New Sonnet Echo Express SE III supports three PCI-E cards on Thunderbolt 3 Macs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
Sonnet has added to its line of PCI-E breakout boxes, and has launched the Echo Express SE III, enabling the use of three expansion cards with the 2016 Retina MacBook Pro.




The Echo Express SE III features three x8 PCIe 3.0 slots, accommodates full-height cards up to 7.75 inches long. The unit supports nearly every Thunderbolt 3 and Mac-compatible PCI-E card available that physically fits in the enclosure -- except those with auxiliary power requirements like most high-performance video cards.

A list of known-compatible cards is maintained by Sonnet.

The Echo Express SE III has two Thunderbolt 3 ports with one used from the host and the second supporting daisy chaining of up to five additionalThunderbolt peripheral devices including the LG Ultrafine 5K display. The system provides up to 15W of power to any connected peripheral or host.




The system includes an automatic, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fan that cools the cards. The enclosure's power is controlled by the host computer.

The Echo Express SE III, model ECHO-EXP-SE3-T3, is expected to be available May 22 at a retail price of $499.



dysamoria

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 719member
    I freakin luv Sonnet. Who are these guys? :P
  • Reply 2 of 12
    unicronunicron Posts: 154member
    So how many Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti's can I use with this? #octanerender 
  • Reply 3 of 12
    OK, lets see a new Mac Mini and Mac Pro. Sales would go up and we need updated hardware. Come on Apple! :-(
  • Reply 4 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,138member
    OK, lets see a new Mac Mini and Mac Pro. Sales would go up and we need updated hardware. Come on Apple! :-(
    Both are very low sale Macs. Both Macs are on the very bottom of Mac sales and have been for some time...even when they were updated. Apple has already announced that a new Mac Pro is coming, but not this year. Patience grasshopper...
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,105administrator
    unicron said:
    So how many Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti's can I use with this? #octanerender 
    Zero. The 1080 needs power. If you can get the card power, then one, as it is a dual-width card.
    edred
  • Reply 6 of 12
    The SE III is designed for full height and a little over half length cards (7.75") and has 3 PCIe 3.0 x8 slots. So in addition to not having enough power for graphics cards such as the 1080, it also wouldn't physically fit even if you could provide the additional power. Another issue is that at this time, external GPU chassis can't be certified with multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports or multiple GPU card slots. In order to address the external GPU market, Sonnet has the eGFX Breakaway Box. This product has a single TB3 port, a single slot and the ability to power full length, double height GPU cards with an 8 + 6 pin aux power connector. Here is a link to a review of the product. https://egpu.io/sonnet-breakaway-box-review-cool-quiet/
    r00fus1chia
  • Reply 7 of 12
    jdwjdw Posts: 937member
    Love the posts here...

    "I freakin love Sonnet"

    and...

    "How many high performance video cards can I put in it?"

    ANSWER: "Zero."

    As if most people would actually want to put cards in OTHER THAN Video Cards!!!  

    I for one don't see a use for the thing, and certainly not at that price point.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 8 of 12
    shapetablesshapetables Posts: 201member
    Poor Sonnet. Some MBPs will crash randomly with this and how much will it cost them to discover the UltraFine radiation behind it all. They've been with Apple since the 90s and deserve better.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    So no video cards...

    The market for this thing seems incredibly small.

    The picture looks like external audio setup.  Maybe professional musicians could use it...
  • Reply 10 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,058member
    Yep. This is aimed at the Pro audio and live production market.

    If you're not seeing a need for this product, you're not anywhere near the target market.
    edited May 2017 chia
  • Reply 11 of 12
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    unicron said:
    So how many Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti's can I use with this? #octanerender 
    Zero. The 1080 needs power. If you can get the card power, then one, as it is a dual-width card.
    It's still zero. The 1080 cards don't even fit in anything but the largest desktop cases. As it is, you would not be able to use one, as the missing power and the slots are not 16x. So you would be operating one card at HALF speed, and if you could fit two cards, two at 4x speed.

    This is why I've kept mentioning that the existing MacPro was a stupid idea on the level of the G4 Cube. As an engineering thing, it's kinda cool, but as a practical system it would have better off being sold as the "Mini Pro" for users that need an OpenCL/OpenGL Dev box, or a Mini-server. It's woefully unsuitable for any video or graphics work because the lack of upgradability. When working with theatrical 4K video you need entire drive arrays connected to PCIe. A single NVme SSD is not going to cut it unless you want to work on video in 30 second chunks.

    Like. I really want to emphasis the fact that Apple's obsession with having the entire computer inside the monitor for the iMac is actually what is holding it back. The "all in one" type of system that they keep trying to make thin as possible, is not a desktop, it's a non-portable laptop. It should cost less than a laptop due to no batteries.

    With the advent of AR/VR headsets, Apple should be looking at figuring out how to make a headless AR iMac that you simply put on some AR glasses and have a virtual 24"-32" screen.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    misa said:
    A single NVme SSD is not going to cut it unless you want to work on video in 30 second chunks.
    Apple should have marketed it to advertising firms, then.  ;)
    chia
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