For a while, I've been frustrated with the fact that GZip was unable to consume idle CPUs on my laptop. Recently read about PIGZ (a drop-in GPL replacement) that implicitly consumes all CPUs.
Pronounced Pig-Zee, PIGZ is a drop-in replacement for GZIP and automatically consumes all CPUs of the host machine in order to get the compression completed much faster.
OLD: tar -cf - sourcefolder | gzip > sourcefolder.tar.gz
NEW: tar -cf - sourcefolder | pigz > sourcefolder.tar.gz