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Professionals, enthusiasts, overclockers and hardcore gamers all have but one thing in common, the need for speed and by speed i mean the best possible performance parts for their systems. Now as far back as i can remember CPUs, memory modules and graphics cards have always been the three leading hardware parts one would upgrade to get the best bang for the buck but lately with the price drops in SSDs more and more people switch to such RAID configurations with two or more units. So naturally we decided to do our part and show people what the gains are when you pair two of the latest and best selling SATA/SAS 6Gb/s PCI-Express controllers by both LSI and Areca (9265-8i/ ARC-1882i) with a total of 8 Kingston HyperX 120GB SSDs.
For organizations that demand the highest level of enterprise storage performance, LSI delivers an unmatched portfolio of storage technology solutions, including flash storage processors for enterprise, cloud, and client flash solutions and solid state drives (SSDs). We are the market leader in SAS, enterprise RAID, and application acceleration. With our unique product line breadth, LSI enables the entire storage ecosystem. Datacenter, public cloud, and on-premise server environments use our unique storage market insights and “storage DNA” to increase performance while lowering total cost of ownership. We work in close collaboration with the world’s leading manufacturers to build industry-leading storage solutions that make the most of our semiconductors’ capabilities: All major server and storage OEMs use LSI storage technology. With our unique product line breadth, we enable the entire storage ecosystem, from silicon to boards to advanced software solutions.
Areca Technology Corporation established in 1999, was founded by a group of engineers primarily from the most distinguished technology institute in Taiwan. Our engineer's team has over 20 years of disk array relative firmware/BIOS, software application, device drivers and ASIC technology. With a solid R&D team, Areca designs their own custom ASIC, a high-speed IDE controller, and RAID 6 engine on their controller to achieve high data throughput and availability. Areca's products provide storage products for virtually all areas of the storage market including DAS, NAS, and SAN. All PCI, SCSI, and Fibre disk array controllers support RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 or JBOD. Areca has completely committed its entire research and development effort to disk array technologies that yield fastest performance, best reliability, and lower cost points than competitive disk array solutions.
Both LSI and Areca are considered to be the best manufacturers in everything related to SAS (Adaptec is also well known but unfortunately i was unable to secure an equal-specs sample) so it comes as no surprise that we wanted to test both of their latest offerings (at least they were when this comparison started) to see which one packs the best punch. SAS (just like SATA) is a data transfer protocol used with enterprise class storage devices and replaces the older SCSI bus technology (which i was using in the late 90's). Of course due to their nature and most importantly their price such products are placed a lot higher than what most people can afford but for professionals and enterprises (data centers) these solutions are a one way. However since many of you have shown interest in this comparison i guess things change rapidly with each and every price cut we see and so perhaps it will not be long before regular consumers also start using SATA/SAS 6Gb/s cards. Also the quite recent introduction of several mainboard models in the market with built in LSI controllers is certain to help the popularity of such products. Now both the LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i and the Areca ARC-1882 are two of the best mid-range SATA/SAS 6Gb/s controller cards money can buy but since in the end there can be only one let's move forward and see which offers the best performance.