Connect Full-length PCIe Cards to Computers with Thunderbolt 3 Ports
For pros working in the creative fields, a computer’s processing power alone is not enough to get the job done. Prime examples are the latest MacBook Pro® and Mac mini®, which, while offering great performance, lack the PCIe expansion slots necessary to support specialty cards that connect pro video and audio inputs, transcode data, and connect to high-speed storage and networks. Instead of slots, these computers include high-performance Thunderbolt™ 3 ports to support peripherals. Sonnet’s Echo™ Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) is a pro-level, rackmount Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system that enables you to connect your computer to three full-length (up to 12.28 inches long) PCIe cards at the same time.
Optimized to support multiple Pro Tools | HDX PCIe cards, Sonnet's Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) is Avid qualified, compatible and ready for use out of the box, no extra parts or special configuration necessary! It has been tested and approved for use with Pro Tools HD 12 software, and is qualified by the Avid Audio group for use with Pro Tools HDX and HD Native systems. See this Sonnet FAQ and the Avid website for ProTools System Requirements and Compatibility.
Avid Pro Tools | HDX cards sold separately
Sonnet makes it easy to integrate a complete 2- or 3-card Pro Tools | HDX system and a Mac mini® in just 4U of rack space. With the rugged 1U RackMac mini rackmount enclosure plus the 2U Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) you can combine the power of HDX with any Avid Pro Tools hardware I/O for a complete system, including the exciting new Pro Tools | MTRX Studio all-in-one audio interface.
Through a simple Thunderbolt 3 connection, connect professional PCIe cards (three full-height, single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card).
Use one, two, or three Pro Tools | HDX PCIe cards with computers with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Supports three full-height, single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card.
Offers up to 1750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth to the installed cards.
Every Thunderbolt 3 compatible, non-GPU card supported regardless of length or height.
One port connects to computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices.
Temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans automatically and quietly cool cards.
Powers on/off automatically with the computer.
Provides robust and secure protection in server and DIT racks; optional expansion available with Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits.
Integrated 300W power supply with 75W auxiliary power; Thunderbolt daisy chain port provides up to 15W of power to connected peripherals.
The Echo Express III-R supports every Thunderbolt 3 compatible, non-GPU PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 card available. 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.
Designed to support power-hungry cards, Sonnet's Echo Express III-R integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX.
1. 300W power supply
2. Three PCIe 2.0 slots
3. 75W auxiliary power connector
Captive thumbscrews enable quick and easy installation of PCIe cards and Mobile Rack Kit expansion devices inside the Echo Express III-R's enclosure
Sonnet includes a 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable that supports Thunderbolt 3’s full 2750 MB/s PCIe bandwidth. Sonnet also provides a ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(1) 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.
Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface and yields up to 1750 MB/s of bandwidth for the installed cards, providing more than enough bandwidth to support three Pro Tools | HDX cards at full performance.
Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) 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 III-R 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 @ 60H(2), and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt(3) and USB(4) devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.
The Echo Express III (Thunderbolt 3 HDX Edition) is available in two versions, the III-D (desktop) and III-R (rackmount), to suit your workflow needs. The III-D’s form factor is perfect for users who need their expansion system to support every size of Thunderbolt-compatible card available, and be rugged and transportable.