch this option on, Winrar fanboy might flame me too πŸ˜› (Flame Shield UP)

      Perhaps on next rematch, I will include audio, video, games and other archiver such as arc.

      Thanks for your feedback Stormy

    • Abhishek Keshri says:

      WinRar is and always will be the best compression utility its far more better than 7-zip

  8. cakarelang says:

    how about file integrity test? winrar have a file recovery record, how about other format? what the trusted file format to backup files without loss data because few bit damage?

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