With each year I'm getting more and more familiar with the build quality of Areca products. Coming from the T2 and T3 of the past the U3 certainly keeps that tank-like build quality. Aesthetics, as mentioned haven't changed that said I do like the looks of the 8050 series and apart from its sheer size go quite well with any desktop setup.
I'm quite pleased Areca stayed with the same internals of the T3 for this new U3 model, offering plenty of headroom and performance for this new unit to work. We were able to reach a peak of 880 MB/s read with 7200RPM drives with solid scaling from QD1 to 256. Workloads showed some resistance past QD32 but performance quite well with over 1000 IOPs for Database, File Server and Workstation in RAID 0. Surprisingly RAID 5 didn't see much loss of performance lending to the efficiency of the Areca platform.
The user interface is the tree and menu style we have seen in the past but goes pretty in depth for those that need that functionality but can be kept quite simple as well for beginners. This new Areca 8050U3 is by far the most flexible platform for desktop storage as it supports everything from Legacy USB 2.0 and 3.0 to the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3.
All of that being said, this solution is designed for professionals that want serious data protection without sacrificing performance and with that comes a price. Not to mention there aren't many of these solutions on the market, doing my research I see Drobo as the biggest contender to this 8050U3 with the new 8D that we will be looking at in an upcoming review.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||89%|
The Bottom Line: The U3 comes at a cost but for that money you are getting hardware RAID from a leader in the market.
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