Testing Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i Mount With the Mac Pro

Sonnet earlier this year announced the launch of the Fusion Flex J3i internal drive mount, which is designed to let users add up to three SATA storage drives to the 2019 Mac Pro.


In our latest YouTube video, we went hands on with the Fusion Flex J3i, hooking it up to our ‌Mac Pro‌ to see how it performs.

The Fusion Flex J3i is a mount system that can provide up to 36TB of additional storage for the ‌Mac Pro‌. When purchased from Apple, the ‌Mac Pro‌ maxes out at 8TB of storage, so Sonnet's add-on provides a huge storage boost. The storage added through the Fusion Flex J3i will not, of course, act as a main boot disk and will instead work like an external drive that's plugged into the Mac.

You don't get any storage with the Fusion Flex J3i since it's designed to be a mounting system, so you're going to need to purchase storage separately and add it yourself. The Fusion Flex J3i supports two 3.5-inch drives and one 2.5-inch SSD or three 2.5-inch SSDs.

We tested the Fusion Flex J3i with two 4TB 3.5-inch hard drives from Western Digital, and installation was simple. Just four screws attach each of the hard drives to the J3i after the SSD plates have been removed.

After the Fusion Flex J3i has been outfitted with SSDs or hard drives, it also takes just a few minutes to get it up and running in the ‌Mac Pro‌. Pull off the cover, unscrew the plate at the top, and then insert the J3i into the machine.

The hard drives will connect to the ‌Mac Pro‌ and then you can attach the three SATA cables that come with the J3i, and since the ‌Mac Pro‌ has 1, 2, and 3, labeling, it's pretty easy to tell what goes where. After the mount is in place, put the ‌Mac Pro‌ back together, boot up, and all should be working well.

We found the Fusion Flex J3i to be a useful plug and play solution for those who are looking to add additional storage to their ‌Mac Pro‌ machines, and it's also cost effective. Sonnet charges $199 for the Fusion Flex J3i, and while adding storage is expensive, it's still cheaper than buying Apple's higher-tier SSD storage options.

You can get two 16TB 3.5-inch drives from Amazon for around $800, for example, which gives you 32TB of storage for much less than the $2,600 upgrade fee for the 8TB SSD from Apple. SSD storage is faster, of course, so if you want to go that route, you can get 4TB SSDs for somewhere around $600 each, which still comes in cheaper than Apple's storage.

For our setup, we have a couple PCIe SSDs in the ‌Mac Pro‌ for video editing purposes, with the J3i on hand for storing larger files, RAW images, and video backups.

Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i can be purchased from the Sonnet website for $199.

Tag: Sonnet

Top Rated Comments

XXPP Avatar
20 months ago
$199? For a piece of bent sheet metal? For that I can buy a whole good PC case. Someone is crazy.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darthaddie Avatar
20 months ago

probably something to do with low volume production
more like milking the Mac Pro group.


with a 1000 unit minimum it shouldn’t cost most than $10-$15 (even less) to Manufacture and import into the US. I have been in manufacturing in China and that’s all it takes. I would rather invest in a DAS with 4-5 bays.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erniefairchild1 Avatar
20 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/07/08/sonnet-fusion-flex-j3i/')

Sonnet earlier this year announced the launch ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/05/27/sonnet-fusion-flex-j3i-mac-pro/') of the Fusion Flex J3i internal drive mount, which is designed to let users add up to three SATA storage drives to the 2019 Mac Pro.


Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ('//www.youtube.com/user/macrumors?sub_confirmation=1') for more videos.

In our latest YouTube video, we went hands on with the Fusion Flex J3i, hooking it up to our Mac Pro to see how it performs.

The Fusion Flex J3i is a mount system that can provide up to 36TB of additional storage for the Mac Pro. When purchased from Apple, the Mac Pro maxes out at 8TB of storage, so Sonnet's add-on provides a huge storage boost. The storage added through the Fusion Flex J3i will not, of course, act as a main boot disk and will instead work like an external drive that's plugged into the Mac.

