The RAID 6 Areca ARC-1120 One-ups RAID 5 Controllers

Summary: Secure, But Not Always Fast

In the I/O-sensitive benchmarks, Areca came up short compared directly with 3Ware. We believe that for the most part, 3Ware's StorSwitch architecture works more efficiently than many of the Intel RISC chips used by other controller makers.

While the transfer rates of the ARC-1120 are high and beat those of 3Ware in nearly all block sizes, our IOMeter Suite reveals serious differences that count against the Taiwanese manufacturer. It is not surprising that high I/O performance could not be counted on during the simulation of one or even two defective drives. But in part, the 9500 from 3Ware yields up to double the performance in these situations - not a good showing for Areca when high-availability applications are a priority.

We must stress that this controller series was designed particularly for maximum data security, and in our experience this is not feasible without cutting performance.

The Areca controller is certainly a good choice when the priority is securing large amounts of data against the possibility of up to two hard drives crashing, while keeping access times low. This is especially true since its functions and features are competitive with other controllers that do not offer RAID 6.