Akitio’s Thunder3 PCIe Box (http://tinyurl.com/gt5hrto) is the industry’s first Thunderbolt 3 external PCI Express (PCIe) expansion chassis device designed to provide an additional PCIe slot for Thunderbolt 3 computers where there’s either not enough space to install another PCIe card or on systems such as laptops where there previously was no option to add a PCIe card.
The Akitio PCIe Box features a 1×16 slot that supports half-length, full-height, double width cards, which can be swapped out due to the completely screw-less design of the Akitio box. The 1×16 PCIe slot also supplies up to 25 watts of power to the card, providing an all-in-one expansion chassis solution.
The box has two Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy chaining up to six devices as well as a DisplayPort to easily add an additional monitor to your system. The downstream Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt 3 devices as well as USB 3.1 and DisplayPort devices.
The four PCIe Gen3 lanes and the Thunderbolt 3 interface are capable of transfer rates up to 40Gbps (Gigabits per second), providing enough bandwidth to support whichever card is installed into the device as well as any additional devices connected in the daisy chain. The aluminum device makes it extremely portable so that it can easily be taken on location and moved from one system to another.
The Thunder3 PCIe Box can easily be daisy chained to other Thunderbolt 3 devices, such as Akitio’s Thunder3 Duo Pro dual-bay storage, Thunder3 Quad 4-bay storage or Thunder3 PCIe SSD storage with an unprecedented data transfer rate of up to 2500MB/s.
However, the Thunder3 PCIe Box isn’t designed to support GPU graphics cards and not all PCIe cards support Thunderbolt unexpected cable removal and hot-plug. In some cases, unsupported cards could lead to unpredictable system behavior. Please visit Akitio’s website for a list of compatible cards.
The empty Thunder3 PCIe Box has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $299.99. It includes a 40Gbps 0.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable.