Areca has always produced great RAID controllers and the ARC-1680X is not an exception. One thing that has really stuck out in this review is how the controller performs in server specific tests compared to the consumer friendly tests. When it comes to the server tests the ARC-1680 really excels and even outperforms the LSI 9280-8E under identical conditions. We only tested both cards with one port since only one external expander system was available, but this is how most users will use the cards so we were comfortable with releasing this article.
The Areca ARC-1680X has a healthy cost advantage over the LSI 9280-8E, but the controller is now considered "old" in computer time. The newest release SAS controllers will all feature PCIe 2.0 connectivity and support SAS 2.0. It is because of this that we may be able to find some great bargains on the 1680 Series of controllers. Areca has yet to announce their next generation product line-up, but when they do the 1680 generation should see massive price drops. That savings matched with previous generation SAS drives like the Seagate 15K.6 will make it possible to build a very high performance enterprise class storage system for thousands less than it would have cost just a year prior.
There will always be those who demand the latest and greatest, but when it comes to the price vs. performance it is difficult to turn a blind eye to great technology that only has an imperfection with the date code.