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Putting SATA 3.0 to Work with Areca ARC-1880i and Crucial C300 256GB SSDs

By Cameron Wilmot from Nov 19, 2010 @ 6:03 CST

The Cost


Alright then, now that you've just got acquainted with the parts we are using today, we will nail down and check out the cost of the setup.




Starting out with the Areca RAID controller, as I said in the introduction, the price has come down a lot. In an older article where we tested four Kingston X25-E SSDs, we used the older SATA 2.0 ARC-1680i and it had a rather high price tag attached to it.


Fast forward to today and we check for the latest price of the ARC-1880i SATA 3.0 controller that we are using and we can see that it is going for $599.99 USD at Newegg at the time of writing - that actually makes it around $30 USD cheaper than the 1680i and this is a newer and faster model.




Next up, we have a price check of the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB and remember we selected four of them. At the time of writing you can pick up one for $599.99 USD or $619.99 USD for the version that comes with the handy data transfer kit.


That puts us at a grand total of $2999.95 USD for the complete setup. Sure, it's a super expensive storage setup considering you can build a fairly high-end gaming PC for the same money, but let's move on and see what all that expenditure offers us in the all important numbers and performance game right now...




The four Crucial C300 256GB SSDs were setup in RAID 0 on the Areca ARC-1880i SATA 3.0 controller with a block size setting of 128KB. Optimisations such as read caching were enabled, but write caching was disabled in Windows. The controller was slotted into the third PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot on our GIGABYTE X58-UD7 motherboard - that slot provided adequate lanes for maximum performance.


For comparison purposes, we are including results of four Kingston (Intel) X25-E 64GB SSDs also in RAID 0 on the Areca ARC-1880i controller and with the exact same settings and OS. Keep in mind these drives are not brand new and have been used regularly for a year or so. Intel X25-E drives are not known to see major slowdowns in performance over time.


ATTO Baseline Performance


Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34


ATTO is used by many disk manufacturers to determine the read and write speeds that will be presented to customers.


(ARC-1880i with 4 x Crucial C300 SATA3 256GB SSDs)




In our very first test using ATTO we can see there is a maximum write speed of 982MB/s and 980MB/s read. Straight off the bat we can see that this impressive setup has a slightly faster write than read.


(ARC-1880i with 4 x Kingston X25-E SATA2 64GB SSDs)




With the four Intel X25-E 64GB drives we can see there is a maximum write speed of almost 312MB/s and 754MB/s read. The results here are still pretty impressive, but the newer SATA 3.0 setup manages to smash it especially in the write speed department by a factor of over three times!


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