Sorry for the alphabet soup.

  • I want to use software-based on-the-fly AES file encryption
  • I will not use full disk encryption (only file and partition).
  • This would be on an older Core 2 system, so there is no AES instruction set.

Will this render any SSD performance gains moot?

Edit: I know not to use an SSD that utilizes encryption as a wear-leveling mechanism (ie.: not a Sandforce controller)


Well, I gave up researching, so I just bit the bullet and bought one anyway. Initial tests show minimal to no performance loss in a basic OS bootup test (Win7 x86), so I'm satisfied to say the answer to this question:

Will an SSD's performance gains be lost on an AES-encrypted system that has a CPU with no AES instruction set, such as an Intel Core 2?

...is No. The performance is roughly equal, possibly negligibly less.

The bootup process was maybe 3-5 seconds slower after encrypting.

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