updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu July 26, 2012
New OWC chassis allows PCIe card use on Thunderbolt Macs
OWC has just outed a PCIe Thunderbolt expansion chassis for adding half-length PCIe 2.0 adapter cards with the Mac mini, iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and other Thunderbolt-equipped but PCIe-less computers. The professional PCIe cards allow for video capture and/or editing, media transcoding, audio processing and data storage. The Helios chassis can transfer data at up to 10Gbps and are compatible with AHCI-compliant cards.
The Helios has space for a single PCIe half-length single-width PCIe card. Cards that can be accommodated include fibre channel, 10Gb Ethernet, a RAID controller, a video
capture card, a digital audio card, a Solid State Drive, SAS controllers, along with FireWire, USB 3.0, and eSATA host adapter cards. The chassis is ventilated thanks to a variable speed fan. A pair of Thunderbolt ports allow daisy-chaining of up to six devices.
The Helios expansion chassis is expected to be available in about 10 days from OWC and its retailers, with an empty Mercury Helios retail priced at $400. One with a 120GB SSD PCIe costs $680, a 240GB model is $800, and a 480GB one is $1,080. A 960GB version is priced at $1,820.