Thunderbolt accessories obviously haven’t exactly taken off like wildfire—they’re actually still fairly uncommon, particularly now that USB 3.0 ports have been added to the latest Macs. But there are still professional accessories that can benefit from Thunderbolt’s additional speed, including peripherals like Magma’s new ExpressBox 1T ($479) and earlier ExpressBox 3T ($979). Promising twice the speed of USB 3.0 and twelve times the speed of FireWire, each lets you connect any half-length/full-height PCI Express card to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac; ExpressBox 3T includes three PCIe slots, and 1T has one, bridging the gap between boxy desktop PCs and ever-slimming Macs.
Handsomely designed to resemble Mac Pros, both ExpressBoxes consist of a Mac-matching silver aluminum housing with two fans inside, plus twin Thunderbolt ports and a wall power port on the back. You slide open the 1T chassis from the rear, and the 3T chassis from the top, inserting your choice of PCIe cards—Magma notes that its 7.75” slots are the most compatible in this genre of accessories. While the one-slot 1T ships with a 65W power supply, the three-slot 3T has a 250W power supply with ports for two additional power connectors if you need them. Magma notes that both ExpressBoxes are capable of handling at least one PCIe x16 card, though the Thunderbolt spec is capped at x4 speeds. As is almost always the case, you’ll have to supply your own Thunderbolt cable for connection to your Mac.