Filevault 2 performance with 2012 Toshiba SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by micrors4racer, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. micrors4racer macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have a 2012 MBA with a Toshiba SSD which seems to perform on par if not better to the Samsung ssd on other 2012 MBAs. How ever I read some reviews that stated the Toshiba does not perform as well as the Samsung with filevault enabled. My 2011 had a Samsung drive and it was not really affected by enabled filevault. What are your views on this?
  2. jdechko, Dec 19, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012

    jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    It has to do with the Sandforce controller on the Toshiba Drive. It's really fast for compressible data (think text), but it slows down considerably when it has to deal with uncompressible or already compressed data (think mp3's, video files).

    Filevault comes into play because the encrypted data can't be compressed, so it's treated like uncompressed data. Write speeds on the Toshiba drive will drop from around 350-400 MB/s to around 250 MB/s!

    The Samsung SSD uses a different controller which doesn't have this issue.

    However, as I said earlier, this only deals with write speeds. So both drives can read data at about the same rate. This is where the speed comes from when booting, opening apps and opening large files. And unless you are working with large files quite often, you are not likely to notice the speed difference.

    The biggest problem is the perception of having "the best" machine. Especially on MR, people like to make a big deal out of every little thing. Some are big deals (such as random core shutdowns on the early Airs and image ghosting on the new Retina displays), but most are just making mountains out of molehills.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Anandtech talks about this issue in their review here. Like micrors4racer said, this impacts write speeds only, so unless you are often doing very large writes you will never notice the difference.

    I have a 2012 13" MBA with the 128GB Toshiba with FV2 enabled and did not notice any difference in day to day usage going from FV2 off to having it on.

    I think like many of these SSD speed issues, it is really only detectable in synthetic speed tests.
  4. micrors4racer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Interesting I thought it affect both read and write. Now that you say it only affects the write speeds then thats okay as I won't be writing large files to the drive often since it only has 128gb anyway. And in the end it still will be faster than my 2011 Samsung.

    Does filevault standard external harddrives?
  5. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    If you are asking if you can encrypt external drives, yes. Just plug the drive in and right click in Finder and click encrypt.
  6. micrors4racer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I mean to ask if it affects external drives too

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