what one does is tell tar to use a different program to compress the data stream.

# install pigz
apt install pigz
# create tar archive using pigz as "compressor"
time tar -c --use-compress-program=pigz -f file.tar.gz directory
# time meassures the time it needed using all cores
# lenovo t440 i5 and ssd
# took 6min to compress a 29 GByte home directory
# size of home directory was compressed by -70% to 8.5 GByte
# multi threaded decompress is not implemented
# decompression seems to use way less CPU resources than compression
# (have 25MByte/sec during compression and over 100MByte/sec during decompression)
# time to compress without pigz:
# real 13m13.490s
# time to compression with pigz:
# real 5m57.117s
# ;) nice
# time to decompress without pigz (not supported):
# real  3min 37sec
 
tar fxvz file.tar.gz
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