Converting your existing kit to Thunderbolt

If you’re currently using a Mac Pro and are worried about what to do with all your PCIe cards when you head to an iMac or the new Mac Pro, there are plenty of options out there. Whether you need room for a single half length card or three full ones, someone’s got you covered.

For half-length PCIe cards

If you’ve only got one half-length card to worry about, we recommend the mLogic mLink, which is excellent value for money and, well, a bit of a looker, which is always nice in a device that sits on your desktop. There’s also an mLink X for 3/4 length cards due to be released soon. If you have multiple half-length cards, the Echo Express II makes good on its name by supporting two single width cards or one double width one.

For full-length PCIe cards

For full length PCIe cards, such as AJA’s Kona range, your options are slightly more limited. However, there’s always Sonnet’s excellent (and rack mountable) Echo Express Pro, which allows you to connect two video capture, audio interface, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet or RAID controller cards to your PCIe-slot free Mac, whether it’s a Mac Pro or a Mac mini – anything with a Thunderbolt port will benefit.

And if you’ve never worked with Thunderbolt before…

If you’re using a Matrox MXO2 device. all you need to do to get up to a Thunderbolt workflow is pick up a Thunderbolt adaptor for £130, and you’re good to go with your existing device. However, there’s also a Thunderbolt Dock available, which combines Thunderbolt connectivity with a HDMI out for a more affordable display and the ability to daisy chain a keyboard, mouse, USB 3.0 storage and a wired network to your setup, all via one Thunderbolt cable. Avid have done something similar with their Mojo DX, releasing a reasonably-priced adapter that’ll get you on the Thunderbolt ladder with your existing Mojo I/O.

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