Mike’s Linux Desktop Experiences

November 27, 2009

Updated: Truecrypt Performance on a Celeron 420 (1.6GHz)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Mike @ 10:11 pm

There’s an important update here. After much battling, I learned that the root cause of the bad performance was the SATA controller on my motherboard. The damned thing works fine for PATA, but the throughput is 1/20th the normal througput for SATA.

I’ve been using Truecrypt successfully now on my work system, another Windows machine for several months and it’s just fine. Ditto for PGP Desktop (which I don’t think is available freely)

So performance concerns below are wrong…


Observations about using Truecrypt on Windows.

Copying 6GB of data to an unencrypted drive.

1. perfomance will suffer.
2. copying 100GB of data will TAKE ALL DAY
3. performance will suffer.

That said, once applications are loaded into RAM and provided you’re not using swap, the system kinda operates just fine.

If you’re planning on storing movies or your MP3 collection on the disk, don’t think about copying it to your MP3 player. Burning disks of photos will also not go so well.

I’m running a single-core Celeron 420 @ 1.6GHz. It’s not fast, but it burns 35W peak, so I don’t need as much cooling… which means less heat, less noise, which in turn means more stability. I’m not upgrading it to get around this.

It’s taken about 4 days to encrypt my 300GB drive.

I’ll see how it goes. I’m curious how it performs for daily operations. I’m going to copy out my movies and mp3s on to an unencrypted partition. I’ll use Cygwin to do the copy because… well, it’s going to take all night and I don’t want it to wait for me to click “yes” for some stupid Windows Explorer question.

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