Thinking about getting a mechanical keyboard, need suggestions.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by eclap, May 1, 2013.

  1. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Ok, my G15v2 is getting a bit knackered after some 5 years of heavy use. the keys around wasd feel a bit mushy after getting battered in many MMO/ARPG games. So I thought I'd upgrade to something new. I do have a few requirements, here they are.

    • Programmable macro keys left of the the keyboard (like my G15v2). Don't need many, 6 would do.
    • Definitely need backlighting, having the option to change the color of the backlighting would be a bonus.
    • Ideally a full size Enter key (although I might have to go without from what I've seen)
    • Definitely need a numerical pad
    • Wrist rest is also essential
    • From what I've read, I would most likely go for brown switches because I often game late at night and I don't want to be waking up people (browns are the quietest ones, correct?)

    One of the keyboards that kinda has all this (bar a thing or 2) seems to be the Blackwiddow. I am not a fan of Razer products or their software though so I would like to hear other suggestions. the CM Storm Trigger also seems nice and kinda has what I'm looking for, also the Corsair K90, although that looks like it's too wide for my liking. The TT eSports MEKA G-Unit also seems to have most of what I need. The budget for this is around £100, maybe I could go a bit over if it's worth it. Basically, not sure which one to go for.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  2. automaticman

    automaticman Master Guru

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    If you like Logitech, maybe take a look at their G710+

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126299

    I believe it uses brown keys with rubber o-rings for sound dampening.

    Roccat had a couple keyboards they were showing at CES that looked really cool, not sure if they're out yet though.

    *edit*
    Here it is:

    http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Keyboards/ROCCAT-Ryos-MK-Pro/

    my 1 hesitation with this board is that I don't think it has dedicated media keys, which I use a lot (at least volume and mute). You didn't mention that as a requirement though so it might not matter.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. Poulter

    Poulter Master Guru

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    I have to say I like Razor products, but they are too expensive! The CM Storm trigger seems great, heard good things about it.
    I have to say i have literally just brought a Blackwidow Ultimate, love the keyboard, keys are amazing. Got it on their fake promo for 12 quid... But other than that stay away from Razor like you said, too expensive! CM Storm is a great choice :D
     
  4. Himmelslicht

    Himmelslicht Member

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    If you looking to get a silent one, get Topre keyswitches. The are also the highest quality mechanical switches you can get, but cost a premium.

    I have browns, and think they are very nice, but the daskeyboard I have wouldn't meet your requirements. The switches itself (except clears and blues) don't make much noise, the only thing you hear is the keycaps' sounds.
     

  5. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Razer isn't too expensive, really. The G710+ is out of my budget. thanks for the suggestions guys, keep them coming :)
     
  6. stalkerfan

    stalkerfan Master Guru

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    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  7. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    they're not mechanical.
     
  8. harkinsteven

    harkinsteven Ancient Guru

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    I managed to get a CM Storm Trigger (MX Black) for £46 on ebay. Great keyboard, loving it.
     
  9. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Hmmm, was it new? I'll keep looking for a bargain like this.
     
  10. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Brand new or refurbished? Was it £46 including delivery?
     

  11. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    What is the difference between a mechanicla keyboard and a normal keyboard?

    I cant be bothered to google.....i would like to hear some opinions from gamers, hope you dont mind eclap.:)
     
  12. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Quite simple, mechanical keyboards are quiet, near silent like laptop keyboards.

    Normal keyboards make noises when you press the buttons!

    Mechanical keyboards also cost more, that's about it really...

    If your using your pc 90% for gaming & watching movies, I wouldn't much care for a quiet keyboard.

    Just wack up the volume & you'll hear jack$hit!

    Mechanical keyboards are great if you type a lot or your fussy about the sound the keys make when being pressed...

    Personally I've never bothered about mechanical keyboards. Look at mice, they click & make a noise. Why bother getting a virtually quiet keyboard yet everytime you use your mouse you hear the clicks?
     
  13. Himmelslicht

    Himmelslicht Member

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    kanej2007: Sorry, that's just wrong. It's not about the sound at all. Mechanical keyboard make the same noise as regular ones. Many machanical keyboards for typists even add a 'clicking' noise that indicates the point where the switch is pressed.

    The difference is that it uses mechanical switches instead of electronic ones. It's just an indefinitely better typing feel. You have to try it, it can't be described.
     
  14. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Hmmmm, guess I need to see one in person. I didn't know there was a difference in the feel of the keyboard since I've never owned a mechanical one.

    I will need to take a look at it & see for myself...
     
  15. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    All mechanical keyboards are louder than rubber membrane keyboards.

    The thing about mechanical keyboards is the feel when typing / gaming:

    1) Separate: Mechanical keyboards separate key switches (Cherry MX switches), one for each key. This means that pressing multiple keys, or pressing one key at a time, feels the same (if your PCB isn't flexing, that is). Meanwhile, keypresses on rubber keyboards feel mushy, and pressing multiple keys at the same time does not feel as good as one key being pressed on its own.

