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Old May 6, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Wasnt' sure where to put this, software made sense

I'm working overnight and have been assigned the task of investigating why a clients laptop is "slow"

From experience, all laptops at this client site are slow, why? well, the full disk encryption, on a 5400rpm hard drive, in a laptop that does not have a TPM to support any kind of hardware based encryption, those are my thoughts

the system is clean, and I can feel the "slowness" the user refers too, but I've noticed this on all their laptops, and my only thought it the disk encryption

The problem is, I'm having difficulty finding any reliable documentation to support this, wondering if someone might know of anything off hand?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouis1 View Post
Wasnt' sure where to put this, software made sense

I'm working overnight and have been assigned the task of investigating why a clients laptop is "slow"

From experience, all laptops at this client site are slow, why? well, the full disk encryption, on a 5400rpm hard drive, in a laptop that does not have a TPM to support any kind of hardware based encryption, those are my thoughts

the system is clean, and I can feel the "slowness" the user refers too, but I've noticed this on all their laptops, and my only thought it the disk encryption

The problem is, I'm having difficulty finding any reliable documentation to support this, wondering if someone might know of anything off hand?
I would say without TPM support the encryption is being handled via the cpu which is causing your slowdown.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:07 AM
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yes, that's exactly what i'm saying, but i'm looking for a clear and reliable source that states exactly this, that a TPM is meant to help accelerate this type of encryption, and without it, to expect a performance hit. I can find lots of forum posts and what not showing, but when I say reliable source, i'm looking for something from vendors and/or manufacturers showing exactly this, or even a well recognized review site. If I had an Anandtech article explaining disk encryption to this degree, i'd be set. And I say Anandtech because of the level of in depth technical detail they go to on certain things, not because I have anything against HWC, I'd be in the wrong place if I did

i ended up finding a datasheet for securedoc, which really isn't all that informative. but the software supports TPMs which the laptop doesn't have, and also supports the AES-NI instruction set on new intel cpu's, which is not on the i3's such as the one in this laptop. I sent him what I can find anyway.

this is what happens when administrators put the right software on the wrong platform.

now I have to deal with another guy who wants me to access a mac remotely and shrink a bootcamp partition in order to grow the OSX partition.....ughr

Last edited by stlouis1; May 7, 2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:25 AM
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my god, I spend how much time last night researching and locating information to back my findings, write up a nice long detailed email with several points of reference, and he responds back to me asking me if I think adding ram would help.....i'm not even touching it, the day shift can take care of it
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:19 AM
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I actually don't think encryption will have much effect on a 5400 RPM drive, pretty much any CPU can do software full disk encryption at over 100 MB/s which is faster than a 5400 RPM drive will do anyway.

It should be pretty easy to test, just max out the drive usage, and check to make sure CPU doesn't hit 100% utilization.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Or run some speed benches on the drive and see how they compare to an unencrypted 5400rpm drive.
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Old May 7, 2013, 06:02 PM
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What are they using for encryption? Bitlocker or Truecrypt or something else?
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:13 PM
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they're using securedoc. i've found all these laptops slow as hell since they put it on. I've used other disk encryption softwares and found them to be ok in terms of performance, but those were on desktops too.

it might also have to do with the cipher they chose, a stronger cipher could easily require more processing
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:09 PM
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We have been playing around with bitlocker at work and while most of the machines have ssd's in them, I haven't noticed any real slow down even on the older machines.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipaine View Post
We have been playing around with bitlocker at work and while most of the machines have ssd's in them, I haven't noticed any real slow down even on the older machines.
Slowdown should be more evident with faster disks - if the disk is slow enough that bottleneck is the disk speed rather than the encryption/decryption speed of the CPU, there should be no performance effect due to encryption.

Most of the benchmarks you see online (Tom's Hardware and Anandtech both have some good ones) are done with SSDs, typical results with slow HDDs should be closer to this: Performance impacts of TrueCrypt on a system partition A Glimpse Inside Dan's head: Blog
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