For many creative pros relying on recent portable, mini desktop and all-in-one computers to get their jobs done, their computers’ onboard processing power alone is not enough. While these Mac®, Windows®, and Linux® computers include high-performance Thunderbolt™ ports to support peripherals, they lack PCIe expansion slots to install a specialty card that adds needed storage expansion, video or audio inputs, transcodes data, or connects to high-speed shared storage and networks. Sonnet has a solution — the Echo™ I Desktop. This professional Thunderbolt to PCIe card expansion system enables you to connect one up to full-length (12.28 inches long) single- or double-width PCIe card to your computer via a single cable.
Echo I Desktop supports every type of Thunderbolt compatible PCIe 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 card available including video capture and transcoding; audio DSP; 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapter; 10Gb or 25Gb Ethernet; SSD storage; and other specialty types to your system.
Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve put together a compatibility list that identifies cards conforming to Thunderbolt technology requirements, and organized by fit and power compatibility with specific expansion systems.
Including Mac Studio
Connects a high-performance non-GPU PCIe card via a Thunderbolt cable to your computer lacking expansion slots.
Every type of Thunderbolt compatible card supported.
x16 slot supports one half- or full-height, single- or double-width up to full-length PCIe card.
Integrated 400W power supply with 150W auxiliary power. Saves energy by powering on/off automatically with the computer.
Dual temperature-controlled, variable-speed Noctua fans rated at 17dBA automatically and quietly cool the cards.
Offers full PCIe bandwidth for the installed card. Learn more about Thunderbolt 3 performance benefits over Thunderbolt 4.
Provides four lanes of PCIe 3.0 bandwidth to the card slot.
Provides robust and secure protection.
Supports M series Macs (with PCIe cards that have compatible drivers).
Supports Intel Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Thunderbolt 2 ports (with adapter and Thunderbolt 2 cable, both sold separately).
Supports Windows computers with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Supports Linux computers with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The Echo I Desktop features one x16 PCIe 3.0 slot, enabling it to support a huge variety of cards, whether single- or double-width, low-profile or full-height. To support power-hungry cards, it integrates a universal 400W power supply and includes a 150W 8-pin (6+2 pin) auxiliary power connector for cards that require extra power (including the Avid Pro Tools | HDX). The Echo I powers on and off automatically with the connected computer, saving energy in the long run. With no power switch, you can’t forget to turn off the system!
Featuring dual Noctua fans, the Echo I Desktop is designed to deliver ultra-quiet operation so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. Rated at 17.1dBA — below the 20dBA ceiling prescribed for use in recording and broadcast studios — the fans spread the spectrum of their noise to minimize the impact at any single frequency. To further ensure negligible noise levels, the fans are temperature-controlled, automatically speeding up and slowing down smoothly as needed, and the enclosure is engineered to optimize airflow over the installed card to cool the system effectively and efficiently.
Sonnet includes a Thunderbolt cable that supports Thunderbolt's full 40Gbps bandwidth, and is fully compatible with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 computers. Sonnet also provides a ThunderLok™ 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip that prevents accidental cable disconnections — 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 remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.
Sonnet Thunderbolt expansion systems are designed with Thunderbolt ports that include threaded mounting holes for securing Sonnet’s ThunderLok retainer clips that prevent accidental cable disconnections.
The Echo I Desktop features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt interface that delivers up to 2800 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, enabling it to support 4K video capture and processing cards at high frame rates, audio DSPs, and 25GbE and dual-port 10GbE network cards at full performance.
Compatible with Apple M series Macs
see Tech Specs for details
The heart of the Echo I Desktop – the Echo I Module – is part of Sonnet’s DuoModo™ family of modular Thunderbolt expansion systems, comprising of interchangeable modules for PCIe cards and eGPU card expansion, a Mac mini mounting system (with integrated 40Gbps Thunderbolt storage dock), and desktop and rackmount enclosures so you can quickly and easily interchange modules depending on your workflow.Learn More ›