FileVault 2 performance on platter drives

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Objectivist-C, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2006
    I'm curious as to whether anyone has seen (or done) benchmarks on FileVault 2 performance on platter-based HDDs. The SSD-based scores in the AnandTech review show a ~25% drop in throughput, but I'm thinking the slower speed of a hard drive might push the bottleneck somewhere else and result in a different performance profile.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Read anandtech's review. They have benchmarks on using FileVault2
  3. Objectivist-C, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2011

    Objectivist-C thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2006
    You mean the review I specifically mentioned in my post?
  4. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Funny I stumbled onto this. I also read the reviews and kept wondering why was FileVault only tested on an SSD? :confused:

    I'm setting up a small 100GB FV partition as I write this. 2 hours into a 4 hour encryption cycle. Thought I'd see for myself on a 5400rpm drive.
  5. quangdiggity, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    quangdiggity macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Google's first hit:

    Clearly, the right answer is that it depends on the relative speeds of your storage and CPU. An SSD is fast enough that you may have to wait for the CPU. If your HDD is slow enough you might not have to wait for the CPU.
  6. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    Because spinning rust drives are too slow to be impacted by this. Current CPUs (the only thing Lion will run on) are capable of encrypting in excess of 100MB/sec of data. No current magnetic drive can keep up with the CPUs.
  7. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Excellent explanation. Thanks.

    Explains why my freshly FileVaulted partition performs well. (5400 rpm drive).

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