My personal preferences, with regard commands already provided my the system. Is to compare the results to those provided by Perl modules, and the likes. I have personally found that in the case of (tar|gzip) tar, two things; 1.) a system call to tar is quicker (asuming your routine is efficient). 2.) LZMA, which may depend on your systems implementation, on average, provides a 30% better compression rate. In the second point; this won't necessarily speed up your process, except to the extent that unlinking them will be quicker. In case you're interested; my options given to tar are
in reply to system "gzip $full_name" is taking more time
You will probably not have a use for the v switch, except to the extent that it will help with "debugging" possible errors.
tar -cvJ --options xz:9 -f <filename>.tar.xz <directory||filename>
Hey. I'm not completely useless. I can be used as a bad example.