Ever since I found a copy of the 7-zip ( http://www.7-zip.org ) add on source for Mame .90u1 ( http://www.mame.net ) I've kind of wondered wether it would be worth the effort to maintain updated builds of it. I was able to compile a version using the .99 source tree with little trouble. And over the weekend I was able to put together builds for .100 and .100u1 for both Mame ( http://www.mamedev.com ) and Mame32FX ( http://mame32fx.altervista.org ). So now it's some time for some testing. I compiled a command line version that would exit after loading the roms so I could time how long it takes the loading process to finish. I threw together a simple perl script to do the timing.

use Benchmark; my $start_time = new Benchmark; system("mame avsp"); my $end_time = new Benchmark; print "Script Benchmark: ".timestr(timediff($end_time,$start_time));

The results will vary a little bit from computer to computer of course - these results are from my P3 1Ghz lappy with 512 mb of memory. > avsp.zip - 14 wallclock secs avsp.7z - 15 wallclock secs (non-solid) avsp.7z - 64 wallclock secs (solid)

You'll notice that the solid 7-zip archives take the longest amount of time to load and the non-solid one loads just about as fast as the zip file. > avsp.zip - 11,139,858 avsp.7z - 7,718,817 (non solid) avsp.7z - 7,529,815 (solid)

Size wise you'll see that 7-zip gives the best compression with solid archiving. But non solid 7-zip provides the fastest load time well still offering nice space savings. As far as the official Mamedev's are concerned zip will be the only method of compress Mame supports ( http://aarongiles.com/weblog/archives/2005/02/why_doesnt_mame.html )...