Create Expansion
Echo I Desktop
1-slot Desktop Thunderbolt to PCIe Card Expansion System for Computers with Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3 Ports
PCIe Card with MacBook Pro
Create Expansion
Echo I Desktop
1-slot Desktop Thunderbolt to PCIe Card Expansion System for Computers with Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3 Ports
PCIe Card with MacBook Pro

Connect One Full- or Half-length, Single- or Double-width PCIe Card to Computers with Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3 Ports

For many creative pros relying on recent portable, mini desktop and all-in-one computers to get their jobs done, their computers’ onboard processing power alone is not enough. While these Mac®, Windows®, and Linux® computers include high-performance Thunderbolt™ ports to support peripherals, they lack PCIe expansion slots to install a specialty card that adds needed storage expansion, video or audio inputs, transcodes data, or connects to high-speed shared storage and networks. Sonnet has a solution — the Echo™ I Desktop. This professional Thunderbolt to PCIe card expansion system enables you to connect one up to full-length (12.28 inches long) single- or double-width PCIe card to your computer via a single cable.

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Thunderbolt Ports
Create Expansion through a Thunderbolt Port
PCIe Cards

Supports Every Type of Thunderbolt Compatible PCIe Card

Video PCIe Card IconAudio PCIe Card IconSAS/SATA PCIe Card IconNetworking PCIe Card IconSSD PCIe Card Icon

Echo I Desktop supports every type of Thunderbolt compatible PCIe 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 card available including video capture and transcoding; audio DSP; 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapter; 10Gb or 25Gb Ethernet; SSD storage; and other specialty types to your system.

Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve put together a compatibility list that identifies cards conforming to Thunderbolt technology requirements, and organized by fit and power compatibility with specific expansion systems. 

PCIe Cards Compatibility PDF
Woman Designer Working on iMac

Add an x16 PCIe Card Slot to Your Computer with Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Including Mac Studio

Mac Studio with Echo I Desktop

Key Features

Adds Connectivity and Capabilities Icon

Adds Connectivity & Capabilities

Connects a  high-performance non-GPU PCIe card via a Thunderbolt cable to your computer lacking expansion slots.

Broad PCIe Card Compatibility Icon

Broad PCIe Card Compatibility

Every type of Thunderbolt compatible card supported.

One PCIe Slot Icon

One PCIe 3.0 Slot

x16 slot supports one half- or full-height, single- or double-width up to full-length PCIe card.

Pro Power Icon

Pro Power

Integrated 400W power supply with 150W auxiliary power. Saves energy by powering on/off automatically with the computer.

Remarkably Quiet Icon

Remarkably Quiet

Dual temperature-controlled, variable-speed Noctua fans rated at 17dBA automatically and quietly cool the cards.

40Gbps Thunderbolt System Icon

40Gbps Thunderbolt System

Offers full PCIe bandwidth for the installed card. Learn more about Thunderbolt 3 performance benefits over Thunderbolt 4.

40Gbps Thunderbolt System Icon

Thunderbolt 3 for Maximum Performance

Provides four lanes of PCIe 3.0 bandwidth to the card slot.

Rugged Aluminum Housing Icon

Rugged Aluminum Housing

Provides robust and secure protection.

Apple M Series Compatible Icon

Apple® M series Compatible

Supports M series Macs (with PCIe cards that have compatible drivers).

Intel Mac and Windows Compatible Icon

Intel® Mac Compatible

Supports Intel Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Thunderbolt 2 ports (with adapter and Thunderbolt 2 cable, both sold separately).

Intel Mac and Windows Compatible Icon

Windows Compatible

Supports Windows computers with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Linux Compatible Icon

Linux Compatible

Supports Linux computers with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Free Lifetime Tech Support
Echo 1 Desktop PCIe Slot

Space and Power to Spare

The Echo I Desktop features one x16 PCIe 3.0 slot, enabling it to support a huge variety of cards, whether single- or double-width, low-profile or full-height. To support power-hungry cards, it integrates a universal 400W power supply and includes a 150W 8-pin (6+2 pin) auxiliary power connector for cards that require extra power (including the Avid Pro Tools | HDX). The Echo I powers on and off automatically with the connected computer, saving energy in the long run. With no power switch, you can’t forget to turn off the system!

