Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Areca ARC-1680X comes from Areca's line of low profile SATA/SAS controllers and uses the Intel IOP348 controller running at 1200MHz. The card interfaces with your system by PCIe 1.0 and uses 8 lanes. Cache is handled by 512MB of onboard DDR2 and it is not upgradable like Areca's flagship models. As mentioned previously, there are two SFF-8088 ports on the back of the controller and it will allow you to connect external SATA/SAS products to your system.
Not mentioned in the specifications above is the out of band Ethernet port that will allow you to manage your controller from another system.
I was able to put together the above list of additional specifications and features for the ARC-1680X. For the most part the 1680X isn't that much different from Areca's award winning line of internal controllers. As you can see, several array options are present and all of the basics are covered.
Areca has enjoyed solid success in the aftermarket and you can currently find their controllers in several e-tail outlets. The lowest price I was able to find for the ARC-1680X came from Provantage and they have it listed for 549.57. In our review today we will be using the new LSI 9280-8E to compare to the 1680X and its lowest price online at this time is 688 Dollars from Buy.com, so the ARC-1680X costs quite a bit less as long as you don't require the next generation features that the LSI has to offer.