I'm not sure what the consensus is, but solid archives are no-go.
This is from WinRAR help file:
A solid archive is a RAR archive packed by a special compression method, which treats all files, within the archive, as one continuous data stream. Solid archives are supported only by the RAR archiving format, ZIP archives are always non-solid. The archiving method for RAR archives is a user selectable option and may be Solid or non-Solid.
Solid archiving significantly increases compression, especially when adding a large number of small, similar files. But it also has a few important disadvantages:
Solid archiving is preferable if:
- slower updating of existing solid archives;
- to extract a single file from a solid archive all preceding files must be analyzed. This makes extraction from the middle of a solid archive slower than extraction from a normal archive, but, if all files are to be extracted from a solid archive, the extraction speed will not be affected.
- if any file in a solid archive is damaged, it will be impossible to extract all files which follow the damaged area. Thus if a solid archive is stored to media such as diskette, it is recommended to make use of the recovery record.
- the archive is updated rarely;
- it is not necessary to frequently extract a single file or only part of the files from the archive;
- compression ratio is more important than compression speed.
This means that in order to reach a particular file, all files in the archive that are stored before that particular file must be processed.
Doing that for every single file means a very slow loading. Unpacking the archive dynamically kinda defeats the purpose of the archive. Keeping everything from the archive in memory is not viable.
So, no-go for solid archiving, regardless of the method/archiver used