See, as far as I'm concerned (And that's just me, doesn't mean I'm right), hardware RAID cards are always an overkill for a "home media server". Sure if you're doing other things on this server, like work stuff, or some serious video encoding or the likes, then a hardware RAID card makes perfect sense, but if the objective is to basically have "fault tolerant" storage to store digital media, for home viewing and distribution, there's absolutely nothing wrong with "software" raid, whether that's Raid stack based, or pure software raid in Windows or Linux.
CPU's today have become so much more powerful and so much more cheaper than compared to even 3-4 years ago, that it's almost shameful to let all that power go to waste, and spend money on a hardware RAID card.
An Areca 1680ix retails for $1250 or so.
What?? TWELEVE HUNDRED DOLLARS?? I'm sure it's needed in a business critical environment, but for a home media server, 3 Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 cards, and Linux (or even Windows Server) software Raid, will give you more than enough raw performance for streaming digital media throughout your home, if not part of the neighbourhood..
The downside to a lot of these software raid implementations, is flexibility. For e.g. Windows software RAID won't allow you to expand a RAID-5 array, you have to delete the array and recreate it, and Windows won't do RAID-6 at all.
is waaay better at RAID than Windows, and it does almost everything that hardware raid does, but it does have a downside. It's a bi*ch to setup
Unless you are very very familiar with Linux and terminal windows and command lines
working with Linux can be a daunting task.
So, it all boils down to cost benefit, time, your technical abilities, money...the usual suspects.
sheesh...I'm rambling now....