Taking a break from motherboards does have its advantages; it allows me to get into something different, and there is nothing further from the motherboard scene than storage controllers. While motherboards do come with a good array of mass storage expansions thanks to six SATA ports now being the industry standard, hardcore users simply want more, and servers need more; it's just that simple.
So, where do you turn to when you run out of ports on the motherboard? - To a discrete solution of course! - There are many companies out there providing a huge array of cards.
Areca is a new company to TweakTown; we haven't been graced with any products from them until now, and as always we are more than happy to oblige them with some testing of their products. Today they have sent one of their biggest cards for SATA-II expansion.
In our labs we have been sent the ARC-1231ML 12 channel SATA-II Controller. Let's get stuck right into it.