TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

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TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:23 am

Planning to use TrueCrypt to protect drives on our desktop and laptops, and looking for advice about laptop choices in light of that. I'm going to be getting a new machine this summer, and I'm comparing netbook like the hp dm1z vs. low-end Sandy Bridge machines for my wife (who wants a 12" that she can fit in a slash-proof purse). The dm1z seems perfect for her needs, but the speed difference in TrueCrypt between the E-350 and a low-end SB processor (in some machine coming out at some point - I have a couple months) gives me pause. I understand setting TrueCrypt up on the dm1z would be significantly slower, but would it also create a noticeable difference in everyday usage? I'm a bit concerned; if I'm already looking at a netbook or low-end laptop, I don't want my encryption program really slowing it down.

Thanks for any advice!
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:14 pm

I don't see much difference myself, but I only use TrueCrypt for removable storage. I did try playing a file directly from the encrypted volume and it did not show any ill effects. I can also do a copy in the background as well.

Edit: that was on C2D and PhII systems without the new fancy instructions.
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:33 pm

You might see more of a difference using an SSD so the CPU isn't waiting on the storage system as much.

I haven't seen the performance comparisons you're referring to, but my understanding is that TrueCrypt makes use of the AES-NI where available, and that likely makes a huge difference for Sandy Bridge... provided you're using a SB variant that has the AES-NI feature-box ticked. Alas, thanks to Intel Segmentation Hell, many do not -- particularly at the low end (AFAICT the I5-2500M line has it, the i5-2400M line does not, nor does the I3 line so far) -- so depending on which SB system you happen to be looking at (and whether the comparison you saw was exploiting AES-NI), Sandy Bridge may not have as much advantage as you think.
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:50 pm

I have an Acer with similar specs to the hp dm1z(same cpu/chipset) that I ran with TrueCrypt on for a while. I didn't experience any noticeable slow down compared to the laptops pre-TrueCrypt state. I was running it with an SSD, but if anything that would further tax the cpu.
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:36 pm

Thanks for the replies. Been thinking about putting an SSD into the dm1z, but I will probably just move the 500 GB Caviar Black I've got over. The extra $200 or so for the SSD is just too much right now. Though I suppose dm1z with SSD is about the same price I was assuming a small SB notebook would be. Maybe the question should be: lowish-end SB notebook, or dm1z with SSD?
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:57 pm

swampfox wrote:Thanks for the replies. Been thinking about putting an SSD into the dm1z, but I will probably just move the 500 GB Caviar Black I've got over. The extra $200 or so for the SSD is just too much right now. Though I suppose dm1z with SSD is about the same price I was assuming a small SB notebook would be. Maybe the question should be: lowish-end SB notebook, or dm1z with SSD?


personally, i'd go with the dm1z and an SSd. you get better battery life, the SSD advantages, and it's cool as heck.
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:14 am

sweatshopking wrote:
swampfox wrote:Thanks for the replies. Been thinking about putting an SSD into the dm1z, but I will probably just move the 500 GB Caviar Black I've got over. The extra $200 or so for the SSD is just too much right now. Though I suppose dm1z with SSD is about the same price I was assuming a small SB notebook would be. Maybe the question should be: lowish-end SB notebook, or dm1z with SSD?


personally, i'd go with the dm1z and an SSd. you get better battery life, the SSD advantages, and it's cool as heck.


Kinda like this option. Brazos has 6Gbps SATA, so does that mean finding a deal on a C300? Seems like the jump from hard drive to SSD is bigger than from 2nd Gen SSD to third-gen, plus the newer ones are expensive if I'm looking at ~$200.
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Re: TrueCrypt speeds in Sandy Bridge and Fusion

Postposted on Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:05 am

I wouldn't be too concerned about the speed penalty in truecrypt. If you use AES (which truecrypt does by default), CPU speed shouldn't matter much since it was designed with low overhead in mind. it could start to matter with large files, but even then, Its a pretty snappy algorithm.

and I'd go for the SSD as well. for sure the speed is well worth the cost but it should help battery life too.
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