Thirdeye are you talking about how long it will produce smoke, or how strong/heavy a smoke it produces while burning.
It's my understanding the tube was created for higher altitude and gas grill use. I don't use the tube in my 22" WSM
because it will produce to much smoke. I like the tray because it seems to produce the correct amount of smoke for my needs. Again, since I only cold smoke bacon and cheese - I'm only using dust. For the cleaner a smoke flavor.
My question was about the smoke itself and whether the smoke from the pellet tray was stronger, noticeably less, or about the same as the tube. Most have said the tube produces more (or stronger) smoke, and after my test burn I would agree. And I also think the pellet tray produces more smoke than my sawdust tray.
I also use dust for cheese and butter, and I'm very careful in adjusting the draft, because I like long smoke times and gentle delivery. My cheeses are edible throughout the entire process, although I mellow them a day or two before packaging them.
I have a Tube & only used it twice, because no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to produce anything less than Too Heavy a Smoke.
The Tray I used for 11 years, and once I'd get it going properly, it was perfect for 10 to 11 hours with only lighting one end.
I lit both ends of the Tray once, and it was much too much smoke for my MES 40.
I only have a couple of friends with a cabinet style smoker and they came to the same conclusion. I tried my tube in some of my smaller smokers, and the small volume and not enough draft did not work for me either. When I use my tube in my drum, I have much more volume and also draft. Since I can't control the smoke, I use the lid as my control. Blocking it farther open if the smoke is a little on the heavy side and changing the blocks if it's producing less smoke. My drum is actually 6" or so taller than a standard drum and this combination works pretty good. Here I'm cold smoking some cured pork loins, this would be way too much smoke for something delicate like cheese.
Thirdeye, in post #5 is that pellets in your tube or dust?
In those photos the tube is loaded with pellets. The top one is a few minutes after lighting, and the second one is during the smoking of some bologna. The video above shows the smoke in real time.