The Single Rack, Thunderbolt-Enabled Expansion System for PCIe Cards Supports Apple's Newest Mac mini

Sonnet Technologies has just updated its xMac Mini Server, which transforms Apple's Thunderbolt-enabled Mac mini into a PCIe-expandable, rack-mount server, to support the USB 3.0 ports in the new Mac mini announced by Apple on October 23. While Mac Pro customers wait out a potential update and former Xserve customers look for an interim solution, Sonnet's xMac Mini Server lets them use the new Mac mini, with its Mac Pro-compatible expansion cards, as a short-term or light use stand-in. The USB 3.0 now required for running the Mac mini interface at full speeds has been updated in all new shipping units of Sonnet's xMac Mini Server and will be available as a cable upgrade kit for existing customers.

Sonnet's xMac connects to the mini's Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and USB interfaces, extending them to panel-mounted connectors on the front and back of the device. It has a 100W power supply and uses the same kind of temperature-controlled fans that you'd expect to see in rack-mount units, running at variable speeds, to cool the cards and computer. The device lets you plug in two PCIe adapter cards through the included Thunderbolt cable; you can also daisy-chain any additional Thunderbolt devices via the second Thunderbolt port.

If you already purchased the original USB 2.0 version of xMac mini Server that began shipping in June, an upgrade path is coming soon. Sonnet says it should be shipping in a few weeks an easy-to-install cable kit for $39.95 that will replace your existing USB 2.0 cables. Apparently, you will only need a screwdriver and nut driver to get the job done.

For more information: Sonnet Technologies