The AKiTiO Node Lite is a portable PCIe (PCI Express) expansion device which is compatible to both Windows and Mac. It provides a maximum power of 25W to four PCIe Gen 3 (7.5 GT/s) lanes and the Thunderbolt 3 interface, capable of transfer rates up to 40 Gb/s.
The outer box of the AKiTiO Node Lite highlights a lot of the powerful features that it supports and how you can take advantage of Thunderbolt 3 to daisy chain other Thunderbolt devices and connect USB devices and DisplayPort/HDMI displays.
Once you open the outer box, you'll see an inner box which houses the actual AKiTiO Node Lite, in which you'll see a cardboard with the AKiTiO logo, quick setup guide, and AKiTiO stickers.
The AKiTiO Node Lite comes with an external power adapter, a power cord, a 0.5m Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3 cable (capable of 40 Gb/s data transfer), and 2 cable ties.
The AKiTiO Node Lite uses an aluminum casing that looks great with a Mac or Windows based Thunderbolt 3 PC.
At the back of AKiTiO Node Lite, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one standard DisplayPort 1.2 port (supporting 4K@60hz), one port for power supply, and two screws that can be locked or loosened by hand with no need of other tools. The two Thunderbolt 3 ports make it possible to daisy-chain up to five Thunderbolt 3 devices and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 or DisplayPort device.
When you loosen the two screws in the back, you could easily pull out the small fan and the slots for PCIe cards from the front of the AKiTiO Node Lite. The PCIe (x16) slot accepts half-length, full-height, double-width cards and provides a maximum PSU of 25W. The four PCIe Gen 3 lanes and the Thunderbolt 3 interface are capable of transfer rates up to 40Gbps. This device does not officially support graphic cards, but can allow users to use PCIe cards such as video capture cards, RAID cards, NVMe SSD storage, and 10G and 40G network cards to improve performance.
As compared with other AKiTiO PCIe expansion devices in the following table, AKiTiO Node Lite is a great option for Mac users offering full functionality and few limitations enabled by its power supply unit capabilities.
|AKiTiO Node Lite||AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box||AKiTiO Node||AKiTiO Node Pro|
|Supports Windows 7?||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Supports Windows 10?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports Mac OS?||Yes||No||Yes (*)||Yes|
|Supported PCIe Card Sizes||half-length|
|Power Supply (W)||25||72||400||500|
|Number of DisplayPort 1.2 Port||1||1||0||1|
|Number of Thunderbolt 3 Port||2||2||1||2|
|Other Features||Stronger case cover||--||Better cooler system||Stronger case cover;|
better cooler system
*Tested on macOS High Sierra (10.13) with AMD RADEON RX 470 / 480 / 570 / 580 graphic cards only according to AKiTiO's website.
The AKiTiO Node Lite looks great and enables both Windows and macOS users to add external PCIe cards without sacrificing performance.
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