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Sonnet launches new four-port USB-C PCI-e expansion card for Mac Pro tower

Sonnet on Wednesday rolled out two adapter cards, the Allegro USB-C 4-Port PCIe and the Allegro Pro USB 3.1 PCIe, both of which can add powered USB ports to any computer with a PCIe slot, or even Thunderbolt Macs when used in a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe enclosure.

The USB-C adapter.

The USB-C adapter.


Each USB port on the cards can supply up to 7.5 watts of power and operate at Gen 2 speeds, enabling file transfers up to 10 gigabits per second. An attached SSD for instance can transfer files at 800 megabytes per second, or up to 1.2 gigabytes in conjunction with three other drives.

To use the cards most Mac owners will need an enclosure, but they should work directly with pre-2013 Mac Pro models, which some people have kept alive through upgrades. Neither card requires a power lead supplied from inside the unit, which many inexpensive cards demand.

Apple is working on a modular Mac Pro for launch sometime year, which could potentially support PCIe 5.0 for faster speeds while maintaining backwards compatibility.

Sonnet is selling both cards for $149. At Amazon the USB-C card is the same price, but the USB 3.1 (Type A) version is slightly cheaper at $137.57.