The impetus for this post stems from my own interest in security and the recent comments by Tim Cook on encryption and privacy. In the event my laptop is stolen, I deserve to have the confidence and safety in having a full-disk encrypted machine which is (as much as possible) impervious to snooping.

Unfortunately I also need the highest level of performance possible as I routinely compile code and run heavy IDEs (IDEA, Eclipse, etc.). Until recently I thought that full disk encryption would hinder my day to day development tasks at home on my MBP. I’m now convinced otherwise.

Today I re-installed OS X and ran various benchmarking tools (with and without FileVault 2 enabled). Here are the results:

FileVault 2 Enabled:

FileVault 2 Enabled Performance Numbers

FileVault 2 Disabled:

FileVault 2 Disabled Performance Numbers

As we can see from the numbers above (I ran them repeatedly to ensure there wasn’t much of a difference between runs), the performance penalty is not nearly as pronounced as one might expect. As a result I plan using full-disk encrypting both my laptop and it’s Time Machine backup.