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Connect Three Full-height, Half-length+ PCIe Cards to Computers with Thunderbolt 3 Ports
Although thin Mac®, Windows®, and Linux® computers with Thunderbolt™ 3 ports offer processing power to spare, for many users (such as pros in the creative fields) onboard processing power alone is not enough. Sonnet’s Echo™ Express SE IIIe is a compact, desktop Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCIe card expansion system that enables you to connect three professional PCIe cards at the same time to any computer with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The Thunderbolt 3 Connection
This compact desktop expansion system supports three professional PCIe cards (video capture; audio DSP; 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapter; 10Gb, 25Gb, or 40Gb Ethernet; or RAID controller; etc.) and connects them to your computer through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.
Nearly Every Thunderbolt-Compatible, Non-GPU PCIe Card Supported
Smaller than the 3-slot Echo Express III-D (Thunderbolt 3 Edition), the Echo Express SE IIIe is still large enough to support nearly every Thunderbolt 3 compatible card available. With its three x8 slots, the SE IIIe supports PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 1.1 cards up to 7.75 inches long. Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve put together a list in our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart (PDF). There you’ll find cards identified as conforming to Thunderbolt technology requirements, and organized by fit and power compatibility with specific expansion system.
Aluminum Enclosure. Auto Power On/Off.
The inside of the Echo Express SE IIIe is wrapped in a rugged, yet lightweight aluminum outer shell, resulting in a lightweight system small enough to carry in your backpack, yet durable enough to protect the installed PCIe cards securely. Since Echo Express products automatically power on and off with your computer, there is no power switch on the chassis, ensuring you don’t waste energy by forgetting to turn it off.
Three PCIe 3.0 Slots for Demanding Professional Needs
Echo Express SE IIIe’s PCIe 3.0 x8 slots support three half-length+, full-height, single-width PCIe cards, or one single-width card plus one double-width card.
Some specialty cards, such as RME’s HDSPe MADI FX, Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink 4K Extreme, and the Lynx AES16e 50, include a daughter card that mates with and provides additional external connections to the main card.
Power to Spare
Echo Express SE IIIe includes an auxiliary PCIe power connector, enabling you to install a card requiring extra power, such as the AJA® Kona® 5 or Blackmagic DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, and Bluefish444’s Epoch and KRONOS SDI cards.
The Echo Express SE IIIe is designed to be ultra-quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. Its enclosure is ventilated front and back to facilitate airflow over the cards bya large, quiet, temperature-controlled fan to efficiently cool the system. The fan automatically speeds up and slows down smoothly as needed—there’s no guesswork in deciding which fan speed to select.
Fastest External Interface Available
Echo Express SE IIIe features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface, which offers double the PCIe bandwidth and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, and yields up to 2750 MB/s of bandwidth, enabling it to support 4K video capture and processing cards at high frame rates, and 16Gb FC cards and dual-port 10GbE cards at full performance.
Thunderbolt 3 – The USB-C That Does It All
Echo Express SE IIIe includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports; the first connects it to your computer, while the second supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices to a single port on your computer. The SE III also includes 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second port using the proper cable or adapter. For connected peripherals requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices. With the ability to handle multiple demanding, high performance PCIe cards, support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz, and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt and USB devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.
- Mac (Intel®) with Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Mac (M1) with PCIe cards that have M1 compatible drivers
- Mac with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt port with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter plus a Thunderbolt 2 cable (both sold separately)
- macOS® 10.12.6+
- macOS Big Sur compatible
- PC with Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Windows 10 (64-bit Edition Version 1809 or greater, see note)
- Important Note: Windows computers require the latest BIOS and Thunderbolt drivers to support this product. Check with your computer manufacturer for update information.
- Linux computer with Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Linux Kernel 5.0+
Desktop expansion system
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- 12V power port
6-pin Mini-Fit Jr (same type as on legacy Mac Pro motherboard; provides power for PCIe card that requires supplemental power)
- One x8 mechanical (x4 electrical) PCIe 3.0
- Two x8 mechanical (x8 electrical) PCIe 3.0
PCIe Cards Supported
- One half-length+ (up to 7.75 inches long), double-width, full-height x8 PCIe card, plus one single-width card or
- Three half-length+, single-width, full-height x8 PCIe cards
- Universal 120W, 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
- NRTL Certified
Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800 at 17.1dB(A)
0ºC to 35ºC (32ºF to 95ºF)
6.5 x 11 x 4.6 in. (16.5 x 27.9 x 11.7 cm)
2.6 lbs. (1.18 kg)
- Echo Express SE IIIe
- Universal power adapter
- Power cord
- 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
- ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip