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Use a Low-Profile
PCIe Card with Computers Lacking Expansion Slots

Thunderbolt Computers

Today’s ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers have tremendous processing power—power once found in only full-size workstation or large desktop computers. Smaller in size and more portable, they’re very desirable, but lack internal expansion capabilities. The Mac Pro is loaded with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports, but it lacks the PCIe expansion slots necessary for you to install specialty audio, video, networking, and storage controller interface cards.

With the Echo Express SE I, 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 desktop Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion system is ideal for connecting one professional video capture, audio interface, SAS or SATA HBA, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gigabit Ethernet, or RAID controller PCIe card to any Mac® or Windows® PC(1) with a Thunderbolt port.

Key Features

Use PCIe Expansion Cards with Computers Lacking Slots—Use high-performance PCIe cards with any Mac or Windows PC with a Thunderbolt port

Thunderbolt 2 Interface—Maximum performance with computers with Thunderbolt 2 technology, backward compatible with host computers and other devices equipped with 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology

1 Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Upgrade to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 with a replacement Thunderbolt 3 interface card

Compact and Light—Take up little space on the desktop, but large enough to accommodate most Thunderbolt-compatible cards

One PCIe Slot—Supports one half-length+ (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height, single-width PCIe card (plus one daughter card)

Two Thunderbolt 2 Ports—Daisy chain up to six devices to a single port on the host computer

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 for any environment

Thunderbolt Cable & ThunderLok Included—Includes Thunderbolt cable and ThunderLok Thunderbolt connector retainer clip to secure cable from accidental disconnections

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Features 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 Logo

20 Gbps Thunderbolt 2 Interface

The Echo Express SE I features 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 which provides ample bandwidth for many of the most demanding, highest performance PCIe cards, and incorporates support for the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol which enables video streaming to a 4K video monitor. While the SE I delivers maximum performance when connected to a computer with Thunderbolt 2 ports, it is also fully compatible with computers with 10Gbps Thunderbolt, supporting most cards at full-performance.

Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card Icon

Now Available—Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card, and Thunderbolt 3 Edition

If you already purchased an Echo Express SE I, and have been waiting to upgrade it to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3, your wait is over—the Thunderbolt 3 upgrade card for Echo Express SE I is now available! Installing the upgrade is as simple as switching a PCIe card in the chassis. If you’re in the market for a Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion system, the Echo Express SE I - Thunderbolt 3 Edition is also available.

Full Performance In a Small and
Light Package

The Echo Express SE I is small, light, and perfect for use in situations where connecting only a single PCIe card is needed. Measuring a compact 5.6 inches wide by 8.6 inches long by 3.5 inches tall, the SE I was designed to have a small footprint, yet large enough to support the vast majority of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards.

The SE I’s small size doesn’t limit its performance; installed in this system, a card will perform the same as when installed in an Echo Express SE II, Echo Express III-D, or Echo Express III-R. And like the other Echo Express models, the SE I includes two Thunderbolt ports to support daisy chaining of up to six devices from a single port on your computer.

 

Echo Express SE I (Front and Back Views)

Auto Power IconSmart Design Inside and Out

Constructed of rugged and lightweight aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express SE I securely protects the installed PCIe card. The card is protected inside, too. Instead of using a fixed speed fan that may not reliably cool a hot-running card, or a fan with a switch that leaves it up to you to guess the correct speed, the SE I employs a variable-speed, temperature-controlled fan to ensure the card and chassis’ components remain reliably cool. The SE I’s 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.


Echo Express SE I (Inside View)

Quiet, Please

Ultra Quiet IconThe Echo Express SE I 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 temperature-controlled, variable speed fan to quietly and efficiently cool the installed card at all times, even during peak operation.

PCIe Card + Daughter Card Sizes

One PCIe 2.0 Slot Plus Space for a Daughter Card

The Echo Express SE I’s PCIe 2.0 slot supports one half-length+, full-height, single- or double-width PCIe card. Double-width? Some specialty cards, such as RME’s HDSPe MADI FX card, 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. The daughter card occupies the adjacent space without filling a PCIe slot.

Nearly Every Thunderbolt-Compatible PCIe Card Supported

Able to accommodate cards up to 7.75 inches long, Sonnet's Echo Express SE I supports nearly every Thunderbolt-compatible card available. 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 an up-to-date list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart Badge

Echo Express SE I Daisy Chaining

Strong Link in the Chain

This Sonnet solution supports daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt technology-enabled peripherals such as an additional Echo Express chassis, the Apple® Thunderbolt Display, video capture devices, and data storage devices. For connected devices requiring extra power, 10 watts is provided through the daisy chain port to peripherals.

