Matrix Oribital is probably the most well known display company for case modders and overclockers. Matrix Orbital sells a wide range of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) products that are designed to easily work with your computer. There are a few benefits of using a VFD over a LCD including: a 180 degree viewing angle, crisper display, and the ability to filter out light better.
This particular display that I will be reviewing today is a MX312 from the MX3 family of VFDs. In the past you had no option but to use a legacy serial or parallel connection for your LCD or VFD. However with USB now prevalent in any recent computer Matrix Orbital now offers their displays with USB connections making life much easier.
The display and accessories come packaged in a Matrix Orbital branded box. Everything is well packaged and protected with packing foam and bubble wrap.
The display itself comes protected with bubble wrap and the front of the display has a piece of plastic on it to prevent scratching. The back of the VFD has many connections for accessories and communication. These connections include four 3-pin fan headers (2), 4 headers for the temperature probes (1), +5v/+12v jumper for fan headers (3), 12v auxiliary power connector (4), headers for the LED indicator bus (5), keypad header for the front (6), VFD communication headers for LEDs (7), External USB connector (8), and internal USB connector (9).
Included with the display is a set of installation instructions and a mini CD that contains drivers, information, and LCDC. Most of the stuff on the CD will be looked at later in the review. Matrix Orbital also sent a 2 foot internal USB cable and two 2.5 feet temperature probes that are accurate within .5 degrees. These temperature probes can be attached to anything in your system and monitored through the VFD.
Another accessory that they sent is a LED indicator bus that will work in conjunction with the VFD and LCDC for some extra functionality. Included in this package is the indicator LED bus, mounting hardware, cable, and overlay. This looks like neat idea and nice addition to the VFD but we will look at it in more detail later in the review.
I hooked up the two temperature probes that were provided as well as the LED indicator and internal USB connection. For testing purposes I will be using the external USB connection however for a future project I will be using the internal one. With my accessories connected I put the VFD into a 5.25″ drive bay and man does it look sweet.