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4374 Discussions

Using Intel 300 With Full Disk Software Encryption

Community Manager

I'm looking to upgrade my system drive to an SSD drive and am interested in the Intel 330. From my understanding, the 330 has hardware encryption, but as my BIOS doesn't allow for a Hard Drive password I want to use full disk software encryption (Truecrypt) instead.

After reading up on different SSD's, some people are saying that the Intel SSD wouldn't be a recommended choice for a software encrypted drive due to the fact that they use SandForce controllers which rely on compression for performance. And as the encrypted data can't be compressed they're recommending using SSD's that don't rely on compression, such as the Crucial M4 (which uses a Marvell controller) or the Samsung 830 (which uses Samsungs own controller).

My processor doesn't support hardware accelerated AES (AES-NI), so I accept that I'm going to take a bit of a hit in performance by using a software encrypted drive, but how much of a performance difference will there realistically be between using an SSD with a SandForce controller and one with a non-Sandforce controller?

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2 Replies
New Contributor II

The sequential write speed performance hit you will see on a Sandforce drive with incompressible data compared to a non-Sandforce drive also depends on the storage capacity of the drives. But for example an Intel 330 60GB will do around 80MB/sec sequential with incompressible data and a Samsung 830 64GB will do around 160MB/sec sequential no matter if the data is compressible or not.

For more Sandforce incompressible data write speed examples for different capacity drives, scroll down on this page:,3190-6.html Tom's Hardware US

Community Manager