Thunderbolt Cable & ThunderLokThunderbolt Cable and ThunderLok™ Included

Sonnet includes a Thunderbolt cable to connect the Echo Express SE I to your computer, and a ThunderLok Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(4) to secure the cable to the Echo chassis. Thunderbolt connectors are held in place by friction, which works well in situations where equipment remains undisturbed while operating. But when there’s a chance of movement nearby, there’s a chance the Thunderbolt cable can be unintentionally unplugged, possibly leading to loss of your work or data. Sonnet’s ThunderLok prevents accidental cable disconnections from 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.



Sonnet Optical Thunderbolt Cables BadgeGet Full Thunderbolt Performance,
At a Distance

Whether noisy PCIe card fans make it impractical to use the Echo SEL in a noise-sensitive environment, or because securing it in another room is required, you may find it necessary to put some space between the system and computer. No problem! Optical Thunderbolt cables, available in lengths up to 60 meters, enable you to locate your equipment where you need and connect the pieces without loss of functionality. Sonnet offers 10-meter Optical Thunderbolt Cables perfect for shorter runs. These thin, lightweight, and tough fiber optic cables are easy to route, and deliver performance equal to copper Thunderbolt cables.

Sonnet Thunderbolt Expansion Partners

Sonnet works closely with the following partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility for their products. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for an up-to-date list of products that have passed Thunderbolt compatibility testing with Sonnet products.

AdobeAJAAppleApogeeArecaATTOAudinateAvidBlack Magic DesignBlueFish 444CalDigitDeltacastExaSANFocusriteFusion ioHigh PointLynx Studio TechnologyMatroxMyricomNewer TechOWCREDRMESiennaSmall Tree Softron Media ServicesSolid State LogicStorageDNATandberg DataTolis GroupTools On AirUniversal Audio


 PCIe cards and computer hardware shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
See Tech Specs Tab for footnotes
Part No.  

ECHO-EXP-SE1

Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIE Card Expansion System
Hardware  
Warranty 1-year
Form Factor Desktop Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion system
External Connectors
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • 12V power
Expansion Slot One x8 mechanical (x4 electrical) PCIe 2.0
PCIe Cards Supported(2) One half-length (up to 7.75 inches long), single-width, full-height x8 PCIe card plus one daughter card
Compatible PCIe Cards(3) Up-to-date PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart
Power Adapter Universal 60W, 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
Operating Temperature

0º C to 35º C (32º F to 95º F)

Dimensions (WxDxH) 5.63 x 8.63 x 3.5 in. (14.29 x 22.01 x 8.85 cm)
Weight 2.6 lbs (1.18 kg)
RoHS Compliant Yes
Package Contents
  • Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion System(2)
  • Universal power adapter
  • Power cord
  • Thunderbolt cable
  • ThunderLok Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip(4)
  • Documentation

Note: PCIe cards sold separately

 

Specifications subject to change without notice.

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Mac Compatibility

Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port

OS X® 10.8.5+

macOS Sierra compatible

PC Compatibility

PC with a Thunderbolt 2 port(1)

Windows® 10, 8, 7

PCIe Card Compatibility

For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart


Technical Notes

  1. Windows requires a Thunderbolt 2 interface in the computer and in the expansion chassis to support more than two PCIe controllers. Note that some PCIe cards have a bridge to multiple controllers, so it is possible for a single dual-controller PCIe card to reach the limit if not connected via Thunderbolt 2. Not all Mac-compatible PCIe cards are also compatible with Windows. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for details.
  2. PCIe cards sold separately.
  3. Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of up-to-date compatible PCIe cards.
  4. ThunderLok compatible with all copper Thunderbolt cables. Not yet compatible with optical Thunderbolt cables.



Mac LogoWindows Logo PCI Express LogoroHS Logo

Accessories Part No. Description
Thunderbolt Cable ThunderLok Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip (2-Pack) TB-LOK2 Secures copper Thunderbolt cables with ThunderLok-compatible products
Thunderbolt Cable Thunderbolt Cable TCB-TB-05M 0.5-meter copper Thunderbolt cable
Thunderbolt Cable Thunderbolt Cable TCB-TB-1M 1-meter copper Thunderbolt cable
Thunderbolt Cable Optical Thunderbolt Cable TCB-TB-OPT-60M 60-meter optical Thunderbolt cable*
Power Adapter Power Adapter (12V, 5A) PWR-5A-12VA Spare power adapter
Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Accessories
Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card BRD-UPGRTB3-SE1 Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card for Echo Express SE I
ThunderLok 3 (2-Pack) ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt 3 Connector Retainer Clip (2-Pack) TB3-LOK2 Secures 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 cables with ThunderLok 3-compatible products; not compatible with 1-meter cables
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-05M 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-1M 1-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable


*Not compatible with ThunderLok

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Echo Express SE I Product Overview (2:10 mins)


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