How do the old Filevault and the new Lion full disk encryption compare speed wise?
ATM I am using Snow Leppard with FileVault to encrypt my whole home directory, which makes opening IPhoto, Chrome or ITunes annoyingly slow.
It is faster in practice when writing changes to the disk - the new block encryption is hard to measure (meaning it's a negligible slowdown).
The new implementation removes nearly all of the compacting, and delay in creating and tearing down an encrypted space. It generally allows you to continue working while the bit grinding happens in the background.
The effort to shift a whole drive to encrypted blocks happens in the background while you can still use the mac but it's no different than waiting to turn on or off the old encryption.
In practice the new is far better performing across the board and has less times when you have to wait for it to do some long operation.
I wasn't able to find some direct comparisons but I guess you question here is really "has FileVault performance improved in Lion?". The short answer is yes. Take a look at the lion review from John Siracusa at Ars Technia to find out why. There are some regular hard drive benchmarks at the following url: http://maxcho.com/2011/07/filevault-2-benchmarks/
AnandTech — Back to the Mac: OS X 10.7 Lion review: FileVault performance compares (a) performance with and without FileVault 2 — both excluding FileVault 1.
It may help to find a comparison of (b) Lion with and without FileVault 1 — both excluding FileVault 2. However: in the excitement around version 2, it may be difficult to find someone benchmarking/testing version 1 on Lion.
If both (a) and (b) can be found: read the two alongside each other.
My hunch is that answers will vary, depending on what the user has in the home directory.
In my case, after abandoning FileVault 1 in favour of FileVault 2 for a 318 GB startup volume in a MacBookPro5,2, the sum of the sizes of the attributes and catalog B-trees is around 4.9 GB — for a computer limited to 8 GB memory, a considerable sum:
Presented by Disk Utility 12 (346) for my startup volume:
Presented by Finder 10.7 for my home directory:
Presented by du for my home directory:
If the default 8 MB size of bands in a .sparsebundle is as optimal for Mac OS X 10.7 (Build 11A511) as it was for previous releases of the system — and if (as I suspect) a significant proportion of oft-used files in my home directory are much smaller — I might find that abandoning FileVault 2 in favour of FileVault 1 feels better. That feeling might be difficult to quantify, but I do plan to take the FileVault 1 approach, hopefully before the end of September 2011.
http://identi.ca/conversation/77065575#notice-79879336 links to an overview (work in progress) that will include performances of the two versions of FileVault alongside other considerations. Most of that work is now transferred to Ask Different as answers under the following question:
In Super User:
If I find anything more of relevance to the opening question, I'll post again here.