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  #1  
Old 05-11-2007, 03:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Is Vista Slow at Decompressing ZIP Files or is it Just Me?

One of the handy things that both Windows XP and Windows Vista have as a feature is a built-in de-compression right click function, allowing you to un-zip files that are zipped. It's an unfortunate reality that many people don't understand how ZIP compression works and they ZIP files that are already compressed (such as JPEG and MP3 files), resulting in basically no space savings. Something I've noticed since moving to Vista is how ridiculously slow it is at decompressing ZIP files.



I did a quick test: I took a 318 MB file, compressed it down to 125 MB (so it was 60% compressed) and put a copy on two of my systems: one, an Intel Core 2 Duo overclocked to 2.9 Ghz with Winzip installed, and the other, an Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme overclocked to 3.35 Ghz without Winzip installed. Both systems have 3 GB of DDR2 800mhz RAM installed and both systems are running the OS on 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptor drives. If the software decompression speeds between Winzip and Vista's decompression were equal, you'd expect the faster 3.3 Ghz CPU to trounce the slower system right?

The 2.9 Ghz system decompressed the 318 MB file in 23 seconds, while the faster 3.3 Ghz system took 33 seconds - that's 43% slower, and it's on faster hardware. I don't have XP installed on any similar hardware, so I can't replicate this test with the older OS, but I don't remember it feeling so ridiculously slow. Is anyone else seeing the same thing?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2007, 03:36 PM
bcre8v2
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Yup... It's annoying and frustrating.

PC Mag (Dvorak) has a rant about this: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2123848,00.asp

My XP and Vista systems are fairly similar, but Vista's decompress, copy, & move functions seems excrutiatingly slow.

In Vista's favor, ftp performance seems much faster than XP.

Sharing folders between systems, I performed a quick analysis this a.m.

Computer 1 = XP sp2 (with all updates)
Computer 2 = Vista Ultimate (with all updates except language packs)

Actions:

1. Copy 551 MB zip file from computer 1 to computer 2 (admin share)
2. Decompress under Vista
3. Copy 551 MB file from computer 2 to computer 1 (regular folder share)
4. Decompress under XP using built-in decompressor and Winzip

Results:

1. (calculating time remaining = 1 minute 20 seconds) - finished in 1 minute 27 seconds.
2. (calculating time remaining = 1 HOUR 22 minutes, then 1 hour 3 minutes, then 44 minutes, then 8 minutes, etc...) - finished in 2 minutes 55 seconds. Extracted file size = 650 MB, 475 files, 81 folders.
3. (copying... 40 seconds remaining) - finished in 36 seconds.
4. XP decompressor (Extracting...) finished in 1 minute 8 seconds.
Winzip, "Extract to here" finished in 40 seconds!

I am not passing any judgement, but time is money :idea:
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2007, 04:55 PM
jeffd
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People still use zip? everything in my life revolves around RAR. ^^

Never used windows xp or vista to compress or decompress, how ever one of the reasons i didn't like vista is its network file transfers were a little slow, and if it was a big file then the est time would be bugged and show something like 1 hour and 33 minutes.
 
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:46 PM
Dyvim
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Just the other day, I was marveling at the suckiness that is Window's XP's built-in .zip decompression. I was trying to unzip a .zip file and gave up after 2 minutes of waiting when the progress bar still indicated that it had 2 minutes to go. At one point, the progress bar decided that there were 46 minutes to go. Anyway, I then unzipped it with WinRAR and it took 5 seconds. Try that one on for size.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2007, 07:03 PM
Doug Johnson
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3GB of RAM, huh? Not running dual channel?
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:08 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffd
People still use zip? everything in my life revolves around RAR.
Until RAR decompression support comes built into the OS, ZIP is going to be standard - I can send a ZIP file to anyone and the odds are good they'll be able to open it. RAR? I have to ask them to install an application, and many people aren't comfortable with that (or might not even be able to if it's a corporate locked-down system).
 
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim
I was trying to unzip a .zip file and gave up after 2 minutes of waiting when the progress bar still indicated that it had 2 minutes to go. At one point, the progress bar decided that there were 46 minutes to go.
Well, it does work, you just can't trust the measured time - it accelerates quite a bit at the end, but it's still a lot slower than Winzip for instance.
 
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:22 PM
Dyvim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn
Well, it does work
I know it works. But 2+ minutes (4 total would be a fair estimate I think) vs. 5 seconds is shockingly bad. I'd expect at most say a 3x speed difference not a 24-48x difference.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:28 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Johnson
3GB of RAM, huh? Not running dual channel?
2 x 1 GB sticks, 2 x 512 MB sticks - so I believe that's still dual channel. Having 4 x 1 GB sticks in the system only got me 3.3 GB of RAM, so it was a waste and I spread the RAM across my systems so the new digital media machine I'm building has 3 GB and my workstation machine (the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 box) has 3 GB as well.
 
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2007, 05:56 AM
jeffd
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jason, Actually, chances are most people who havn't installed a third party decompresser probably don't use zip files at all.

Zip may be used alot more in the web world, but frankly your shooting yourself in the foot if your clunking around with the OS decompresser. I always tell my friends to get winrar, if not for the fact that it not only handles zip, but most other file compressions out there (gzip, tar, ace, 7zip, arj, even ISO). Its also got a great classic straight foward interface.
 
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