updated 06:17 pm EDT, Mon April 8, 2013
Pair of new models allow for one 16x, two 8x card installations
Sonnet today announced the Echo Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-R rackmount Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express Expansion Chassis, the newest members of the company's Echo family of Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCI-E cards. Featuring three PCI-E slots, a 300W power supply, and 75W auxiliary power connector, both new devices enable the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express cards originally designed for use in desktop computers, now available to use with any OS X computer with a Thunderbolt port.
Both the Echo Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-R rackmount chassis feature dual Thunderbolt ports to support daisy-chaining of devices, and are designed for users connecting up to three PCIe cards to their computer. Each new chassis supports three full-length, full-height, single-width PCIe 2.0 cards with one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots. The III-D is small enough to fit in many travel bags. The III-R mounts in a 2U tall (3.5-inch) rack space, and its enclosure is just 15.75 inches deep, suitable for use in a wide range of mobile racks, carts, and rack bags as well as conventional racks.
Utilizing the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, users can install two 5.25-inch form factor mobile rack devices in the III-R's enclosure. The Mobile Rack Kit easily installs into the Echo chassis' enclosure and houses one full-height (3.2-inch) or two half-height (1.6-inch) mobile rack devices up to eight inches deep. A separate 80W power supply inside the Mobile Rack Kit powers the installed devices. Each new Echo chassis integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W PCI-E power connector for cards that require supplementary power. Larger, slower-spinning fans enable the Echo Express III-D and III-R to conserve energy by powering on and off with the computer to which they are attached.
The ECHO-EXP3F-D Echo Express III-D has a suggested retail price of $979. The ECHO-EXP3F-R Echo Express III-R retails for $1,199. The ECHO-EXP3F-R-MR Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit has a suggested retail price of $150. All are expected to be available in August 2013.