Areca hit the scene in 1999, right around the time I started playing with an ABIT BP6 system with dual Intel Celeron processors. At the time Highpoint had their Ultra DMA 66 on several motherboards, but Areca was making a name for themselves right out of the gate with superior add-in card products. By the time ATA 100 hit Areca was the first to market with the first 8-port card and it seemed like every storage enthusiast had one of those cards with a massive full tower case that rivals the largest cases on the market today. This is when I first started using Areca products and I've been using them off and on since then.
Areca's latest line of controllers that include the ARC-1882i we tested today are based on a LSI dual-core ROC. This is the same ROC that is used in the LSI 9265-8i, also shown in the benchmark graphs today. What is interesting is that Areca, with their tuning and drivers managed to outperform the LSI model in several of our tests. This goes to show just how talented the crew at Areca really is. Of course none of this is really new or news for enthusiasts who've embraced Areca for years now.
When it comes to the 1882i, Areca covered a lot of bases on the hardware. With a PCIe 2.0 x8 lane host interface you have a lot of bandwidth back to the system. The 1GB on-board DDR3-1333 SDRAM (with ECC) has enough capacity to keep your high-level RAID running smoothly and the compatibility is a wide range of motherboards is class leading.
The only real downside is the price; Newegg lists the ARC-1882i at $650. The price isn't high or low for this market; it's right in the middle and comparable with similar products from LSI and Adaptec. There is an upside though; you don't need to pay extra for higher performance when using SSDs.
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