First Beta for next major version 5 of WinRAR has been released and available for download for testing. At present latest stable version is 4.20. This beta has added support for new archiving format RAR 5.0. You can download and install this beta over stable version.
What’s new in WinRAR v5
1. New RAR 5.0 archiving format. You can use “RAR 5.0” option in archiving dialog or -ma command line switch to create RAR 5.0 archives.
Older software including older WinRAR versions is not able to decompress RAR 5.0 archives, so if you plan to send an archive to other people, it is necessary to take the compatibility issue into consideration. You can select “RAR” instead of “RAR5” option in archiving dialog to create RAR 4.x archives compatible with previous WinRAR versions.
2. Changes in RAR 5.0 compression algorithm:
a) maximum compression dictionary size is increased up to 1 GB in 64 bit WinRAR. 32 bit WinRAR version can use up to 256 MB dictionary when creating an archive. Both 32 bit and 64 bit versions can unpack archives with any dictionary size, including 1 GB;
b) default dictionary size for RAR 5.0 is 32 MB, typically resulting in higher compression ratio and lower speed than RAR 4.x 4 MB. You can use “Dictionary size” archiving dialog option or -md<size> switch to change this value;
c) -md<size> switch syntax is modified to support larger dictionary sizes. Append ‘k’, ‘m’ and ‘g’ modifiers to specify the size in kilo-, mega- and gigabytes, like -md64m for 64 MB dictionary.
If modifiers are not present, megabytes are assumed, so -md64m is equal to -md64;
d) RAR 5.0 format includes Intel IA-32 executable and delta compression algorithms, but RAR 4.x text, audio, true color and Itanium algorithms are not supported. These excluded algorithms are not efficient for modern data types and hardware configurations;
e) RAR 5.0 decompression can utilize several CPU cores.
Though not to same extent as in compression algorithm, it improves the decompression speed on large files with poorly compressible data or when using BLAKE2 checksums.
You can find the full change log in WinRAR installed directory under Program files.
What’s so nice about WinRAR even though its shareware version is it allows us to use the program without any difficulty except with the annoying pop up sometimes reminding it’s a 40 day trial version.
Download WinRAR 5.0 Beta 1
Update: WinRAR 5 final has been released, you can download it from their homepage.