Sonnet Echo Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards

BH #SOECEXSE3ET3 • MFR #ECHO-EX-SE3E-T3
Sonnet Echo Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards
Key Features
  • Use PCIe Cards via Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 | 1 x PCIe 3.0 x8/x4
  • 2 x 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 Ports
  • Daisy-Chain up to 5 Thunderbolt Devices
Connect three half-length, full-height PCIe cards to systems with a Thunderbolt 3 port using the Echo Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis from Sonnet. The Echo Express SE IIIe is useful for expanding the connectivity of systems like the MacBook Pro, which does not have the PCIe slots needed for pros working in creative fields. Instead, the Echo Express SE IIIe connects to Thunderbolt 3 hosts to leverage this connectivity via PCIe expansion slots that are outside of the computer. This chassis has two PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 slots and one PCIe 3.0 x8/x4 slot. These three slots can support one half-length+ (up to 7.75" long), double-width, full-height PCIe x8 card, plus one single-width card, or three half-length+, full-height PCIe x8 cards for video capture, audio DSP, 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapters, 10Gb, 25Gb, or 40Gb Ethernet cards, RAID controllers, and more.
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Sonnet Express SE IIIe Overview

Connect three half-length, full-height PCIe cards to systems with a Thunderbolt 3 port using the Echo Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis from Sonnet. The Echo Express SE IIIe is useful for expanding the connectivity of systems like the MacBook Pro, which does not have the PCIe slots needed for pros working in creative fields. Instead, the Echo Express SE IIIe connects to Thunderbolt 3 hosts to leverage this connectivity via PCIe expansion slots that are outside of the computer. This chassis has two PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 slots and one PCIe 3.0 x8/x4 slot. These three slots can support one half-length+ (up to 7.75" long), double-width, full-height PCIe x8 card, plus one single-width card, or three half-length+, full-height PCIe x8 cards for video capture, audio DSP, 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapters, 10Gb, 25Gb, or 40Gb Ethernet cards, RAID controllers, and more.

The Echo Express SE IIIe features two 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which is used to connect to your host Windows, Mac, or Linux system and provides up to 100W of power. The second Thunderbolt 3 port, which provides up to 15W of power, can be used to daisy-chain up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices, plus one 5K display at 60 Hz, two 4K displays at 60 Hz, or one USB 3.0 device. For power hungry cards, there is an additional internal 6-pin PCIe power connector.

Cool operations are driven by an internal 80 x 80 x 25mm cooling fan. Included with this chassis is a Thunderbolt 3 cable, a ThunderLok 3 retainer clip, a 120W universal power adapter, and a power cord. Protection is provided by a limited 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Please note that the Echo Express SE IIIe does not support GPUs. Also, two 4K displays requires a monitor with multi-stream transport support (DP out) or a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter.

General Features

Nearly Every Thunderbolt-Compatible, Non-GPU PCIe Card Supported

Smaller than the 3-slot Echo Express III-D (Thunderbolt 3 Edition), the Echo Express SE IIIe is still large enough to support nearly every Thunderbolt 3 compatible card available. With its three x8 slots, the SE IIIe supports PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 1.1 cards up to 7.75" long. Do you have a card in mind but aren't sure it's compatible? Sonnet put together a list in their supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart (PDF). There you'll find cards identified as conforming to Thunderbolt technology requirements, and organized by fit and power compatibility with specific expansion system.

Design Smarts - Aluminum Enclosure, Auto Power On/Off

The inside of the Echo Express SE IIIe is wrapped in a rugged, yet lightweight aluminum outer shell, resulting in a lightweight system small enough to carry in your backpack, yet durable enough to protect the installed PCIe cards securely. 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.

Three PCIe 3.0 Slots for Demanding Professional Needs

T‍he Echo Express SE IIIe's PCIe 3.0 x8 slots support three half-length+, full-height, single-width PCIe cards, or one single-width card plus one double-width card.

Double Width

‍Some specialty cards, such as RME's HDSPe MADI FX, Blackmagic Design's DeckLink 4K Extreme, and the Lynx AES16e 50, include a daughter card that mates with and provides additional external connections to the main card.

Power to Spare

‍The Echo Express SE IIIe includes an auxiliary PCIe power connector, enabling you to install a card requiring extra power, such as the AJA Kona 5 or Blackmagic DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, and Bluefish444's Epoch and KRONOS SDI cards.

Quiet Please

The Echo Express SE IIIe is designed to be quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. Its enclosure is ventilated front and back to facilitate airflow over the cards by a large, quiet, temperature-controlled fan to efficiently cool the system. The fan automatically speeds up and slows down smoothly as needed, so there's no guesswork in deciding which fan speed to select.

