Sonnet have a shiny new gadget on their stand at NAMM 2013 – the Echo Express II Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCIe cards. The original Echo Express has been one of our more popular Thunderbolt solutions so far, offering a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe expansion solution for anyone whose Mac doesn’t offer substantial enough PCIe connectivity. (You can see the full list of compatible PCIe devices here.)
The Echo Express II features two PCIe slots, and will allow you to use high-end PCIe cards with any computer that has a Thunderbolt port – even if it’s a notebook. According to the official Sonnet statement, “The Echo Express II was designed for users needing a compact solution to connect two PCIe cards to their computers, and supports the majority of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards. Based on the original Echo Express expansion chassis, the Echo Express II adds a second slot to support two half-length (up to 7.25 inches long), full-height, single-width PCIe 2.0 x16 cards.”
The new model retains the dual Thunderbolt ports of its predecessor, so you can still daisy chain it easily, and it includes three temperature controlled, variable speed fans along with a 100W internal, universal power supply. Sonnet tell us the Echo Express II will power on and off in sync with whatever computer it’s attached to, which should help you save power.
“Feedback from our customers on the Echo Express line has been overwhelmingly positive. These products have been integrated into the workflows of many creative professionals, with users discovering new applications every day,” said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. “Similar to the Echo Express Pro, the Echo Express II was designed to accommodate the needs of users requiring two slots for expansion cards, but not the extra length afforded by the Echo Express Pro’s longer design.”
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