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theAXEDhead

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
63
2
I will be completely new to OS X and Macs, when my machine turns up in a couple of weeks.

I have the rMBP 2.6/512 SSD/16 on order. I am working through how I am going to set it up. In planning ahead, I would expect to sell the machine in the future ready for the next upgrade! I will be running my life on the machine, company accounts etc. So, in order to sell it I would want to do a complete secure erase of the SSD.

My understanding from reading around is that the way to effectively do this is to have had file vault set up from the beginning, and that way you can just scrub the password and that effectively makes the data inaccesable.

  1. Question 1: Is using filevault the only way to securely erase the SSD?
  2. Question 2: Is my thinking correct in that you need to set filevault up from the start for this to be an effective way of securely erasing the SSD?
  3. Question 3: Does it lead to a performance hit using filevault? I have read some things somewhere suggesting anything up to a 25% hit on performance, however I understand that some SSDs now come with hardware enabled encryption that stops any performance impact. I also understood that the iPad was using encryption as standard and would be surprised that such a performance hit would be embedded into the design

Thanks in advance.
 

Feed Me

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2012
831
6
Location Location
1) Nope. You can do multi-pass erases from Disk utility, but they take much longer than just deleting the FileVault key, which is practically instant. Deleting the FileVault key is likely more convenient.

2) As far as I know you can set it up whenever you like, and encryption occurs efficiently in the background.

3) Apple's FileVault doesn't seem to make use of SSD-controller encryption, and there is a reduction in performance. I don't know about the SSD on the rMBP, but with the MacBook Airs, there is a fairly large performance hit when using FileVault. Anecdotal evidence suggests that SSD performance on the Airs is cut roughly in half when using FileVault. The SSD will still be faster than a hard drive, however.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
31,574
11,243
California
  1. Question 3: Does it lead to a performance hit using filevault? I have read some things somewhere suggesting anything up to a 25% hit on performance, however I understand that some SSDs now come with hardware enabled encryption that stops any performance impact. I also understood that the iPad was using encryption as standard and would be surprised that such a performance hit would be embedded into the design

Thanks in advance.

The performance hit is insignificant. Here is one benchmark test showing with and without FV2.

I use it on my 2012 13" MBA and cannot tell the difference in performance from before I enabled FV2.

IMO if you travel with a portable Mac where theft is a possibility, there is no good reason not to use it.
 
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