Echo 1 Desktop Interior Overview
Echo 1 Desktop with Full-length PCIe Card
Echo 1 Desktop with Low-profile PCIe Card
Echo 1 Desktop with Avid Pro Tools | HDX Card and Location of Auxiliary Power Connector
Avid Pro Tools | HDX PCIe Card
Supports an Avid HDX Pro Tools | HDX Card
Noctua FanNoctua Fan
Rated 17.1 dBA Icon

Dual Fans. Ultra-quiet Operation.

Featuring dual Noctua fans, the Echo I Desktop is designed to deliver ultra-quiet operation so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. Rated at 17.1dBA — below the 20dBA ceiling prescribed for use in recording and broadcast studios — the fans spread the spectrum of their noise to minimize the impact at any single frequency. To further ensure negligible noise levels, the fans are temperature-controlled, automatically speeding up and slowing down smoothly as needed, and the enclosure is engineered to optimize airflow over the installed card to cool the system effectively and efficiently.

Noise Levels Comparison Chart
Comparative examples of noise levels source:
Thunderbolt Cable & ThunderLok 3 Icon

The Secure Connection for High Performance

40Gbps Thunderbolt Cable and ThunderLok 3 Included

Sonnet includes a Thunderbolt cable that supports Thunderbolt's full 40Gbps bandwidth, and is fully compatible with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 computers. Sonnet also provides a ThunderLok™ 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip that prevents accidental cable disconnections — 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 remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.

Supports Full 40Gbps Thunderbolt Bandwidth IconThunderbolt Cable with ThunderLok 3
Thunderbolt Port Threaded Hole Icon

ThunderLok Advantage

Sonnet Thunderbolt expansion systems are designed with Thunderbolt ports that include threaded mounting holes for securing Sonnet’s ThunderLok retainer clips that prevent accidental cable disconnections.

40Gbps Thunderbolt

Fastest External Interface Available

The Echo I Desktop features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt interface that delivers up to 2800 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, enabling it to support 4K video capture and processing cards at high frame rates, audio DSPs, and 25GbE and dual-port 10GbE network cards at full performance.

Thunderbolt 4 Computers

Compatible with Thunderbolt 4 Computers and Apple M series Macs

Echo I Desktop is fully compatible with Thunderbolt 4 computers, including Apple M series Macs. Sonnet Thunderbolt expansion systems are purposely designed with a Thunderbolt 3 controller and its four lanes of PCIe (not available in a Thunderbolt 4 peripheral) to achieve maximum simultaneous ingest speeds. Learn more about the performance benefits of Thunderbolt 3 over Thunderbolt 4.
Apple M Series CPU

Compatible with Apple M series Macs

see Tech Specs for details

Older Macs with Thunderbolt 2 Ports

Backward Compatible with Older Macs

No Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3? No problem — the Echo I Desktop is also compatible with Macs with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports when used with the bi-directional Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter and a Thunderbolt cable (both sold separately).
Echo III Desktop and eGPU Breakaway Box 750 and 750ex

Do You Need Something More?

Do you need to install more than one full-length PCIe card? Check out Sonnet’s Echo III Desktop system. Or do you need to connect a GPU card? Look at the eGPU Breakaway Box 750 and 750ex.

Sonnet DuoModo Family

Part of the DuoModo Family

The heart of the Echo I Desktop – the Echo I Module – is part of Sonnet’s DuoModo™ family of modular Thunderbolt expansion systems, comprising of interchangeable modules for PCIe cards and eGPU card expansion, a Mac mini mounting system (with integrated 40Gbps Thunderbolt storage dock), and desktop and rackmount enclosures so you can quickly and easily interchange modules depending on your workflow.

Learn More
Learn why Sonnet’s Pro Products Rely on Thunderbolt 3 Technology for Maximum Performance

Echo I Desktop