    2) Reliability and consistency: Cherry MX switches have a lifespan of about 50 million clicks! They can "break in", as in, they might feel less stiff from when the keyboard is first opened and used (best analogy is headphone break-in), but they tend to be consistent, regardless of lifespan. They are also easily replaceable. You could buy a single switch for less than a dollar a piece and solder it at 2 points on the keyboard's PCB. No more worries about a failed or broken key.

    3) Feel & variety of choice: Mechanical keyboards have a variety of choice for the switch type. You have:

    a) Blacks: Linear switches, tougher to press, great for gamers who like to double tap. It offers no feedback when the keys are pressed. Relatively quiet.

    b) Reds: Linear switches, easier to press, great for gamers and touch typists. Some typists do not like them because they can cause more typing errors due to how easy they are to press. It offers no feedback when the keys are pressed. Relatively quiet.

    c) Blues: Clicky, tactile switches. Moderate force required to press. Loved by most typists since they offer feedback when pressed, an audible, tactile click. They have a piece of plastic that moves down with the keypress, which makes it a bit harder to double click than linear switches. They are the loudest switch due to two reasons which I will mention later.

    NOTE: some people prefer blues even for gaming. They might be a bit tough to deal with when gaming, but now I really like them for gaming. Reds and Blacks are a general preference for gaming, but YMMV.

    d) Browns: A middle-ground switch between Blues and Blacks / Reds. Tactile, but not clicky. They have feedback; a bump when the key is pressed. They offer good gaming performance.

    There is also info about the actuation points and such for each keypress, those are reserved for those more interested about how each key works.


    Now about mechanical keyboard noise:

    There are two types of noise a mechanical keyboard makes:

    1) Keypress noise:

    a) Blues: "click" noise: blue switches make a "click" noise when they are pressed, about halfway, where they actuate.

    b) Browns: "bump" plastic noise: brown switches make a simpler "bump" plasticky noise when they are pressed, about halfway, where they actuate. The "click" is replaced by a normal plastic sound.

    c) Blacks & Reds are linear, and they lack a "click" or "bump". They make no keypress noise...well except if you have your ear close to the keyboard and can hear plastic moving against plastic :D

    2) Bottoming-out noise:

    All mechanical keyboard keys make this bottoming-out noise. This happens when you press the key all the way to the bottom. Actuation points are higher in the key, so you do not actually need to bottom out to register a keypress, unlike all rubber membrane keyboards. However, most people bottom out, and I don't know many who have fingers so delicate they never bottom out, so this is noise that will be made.

    However, with blacks, there is more resistance, so bottoming-out might make less noise, as you will be less likely to cause the key to strike as hard against the keyboard's base. Reds themselves are softer, requiring less force to actuate, so less bottoming out is made with these, particularly with touch typists and light-fingered gamers who prefer reds for gaming.

    The "bump" noise with browns should not be worried about. The "click" noise with blues CANNOT be eliminated.

    HOWEVER, the "clack" noise can be reduced or eliminated by the use of rubber O-rings, such as these:

    [​IMG]

    Rubber O-rings reduce key travel and have hardness ratings.

    1) 0.2mm 40A Red O-rings are less hard, and reduce key travel less. There are preferred by those looking to simply eliminate the noise without reducing key travel. They feel softer and mushier when bottoming out. I prefer these and they are on the way.

    2) 0.4mm 50A Black O-rings are more hard, and reduce key travel more. They are preferred by those looking to reduce key travel, as the actuation point is higher than the reduced key travel distance now anyways, so no worries about actuation, and they'd like to bottom out at less than 3mm, the default key travel distance. They feel harder and springier when bottoming out.

    3) 0.4mm 40A Blue O-rings are middle-ground, less hard (like Red) but reduce key travel more (like Black).

    Note that the differences in mushiness are not large. 40A vs. 50A, the numbers speak for themselves. I can feel a larger difference in springiness though.

    This is a video demonstrating the reduced "clack" noise when using rubber O-rings:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lFkl1Vet1eU

    Rubber O-rings don't reduce / eliminate the clacking noise only. They also reduce finger fatigue when bottoming out.

    Conclusion: get a mechanical keyboard.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013

  16. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    epic post mate. and thanks for the suggestions in the pm. but those Ducky and Filco keyboard are slightly out of my reach atm. I mean I could, but I just can't justify paying over £100, I decided.
     
  17. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    You're welcome. And well, depends on how much you're willing to pay. I went all the way to typist since I do a lot of programming, both as a major and as a hobby. It hurts, but its mostly a one time payment.

    I tend to type long posts too :p
     
  18. harkinsteven

    harkinsteven Ancient Guru

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    It was second hand but in absolute perfect condition. It was like it was brand new.
     
  19. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    no mate, don't mind at all. yasamoka covered it all :)
     
  20. Timo2

    Timo2 Active Member

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    Oi Eclap, I just posted back on the headphone thread.

    As for keyboards? Those gaming k/b look cool but you know what? I'd be lost (especially in mmofps) without my comfort curve 3000. Why? Because I can feel where I am without looking. The thing is 20 quid, mechanical, wired, but doesn't light up. But you can use your fingertips to know where you are without looking.

    Just a thought.
     

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