IT hardware distributor, Syntech, and computer hardware upgrade company,
Sonnet, will be shipping the Echo™ Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-
R rackmount Thunderbolt™-to-PCI Express® Expansion Chassis to South Africa
in the near future.
When the system becomes available, along with the cards, a coupon for a free
upgrade exchange to Thunderbolt 2, will be included.
Both new expansion chassis feature three PCIe slots, a 300W power supply, a
75W auxiliary power connector which will enable the use of a wide variety of
high-performance PCI Express cards with any Mac® computer housing a
Thunderbolt port. Intel has announced 20 Gb/sec Thunderbolt 2 while Apple®
has announced the new Mac Pro® with six Thunderbolt 2 ports.
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 who need to connect three PCIe cards to their computer. Up
to three full-length, full-height, single-width PCIe 2.0 cards with one x 16 and
two x 8 PCIe slots are supported by each new chassis.
Jason Ziller, director of marketing for Thunderbolt at Intel says: “For the first
time, on-the-go media creators can capture, edit and display 4K or multi-stream
HD in real time through a single compact port.”
The mobile rack supports a wide array of devices without taking up additional
rack space. This includes a selection of internal LTO tape drive and four
swappable 2.5-inch SSDs, an optical drive and a Sonnet Qio™ MR pro universal
media reader or three swappable 3.5-inch hard disk drives.
The Mobile Rack Kit easily installs into the Echo chassis’ enclosure and houses
one 3.2-inch or two 1.6-inch mobile rack devices up to eight inches deep. A
separate 250W power supply inside the Mobile Rack Kit powers the installed
For cards that require additional power, such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the
new RED® ROCKET-X, the new Echo chassis integrates a universal 300W power
supply and includes a 75W PCIe power connector.
The Echo Express III-D and III-R’s noise is kept to a minimum with air-flow-
control features which combine to reduce air speed and turbulence. Components
remain cool, and because the fans speed up and slow down as needed, there is
no need for tools to change settings.
A list of compatible cards is available on Sonnet’s website and continues to grow
as more cards are tested and certified. The Echo Express III-D and Echo Express
III-R enable iMac®, Mac mini, new Mac Pro®, MacBook® Air and MacBook Pro®
computers equipped with a Thunderbolt port to use Thunderbolt-compatible
professional video I/O, audio interface, SAS and SATA HBA, 16Gb- and 8Gb-Fibre
Channel, 10Gb-ethernet and RAID controller cards.
Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies concludes: “These quiet Echo
chassis deliver outstanding performance and value and, when equipped with
Thunderbolt 2 technology, will ensure that even the most demanding cards will
perform at their peak with the new Mac Pro and other Thunderbolt 2 technology-
“We are especially pleased to be delivering our most advanced Thunderbolt-to-
PCIe expansion chassis in a slim 2U rackmount configuration, with room for
mobile rack devices.’