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PCIe 2.0 Cards Over Thunderbolt
Today's ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power, power that many people thought would only be possible in full-size desktop computers. Smaller in size and portable, they're very desirable. For professionals in the creative fields, this processing power alone is not enough. You need expansion slots to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for processing data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. The problem is, only desktop computers (which aren't very portable) have expansion slots, and currently available PCIe expansion for notebook computers has been very limited in performance—until now. If you've got a computer with Thunderbolt technology, then an Echo™ Express, Echo Express II, or Echo Express Pro Thunderbolt™ Expansion Chassis for PCIe cards is exactly what you need.
Sonnet's Echo Express Pro, Echo Express II, and Echo Express enable you to use high-performance PCI Express® adapter cards (sold separately) with any computer with a Thunderbolt port. Imagine using compatible full-size professional video capture, audio interface, SAS & SATA HBA, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller cards with your iMac®, Mac® mini, MacBook® Air or MacBook Pro; these Sonnet products make it possible to expand outside the box.
Expanding Outside the Box
Sonnet harnessed the potential of Thunderbolt technology to enable you to connect high performance expansion cards to computers without expansion slots. Developed by Intel® and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple®, Thunderbolt technology supports high-performance data services and high-resolution displays through a single, compact port. Based on PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort technologies, Thunderbolt provides support for two channels on the same connector with 10 Gb/s of throughput per channel in both directions. Connected via a Thunderbolt cable (not included, sold at the Apple Store), an Echo Expansion Chassis carries the computer's PCIe channel to the PCIe slot(s) and passes both PCIe and DisplayPort data through a second Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining other devices.
Smart Design Inside and Out
Constructed of rugged extruded aluminum, the Echo Express' outer shell helps transfer heat away from the cards and securely protects them inside. The top cover slides off to offer quick access to the PCIe slots and enable easy installation of cards. Ventilated front and back panels plus quiet, temperature-controlled fans (with no switches or jumpers to configure) automatically help keep even the very hottest cards cool;when not needed, the fans slow down to a whisper so you can work without a lot of noise in the background. Echo Express products are enviro-friendly, automatically powering onand off with your computer.To keeps things as compact as possible, universal power supplies are integrated inside the chassis so there're no dangling power bricks.
Connect Professional PCIe Cards—Use high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt-equipped Mac desktop and notebook computers
Adds Expansion Card Slots to Any Computer with a Thunderbolt Port:
High Bandwidth—With Thunderbolt’s PCI Express performance and 10Gb/s of throughput on each of the two channels in both directions, Echo Express Expansion Chassis are perfect for special-purpose PCIe cards for video capture, audio interface, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, digital audio, RAID control, and more
Power for Powerful Cards—Integrated 100W power supply (150W in Pro model)
Two Thunderbolt Ports—Daisy chain up to six devices to a single port on the host computer
Temperature-Controlled, Variable-Speed Fans—Operate slow and quiet with cooler cards, better cooling for hot cards
Energy Saver Mode—Powers on/off automatically with the computer
Integrated Universal Power Supply—Built-in power supply means no external power brick to dangle or loose
Rugged Aluminum Housing—Portable protection for any environment
Standard or Pro
One or two cards, different lengths, different requirements—there's an Echo Express to meet your needs. The Echo Express (ECHO-EXP1H) supports one half-length (up to 7.75" long), full-height, double-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 card. The Echo Express II (ECHO-EXP2H) supports two half-length (up to 7.25" long), full-height, single-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 cards (or one double-width card), while the Pro model (ECHO-EXP2F) supports two standard width, full-length cards, or one double-width, full-length card. All three models support an I/O bracket.
The Echo Express and Echo Express II include a built-in 100W universal power supply; the Pro model includes an integrated 150W universal power supply. Do you have a card in mind but aren't sure which Echo Express you need? We've worked closely with expansion card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible PCIe cards on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides an up-to-date list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.
These Sonnet solutions support daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt technology-enabled peripherals such as an additional Echo Express, the Apple® Thunderbolt Display, video capture devices, and data storage devices. For connected devices requiring extra power, 10 watts is provided through the daisy chain port to peripherals.
Sonnet Thunderbolt Expansion Partners
Sonnet works closely with the following partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility for their products. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for an up-to-date list of products that have passed Thunderbolt compatibility testing with Sonnet products.
See Technical Specifications Tab for footnotes
iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt port
OS X 10.6.8+
OS X Server 10.6.8+
OS X Server and OS X Mountain Lion compatible
PCIe Card Compatibility
For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart