Hands-On With Sonnet's DuoModo Modular Desktop Enclosures and eGPU

Sonnet in June announced a new DuoModo series of mix and match modular Thunderbolt expansion options both for the desktop and for rack installation, and we thought we'd take a hands-on look at the new offerings for MacRumors readers who are looking to power up their desktops.


There are three interchangeable expansion modules that are part of the DuoModo line, including a three-slot PCIe card system, an eGPU card system, and a Mac mini mounting system with an integrated Thunderbolt storage dock, plus a series of enclosures. Since these are mix and match you can pick and choose, but Sonnet also offers a few preconfigured options.

The DuoModo Echo III includes one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots that connect to a Mac's Thunderbolt port, along with a 400W power supply and a 75W auxiliary power connector for cards that require additional power.

Sonnet's DuoModo eGPU Module, which is what most MacRumors readers may be interested in, supports full-length, full-height 2.5-slot width GPU cards, and it has built-in variable-speed fans for cooling purposes. It's future proof with an 800W power supply. We used an AMD Radeon 6800 in the eGPU with an Intel ‌Mac mini‌ and saw OpenCL and Metal scores of 97499 and 132543, respectively, vastly outperforming the 4561 OpenCL and 4522 Metal scores from the integrated Graphics 630 card.

There's also a DuoModo xMac mini Module that holds an Intel or M1 ‌Mac mini‌ and allows it to be mounted in an enclosure. There's a built-in Thunderbolt 3 storage dock with two 10Gb/s USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and one 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 port. It also has two M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD sockets to let users add up to 16TB of storage.

These modules can go in one of Sonnet's enclosures, such as the Dual-Module Desktop Enclosure. Sonnet's dual enclosure holds any two of the DuoModo modules, and there's also a single-module option.

Sonnet's DuoModo system is comprehensive, versatile, and easy to use for those who need professional expansion options. Make sure to check out our video up above to see the DuoModo in action.

Tag: Sonnet

Top Rated Comments

ratspg Avatar
13 weeks ago

kinda pointless for m1 owners.
Would be awesome if it worked with my M1 Macs. Lol. Wishful thinking.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
13 weeks ago

Do these companies continuing to develop EGPU know something we don't about apple's future plans with thunderbolt (maybe M2 eGPU compatibility?) or are they basically just developing these for the PC market and what remains of the legacy intel macs?

It really doesn't make sense to me to keep releasing these products with the apparent depreciation of eGPU thunderbolt support.
With millions of non-M series Macs you see this as pointless?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
13 weeks ago
kinda pointless for m1 owners.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
13 weeks ago

eGPU is one of the biggest failed attempts in Apple history. The enclosure is expensive, the cards are expensive, compatibility is not universal and in the end the performance is much less than a directly connected GPU.

Who needs or wants such a setup? Just buy a PC or Mac Pro. The price of the enclosure+GPU is probably nearing enough to build a better dedicated PC.
Given the price difference between the 2018 i7 Mac Mini and the lowest end 2019 Mac Pro is $4700, this is a pretty good stop gap for the semi-pro/pro that needs some but not all of what the Mac Pro offers.
Gotta love the ole' Macrumors "I don't get it therefore nobody wants or needs it".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aggedor Avatar
13 weeks ago

Not sure why you mention the M1 in this post, this is just going to cause trouble for a lot of people who don't do their research.
The DuoModo website lists the M1 for just the xMac mini Module (Mac mini Mounting Module + Thunderbolt SSD Storage Dock), which isn't for the eGPU, I don't think... although it's hard to tell, the website is a little hard to follow.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Richdmoore Avatar
13 weeks ago
Do these companies continuing to develop EGPU know something we don't about apple's future plans with thunderbolt (maybe M2 eGPU compatibility?) or are they basically just developing these for the PC market and what remains of the legacy intel macs?

It really doesn't make sense to me to keep releasing these products with the apparent depreciation of eGPU thunderbolt support.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
apple watch series 3 diagnostic port

Apple Watch Series 7 Lacks Hidden Diagnostic Port, Likely Uses Wireless Data Transfer Instead

Wednesday October 13, 2021 8:34 am PDT by
Last month, FCC filings revealed that Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a new module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer. This module is not advertised on Apple's website and is likely for Apple's internal use only. The hidden diagnostic port on an Apple Watch Series 3 MacRumors has since confirmed with The Verge's Dieter Bohn and others that the Apple Watch Series 7 lacks ...
2021 mac pro mpx infinity fabric

Apple Shares Compatibility Details for Mac Pro's New Radeon Pro W6000 Graphics

Thursday August 5, 2021 7:16 am PDT by
Apple has published three new support documents with further details about the Mac Pro's new AMD Radeon Pro W6000 series MPX graphics modules, which became available earlier this week. The support documents walk through the many different display setups that can be used with the GPUs and how to use AMD's Infinity Fabric Link technology for increased performance and faster data transfer between...
macbook pro stickers

Hands-On Video With the New 14-Inch MacBook Pro

Tuesday October 26, 2021 2:26 pm PDT by
Happy MacBook Pro launch day! Apple's new M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros are now in the hands of customers after what seems like years of waiting for the new machines. We've picked up a 14-inch MacBook Pro and thought we'd share our initial thoughts and first impressions with MacRumors readers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to the unboxing...
oct 13 deal

Deals: Save on Apple Pencil 2 ($19 Off) and M1 Mac Mini ($149 Off) on Amazon

Wednesday October 13, 2021 8:14 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a pair of deals on two Apple products: the Apple Pencil 2 and M1 Mac mini from 2020. For the latter product, Amazon is offering a return of all-time low prices for both the 256GB and 512GB storage options. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
apple watch series 7 mystery

Apple Watch Series 7 Supports 60.5GHz Wireless Data Transfer, But Likely for Apple's Internal Use Only

Thursday September 23, 2021 10:07 am PDT by
Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a new module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer, according to FCC filings viewed by MacRumors, but this functionality may be reserved for Apple's internal use only for now. The filings indicate that the 60.5GHz module is only activated when the Apple Watch is placed on a proprietary magnetic dock with a corresponding 60.5GHz module, but...
macbook pro ports hdmi sd

SD Card Slot in New MacBook Pros Supports UHS-II With Speeds Up to 250 MB/s [Updated]

Thursday October 21, 2021 6:10 am PDT by
Apple has confirmed to The Verge's Dan Seifert that the SD card slot built into the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models supports UHS-II, and while this could theoretically allow for read and write speeds of up to 312MB/s with USH-II SD cards, Apple has since confirmed that the reader supports up to 250MB/s of data transfer. Some people had hoped that the SD card slot would support...
radeon pro w6000 series mpx modules

Mac Pro's New Radeon Pro W6000 Graphics Modules Now Available for Standalone Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 11:20 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end AMD Radeon Pro W6000 series graphics options for brand new Mac Pro configurations, and now the graphics modules are available for purchase on a standalone basis for customers who already own the computer. Three new MPX modules are available for the latest Mac Pro, including the Radeon Pro W6800X for $2,800, the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo for $5,000, and the ...
intel tb5 leak anandtech

Thunderbolt 5 Could Double Bandwidth to 80 Gbps, Intel Leak Suggests

Monday August 2, 2021 2:38 am PDT by
An Intel executive appears to have unintentionally leaked details of Thunderbolt 5, the next-generation hardware interface protocol that is yet to have been officially announced by Intel. Image credit: AnandTech The details appeared Sunday in a tweeted photo, since deleted, by EVP and GM of Intel's Client Computing Group, Gregory Bryant, who was documenting his visit to Intel's R&D labs in...
2021 MBP Profile Feature Yellow

New MacBook Pro Models Include HDMI 2.0 Port Instead of HDMI 2.1

Monday October 18, 2021 2:54 pm PDT by
Apple in 2016 removed all of the ports from its MacBook Pro models except for Thunderbolt ports, a design that persisted for years -- until today. The newly announced 2021 MacBook Pro models include an SD card slot and an HDMI port alongside three Thunderbolt ports. As noted in Apple's technical specifications for the new machine, the HDMI port is unfortunately not top of the line -- it is...