Matrix Orbital MX6 Review: LED displays redefined

Modding/Small Mods by jmke @ 2005-05-02

When a company launches a product which offers more functionality and better features then previous versions you would expect a higher price ticket. Well guess again, Matrix Orbital pulls a bright rabbit out of their hat with their latest LED display in their MX series.

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Possibilities & Conclusion

MX6 in action

The MX6 can be used for a wide range of applications, ideal would be a home-cinema PC or even a CarPC, the buttons on the display are quite convenient, and you can program “events” into the LCDC which shows up information when certain things happen, changing a track in Winamp for example can trigger a separate layout which shows you the action taken and the title of the next song.

The brightness of the unit and the crystal clear characters can be read from quite a distance and the refresh rate is amazing.

I’ve made a movie which demo’s a variety of the plugins and displays you can have pop up with the MX6 and LCDC software:

Download/Full Screen - click here

Some info on the screens in the movie:

  • you can define the transition effect between each screen, in the movie it’s set to random.
  • The “Winamp is now:” shows up when you pause/stop/start Winamp
  • The “MAD” text which is spread over the 2 lines is actually custom build with separate blocks, the animation is also done per line and you can have the characters bounce around or zip past among other things.
  • The Corsair and ATI logos are custom icon sets downloaded from the LCDC forums
  • The traffic counter displays total since your last reboot
  • In order for Winamp to interact with the MX6 you need to install a plug-in for Winamp, a complete tutorial is available at their site.
  • The CPU temp is read from Motherboard Monitor 5, the “Low” temperature is a bit off, as you might have guessed. It would be cool to see a Speedfan plug-in in the future.
  • The values for Air In/Out come from the 2 temperature sensors, one placed at the front of the case, the other at the back.
  • The chicken like sound you hear in the background comes from quail-pet


    The MX6 from Matrix Orbital is light years ahead of any display which still uses LCD technology, the VFD displays come closer, but have the tendency to become quite hot after long periods of use. The PLED technology used in the MX6 keeps it running cool and the characters are very bright and readable in different lighting conditions.

    At a price of ~$110 they don’t come cheap, but are less expensive then similar displays based on VFD technology.

    If you plan on building a home theater PC or CarPC the MX6 would be a near perfect fit, the quality workmanship, fast user support and large user community only increase the value of this unit. If you are happy with 2x20 display size and want one of the best out there, don’t look any further.

    A longer internal USB cable, full size 5”25 mounting bracket and the possibility to switch between 5v/12v at the front of the unit (instead of a jumper in the back) are the only small negatives encountered.

    Overall we were thoroughly impressed by the MX6, we would like to thank Suzanne from Matrix Orbital for letting us test-drive their latest creation.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Questions/Comments: forum thread
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