Sonnet Releases Allegro Pro USB-C 8-Port PCIe Card for Mac, Windows, and Linux

Believe it or not, some modern desktop computers don’t have USB-C ports, and for those that do, many only have one or two of the ports. Fortunately, if you have a free PCIe slot on your machine, you can easily add more.

A new card from Sonnet takes adding USB-C ports to another level. Called “Allegra Pro”, it offers an impressive eight External Type-C ports all running at USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) speed.

Carrying the model number “ECHO-USB3C-8PM-E”, the Allegro Pro uses a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot running at x16 speed. In other words, it won’t fit in a smaller slot and won’t run at full speed if the x16 slot is running at x8, x4, or x1. You will be potentially you should use the x16 GPU slot on your motherboard if you don’t have extra x16 slots. No free x16 slots? Sorry, this map is just too hardcore for your machine.

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“The new Allegro card features eight external USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C ports and fits nicely into a single-width card space. The Sonnet card is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux computers with an available PCIe x16 slot, and Mac and Windows computers with Thunderbolt ports when installed in a Thunderbolt to PCIe card expansion system with an available PCIe x16 slot,” says Sonnet.

The company adds, “Sonnet’s Allegro Pro USB-C 8-Port PCIe Card allows users to connect and power up to eight high-performance USB devices to their computer at the same time and provides a full 10Gb/ s through each port. The Allegro card supports USB bus-powered SSDs, RAID SSDs and HDDs with up to 7.5 watts of power on each port, without the user having to connect an auxiliary power supply to the card or AC power adapters to devices for operation.

Sonnet shares the specs for the ECHO-USB3C-8PM-E below.

  • Form factor: full-height PCIe computer card
  • Bus interface: PCI Express 3.0 x8 electrical, x16 mechanical
  • Supported Devices: Industry standard USB 3.2 Gen 1, Gen 2 and 2×2; USB 3.1 Gen 1 and 2; USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1
  • Bus-powered devices supported: HD, SSD, SSD RAID, etc., 1.5A per port advertised using USB Type-C charging, 7.5W per port for operation or charging
  • Chipset: 4x ASMedia 3142
  • USB standard: Compliant with OHCI (Open Host Controller Interface), EHCI (Enhanced Host Controller Interface) and xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) standards
  • UASP: USB attached SCSI protocol supported on macOS 10.12+, Windows 11 and 10
  • Hot Plug: Supports connection of hot-pluggable and hot-swappable devices
  • Operating temperature: 0ºC to 35ºC (32ºF to 95ºF)
  • Compliance: RoHS 3 (Directive 2015/863) IEC62368-1 and IEC62368-2 Safety
  • Mac compatibility: Mac Pro 5.1 and 7.1 (2019) with available PCIe x16 slot, macOS 10.12.6+, macOS Monterey compatible
  • Linux compatibility: computer with available PCIe x16 slot, Linux kernel 5.4.0+, Ubuntu 20.04.1+
  • Windows compatibility: Computer with available PCIe x16 slot, Windows 11, 10

The Allegro Pro USB-C 8-Port PCIe Card looks almost perfect – you get eight super-fast USB-C ports, and the card is PCIe bus-powered. In other words, no additional AC adapter is needed. Is there a catch? Well, sort of. This hardcore add-on card will set you back $399.99. Yes, it is an expensive card. If you are not scared of the price, you can buy it here now.

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Steven L. Nielsen