What good is a piece of hardware if there is no software
support right? When you first turn on the PC after installing the MX212
WindowsXP will prompt you for a driver installation. Remember it is a USB
device... Insert the small 80mm CD into your CD-ROM and then point to the
appropriate location for the driver. If everything is done properly the Matrix
Orbital logo should
on the display
Once that's done you'll have to install the LCDC software that's on the CD in
order to manipulate the MX212. While it looks like you only get yourself a
shareware version of LCDC, there's actually a registration form you must fill
out at LCDC's website and in turn they will e-mail you an activation code to
unlock LCDC software.
keep the LCDC software loaded into memory if you plan to use the Matrix Orbital.
If the LCDC software is
closed the Matrix Orbital will just display the last display
setting or default logo. There are plenty of third party plugins for LCDC which can
allow you to greatly enhance the Matrix Orbital MX212's
As you can see the LCDC software is very customizable, wouldn't it be great
to know what FPS's you're getting in a game in real time? Thanks to LCDC supporting FRAPS
you can. The software can also report, via the MX212 a whole bunch of other information
about your PC via the Motherboard Monitor plug-in.
After LCDC is installed it places an
icon in the system tray and from there you can open
up various menu's programs. Specifically, the MX212 can display the time,
calender, monitor HDD usage, memory load, network load and the weather.
the appropriate plug-ins are installed you can also use the MX212 to control Winamp
(including volume and track controls) through the buttons on the unit.
Other plug-ins allow you to monitor Motherboard Monitor reports, Fraps FPS
figures and even to check how many unanswered e-mails you have.
Those are just some of the screens that the Matrix Orbital can display, with other
plug-ins you can further customize what the LCD will show.
Definitely very cool but not for
There has never been a better time
to be a computer enthusiast, just look at all the toys that are available now
that one could only dream about a few years ago! The Matrix Orbital MX212 is
easily one of the neatest bits of kit in the modders toolbag, and unlike a
bunch of blue LEDs, actually offers some rather useful functionality.
The Matrix Orbital MX212 is more
than just a pretty face, it can control many aspects of your PC; from
changing the volume within Winamp, to checking your e-mail and even the weather just outside!
If that's not enough you can also control the speed of your case fans, or even
monitor your computer's network traffic/load without even touching your keyboard!
At the heart of the Matrix Orbital MX212 is the powerful
LCDC software. By default it's already plenty powerful and can monitor things as
trivial as memory load or how much HDD space you have used. If you get
compatible software with LCDC
like FRAPS, MBM, etc. you can greatly improve the MX212's
Installation of the MX212 is very straightforward, but
given the different pieces of software, and menu screens, it may not be entirely
suitable for users with minimum computer experience. If you're not comfortable
digging around the inside of your computer already, you may find the vast number
of options and connections on teh back of the Matrix orbital
overwhelming. With a retail price of $144
CDN ($109 US)
, the Matrix Orbital MX212 is definitely one of the coolest things you
can add onto your PC, but it won't be for everyone. If you're a case
modder who's looking to ensure there are plenty of people drooling over your creation, the Matrix
Orbital is certainly a must!
Big thanks to the folks at Canada Computers for lending us the Matrix
Orbital MX212 for review.
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