File vault affect battery life?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Porsche1209, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Porsche1209 macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2007
    As I am heading off to college soon, I am looking for a workable security solution for my mac (I'm ordering a new 15" Macbook Pro in the next 24 hours). Will using File Vault to encrypt my files hurt my battery life due to increased processor usage? If so, by how much?
  2. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    Firevault really really sucks. I don't know about battery life, but it really slows my iMac down.

    I would suggest just creating an encrypted disk image and storing your confidential files in that.

  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I would agree
    File Vault won't prevent theft... just loss of personal data
    Encrypt a .dmg with Disk Utility and store sensitive data there
    The other stuff... who cares... so why waste time/energy/resources encryptiing it?

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    No, it won't hurt your battery life, not in any meaningful manner. I've been using FileVault for years. I wouldn't listen to others about FileVault "sucking" as they don't know what they're talking about, but it also may not be what you need.
  5. tekio macrumors regular

    May 31, 2009
    I've been using filevault since leopard came out without any problems & no noticeable effect on the battery life. Using an encrypted dmg still leaves stuff like saved passwords in firefox unencrypted.
  6. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    Add me to the list of users who are happy with FileVault. I still get 3.5-5 hours of battery life out of my aluminum MacBook. I've not noticed any speed difference, but I'm not utilizing disk heavy apps.
  7. lundehund macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    Hey, I've also been using FileVault for about 5 years now but I'm not so sure about the battery life and the speed. Right now I'm downloading things from a website and the processor activity is 10-15%, so that's probably because the data is encrypted before it can be saved. Also, I noticed that applications start faster on a useraccount without FileVault, however that might also be because the user accounts I tried it with have not much stuff in the homefolder.

    Well, does anyone know if there's any benchmarks that give a real and not only subjective impressions on how much FV slows down your system? Couldn't find anything but this thread on the web.
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I found this benchmark on Photozone, which is also recent (Aug 2010). it essentially shows read times are the same, while write speeds are somewhat slower. It doesn't look like the person has a lot of experience running benchmarks so I wouldn't put a lot of stock behind this one benchmark, but the results are about what you would expect.

    Application start-up speed shouldn't be effected by FileVault too much since they exist outside your home directory. Only the preference files in your home directory would be getting accessed, and as the linked benchmark shows, read time differences don't really exist. As a note, FileVault went through a bit of a change in Leopard, which made it stable and stores the files differently (switched from sparse image to sparse bundle) so any benchmark pre-Leopard won't be valid for newer machines with the newer OS.

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