Areca has proven once again their reputation as a leading manufacturer of RAID controllers is well warranted. The ARC-1880ix-24 is able to perform very well even when used in its base configuration. Of course, server administrators will look to pull every possible ounce of performance out of the controller and those options are also available. If you are familiar with Areca controllers then you already know how deep the configuration options are; they haven't changed very much in the last five years. That is good in some cases, but bad in others.
One area that Areca hasn't touched on yet is solid state drives. To be fair, no one else has yet either other than LSI, but with Areca being the enthusiast standard we sort of expected them to be leading the way for SSD RAID. Even with this slight overlook, the Areca ARC-1880 Series has more options than most will even want to dive into.
When it comes to performance, we were surprised to see the ARC-1880ix-24 deliver desktop performance equal to the HighPoint. Once we moved to the server tests the 1880 really took off and showed where its strong suits rest. Since the controller is designed for these tasks, we weren't surprised to see such high levels of performance here and the level in which the Areca outperformed the HighPoint RocketRAID in server tasks. The difference was night and day between these two in server tests.
When it comes to the price, I was surprised to see the Areca ARC-1880ix-24 available for just over 1110 USD. For consumers and even enthusiasts this price is out of reach, but this is a flagship model that is capable of handling 24 internal drives with an additional 4 more external without needing port multipliers. Enthusiasts and power users will want to look at the 8 and 12 port models from the 1880 Series. For the market it was designed for the cost is quite minimal compared to products released even just a few short years ago. The cost of high end RAID has dropped considerably.