Thunderbolt 3 Cable and ThunderLok 3 Included

Sonnet includes a 2.3' 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 cable that, unlike some other cables, transfers data at Thunderbolt 3's full 2750 MB/s bandwidth and supports up to 100W of Power Delivery (PD). 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, the ThunderLok remains on the cable so it won't get lost when not in use.

Fast External Interface

The Echo Express SE IIIe features a 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 interface, which offers double the PCIe bandwidth and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, and yields up to 2750 MB/s of 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.

Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C

The Echo Express SE IIIe includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The first connects it to your computer, while the second supports the daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices to a single port on your computer. The SE III also includes 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second port using the proper cable or adapter. For connected peripherals requiring extra power, 15W is provided to connected bus-powered devices. With the ability to handle multiple demanding, high-performance PCIe cards, support for connecting two 4K displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display at 60 Hz, and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt and USB devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward.

Fast Performance

With 2750 MB/s of bandwidth, connect your computer to one Thunderbolt 3 port on the Echo Express SE IIIe, then use the second Thunderbolt 3 port to daisy chain up to five additional Thunderbolt devices, plus two 4K display, one 5K display, or one USB 3.0 device.

OS Compatibility

Mac

  • Mac system with Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Mac system with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt port with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 cable
  • macOS 10.12.6 or later
  • macOS Catalina compatible
  • Windows

  • Windows system with Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Windows 10 (64-bit edition, version 1809 or greater)

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

  • Linux system with Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Linux Kernel 5.0 or later
  • UPC: 732311012938

    Sonnet Express SE IIIe Specs

    General
    Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 3.0 x8 (x8 mode)
    1 x PCIe 3.0 x8 (x4 mode)
    Supported PCI Card SizesFull-Height, Half-Length, Single-Width, Double-Width
    Host ConnectionThunderbolt 3
    Ports2 x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3
    OS CompatibilityLinux
    Windows
    macOS
    *As of November, 2019: check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date compatibility
    Power
    Power Source Type1 x 120 W External Adapter
    PCIe Connectors1 x 6-Pin
    AC Input Power100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
    Port Power Delivery100 W Max
    Cooling
    Fans1 x 80 mm PWM
    Maximum Airflow31.4 CFM
    Noise Level17.1 dBA
    Environmental
    Operating Temperature32 to 95°F / 0 to 35°C
    Physical
    Form FactorDesktop
    Construction MaterialAluminum
    CertificationsRoHS, as per Manufacturer
    Status MonitoringLED Indicator
    Host Cable Length2.3' / 0.7 m
    Dimensions6.5 x 4.6 x 11" / 16.51 x 11.68 x 27.94 cm
    Weight2.6 lb / 1.18 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight7.43 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH)16.4 x 9 x 8.1"

    Sonnet Express SE IIIe Reviews

    Great product

    By William
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2022-07-24

    We purchased this product for a client to livestream with PTZ SDI cameras. We installed a Blackmagic Decklink Duo2 capture card and the picture is beautiful.

    Great product

    By Ali
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2021-07-13

    does exactly what it says it will do!

    Design flaw, missing screw

    By Justin
    Rated 2 out of 5
    Date: 2021-01-13

    The included PCIe USB-C card was missing the retention screw, so when it was delivered I could hear something banging around in the case before I even opened the box. Looks like the PCIe card was just bouncing off the motherboard and metal case for the entire delivery trip. Seems ok, surprised something didn't break. When properly screwed in... I found the USB-C ports are directly next to the frame, so basically the entire case grounds to the sleeve of the USB-C cable. If there's a short in the case it will travel down the cable to your computer!! I'll be cutting out part of the rear frame with a hacksaw to ensure their is no contact. I've only had this for 5 minutes, already not happy with the quality.

    Great cabinet.

    By Harold
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2020-12-25

    I got this to house three BMD Capture cards. They connect to a MacBook Pro for video capture from three cameras which are streamed via OBS.

    Best Expansion Option for Laptop

    By Keith
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2020-09-29

    This is the best option out there to had cards to your laptop.

    Great case but two minor issues.

    By Harold
    Rated 4 out of 5
    Date: 2020-08-18

    I put three BMD capture cards in this and run them through Thunderbolt 3 to a MacBook Pro. It works well, but the power does not seem to be enough to keep the MBP running. I may need to change the TB3 cable. I also wish it had a power switch, but these are minor issues. Great case, good price. Reasonably quiet.

    Right tool for the job

    By Samuel
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2022-05-27

    This worked perfect for using a decklink duo 2 with our iMac.

    Game changer

    By Joe
    Rated 5 out of 5
    Date: 2022-03-26

    If your wanting to have multiple output/inputs this is the way to go.

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