Sometimes there are just too many good options... I am developing a plan for a Mac Pro server for a client of mine, and have been planning an SSD RAID5 for the main data store. I was liking this pretty cool solution from MaxUpgrades that situates 4 SAS or SATA SSDs in an optical bay, and hooks them up via an Areca 1216-4i RAID controller. Hardware RAID, can hit 2GB/s, doesn't take up HD bays or require bracket adapters to do so, and is even bootable. Nifty. Was planning on probably populating w/ four 1TB Samsung 860 PROs. Then, with the incredible performance out of even low-cost NVMe SSDs like the Samsung 970 EVO (1TB all the way down to $228 now!), I wondered if it might be simpler to just throw 4 of those (or possibly PROs) on a HighPoint 7101A. This would also include hardware RAID, take up no HD bays, etc. Does take up a PCIe slot up, but of course, so does the Areca. And this way takes up physically less space and looks like less work to install. Costs for the cards and accessories are within about $40 of each other (MaxUpgrades $439 vs. HPT 7101A $398). Right now today on Amazon, the 1TB 860 PRO is $290 (x 4 = $1160) and the 970 EVO is $228 (x 4 = $912). So about $250 savings for the NVMe path. Observations: The 970 EVO can hit higher speeds (in sequential bursts anyway)... ...but has half the write endurance (600TBW vs. 1200TBW). [I'm not sure this will come into play in this setup.] Speed-wise, neither one will really have an advantage here, as both options will be able to saturate the 10GbE network link this server will have. Local max speeds are fun for benchmarks, but I don't think it'll be a factor here. I've used HighPoint RAID management before, and it seems decent, but I don't have much to compare it to. I have not used the Areca management software, but if it's better or more robust/polished, that would carry weight w/ me. Opinions, anyone? So, basically, I guess it comes down to whether or not the savings and reduced complexity of the 7101A + 970 EVO are worth the tradeoff from the "pro-ness" of the Areca + 860 PRO. That and the management software. Either option should be overkill for this application, but hey, if you're gonna do it, might as well do it right, right? Thoughts? Other things I haven't considered or should? Thanks!