Pair of new models allow for one 16x, two 8x card installations
Sonnet today announced the Echo Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-R rackmount Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express Expansion Chassis, the newest members of the company's Echo family of Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCI-E cards. Featuring three PCI-E slots, a 300W power supply, and 75W auxiliary power connector, both new devices enable the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express cards originally designed for use in desktop computers, now available to use with any OS X computer with a Thunderbolt port.
Hybrid storage hits $499 price point
OCZ has introduced its latest storage system, the RevoDrive Hybrid, which pairs an solid-state drive with a standard disk drive. The hybrid storage is geared for desktop computers, build upon a PCI Express card rather than utilizing typical drive connectors. Operating system files and applications can be stored on the 100GB SSD for faster speeds, while the HDD provides an additional 1TB of capacity for other content.
PCI group outs twice faster PCI Base 3.0 standard
The PCI Special Interest Group has released the PCIe Base 3.0 standard to its members on Thursday. The architecture is twice as fast as the PCIe 2.0 specification and can reach data rate of eight gigatransfers per second. The standard's data rate expansion should allow products that will bring bandwidth close to 1GBps in one direction on a single-lane setup and a scaled speed of nearly 32GBps on a sixteen-lane configuration.
Magma has launched the ExpressBox4-1U, a 4-slot 8X PCI Express expansion unit in a 1U form factor. The ExpressBox4-1U has bandwidth ratings of 2GB/sec in both transmit and receive modes. It offers plug-and-play installation and supports hot-swapping, daisy chaining and power-up control by the host computer. Four available slots can be used for connecting x1, x4, x8 and x16 PCI Express cards.
Gigabit network cards
Sonnet Technologies has introduced two new network cards the Presto Gigabit PCIe Server and the Presto Gigabit PCI-X Sever. The new network cards add two gigabit ethernet ports to any compatible computer, and offer enhanced network performance through support for jumbo packet transfers. They also improve reliability with transparent failover protection in case a cable gets disconnected. Presto Gigabit PCIe Server features a PCI Express x4 host bus interface for maximum performance in recent computers, while Presto PCI-X Server features a 64-bit, 133MHz PCI-X host bust interface for compatibility with older computers. Both cards allow gigabit transfers over common CAT-5 cabling. The cards are both available for $200 and are compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista.
Magma ships Expressbox4
Magma this week announced the immediate availability of ExpressBox4, an external PCI-Express Expansion box for desktop or laptop computers. Offering users four hot-swappable, full-size PCI Express expansion slots, the Expressbox4 connects to desktop machines via an existing x8 PCI Express slot, or to laptops via an ExpressCard slot. The ExpressBox4 ships with its own 400W power-supply, and is available in either desktop or 2U rack mountable version. Offering seamless integration (with the expansion slots appearing completely transparent to the host system without need of additional software), it works with Mac OS X 10.3 or later and costs $2,400.
Fusion RAID Expander
Sonnet Technologies on Thursday debuted the Fusion RAID Expander, which provides a simple solution for connecting up to seven Sonnet Fusion SATA RAID desktop or rackmount storage systems to a single computer for faster performance as well as access to up to 56 terabytes (TB) of protected storage. The Fusion RAID Expander extends a computer's PCI Express (PCIe) bus outside of the box and provides seven slots for installing PCIe cards. The Sonnet expansion system delivers plug-and-play installation and is transparent to the computer's operating system for zero-configuration use.
Sonnet Gigabit adapters
Sonnet has released three new Gigabit networking products for both older and new Macs: Presto Gigabit Pro PCI network adapter card, the Presto Gigabit PCIe Pro PCI Express network adapter card, and the Presto Gigabit Ethernet Pro ExpressCard/34 network adapter card. These Sonnet Gigabit Ethernet cards expand or add Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in any compatible computer, and offer enhanced performance through support for link aggregation with onboard Ethernet ports, and jumbo packet data transfers. Sonnet says the Presto Gigabit Pro network adapter cards deliver enhanced networking support as well as offer gigabit speeds over common CAT-5 cabling; they also support 1000/100/10BaseT auto-negotiation and full/half duplex communication.
4-channel SAS RAID card
HighPoint has released the RocketRAID 2640X4, a four-channel PCI-Express x4 SAS RAID controller that supports RAID levels (0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD). The company claims the new SAS RAID controller offers a new level of flexibility, performance and reliability at an affordable price. The RocketRAID 2640X4 PCI-Express x4 bus speed delivers "true SAS performance" that is 2X the throughput speed of SATA bypassing performance bottlenecks that occur with PCI-Express x1 bus speeds limiting SAS performance throughput to SATA speeds, Highpoint claims.
The long-awaited NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT upgrade for Mac Pros has been released. The graphics card features 512MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory, uses the PCI Express interface, and includes two dual-link DVI ports, and is capable of driving up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. It requires a Mac Pro (bus speed 1.33GHz) with PCI-Express. The card is priced at $280 and can be purchased as a standalone, user-installable item or as a build-to-order option for Early 2008 Mac Pros through the online Apple Store. Controversy ensued when Apple introduced this upgrade card as an option available exclusively to newly purchased Mac Pros in January. At the time, users presented research that shows the cards should be backwards compatible. Apple is now making the kit available, in supported fashion, to all Mac Pros with a bus speed for at least 1.33GHz.
Sonnet Presto for Mac Pro
Sonnet today unveiled the Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic, a PCI Express-based Gigabit Ethernet card for the Mac Pro and late model G5 towers. The adaptor provides users with one full- and half- duplex capable 1000/100/10BaseT port, featuring auto-negotiation. The card includes a low profile mounting bracket for installation in a low-profile PC, and requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later. The Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic is available for $40 from Sonnet.
Magma on Wednesday announced ExpressBox7, an external PCI Express expansion product for for desktop computers. ExpressBox7 provides an easy solution for attaching up to seven PCI Express cards to a desktop or server through a x8 PCI Express slot, which is available on most new PC desktop/servers and the Apple MacPro. The Magma Expressbox7 is a PCI Express-to-PCI Express Expansion chassis system for expanding the available PCI Express slots of workstations and servers. The solution provides 7 full-length PCI Express slots in a stand alone chassis with its own power supply. The PCI Express slots are equipped to be hot swappable, according to the company.