Sonnet Technologies yesterday launched its first Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion systems for 2016 MacBook Pros, the Echo Express SEL — Thunderbolt 3 Edition and the Echo Express SE I — Thunderbolt 3 Edition.

The SEL and SE I are compact and lightweight single-slot expansion systems that differ only in size and enable users to take advantage of the Thunderbolt 3's 2,750 MB/s of PCI Express bandwidth to support high performance adapter cards.

Sonnet PCIe Thunderbolt 3

The Echo Express SE I — Thunderbolt 3 Edition weighs just 2.6 pounds and measures 5.6 inches wide by 8.6 inches deep by 3.5 inches tall, accommodating one-half length (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height, single-width PCIe 3.0 card with additional mounting space for a daughter card. With its Thunderbolt 3 interface, the SE I delivers ample bandwidth for the majority of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards including pro video capture, digital audio interface, 6Gbps or 12Gbps SAS or SATA host bus adapters, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards.

The Echo Express SEL — Thunderbolt 3 Edition is the smallest and quietest Thunderbolt 3 chassis yet, measuring 4 inches wide by 8.25 inches long by 2.8 inches tall and weighing just 1.75 pounds. The SEL houses one low-profile, single-width PCIe 3.0 card, including the majority of the most popular Thunderbolt-compatible 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 40 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 6Gbps or 12Gbps SAS and SATA host bus adapters, RAID controller cards, and even low-profile pro video capture cards like the BlueFish 444 Epoch 4K Neutron.

The Echo Express SE I and Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Editions feature dual 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports that support the daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices. Both models support backward compatibility for 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2- and 10Gbps Thunderbolt-equipped devices when connected via the Apple® Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.

As an added benefit, the second Thunderbolt 3 port also supports a variety of displays and a multitude of USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 devices when connected with the proper cable, and also fully supports the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables streaming to one 4K display at 120Hz, or two 4K displays at 60Hz, or one 5K display at 60Hz.

The list of compatible PCIe cards is available on Sonnet's website. Sonnet is also offering Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for existing Thunderbolt 2 Echo Express SEL and SE I expansion systems, enabling those models with all the capabilities of the new Thunderbolt 3 Editions. 

Top Rated Comments

theitsage Avatar
70 months ago
I guess still no GPU support? Apple is sleeping ZzzzZZzz
Can firms start getting on those e-GPU's please? That is the undeniable / exciting future!!!
This is good news ahead of NAB where we'll likely see support (or custom solutions) for RED PCIe cards like the RED ROCKET and RED ROCKET X for Thunderbolt 3.

Support eGPU from Apple is badly needed. Integrated cards just do not deliver the type of performance required for many video editing and motion graphics tools.

Getting updated Mac Pro's out in the market should be a priority as well. Hopefully before NAB...
Nice. Waiting for e-gpu though.
The dedicated graphics card is what kept me buying the MacBook Pro (and the 15-inch screen size). If they made a laptop with a 14-15 inch screen that I could plug into a dock/eGPU for the occasion that I want to run a game I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
This is useless with it being unable to plug a real GPU in.
If you want an eGPU enclosure, get the AKiTiO Node. I have been using one and it works with all Thunderbolt equipped Macs (oldest being a 2011 17" MacBook Pro) in both macOS and Windows - more info on eGPU for Mac ('https://egpu.io/thunderbolt-egpu-for-mac-2017-update-macos-sierra/').



Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
70 months ago
Sweet, now I can hook up my 10/100 ethernet card
Pfft. I sneer in the face of 10/100

I'll be networking this baby with Appletalk.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Onexy Avatar
70 months ago
I guess still no GPU support? Apple is sleeping ZzzzZZzz
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dilster3k Avatar
70 months ago
Can firms start getting on those e-GPU's please? That is the undeniable / exciting future!!!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
strukt Avatar
70 months ago
Nice. Waiting for e-gpu though.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
noone Avatar
70 months ago
The dedicated graphics card is what kept me buying the MacBook Pro (and the 15-inch screen size). If they made a laptop with a 14-15 inch screen that I could plug into a dock/eGPU for the occasion that I want to run a game I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...