View Full Version : FileVault Cause Of Most Performance Issues?

Sep 13, 2011, 08:58 AM
I clean-installed Lion on my MBP (mid-2009) when it was first released, ran it for a couple of weeks, and reverted back to Snow Leopard due to overall slowness (among other issues).

Last night, I chose to take the plunge again, and did the clean install, this time of 10.7.1 (the current version). I also chose NOT to enable the FileVault full disk encryption.

I've noticed, this time around, that Lion flies. Mission Control is smooth, the dock is smooth, etc. It may even be faster than Snow Leopard. Of course, this may be due to the 10.7.1 update, but I have not heard of that improving performance much.

If anyone is still having lag and performance issues, I suggest disabling FileVault (despite how awesome of a feature it appears to be) and see how that works out.

Sep 13, 2011, 09:08 AM
How much ram do you have and what model of mac do you run on?

The reason why I ask is that with filevault you have overhead as the OS needs to encrypt/decrypt on the fly for all disk i/o and if you don't have a lot of ram, then its going to do a lot of page-outs. Page-outs are expensive as it is, throw in extra processing and it can seriously degrade performance.

Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18) did a review of Lion which included benchmarks for file vault and it was shown to degrade over all performance.

Sep 13, 2011, 09:12 AM
I'm running the stock higher-end mid-2009 13" MacBook Pro, with 4 GB RAM (I can't think of the CPU speed at the moment, but it was the faster model).

I knew FileVault would impede performance somewhat, but if that really is the only difference between then and now (discounting the 10.7-10.7.1 update), then it's a drastic difference.

What I'm wondering is how many people complaining of performance issues are running FileVault as opposed to those who claim to have zero issues. Since Apple improved FileVault and pushes it a bit more in Lion, I have a feeling more people are turning it on after installation.

Sep 13, 2011, 09:22 AM
I wouldn't think the number would be that high. I think the majority of users do not enable encryption. I know I have little desire to do so, its not like I store state secrets on my Mac.