Sonnet Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition

Desktop 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 adapter box with 1 slot

Suggested List Price: £220+VAT

Product Code: SON-ECHOEXPSEL-TB3

Where to buy

Stock status: In Stock; available from resellers

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Echo Express Expansion Chassis from Sonnet at IBC 2017

KITPLUS - Sonnet give us the rundown on their Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis.

  • Connects a PCIe Expansion Card to Computers Without Slots
    Use high-performance PCIe cards with any Mac or Windows PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port
  • One PCIe 3.0 x8 Slot
    Supports low-profile card
  • 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface
    Offers 2750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, doubling the performance of Thunderbolt 2
  • Small Package, Full Performance
    Smallest Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion system available, supports the most popular low-profile, Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards at full performance
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Ports
    One port reserved for connection to the computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt(5) devices to your computer, attaching a single USB(6) peripheral device, or connecting up to two 4K displays or one 5K display(4)
  • Remarkably Quiet
    Temperature-controlled, variable-speed fan automatically and quietly cools the card
  • Energy Saver Mode
    Powers on/off automatically with the computer
  • Rugged Aluminum Housing
    Provides robust and secure protection
  • Power for Peripherals
    Provides up to 15W of power to connected peripheral or host(7)
  • Thunderbolt Cable & ThunderLok Included
    Includes 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable and ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip to secure cable from accidental disconnections

Mac Compatibility

    Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports Mac with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt port with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter macOS® 10.12.6+

PC Compatibility

  • PC with Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Windows 10 (64-bit Edition Version 1703 or greater)(1)(9)

Important Note: Windows computers require the latest BIOS and Thunderbolt drivers to support this product. Check with your computer manufacturer for update information.

Technical Notes

  1. Windows computers require the latest firmware (BIOS) and Thunderbolt drivers to support this product. Check with your computer manufacturer for update information. Not all Mac-compatible PCIe cards are also compatible with Windows. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for details.
  2. While the Echo Express SE III features a 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface, some computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 use an implementation of Thunderbolt 3 technology that limits PCIe performance to 20 Gbps. The MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) has this limitation in the two right-hand Thunderbolt 3 ports, while offering full performance from the left-hand ports.
  3. Full performance requires the use of the included Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable, or other Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cables; look for the Thunderbolt icon AND the number 3 on the connector housings to identify these cables.
  4. One 4K monitor directly supported. Two 4K monitors requires either a 4K monitor with multi-stream transport support (DP out), or a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter. 5K monitor requires a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter. All Thunderbolt 3 Macs support two 4K monitors. Most Thunderbolt PCs support two 4K monitors.
  5. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 peripheral devices on Macs used with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter, sold separately.
  6. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb) or Gen 2 (10Gb) devices when connected with proper cable or adapter (sold separately).
  7. PCIe cards sold separately.
  8. ThunderLok 3 compatible with Sonnet 0.5 meter Thunderbolt 3 cables, but not with Sonnet 1-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables.

Technology Guides

Connect a Low-Profile PCIe Card to Computers Without Expansion Slots

Shopping for a new computer? Small and thin is in—the latest ultra-light notebooks, small form factor, and all-in-one desktops are slender marvels of engineering. But, thinness comes with a cost—there’s nowhere to install PCIe cards that provide additional connectivity and processing capabilities beyond a computer’s standard ports. Thin Mac® and Windows®(1) computers with Thunderbolt™ 3 ports still offer tremendous processing power, but for many, such as pros in the creative fields, onboard processing power alone is not enough. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit your choices to desktop workstations—think external. Sonnet’s Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition enables you to connect a single low-profile PCIe card outside of the computer. Through its x8 PCIe 3.0 slot, this little Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion chassis supports many Thunderbolt-compatible 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 40Gb and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, video capture and processing, SAS and SATA host bus adapters, and RAID controller cards.

The Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition features 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3, which offers double the speed and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, and yields up to 2750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, enabling it to support 4K video capture and processing cards at high frame rates, and 16Gb FC cards and dual-port 10GbE cards at full performance(2)(3). With the ability to handle the most demanding, highest performance PCIe cards, support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(4), and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt(5) and USB(6) peripheral devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.

Small Package, Full Performance

Measuring just 4 inches wide by 8.4 inches long by 2.8 inches tall, the Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition is ideal for use in circumstances where connecting a single low-profile PCIe card is required. Many of the most popular Thunderbolt-compatible high-speed networking and storage controller cards are a perfect fit, and even the BlueFish 444 Epoch 4K Neutron video card can be accommodated.

Thunderbolt 3 — The USB C That Does It All

The Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition includes two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports; the first connects it to your computer, while the second supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices to a single port on your computer. The SEL includes 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second port using the proper cable or adapter. The SEL also provides full support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(4). For connected devices requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices(7).

Connect computer to one port on the Echo Express SEL – Thunderbolt 3 Edition and daisy chain up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices (plus two 4K monitors, one 5K display, or one USB 3.0 device)

Smart Design, Inside and Out

Constructed of rugged and lightweight aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition securely protects the installed PCIe card. The card is protected inside, too—the Echo SEL employs a variable-speed, temperature-controlled fan to ensure the card and chassis’ components remain reliably cool. The fan automatically speeds up as necessary to cool the installed card when it’s hot, and slows down when it’s cool. Since Echo Express products automatically power on and off with your computer, there is no power switch on the chassis, ensuring you don’t waste energy by forgetting to turn it off.

Quiet, Please

The Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition was designed to be ultra-quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. The airflow path within the chassis has been specially designed to enable the fan to quietly and efficiently cool the installed card at all times, even during peak operation.

Designed for Low-Profile PCIe Cards

The Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition supports one half-length (up to 6.6 inches long), low-profile, single-width PCIe card; PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 cards are supported.

Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve worked closely with PCIe card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible cards on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides a list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) Cable and ThunderLok 3 Included

Sonnet includes a 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect the Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition to your computer, and a Sonnet ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(8) to secure the cable to the Echo chassis. Accidental cable disconnect can lead to data loss. Sonnet’s ThunderLok 3 secures the Thunderbolt cable to the Echo chassis, and is easy to install and use—just slide it over one end of the cable, and then plug in the connector and secure it to the chassis by turning a thumbscrew. Because of its unique design, ThunderLok does not attach to the connector, but remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.

Download the latest Firmware and Software

  • Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion System(9)
  • Power adapter
  • Power cord
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
  • Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(8)
  • Documentation

Note: PCIe cards old separately