You don't get any storage with the Fusion Flex J3i since it's designed to be a mounting system, so you're going to need to purchase storage separately and add it yourself. The Fusion Flex J3i supports two 3.5-inch drives and one 2.5-inch SSD or three 2.5-inch SSDs.

We tested the Fusion Flex J3i with two 4TB 3.5-inch hard drives from Western Digital, and installation was simple. Just four screws attach each of the hard drives to the J3i after the SSD plates have been removed.

After the Fusion Flex J3i has been outfitted with SSDs or hard drives, it also takes just a few minutes to get it up and running in the Mac Pro. Pull off the cover, unscrew the plate at the top, and then insert the J3i into the machine.

The hard drives will connect to the Mac Pro and then you can attach the three SATA cables that come with the J3i, and since the Mac Pro has 1, 2, and 3, labeling, it's pretty easy to tell what goes where. After the mount is in place, put the Mac Pro back together, boot up, and all should be working well.

We found the Fusion Flex J3i to be a useful plug and play solution for those who are looking to add additional storage to their Mac Pro machines, and it's also cost effective. Sonnet charges $199 for the Fusion Flex J3i, and while adding storage is expensive, it's still cheaper than buying Apple's higher-tier SSD storage options.

You can get two 16TB 3.5-inch drives from Amazon for around $800, for example, which gives you 32TB of storage for much less than the $2,600 upgrade fee for the 8TB SSD from Apple. SSD storage is faster, of course, so if you want to go that route, you can get 4TB SSDs ('https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Inch-Internal-MZ-76E4T0B-AM/dp/B07864XY8B') for somewhere around $600 each, which still comes in cheaper than Apple's storage.

For our setup, we have a couple PCIe SSDs in the Mac Pro for video editing purposes, with the J3i on hand for storing larger files, RAW images, and video backups.

Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i can be purchased from the Sonnet website ('https://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusion-flex-j3i/overview.html') for $199.

Article Link: Testing Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i Mount With the Mac Pro ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/07/08/sonnet-fusion-flex-j3i/')
I can‘t wait to find out what MacRumors commenters decide to complain about on this one!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ronlap Avatar
20 months ago
I ordered this the first day it was available and it should be here tomorrow. This is insanely cheap compared to the Promise Pegasus, which comes with an 8TB drive that apparently everyone sells on eBay. I will be installing two 12GB Hitachi Helium disks to use for Time Machine and maybe an SSD as a scratch disk. My in-use video files sit on a Sonnet PCI card which holds four 2TB 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSDs while the rest of my files sit on Thunderbolt 2 storage arrays outside the box.


LOL the 2.5" SSD is using a SATA to USB adapter bahahahah... What a kludge.
Ya work with what Apple gives you and that's the only free port after the two SATA ports are used. I am not sure why someone can't figure out how to daisy chain those.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yurc Avatar
20 months ago
Heya, those drive cage should be included in Mac Pro from very beginning as default configuration, users can removed it if doesn’t need SATA disk. If Apple adopt this idea from 5,1 era it would turn selling Mac Pro without including any drive sleds.


The shape is so simple, it should be relatively easy to 3D print an enclosure for these drives. It's just the dang weird power cable that I'd have no idea how to source.
Some of our folks already making 3D prints for DIY drive cages, DIY power cable is also done to avoid crazy Belkin cable price.

It seems all 7,1 oriented peripheral are indeed, overpriced for such basic cable drive cage, in the name of ”for pro” machine sake.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
R3k Avatar
20 months ago
Hmm, i purchased and installed a Sonnet Tempo PCI-E Card that mounts 2 x SSD drives inside the 2019 MP.

This card cost $99 ('https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/893304-REG/Sonnet_tsata6_ssd_e2_TEMPO_SSD_THUNDERBOLT_COMPATIBLE.html')
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...