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Computers with Allegro USB-C 4port PCIe Cards


Transform a Mac mini® with Thunderbolt 3 Ports from a Basic Computer to a Workstation!

For many applications, a Mac mini with Thunderbolt 3 ports has all the processing power necessary to allow it to replace a full-sized desktop or workstation. But for pro audio and video users, the mini’s compact size can limit its potential—there are no slots for PCIe expansion cards needed to provide additional connectivity and functionality, and you need to securely rackmount the computer. Sonnet’s award-winning xMac™ mini Server addresses these issues and maximizes a Mac mini’s capabilities in a big way.

Inside its custom 1U enclosure, the xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition securely mounts your Mac mini, and connects two PCIe cards to the computer through one of its Thunderbolt 3 ports. A USB-A port and a power button mounted on the front panel allow the connection of a keyboard, mouse, thumb drive or other USB peripheral to, and the operation of the system without requiring access to the back of the computer. Additional panel-mount cables (HDMI, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and USB-A) are included to connect the ports on the computer to ports on the back of the xMac mini Server for convenient external connection. Due to the active electronics at both ends of Thunderbolt cables, passthrough Thunderbolt ports are not possible, but an opening on the back panel enables you to easily route cables to the computer or the internal connections on an installed card.



Imagine The Possibilities...


Video Ingest Station. ProTools Multitrack Recording Rig. Metadata Controller.
Large-Capacity RAID Storage Server. Video wall server.


Connect two high-performance PCIe cards to transform your Mac mini with Thunderbolt 3 ports from a simple computer to something much more.

Key Features

Adds Connectivity and Capabilities to Your Mac mini—Connects two high-performance PCIe 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0 expansion cards to the Mac mini

Diverse PCIe Card Support—Supports pro video capture and playout, pro audio, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SAS/SATA RAID controllers, and other PCIe cards

Server Room Ready—1U rackmount enclosure with user-replaceable fans, easy to remove lid, built-in cable management features

Makes Your Mac mini Road-Ready—Securely holds the computer and PCIe cards in place during transport, adding mobility to your Mac

Thunderbolt 3 Interface—Offers approximately 1750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth to the installed cards

Key Features

Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports—One port used to connect to the computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt(1) peripheral devices to your computer, attaching a single USB(2) peripheral device, or connecting a 4K display.

Rear Panel Connectivity, Front Panel Operation—Ethernet, HDMI and USB-A ports mounted at the rear of the chassis for easy connectivity; front panel power button activates power switch on Mac mini; illuminated USB-A port enables connection of keyboard, mouse, thumb drive, etc.

Power for High-Performance PCIe Cards—Integrated 150W power supply provides plenty of power for cards you install; auxiliary PCIe power connector enables use of power hungry non-GPU cards such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the RED® ROCKET-X™


Dual PCIe 2.0 Slots; Supports PCIe 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0 Cards

The xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition supports one full-height, full-length, single-width card, plus one full-height, half-length card. Plus, if you install a PCIe card that includes a daughter card (or interface connector bracket) like the ones included with RME’s HDSPe MADI FX card, Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, and the Lynx AES16e-50, a supplied mounting bracket allows you to securely mount the daughter card inside the chassis next to the main card, leaving the xMac’s second PCIe slot open for another card.

 

 

 

xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition with top cover opened



Expansion Made Easy

The xMac mini Server provides easy access to its PCIe slots and your computer’s ports; simply loosen two thumbscrews and then slide the top cover off. Once inside, installing PCIe cards and connecting cables to the computer are simple. The included Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable connects your Mac mini to one of the xMac mini Server’s Thunderbolt 3 ports, linking the PCIe slots to the computer. The xMac’s second Thunderbolt 3 port enables daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt peripherals such as additional PCIe expansion (like Sonnet’s Echo Express III-R rackmount chassis), pro video breakout boxes, video capture and playback devices, audio I/O devices, and more.


Idea Enabler

Mac mini as an ingest station for uncompressed 4K video? Absolutely. Mac mini as a virtual sound check, pro audio plug-in DAW and record rig? Sure! xMac mini Server enables you to expand your Mac mini’s capabilities in ways you never imagined. For PCIe card compatibility information, see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of cards(3) that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.



PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart

 

 

 

Power for High-Performance PCIe Cards

The xMac mini Server integrates a universal 150W power supply and includes an auxiliary PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX or the RED ROCKET. In short, there is plenty of power for any combination of compatible cards.


Thunderbolt 3 cable

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 — The USB-C That Does It All

The xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports; the first is used for connection to your computer, while the second supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices to a single port on your computer(1). This Sonnet solution includes 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second Thunderbolt 3 port using the proper cable or adapter. There’s also full support for connecting a 4K display @ 60Hz. For connected peripherals requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices.


