In this paper, we analyze the impact of the cavitation model on the numerical assessment of lubricated journal bearings. We compare results using the classical Reynolds model and the so-called model proposed by Elrod and Adams [1974, “A Computer Program for Cavitation and Saturation Problems
,” Proceedings of the First LEEDS-LYON Symposium on Cavitation and Related Phenomena in Lubrication, Leeds, UK] to fix the lack of mass conservation of Reynolds’ model. Both models are known to give quite similar predictions of load-carrying capacity and friction torque in nonstarved conditions, making Reynolds’ model the preferred model for its better numerical behavior. Here, we report on numerical comparisons of both models in the presence of microtextured bearing surfaces. We show that in the microtextured situation, Reynolds’ model largely underestimates the cavitated area, leading to inaccuracies in the estimation of several variables, such as the friction torque. This dictates that only mass-conserving models should be used when dealing with microtextured bearings.