Enclosure & Hardware Discussions
Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card (macOS 10.12.1+)

Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card (macOS 10.12.1+)  


Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago


Mac Compatibility

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)(3)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
Macs with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

macOS™ 10.12.1+

$140.69 (SE I)


179 € (SEL)


179 € (SE I)


This Alpine Ridge upgrade card from Sonnet is the most cost effective solution for users who have DIYed Thunderbolt 2 version of Sonnet SEL or SE I, and want full macOS compatibility via TB3.

I found one user:


automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809

itsage liked
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago

So here is the million-dollar question: Can we get this thing working without an enclosure? That is, can we connect a video card to the PCIe side of the connection via a female-female PCIe ribbon cable (minus the power part), supply power via the power part of the PCIe connector on this (and provide power to the card in a similar fashion) and get this working without the rest of Sonnet parts?

I suspect this might be doable. All that would remain is building a case, or stand, for this and the end result would be a very cheap TB3 eGPU.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago

First time post here.

The upgrade cards are priced ok.

But you would not be able to dock them with a graphics card directly. You need an active/expansion backplane to get it working.

Like the OSS 412/427 backplanes.

But they are very expensive at $495

The funny thing though is that it looks like the Sonnet TB3 pci-e upgrade cards are made by OSS or they share manufacturer.
Both cards are named  almost the same PCB-CUBO-AR-X1 (Sonnet) and PCB-CUBO-FR-X1B (OSS)




2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS

nando4 liked