Yes, all that stuff that the Maxtrix Orbital can do is
very nice, and very useful...but the reason that it came off looking badly next to the Cooldrive 6 is the amount of work required to get it to do the sorts of stuff that SilentPCReview
readers would want it to do, namely control fan speeds. All the other stuff would be powerful selling points at any other hardware site, but we're decidedly unlike other hardware sites.
To paraphrase Ralf: "We're SilentPCReview, not LCDFrontPanelControllerPCReview"
For our purposes, the hoops you have to jump through are way too high. (has anyone else ever tried to use LCDC? ack)
Maybe it's a little painful, but I believe that the MO/LCDC combo has some distinct advantages for thermal control. For one, the MX has not only the PWM controlled outputs, but the 1-wire inputs. The 1-wire temp probes are really cheap and accurate, and you can hook up as many of them as you want. I've wired up my case with numerous thermal sensors, glued to the CPU heat sink, VGA heat sink, NB heat sink, HD, case intake, case ambient, etc. Then I have the fans in my P180 controlled by LCDC. The built-in fan control in LCDC is not very good, so I've written a true PID (Proportional-Integrating-Differentiating) control loop plugin where you can tune the parameters of your thermal control to your hearts' content. And the display spits out the thermal data in realtime, temp history curves, etc.
When idling and in moderate use, most fans run at 5-10% PWM, and if I had a more quiet hard drive the system would be inaudible. All of this still retains the full cooling capacity which comes in handy on hot summer days with heavy CPU/GPU use.
Anyway, I think this setup has provided me with capabilities for silent thermal control that I otherwise would have no idea how to achieve. That it was a little tricky just added to the satisfaction once I got it working!
Just wanted to share my opinion. YMMV.