• Overview
  • Technical Specifications

Add SuperSpeed USB Connections to Your Mac Pro or Desktop PC

Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe USB ports diagramYour computer has USB 2.0 ports, and they’ve served you well. Talk about compatibility—keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, joysticks, digital cameras, flash drives—what couldn’t you plug in? Talk about performance—well, that’s where USB ports 2.0 are merely passable—they limit data transfer speeds to around 25–30 MB/s. For most peripherals, that’s perfectly adequate, but when you connect an external drive and expect great performance, that bottleneck is a problem—video editing, backing up, and other data-intensive activities suffer as a result. Enter Sonnet’s Allegro™ USB 3.0 PCIe, the bottleneck breaker! This Sonnet host controller is based on the new USB 3.0 standard that offers up to 10x the performance of the decade-old USB 2.0 interface. A single hard drive with a USB 3.0 interface is capable of transferring data at up to 125 MB/s, while SSDs (solid state drives) are capable of even faster transfers—install an Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe card into your computer to exploit the full performance potential of these fast drives.

Sonnet’s Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe features a PCIe 2.0 bus interface to take advantage of your computer’s fast expansion card slots. Each of this card’s ports supports bus-powered storage devices (devices that work without a separate power supply). This card supports hot-swappable storage connections. Install an Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe card into your computer to experience the super speed of USB 3.0 connectivity firsthand.


Key Features

Simple way to add two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports to a Mac Pro or desktop PC with PCI Express 2.0 slots

Transfers data up to 10x faster than over USB 2.0 connections

Supports hot-swappable device connection—plug in and disconnect peripherals without shutting off your computer


USB 3.0 hard drives and SSD drives

Install Sonnet’s Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe into your computer to exploit the full performance potential of the latest hard drives and SSDs with a USB 3.0 interface.



Part No.  
USB3M-E Discontinued
Warranty 1-year
Bus Interface PCI Express 2.0 x1
Peripherals Supported(1) (Mac OS X) USB 3.0 and 2.0 hard drives(4), SSDs, thumb drives, and media readers(2)
Peripherals Supported (Windows) Industry standard USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 peripherals
Cables Supported USB 3.0 with Standard-A male connector, USB 2.0 with Standard-A male connector(3)
Chipset NEC
USB Support  
Number of Ports 2 external
Standard Complies with OHCI (Open Host Controller Interface), EHCI (Enhanced Host Controller Interface), and xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) standards
Data Transfer Rate USB 3.0: 5 Gbps
Number of Devices Supported Up to 127
Hot Plug Supports hot-pluggable and hot swappable device connection
Package Contents Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe host controller card, quick start guide






Mac Compatibility

Mac Pro (with card slots)

Supports only USB 3.0 and 2.0 storage devices and media readers

OS X ® 10.6.8-10.9.5(5)

OS X Mavericks compatible(6)

PC Compatibility

PC (with PCI Express slots; PCI Express 2.0 slots recommended)

Windows® 8

Windows 7

Windows Vista®

Windows XP

Technical Notes

  1. The Mac OS X driver for this card does not support non-storage USB devices. iPod and iPhones are not supported. USB 3.0 hubs are not suported. Bus-powered 2.5" drives or SSDs are not supported.
  2. Supports USB 3.0 media readers such as:
    • Sonnet DiO Pro CompactFlash and SDXC USB 3.0 Media Reader
    • Delkin Ddreader 42 USB 3.0 Universal Memory Card Reader
    • Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader
    • Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader
    • Sony USB 3.0 XQD Card Reader

    Not compatible with:
    • Transcend USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader
  3. USB 3.0 devices require USB 3.0 cables to support USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) transfer speeds (up to 5 Gb/s). Use of USB 2.0 cables between USB 3.0 devices and Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe is supported, but data transfers are limited to USB 2.0 speeds (up to 480 Mb/s).
  4. Not compatible with USB 3.0 duplicator stations, such as the Addonics Mini HDD Duplicator Station.
  5. Does not support booting OS X.
  6. When upgrading to OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) you must reinstall your product's Sonnet driver software.

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Mac OS logoWindows logoUSB 3.0 logoRoHS Compliant logo