• Overview
  • Tech Specs
  • Accessories
  • Videos
Echo Express SEL TB3 with MacBook Pro

Connect a Low-Profile PCIe Card to Computers Without Expansion Slots

PCIe Card and Notebook Icons

Shopping for a new computer? Small and thin is in—the latest ultra-light notebooks, small form factor, and all-in-one desktops are slender marvels of engineering. But, thinness comes with a cost—there’s nowhere to install PCIe cards that provide additional connectivity and processing capabilities beyond a computer’s standard ports. Thin Mac® and Windows®(1) computers with Thunderbolt™ 3 ports still offer tremendous processing power, but for many, such as pros in the creative fields, onboard processing power alone is not enough. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit your choices to desktop workstations—think external. Sonnet’s Echo™ Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) enables you to connect a single low-profile PCIe card outside of the computer. Through its x8 PCIe 3.0 slot, this little expansion system supports many Thunderbolt-compatible 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 40Gb and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, video capture and processing, SAS and SATA host bus adapters, and RAID controller cards.

The Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) features 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3, which offers double the speed and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, and yields up to 2750 MB/s of PCIe 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(2)(3). With the ability to handle the most demanding, highest performance PCIe cards, support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(4), and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt(5) and USB(6) peripheral devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.


Key Features

Connects a PCIe Expansion Card to Computers Without Slots—Use high-performance PCIe cards with any Mac or Windows PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port

One PCIe 3.0 x8 Slot—Supports low-profile card

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface—Offers 2750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, doubling the performance of Thunderbolt 2

Small Package, Full Performance—Smallest Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion system available, supports the most popular low-profile, Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards at full performance

Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Ports—One port reserved for connection to the computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt(5) devices to your computer, attaching a single USB(6) peripheral device, or connecting up to two 4K displays or one 5K display(4)

Remarkably Quiet—Temperature-controlled, variable-speed fan automatically and quietly cools the card  

Energy Saver Mode—Powers on/off automatically with the computer

Rugged Aluminum Housing—Provides robust and secure protection

Power for Peripherals—Provides up to 15W of power to connected peripheral or host(7)

Thunderbolt Cable & ThunderLok Included—Includes 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable and ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip to secure cable from accidental disconnections

Shadow

Small Package, Full Performance

Measuring just 4 inches wide by 8.4 inches long by 2.8 inches tall, the Echo Express SEL is ideal for use in circumstances where connecting a single low-profile PCIe card is required. Many of the most popular Thunderbolt-compatible high-speed networking and storage controller cards are a perfect fit, and even the BlueFish 444 Epoch 4K Neutron video card can be accommodated.

Echo Express SEL TB3 (Inside View)

Thunderbolt 3 —
The USB C That Does It All

The Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) includes two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) 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 SEL includes 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second port using the proper cable or adapter. The SEL also provides full support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(4). For connected devices requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices.

One Port Delivers Up to 40Gbps Icon

Thunderbolt 3 Daisychain Diagram

Connect computer to one port on the Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) and daisy chain up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices
(plus two 4K monitors, one 5K display, or one USB 3.0 device)

Echo Express SEL TB3 (Front View)Smart Design, Inside and Out

Aluminum and Auto Power IconsConstructed of rugged and lightweight aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express SEL securely protects the installed PCIe card. The card is protected inside, too—the Echo SEL employs a variable-speed, temperature-controlled fan to ensure the card and chassis’ components remain reliably cool. The fan automatically speeds up as necessary to cool the installed card when it’s hot, and slows down when it’s cool. 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.

Quiet, Please

Ultra Quite Fan IconThe Echo Express SEL is designed to be ultra-quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. The airflow path within the chassis has been specially designed to enable the fan to quietly and efficiently cool the installed card at all times, even during peak operation.

Low-Profile Card Diagram

Designed for Low-Profile PCIe Cards

The Echo Express SEL supports one half-length (up to 6.6 inches long), low-profile, single-width PCIe card; PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 cards are supported.

Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve worked closely with PCIe card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible cards on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides a list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart

Thunderbolt 3 Cable and ThunderLok 3

Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) Cable and
ThunderLok 3 Included

Sonnet includes a 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect the Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) to your computer, and a Sonnet ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(8) to secure the cable to the Echo chassis. Accidental cable disconnect can lead to data loss. Sonnet’s ThunderLok 3 secures the Thunderbolt cable to the Echo chassis, and is easy to install and use—just slide it over one end of the cable, and then plug in the connector and secure it to the chassis by turning a thumbscrew. Because of its unique design, ThunderLok does not attach to the connector, but remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.

Sonnet Thunderbolt Expansion Partners

Sonnet works closely with the following partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility for their products. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of products that have passed Thunderbolt compatibility testing with Sonnet products.

AdobeAJAAppleApogeeArecaATTOAudinateAvidBlack Magic DesignBlueFish 444CalDigitDeltacastExaSANFocusriteFusion ioHigh PointLynx Studio TechnologyMatroxMyricomNewer TechOWCREDRMESiennaSmall Tree Softron Media ServicesSolid State LogicStorageDNATandberg DataTolis GroupTools On AirUniversal Audio


 PCIe cards and computer hardware shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
See Tech Specs Tab for footnotes
Part No.  
ECHO-EXP-SEL-T3 Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe Card Expansion System
Hardware  
Warranty 1-year
Form Factor Desktop expansion system
External Connectors
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Power port
Expansion Slot

One x8 PCIe 3.0 slot

  • x8 mechanical
  • x4 electrical (Thunderbolt 3 spec)
PCIe Cards Supported One low-profile PCIe card
Compatible PCIe Cards(7) PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart and as specified by card manufacturers
Power Adapter
Universal 60W, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz
Operating Temperature

0˚C to 35˚C (32˚F to 95˚F)

Dimensions (WxDxH) 4 x 8.25 x 2.8 in. (10.3 x 21 x 7.28 cm)
Weight   1.85 lbs (.84 kg)
RoHS Compliant Yes
Package Contents
  • Echo Express SEL (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe Card Expansion System
  • Power adapter
  • Power cord
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
  • Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(8)
  • Documentation

Note: PCIe cards old separately

 

Specifications subject to change without notice.

image

 

 

 

 

Mac Compatibility

Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports

Mac with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt port with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

macOS® 10.12.6+

PC Compatibility

PC with Thunderbolt 3 ports

Windows 10 (64-bit Edition Version 1703 or greater)(1)(9)

Important Note: Windows computers require the latest BIOS and Thunderbolt drivers to support this product. Check with your computer manufacturer for update information.

PCIe Card Compatibility

For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart


Technical Notes

  1. Windows computers require the latest firmware (BIOS) and Thunderbolt drivers to support this product. Check with your computer manufacturer for update information. Not all Mac-compatible PCIe cards are also compatible with Windows. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for details.
  2. While the Echo Express SE III features a 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface, some computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 use an implementation of Thunderbolt 3 technology that limits PCIe performance to 20 Gbps. The MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) has this limitation in the two right-hand Thunderbolt 3 ports, while offering full performance from the left-hand ports.
  3. Full performance requires the use of the included Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable, or other Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cables; look for the Thunderbolt icon AND the number 3 on the connector housings to identify these cables.
  4. One 4K monitor directly supported. Two 4K monitors requires either a 4K monitor with multi-stream transport support (DP out), or a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter. 5K monitor requires a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter. All Thunderbolt 3 Macs support two 4K monitors. Most Thunderbolt PCs support two 4K monitors.
  5. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 peripheral devices on Macs used with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter, sold separately.
  6. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb) or Gen 2 (10Gb) devices when connected with proper cable or adapter (sold separately).
  7. PCIe cards sold separately.
  8. ThunderLok 3 compatible with Sonnet 0.5 meter Thunderbolt 3 cables, but not with Sonnet 1-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables.


    Mac LogoWindows Logo PCI Express LogoroHS Logo

 

 

Accessories Part No. Description
ThunderLok 3 (2-Pack) ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt 3 Connector Retainer Clip (2-Pack) TB3-LOK2 Secures 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables with ThunderLok 3-compatible products; not compatible with 1-meter cables
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-05M 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-1M 1-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
Power Adapter Power Adapter (12V, 5A) PWR-5A-12V Spare power adapter
(for Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition)
 

SubscribeYouTube



Echo Express SEL Product Overview (2:06 mins)


View More Sonnet VideosArrow