Sonnet Unveils Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion Systems for 2016 MacBook Pros

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Sonnet Technologies yesterday launched its first Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion systems for 2016 MacBook Pros, the Echo Express SEL -- Thunderbolt 3 Edition and the Echo Express SE I -- Thunderbolt 3 Edition.

    The SEL and SE I are compact and lightweight single-slot expansion systems that differ only in size and enable users to take advantage of the Thunderbolt 3's 2,750 MB/s of PCI Express bandwidth to support high performance adapter cards.


    The Echo Express SE I and Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Editions feature dual 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports that support the daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices. Both models support backward compatibility for 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2- and 10Gbps Thunderbolt-equipped devices when connected via the Apple® Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.

    As an added benefit, the second Thunderbolt 3 port also supports a variety of displays and a multitude of USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 devices when connected with the proper cable, and also fully supports the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables streaming to one 4K display at 120Hz, or two 4K displays at 60Hz, or one 5K display at 60Hz.

    The list of compatible PCIe cards is available on Sonnet's website. Sonnet is also offering Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for existing Thunderbolt 2 Echo Express SEL and SE I expansion systems, enabling those models with all the capabilities of the new Thunderbolt 3 Editions. 

    Article Link: Sonnet Unveils Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion Systems for 2016 MacBook Pros
  2. kattskrall macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2012
    Sweet, now I can hook up my 10/100 ethernet card
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It's 10Gb/s, not 10/100 (which is measured in Mb/s!)
  4. Onexy macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2012
    I guess still no GPU support? Apple is sleeping ZzzzZZzz
  5. star-affinity macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    I think he/she was joking. :)

    But it seems there are up to 40 Gigabit adapters that can be used with it! :-O

    But I'd rather use a full-sized desktop graphics with a Mac via a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. When will that work (well) with macOS?
  6. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Can firms start getting on those e-GPU's please? That is the undeniable / exciting future!!!
  7. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pfft. I sneer in the face of 10/100

    I'll be networking this baby with Appletalk.
  8. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    This is good news ahead of NAB where we'll likely see support (or custom solutions) for RED PCIe cards like the RED ROCKET and RED ROCKET X for Thunderbolt 3.

    Support eGPU from Apple is badly needed. Integrated cards just do not deliver the type of performance required for many video editing and motion graphics tools.

    Getting updated Mac Pro's out in the market should be a priority as well. Hopefully before NAB...
  9. strukt macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2012
  10. noone macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2006
    The dedicated graphics card is what kept me buying the MacBook Pro (and the 15-inch screen size). If they made a laptop with a 14-15 inch screen that I could plug into a dock/eGPU for the occasion that I want to run a game I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
  11. DogHouseDub macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    Another workaround for their PCIe-tethered Fusion RAID storage. Just stick a TB port on it already.
  12. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68010


    Jun 19, 2010
    Pittsburgh PA
    This is useless with it being unable to plug a real GPU in.
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 604


    May 3, 2014
    It's only of use to me if it can do AppleTalk over IrDA :)
  14. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    You strike me as the kind of guy who programs using Notepad. In binary. In his spare time. Just because he can. :D
  15. theitsage, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    If you want an eGPU enclosure, get the AKiTiO Node. I have been using one and it works with all Thunderbolt equipped Macs (oldest being a 2011 17" MacBook Pro) in both macOS and Windows - more info on eGPU for Mac.

  16. bunnspecial macrumors 604


    May 3, 2014
    I'm not that bad, although I have friends who are :)

    I'm probably one of the few people who here who has used IrDA in the past month. I have a decent sized collection of PowerBooks going back to the 500 series(I'm working on some 100 series ones) and IrDA often is an integral way of me getting files onto older 'Books. I can download files or use USB to transfer them onto a Lombard, Pismo, or VGA TiBook and then use IrDA to either get them directly onto the target computer(if so equipped) or put them on a Wallstreet as a "bridge" to do AppleTalk over serial. I have a SCSI adapter on the way, but without that AppleTalk is often my only way(or at least the most convenient way) to get files onto an older computer. I have PCMCIA USB and WiFi cards, but getting the extensions to make them work takes a bit of juggling.
  17. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    NotePad? VI!
  18. Sylvan macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2008
    I mean, this is cool and, and I'm really not bashing it. It's good to have options. But for my money, if I needed this capability, I would have just purchased a desktop computer with PCIe expansion slots built-in. Oh yea, that's exactly what I did.
  19. MacBH928 macrumors 68040


    May 17, 2008
    is there a logical reason that Apple is not supporting e-GPU?

    no one would mind their intel HD chips anymore if they do
  20. AxiomaticRubric macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2010
    On Mars, Praising the Omnissiah
    We have the Wolfe for that (at some point)
  21. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    Apple wants tight control over its Mac lineup hierarchy. An eGPU would disrupt this order.
  22. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    This is good advice.

    I have the sonnet express with is great if you want extra PCI slots, has three, size for some cards is an issue as is the PSU, can be used open though with an external PSU

    Razer core: sweetest build of them all, though GPU sizes are an issue, some bigger cards are too tall with the power cables in, and the stupid thing is designed to run with the case on.....

    The node even works with a hybrid GPU, very nice.

    I gotta go modify some power connectors this weekend to get a 980ti classified to fit a core :(
  23. rdav, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    rdav macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2007
    It would be most helpful if Apple could provide macOS drivers for the very popular Nvidia Pascal series (1050,1060,1070,1080) GPUs, which were released over eight moons ago.

    Eg. ** "Windows only support. No drivers for OS X available."

    Also, [] mentions "No Metal/OpenGL acceleration with Thunder-3 under macOS 10.12.2." - So again, it would be great if Apple could step up and update!
  24. Elijen macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2012
    How good are those compared to a PC equipped with an equivalent GPU? I bet there must still be some drawbacks.
  25. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    Apple will not do a thing about it. Nvidia has been updating its Nvidia web drivers in a timely manner (following macOS updates). No luck with the Pascal GPU drivers in macOS though.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2017 ---
    The percentage of performance loss depends on the Thunderbolt connection and whether it's internal display or external display. At a minimum expect a 15% loss compared to the internal PCIe slot.

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