Last year, many of you have asked – what else is there to be added to PA after PA 2009 Professional was released? Seemingly we had it all – Swiss knife of compression utilities seemed quite appropriate way to call PA. We did not want to disappoint you, so we answered with: speed.

We have become obsessed with squeezing every ounce of your cpu power for both compression and decompression. To do this we had to completely change our zip engine and pretty much reinvent the wheel. This took time and had its share of growing pains (beta 1 build .23 had quite few issues that we addressed with build .30) and we are still sorting out all of the smaller things that most people will never notice.

[singlepic id=3 w=320 h=240 mode=web20 float=right]So what exactly did you get? You got one of the fastest zip compression utilities there is, optimized for blazing speeds on your multicore computers. On quad core, our tests show almost 4x improvement in speed over single core computer of similar speed, same goes for dual core computers (almost 2x and 4x). Of course CPU is not the only bottleneck in the system, and on i7 you basically reach the point where your hard drive becomes slowest part of the system.

We will post few graphs later on this week for those that didn’t have time to test it out themselves but these are areas that PA 2010 improved on compared to PA 2009, due to new pa compression library:

  • zip deflate compression – improved algorithm for all
    users, 2x/4x improvement for multicore users.
  • zip deflate decompression – improved algorithm for
    better speed.
  • gzip/bzip2 – significantly faster operation due to new
  • Unicode support – ZIP Unicode support compatible with
    all popular compression utilities.
  • zip lzma support – added lzma support to zip, according
    to zip specifications (up to 30-40% better compression). Multicore enabled
    as well so up to 2x faster than WinZip12.
  • ppmd/bzip2/wavpack support – both compression and
    decompression, making PA only compression utility that supports
    WinZip10/11/12 formats for maximum compatibility (except for jpeg).
  • Optimized mode – smart mode where PA decides what mode
    to use, so you dont have to read help :-). Where Ultra and Maximum are used
    for maximum compression and Normal/Fast are used for maximum speed. In both
    cases (speed and compression), better than competition.

[singlepic id=4 w=320 h=240 mode=web20 float=right]And of course, all these improvements took considerable time  and effort (separate team started working on it in July 2008 while others were finishing PA 2009). They will also require some time to troubleshoot all different possibilities so we ask you kindly to report any issues you have found in Betas.

Best yet? All improvements are featured in both Standard and Professional versions of PowerArchiver! As we said previously, both versions are important for us (i saw some doubts on how Standard will not be developed anymore, so we proved now that those users were wrong).

Check the screenshot to see how PA is burning all 4 cores on i7 system ;-). We will bring you more articles with actual speed comparo between PowerArchiver and our competitors later on this week.

Thanks to all of our users and testers that made this possible!