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I was about to buy Intel 330 SSD but was stumbled upon an article saying the Sandforce controller is not capable of AES 256. Should I worry about it? What real life HDD activity uses AES 256 features?

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Are you planning on use full-disk hardware encryption or not. It's kind of a yes or no thing. – David Schwartz Sep 20 '12 at 9:38
No, but aside from full disk encryption, any other things i can do with aes356 in ssd stuff? – WantIt Sep 20 '12 at 9:40
Nope, that's it. – David Schwartz Sep 20 '12 at 9:56
up vote 1 down vote accepted

AES support in the hardware controller is used for full disk encryption (with the AES algorithm). It is put in the chip to make FDE less hard on the CPU, as it then can fully be handled by the dedicated hardware in the SSD/HDD controller. If you are not planning on using full-disk encryption, it won't matter at all, if you are planning on using it, you will only suffer a small performance penalty if you buy a SSD without hardware AES support.

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Does encryption slow your speed? – WantIt Sep 20 '12 at 12:26
When you encrypt something, you apply a complicated algorithm to the data. This work is normally done by the CPU, which means it does increase system load. – Thom Wiggers Sep 20 '12 at 12:46

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