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GZIP vs. BZIP2 vs. LZMA

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Software

There’s no nicer way to say it… I’m running out of disk space. I have three options: buy a larger hard drive, delete some files to free up space, or compress some of the data. Buying a larger hard drive is the best option in the long term but “in the long term, we’re all dead” Big Grin and deleting files is painful for me… I’m a serial pack rat. So I decided to explore compression as a way out of my disk space headaches. First, I had to find the most efficient compression algorithm, a task I soon found out is not easy. I read several blogs and websites and everybody had something good to say about their favorite algorithm. But one thing was clear, the GZIP, BZIP2 and LZMA compression algorithms were leading the pack. To satisfy my own curiosity and determine for myself which was the most efficient, I decided to run some benchmarks. To be honest, I’ve been hearing some good things about the LZMA compression algorithm so I was hoping it would live up to the hype.

These benchmarks were conducted on a 2.53 GHz processor with 2GB RAM and a 5400 RPM Seagate Barracuda IDE hard disk. I also throttled the algorithms for maximum compression.

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