Use Up to Three PCIe Cards with Computers Lacking Expansion Slots
For pros in the creative fields, processing power alone is not enough. A prime example is the new Mac Pro. Proven to be a processing powerhouse and packed with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports, it lacks the PCIe expansion slots necessary to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for transcoding data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. With the Echo Express III-R, Sonnet has created a solution that leverages the paradigm shift enabled by Thunderbolt technology, allowing PCIe expansion slots to be connected outside a computer. This rackmount Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion chassis makes it possible for you to connect three professional video capture, audio interface, SAS or SATA HBA, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards to any Mac® with a Thunderbolt port.
Featuring 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology that provides sufficient bandwidth to support many of the highest performance and most demanding PCIe cards, the Echo Express III-R delivers maximum performance when connected to a computer with Thunderbolt 2. The III-R is also fully compatible with computers with 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology, supporting the majority of cards at full-performance.
Three Slots, No Compromise
Sonnet’s Echo Express III-R supports three full-size PCIe cards, up to 12.28″ (full-length). The III-R integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the new RED® ROCKET-X. Even with all that power, the III-R is enviro-friendly; it automatically powers on or off whenever the connected computer powers on or wakes, or powers off or sleeps, respectively. The use of large, slow-spinning fans in the Echo Express III-R makes it a remarkably quiet operator. Two Thunderbolt ports support daisy chaining of up to six devices to a single port on your computer.
Built for Speed
20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology-equipped computers are here. The original 10Gbps Thunderbolt interface has provided breakthrough bandwidth for external expansion, more than sufficient to support the maximum performance of most PCIe cards. However, some high bandwidth cards such as the RED ROCKET, 16Gb Fibre Channel, multi-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards, or the use of other bandwidth-hungry cards require more than 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 removes this barrier by providing more bandwidth for demanding applications. The Echo Express III-R’s Thunderbolt 2 interface takes full advantage of this increased bandwidth to ensure optimum performance from installed cards when the chassis is connected to a Thunderbolt 2-equipped computer. Need to connect to a computer equipped with 10Gbps Thunderbolt? No problem, the Echo Express III-R is fully compatible with earlier generation Thunderbolt computers as well.
Smart Design Inside and Out
Constructed of heavy-duty steel, the Echo Express III-R’s enclosure not only provides secure mounting for the inner assembly and protection for the PCIe cards installed inside, but it supports maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where it is installed in a rack. The fans are variable-speed and temperature-controlled, and the computer-modeled airflow management ensures that even hot-running cards and the chassis’ components remain reliably cool without the need to install an extra PCIe blower card that would prevent the use of one of the three slots. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down as needed, there is no guesswork in setting a switch position, and no need for tools to change fan speed settings. Since Echo Express products automatically power on and off with your computer, there is no power switch needed on the chassis. The III-R includes adjustable and removable rackmount extension rails that allow the chassis to be installed securely in a variety of racks from 16″ to 24″ deep. The III-R provides space for other equipment, too. Utilizing the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, you can install two 5.25-inch form factor mobile rack devices (sold separately) in the III-R’s enclosure without taking up additional rack space.
RED ROCKET Supporter
If you’re a RED ROCKET user, you already know that the card normally takes up two PCIe slots—one for the card itself and another for the BNC connector bracket (for HD-SDI output). Sonnet designed the Echo Express III-R to accommodate the card/bracket pair in a single slot. This Echo chassis includes mounting holes designed specifically for the installation of two BNC connectors, enabling you to install the RED ROCKET card in one slot and its BNC connectors in the Echo chassis’ mounting holes, leaving the two remaining slots open. The extra bandwidth afforded by the Thunderbolt 2 interface significantly doubles the ROCKET’s throughput, too.
The Echo Express III-R was designed to be remarkably quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments and it is indeed the quietest Echo chassis yet. Its dual, ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled fans assist the natural convection of warm air through the PCIe cards. Echo Express III-R’s fans vent warm air through custom Venturi openings with low form-drag grills, resulting in reduced air velocity, turbulence, and, consequently, fan noise.
Thunderbolt Cable Lock Included
Sonnet includes a lock that secures Thunderbolt connectors(3) in place plugged into the Echo chassis. It is easy to install and prevents accidental cable disconnections.
Every Thunderbolt-Compatible Card Supported
The Echo Express III-R supports three standard width, full-length PCIe cards, or one double-width, full-length card plus one single-width card, enabling it to support every Thunderbolt-compatible card available. PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 cards are supported.