Thunderbolt 3 cable


Smart Design Inside and Out

The xMac mini Server has numerous thoughtful design touches. The fans are user-replaceable, and there’s an optional extra-quiet fan kit available. The xMac mini Server’s power switch turns the computer on and off without the need for you to reach around back, and the PCIe slots power on/off with the Mac mini for energy savings. The enclosure’s rear panel includes mounting holes for two BNC connectors used for HD/SDI output from cards like the RED ROCKET-X, or for MADI and word clock IO from cards like the RME HDSPe MADI FX. There’s a central power hub for the computer and the PCIe slot’s power supply, enabling you to power everything with one power cord. The front panel USB-A provides port provides a handy visual cue, lighting up when the computer is on.

Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) Cable and ThunderLok™ 3 Included
To connect your computer to the xMac mini Server, Sonnet includes a 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable. And, to prevent accidental cable disconnection which can lead to data loss, we include a Sonnet ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(4) to secure the cable to the xMac. ThunderLok 3 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 remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.


Thunderbolt 3 Cable and ThunderLok 3



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
Mac mini, PCIe cards, and cables shown in photos that are not included with xMac mini Server are shown for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
Part No.  
XMAC-MS-A-TB3 xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition(5)
Hardware  
Warranty 2-year
Dimensions (WxDxH)

19 x 17.75 x 1.72 in. (48.3 x 45.1 x 4.4 cm)

Weight

16 lbs (7.26 kg)   

Form Factor Rackmount
External Connectors
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports (one open, one used)
  • One RJ-45 Gigabit/10 Gigabit Ethernet port extension
  • Two USB-A port extensions (one front-mount and 1 rear-mount)
  • One HDMI port extension
Internal Connectors
  • 6-pin Mini-Fit Jr (provides auxiliary power for PCIe cards that require it)
  • One C-8 power
PCIe Expansion Slots
  • One x8 (x4 electrical) PCIe 2.0 half-length
  • One x16 (x4 electrical) PCIe 2.0 full-length
Compatible PCIe Cards(x) PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart and as specified by card manufacturers
Power Supply

Universal 150W, 90-260V AC, 50-60 Hz

Operating Temperature

0º C to 35º C (32º F to 95º F)

RoHS Compliant Yes

Package Contents

  • xMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition, assembled
  • Daughter card mounting bracket
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
  • Thunderbolt 3 cable lock(4)
  • Power cord
  • Documentation


Note: Mac mini and PCIe cards sold separately

Specifications subject to change without notice.

 

 

 

 

Compatibility

Mac mini® [late 2018 (8,1)]

macOS 10.14.4+

macOS Mojave compatible

PCIe Card Compatibility

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

For maximum PCIe bandwidth, dedicate one Thunderbolt 3 bus on the computer to the PCIe expansion slots.


Technical Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a partial list of compatible PCIe cards.
  4. ThunderLok 3 compatible specifically with Sonnet 0.5-meter and 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables; Sonnet 1- and 2-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables require ThunderLok 3L
  5. Mac mini and PCIe cards sold separately.




Mac Logo PCI Express LogoroHS Logo

xMac mini Server Accessories Part No. Description
ThunderLok 3L (2-Pack) ThunderLok 3L Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip (2-Pack) TB3-LOK2L Secures Sonnet 1- or 2-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) active cables with ThunderLok 3L-compatible products; not compatible with Sonnet 0.5-meter or 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) passive cables
ThunderLok 3 (2-Pack) ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip (2-Pack) TB3-LOK2 Secures Sonnet 0.5-meter and 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) passive cables with ThunderLok 3-compatible products; not compatible with Sonnet 1- or 2-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) active cables
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 Cable TCB-TB3-05M 0.5-meter copper Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) 100W cable
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 Cable TCB-TB3-07M 0.7-meter copper Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) 100W cable
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 Cable TCB-TB3-2M 2-meter copper Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) 100W cable
HDX Power Cable Avid Pro Tools|HDX PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable TCB-HDXB Avid Pro Tools|HDX PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable for Echo Express III-D or III-R, xMac mini Server or Pro Server
Power Cable (OWC Excelsior) Power Cable (OWC Excelsior) TCB-EXCEL Cable, Power, for OWC Excelsior in Sonnet Echo Express III-D/R, xMac Pro Server, and xMac mini Server
xMac mini Server Quiet Fan Kit xMac mini Server Quiet Fan Module XMFAN-Q-A Quiet replacement fan for third-generation xMac mini Server models only (XMAC-MS-A)

 

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Product Quick Overview - XMac mini Server Thunderbolt 3 Edition (1:47 mins)


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