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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD  
  Price:     Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD Display - $155 (CAN) / $119 (U.S) 
  Price:     Internal 2 Foot USB Cable - $12 (CAN) / $9 (U.S) 
  Price:     MX Indicator LED Bus - $18 (CAN) / $13 (U.S) 
  Supplied By:     Matrix Orbital
  Author:     Hi-TEK
  Date:     September 24th, 2004
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Adam from Matrix Orbital for sending the MX412 USB LCD for review.

Matrix Orbital


The transition to more advanced computing platforms has forced consumers to re-think overall system design. In the past, most individuals were satisfied with assembling their components in any standard computer case without an after thought about cooling requirements and monitoring options. The purchase of high-end components has introduced several different factors that must be considered to eliminate any potential problems that might appear in the future. Cooling continues to rate high on the list in order to control temperatures and keep a system stable. To compliment cooling, manufacturers have introduced a wide variety of intelligent display devices that are both hardware and software based. The advantage of an intelligent display device is the ability to interactivity know how well a computer system is performing. Matrix Orbital based out of Calgary, Alberta has been producing a wide range of popular intelligent LCD units for the last several years. The company has recently released its new MX series available in 20x2 and 20x4 formats. Today in MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD; the latest consumer based intelligent display for home computer use.


The Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD is available in 5 color formats such as Green backlit, White backlit, Inverse Blue backlit, Inverse Red Backlit and Inverse Green Backlit each with your choice of a black or silver faceplate. The Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD is designed to reside in two 5.25" bays and ships with an integrated 15-button keypad for easy control and boasts a newly adapted USB interface along with 4 newly adapted temperature probes. Also included in the review package were several add-on products such as the MX Indicator LED Bus and Internal/External USB cable. Here are some specifications taken from the Matrix Orbital website:

Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD - Appearance Features:
Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD: Manufactured by Matrix Orbital
20 characters x 4 lines
Module size: 98.0mm (L) x 60.0mm(W) x 24.4mm (T)
Display size: 76.3mm (L) x 25.0mm (W)
Character size: 2.95 x 4.75mm
Display colour: Blue Backlight Display
Attractive and durable (coated rust-resistant steel mounting bracket; Lexan faceplate)

Functional Capabilities:
Variable brightness backlight
Software and manual on CDROM
Memory chip saves settings
Available in a PC drive bay insert

Interfaces & Speed:
Interface with up to 24-key keypad
Use 6 General Purpose Outputs
Communicate over USB
USB mode : 19.2 Kbps using VCP or direct USB 1.0 or 2.0 communication
Fully buffered - no delays in transmission

Power Requirements:
Supply Voltage: +4.75 to +5.25Vdc
Supply Current: 25mA typical
Backlight Supply Current: 115mA typical

Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD
Click image for larger view
Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD
Click image for larger view

The Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD ships in a simple white corrugated cardboard box with the Matrix Orbital name and logo branded across the top. Opening of the box revealed all contents to be neatly and tightly packaged together. Inside the package were all the necessary items for installation along with some accessories which include the following:

  • 1 x Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD
  • 1 x Internal USB Cable
  • 1 x MX Indicator LED BUS
  • 1 x Case Badge
  • 4 x Dallas DS182S20 Temperature Probes
  • 1 x User Guide and CD
Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD
Click image for larger view
Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD
Click image for larger view
Included in the retail packaging are Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD, a copy of the popular LCDC software which will be featured later on in the review, and a quick start guide that covers the package inspection, drive bay installation and software registration. As a bundled accessory, an Internal USB cable was included. The Internal USB cable measures 2 feet and gives users the option of powering the Matrix Orbital MX412 USB LCD directly from an internal USB header on their motherboard as opposed to using an external USB header. Users will have to wire the pins on one of the headers according to their motherboard's specifications. Additional accessories also include the MX Indicator LED Bus, ribbon cable and a drilling template.
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