Combat Length Survey

I'm formulating an opinion about combat complexity, but I wanted to check my experience against the community. How long, on average, is combat taking? Given a 'balanced' combat situation, say a standard four-character party vs. four level-appropriate npcs, or eight lesser monsters, how long, in both number of rounds and actual clock-time, is it from "roll for iniative" to "we loot the bodies?"

I am interested in comparisons to previous editions too, but primarily gathering absolute data.
Small set encounters are taking less than 1/2 hour, probably less than 5 rounds of combat.


Examples of this that I have seen include:


ambush of 6 goblins on the road

2 wolves attacking the camped party at night.


Hobgoblins prisoners.  Hobgoblins in the room up the stairs from the goblins.


Goblin guardroom encounter.


Other goblin encounters tended to go longer since invading a space tends to bring waves of reinforcements.                
Our first playtest encounter with 5 characters vs 4 orcs took about a half hour. The follow up combat with an Ogre lasted about an hour due to using a lot of character options and whatnot. The pace and length felt just right.
Haven't had time to look at the clock, but we're moving the combat pretty fast. Just did what was probably our longest battle encounter at 20 minutes as the party lost the fighter to unconciousness and decided to pursue the orc leader through the secret door, leaving one cleric and the wizard to tend to the fighter. The idea was just to pick the wounded orc off (he was clearly bad off) and head back. However, the orcs in cave C were not the slovenly sluggards of cave B, and it started to look like when Han Solo chased the stormtroopers down the hallway just before the trooprs turned. The leader from cave C grabbed his battle-hardened guards and chased the party. Turning around hastily, the rogue and Moradin cleric had to get the others to pick up the fighter and run, but their movement was slowed. The fresh orcs caught up with them right at the exit to cave B where quick thinking was the only thing that kept the party alive to hide in the trees for the night. They now must be watchful and silent as orcs from cave C are "kind of" looking for them. After all, cave C chief can now move his boys into cave B!

Love the pace, I haven't heard gasping and cussing like that for awhile. Ah, the Caves of Chaos! Still lethal after all these years!
My party is used to running fairly complex encounters in 4e at a reasonable pace, so we absolutely blasted through the fights in terms of time taken. Hit points were low overall it seemed, and encounters usually only lasted a few rounds. They were fighting through the kobold cave, and then some orcs (actually I said they were humans, but was using the orc statblock) came in after them, and they fought them too.

I threw an owlbear at them in the woods after they left the caves. I would never do that in 4e because it would be too much bother to play out a combat with no importance at all to the plot, but with how fast fights are now it was no problem, and it was fun. The owlbear was locked down by ray of frost while everyone stood away from it and hit it with ranged attacks. When it did break loose from the wizard, it knocked the fighter unconscious in one turn (the owlbear has two claw attacks and a bite, if he hits with both claws he does a bunch of bonus damage. This owlbear scored two lucky rolls on its claw attacks and got the bonus. The bite missed). The fight was fun, flavorful, and fast.
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In our first game without grid just Theater of the Mind, I think minor skirmishes took about 15 minutes...a larger battle Ogre and 3 Goblins took about 20-25 min.   I'm liking this!

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Authw8: "blasted through" combat would mean what, by the clock? 15 minutes? Less?
Thanks to others for your responses so far. I'm confirming part of my hypothesis, but denying another aspect of it.
Higher PC level = longer encounters.  More overlapping spells, more dice rolled per attack, more plusses and minuses, more models on the table, more confusion.

2e
I was in elementry school.  Time had no meaning.  Most of the game spent chugging Montain Dew and pulling cards from with Deck of Many Things.

3.5
Levels 1-4 were 15-30 minutes.
Levels 5-7 were more like 30-45
Levels 8-10 the pillars of sanity began to shake and crack, combat takes 60-90 minutes.
Level 11, fights take 3 hours, half of which is spent arguing, DM has to drink the Juice of Sapho to keep all the variables straight, someone says "Hey, you skipped my turn while I was in the bathroom!", Cthulhu awakens, Boba Fett stays dead, cats and dogs living together, someone starts a conversation about WoW, DM loses a part of himself that day that he'll never ever get back

4e
Levels 1-5 took 40-60 minutes.
Levels 6+... honestly, we never got that far
We played through about 4 encounters in a four hour session BUT we spent time going over the rules first, then did a bunch of RP in the town leading the PCs to the Caverns, then more RP before heading into one of the entrances and a bunch of RP inside as well.  Each encounter took maybe 20 minutes.  Maybe.
I didn't clock it but it felt stupidly fast. A couple of times players said "Its my turn again already?" when it came back to them. The process of the party breaking into and searching the food closet took more real world time then most of the battles (admittedly they were still stressed out fromt he pit trap).
20-25 minutes per encounter. 4-5 rounds approximately.
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The few games I've ran encounters were pretty fast just like red box and Ad&d. I had one player running three characters in one game and we finished 4 encounters in an hour, each one under 10 turns. The shortest being 2 turns, the longest about 9. I only have a rough idea. 

Like I stated, this plays as fast as 1st edition and basic. Not sure about 2nd since I was in my WoD, Shadowrun phase at that point in time. 

Much faster than 3.5 for sure.

My view of 4e is skewed since I usually played it without the grid and minis thus speeding it up a lot. This still played faster than that. If I included 4e play using a grid and minis this takes about a 5th of the time a 4e battle would take. As someone stated above this makes random encounters feasible again.