This product is discontinued and replaced by Echo III Rackmount
Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition)

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition)

3-slot rackmount Thunderbolt 3 expansion system for PCIe cards

Connect Three 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. A prime example is the latest MacBook Pro®, which, while offering great performance, lacks 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 Edition) is a pro-level, rackmount Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system that enables you to connect three full-length PCIe cards at the same time.

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) with MacBook Pro
PCIe Card Connected to Thunderbolt Computer

The Thunderbolt 3 Connection

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), including video capture, audio interface, SAS or SATA HBA, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controllers.

Key Features

PCIe Card Icon

Connect PCIe Cards

Use multiple high-performance PCIe cards with any computer with a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Number 3 Icon

Three PCIe 3.0 x8 Slots

Supports three full-height, single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card.

40Gpbs Icon

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface

Offers 2750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, doubling the performance of Thunderbolt 2.

Performance Icon

Pro Performance

Every Thunderbolt 3 compatible, non-GPU card supported regardless of length or height.

Thunderbolt 3 Ports Icon

Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports

One port connects to computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices.

Sound Icon

Remarkably Quiet

Temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans automatically and quietly cool cards.

Energy Saver Icon

Energy Saver Mode

Powers on/off automatically with the computer.

Rugged Icon

Rugged Steel Rackmount Housing + Optional Expansion

Provides robust and secure protection in server and DIT racks; optional expansion available with Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits.

Power Icon

Pro Power

Integrated 300W power supply with 75W auxiliary power; Thunderbolt daisy chain port provides up to 15W of power to connected peripherals.

Free Lifetime Tech Support
PCIe Cards

Every Thunderbolt 3 Compatible, Non-GPU PCIe Card Supported

The Echo Express III-R supports three single-width, full-length PCIe cards, or one double-width, full-length card plus one single-width card, enabling it to support 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.

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Icon

All Around Smart Design

Steel Enclosure. Auto Power On/Off. Mobile Rack Device Kit Expansion.

The Echo Express III-R's enclosure is formed of heavy-duty steel to provide secure mounting for the inner assembly and protection for the PCIe cards installed inside, and to support maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where you install it in a rack. Internal space available to expand system further with optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits. 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.
Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Front View

Three PCIe 3.0 Slots, No Compromise

Sonnet’s Echo Express III-R supports three full-size PCIe cards, up to 12.28 inches (full-length) long. The 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. Even with all that power, the III-R is enviro-friendly; it automatically powers on or off whenever the connected computer powers on (or wakes), or powers off or sleeps, respectively.

Power Icons
x16 and x18 PCIe Cards Icon

Echo Express III-R features one x16 plus two x8 PCIe slots for versatile card support

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Interior View

1. 300W power supply
2. Three PCIe 3.0 slots
3. 75W auxiliary power connector

Rack Rails
Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) In Mobile Rack

Rack Ready

The III-R’s included adjustable rackmount extension rails enable the chassis to be installed securely in a variety of racks from 16 to 24 inches deep (optional, extra-long extension rails that support installation in racks up to 32.5" deep are also available).

Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit

Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits

Sonnet’s optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits enable you to add more expansion devices to your rack without taking up additional rack space. The basic Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit includes an internal 100W power supply inside to power the installed devices, a large internal fan to quietly and efficiently cool the expansion kit, and mounting hardware to secure the devices and the kit itself. Pre-configured kits include the mobile rack peripherals, supporting PCIe card, and required cables; you provide drives as necessary.

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) Rear View

Captive thumbscrews enable quick and easy installation of PCIe cards and Mobile Rack Kit expansion devices inside the Echo Express III-R's enclosure

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) with RED ROCKET PCIe Card
BNC Connector Cables

RED ROCKET Supporter. Designed for BNC Connector Cables.

Sonnet designed the Echo Express III-R to accommodate the RED ROCKET or RED ROCKET-X and its BNC connector bracket (for HD-SDI output) card/bracket pair in a single slot. This Echo chassis includes two BNC connector mounting holes, enabling the installation of the card in one slot and its BNC connectors in the chassis’ mounting holes, leaving the two remaining slots open without the need to install the BNC connector bracket that would normally occupy a valuable PCIe slot.

Fan Icon

Quiet Operator

The Echo Express III-R is remarkably quiet—comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments, it is one of the quietest Echo systems available. The natural convection of warm air through the PCIe cards is assisted by ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans, and vented out of the chassis with reduced air velocity and turbulence, resulting in little fan noise. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down as needed, you don’t have to guess which speed setting to select, and there’s no need for tools to change settings.
Thunderbolt 3 Cable with ThunderLok 3

Included at No Extra Charge

Thunderbolt 3 Cable. ThunderLok 3.

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.

ThunderLok 3 Connection
Thunderbolt Icon

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) 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.(1)(2)

Thunderbolt 3 Port Info Icon

Thunderbolt 3 –
The USB-C That Does It All

Echo Express III-R (Thunderbolt 3 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 your 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(3), and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt(4) and USB(5) devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.

Thunderbolt 3 Port Info Icon


Up to Twice the Performance of Thunderbolt 2

Thunderbolt 3 Speed Comparison Chart
Thunderbolt 3 Daisy Chain Diagram
Connect computer to one port on the Echo Express III-R (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)

Desktop Version Available

The Echo Express III (Thunderbolt 3 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.

Echo Express III-D
See Tech Specs for footnotes.
Product specifications and information subject to change without notice. Computer hardware and accessories featured in photos that are not included with product are shown for illustration purposes; items sold separately.

Replaced by Echo III Rackmount