Thunderbolt 3 to PCI-Express Box?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ruslan120, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. ruslan120, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

    ruslan120 macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #1
    Hi MacRumors,

    I was wondering if anyone’s seen PCI-Express enclosures that have multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports to multiple PCI-Express slots, rather than singular PCI-Express to singular Thunderbolt.

    i.e. One board, 4 slots, 4 TB3 ports, one for each slot. Or 2 slots, 2 ports.

    Mostly asking out of curiosity. A singular power supply + an internal or dual m.2 slots + a slot dedicated to graphics would make for a great Mac Mini expansion module IMO.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
  3. Hessel89 macrumors regular

    Hessel89

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Location:
    Arnhem
    #3
    Intersting proposition but AFAIK this does not excist yet. What do you want to use the PCIe connections for? If you’re only after multiple M.2 slots I can definitely recommend the OWC 4m2.
     
  4. ruslan120 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the responses!

    10 Gb Ethernet. NVMe SSDs inside of PCI-Express adapters. Mod the box and mount SATA SSD’s or hard disks for additional storage, provided the PSU can handle it. One GPU. Maybe a capture card to record 4K video on the fly. Tons of possibilities.

    Doesn’t the OWC run the SSD’s at x1 bandwidth?

    That is perfect. A shame it’s so expensive + single TB port. I might actually buy this if it becomes cheaper...
     
  5. ruslan120 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #5
    I guess one of these would have sufficient bandwidth for a 10 Gigabit Ethernet card + NVMe SSD Adapter (but not RAID 0).

    Akitio T3N2AA0002Y00U Node Duo: (Thunderbolt 3 to X2 Half Length PCIe Expansion Box) Electronics https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FB9QBT7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3VZsDbG8ZNFJZ

    I bet it’s not intelligently engineered and just splits the available PCI-Express lanes between the two cards though. And it’s not an all-inclusive Mac Mini / iMac Pro upgrade solution that would create the illusion of an upgradable Mac desktop machine (with a Mac mini “core” that you swap out for a better processor and RAM every few years).
     
  6. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    I think i'm getting the idea now... you want a board that fits into a tower case and allows for all the benefits of slots and airflow and expansion that connects to the Mini (or MBP or whatever) using all available Thunderbolt bandwidth. Effectively you'd be able to buy the actual computer and get the expansion tower later, like Apple did with the Powerbook Duo back in the day. Now that would be something I'd buy in a second! I'm picturing an enlarged Blackmagic eGPU chassis sitting next to a Mac Mini housing a graphics card, PCI M.2 RAID and a few SATA drives for good measure.
     

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5 August 7, 2019