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.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel 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 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

(View all)
Avatar
4 weeks 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)
Avatar
4 weeks ago


[IMG width="251px"]https://images.macrumors.com/images-new/macrumorsthreadlogo@3x.png[/IMG] ('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: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks 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)
Avatar
4 weeks 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)
Avatar
4 weeks 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)
Avatar
4 weeks 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)

Top Stories

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Apple Launches New Gift Card for 'Everything Apple'

Friday July 31, 2020 3:45 am PDT by
Apple has introduced a new single gift card in the U.S. for all things Apple. First spotted by iCulture, the card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but you can also use it to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store. Previously, there were two separate Apple gift cards available: iTunes cards, which can be used for App Store, iTunes Store, and iCloud storage...

Leaker Jon Prosser Claims iPhone 12 and New iPads Will Launch in October

Wednesday July 29, 2020 4:15 pm PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, today said that new iPhone 12 models and new iPads will launch in October. Multiple rumors have suggested that some or all of the iPhone 12 models coming this year will see a later than normal launch. Apple typically unveils and releases new iPhones in the month of September, but problems...