I've been comparing some specs between Mac Pro models, specifically with the jump from Harpertown (a.k.a. Core 2) to Gulftown/Westmere (a.k.a. Core i7).
While there were expected incremental performance increases across the board, the most significant jump benchmarked is for the AES instruction set that were introduced in the later generation; on the order of 24x faster. I've understood enough of it to gather that it is used for encryption and that things like BitLocker and SSH would see improvements, but it almost feels like those would go unnoticed in typical use.
My question is, is there any part of OSX that benefits from AES that results in noticeable performance improvements? Perhaps at a minimum would HTTPS connections in a web browser see an improvement? I know it is a bit of a stretch, but worth asking :-)