I was just wondering what you guys think the best program for compressing games are ...ACE or RAR?? Ace seems to be making the games smaller but then if thats the case why are almost all the games I see in RAR format? Could you guys shed some light on this?
I can't speak for everyone, but chances are that most games are in RAR format because:

- RAR is more widely supported by software on multiple platforms

- WinACE has a whale of an inteface

- Most people would rather go with what they know than move to a new program just for a 5% or so increase in compression

There are algorithms out there that get better compression than WinACE's as well, but generally they are very slow, format-dependent (e.g. they only compress one or two types of data better) or are poorly supported.
Quote: from SkankinMonkey on 3:54 pm on Jan. 21, 2002

you could also use Uharc then rar that up, or use one of the other pseudo-impossible to use compression formats ;)
Luckily I've only ever come across one thing that used Uharc. Is it's compression actually any good?
Were you offering that as a viable solution or was that just some joke?

Maybe I'm stupid but I can't tell the difference. Whats this Uharc? Is it actually a good idea to compress the games I store on my HD with it?

Please forgive my ignorance.
I was being sarcastic and serious, other programs offer much better compression ratio's, but are often very difficult to get working due to their command-line only interface.
hey i wanna look into this UHARC but I can't seem to find much info on it anywhere. I need hard drive space for the games i serve on my hub so I wanna see how well this compression really is. I'm comfortable with command line only so perhaps if you could direct me to a web page I could look further into this little utility...
Apparently, UHARC's development was stopped a while ago, and AFAIK it has no official web page. You might want to look into 7-Zip or RK, though.

Edit: I've decided that I'm sufficiently intrigued by some of these claims to justify some testing, particularly of 7-Zip, which is Free Software (and thus readily portable to other platforms). I'll report back with results as soon as I'm done.

(Edited by ExCyber at 9:11 pm on Jan. 21, 2002)
Well, I'm done for tonight. Results so far haven't ben terribly promising. I was going to do a run of RK (which, from old tests I've seen, supposedly kicks the crap out of everything else) tonight, but it looked like it was likely to take over an hour, and I'd like to get some sleep rather than wait to time it. I'll edit this message when I get more information.

Compression tests were performed on a system with an Athlon XP 1800+, 768MB DDR SDRAM, and a Maxtor 45GB IDE HDD. YMMV.

All options are set to their defaults unless otherwise noted.

Compression programs used




Version: 3.00 Beta 1

Platform: Win32

Other Supported Platforms: Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS, MS-DOS, OS/2

License: Nagware, free fully functional download




Version: 2.11

Platform: Win32

Other Supported Platforms: Linux, DOS

License: Shareware, free fully functional download




Version: 2.30b12

Platform: Win32

Other Supported Platforms: None? (source is available, so independent ports are possible)

License: GNU LGPL




Version: 1.04.1 Alpha

Platform: Win32

Other Supported Platforms: None?

The tests:

Street Fighter Zero 3


Format: BIN

Uncompressed: 625,465,008

WinRAR (Best, 1% recovery record): 463,491,594 (74.1%); Approx. 9:42 (9:15 before recovery record)

WinACE (Maximum, recovery record, 4096K dictionary): 456,617,211 (73%); 16:55

7-Zip (7z Format, Maximum): 505,338,708 (80.79%); 24:33