Which mechanical keyboard should i buy?

I have a Model M here, myself, Veloxi, but the 3-key rollover was driving me bats, so I ended up replacing it.

If Unicomp would do a decent board with N-key rollover, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Probably two of them, in fact. I LOVE buckling-spring keyboards. But I also like my keystrokes to register.

FYI - Razer is doing a 24 hour post CES sale right now. If you register for their Razer Insider program, you can get 50% off of ONE peripheral or 30% off of ONE Blade. This is a pretty amazing deal if you are into their products. I am thisclose to pulling the trigger on a Black Widow. Someone talk me out of it?

Doooo it

Malor wrote:

I have a Model M here, myself, Veloxi, but the 3-key rollover was driving me bats, so I ended up replacing it.

If Unicomp would do a decent board with N-key rollover, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Probably two of them, in fact. I LOVE buckling-spring keyboards. But I also like my keystrokes to register.

3-key rollover? Whassat?

clover wrote:

Doooo it

Grrrrrrr. All of the ones that interest me are sold out. They did, however, mention a remedial sale at the end of the month, due to some tech issues when the sale started last night. Perhaps I will wait until then...

Really tempted to get on that 50% deal. I've had a merc stealth (the same one) for like 8 years. It has a small separate pad on the left for gaming. It is going to be HARD to game with my hands in the middle of the keyboard!

Veloxi wrote:

3-key rollover? Whassat?

Means that there are certain combinations on the keyboard where if you press more than three keys, the fourth or higher presses don't register.

For instance, I had a keyboard at one point where if I was holding any two of the WASD keys and shift then the spacebar wouldn't work. I had to let go of one of the other keys to use the spacebar.

N-Key rollover is a way of saying "press whatever keys you want together, they're all going to register"

Also: still screw Razer and their rebranded crap offbrand switches. 50% off or not.

Thin_J wrote:

Also: still screw Razer and their rebranded crap offbrand switches. 50% off or not.

Do you mind elaborating? Any input is more than welcome.

Thin_J wrote:
Veloxi wrote:

3-key rollover? Whassat?

Means that there are certain combinations on the keyboard where if you press more than three keys, the fourth or higher presses don't register.

For instance, I had a keyboard at one point where if I was holding any two of the WASD keys and shift then the spacebar wouldn't work. I had to let go of one of the other keys to use the spacebar.

N-Key rollover is a way of saying "press whatever keys you want together, they're all going to register"

Oh wow, never even heard of such a thing. Thanks for the explainer. So Model M's can only do three keys at once?

Huh, looks like they can (according to my Mac variant here). Odd I've never run into this in all my years of typing. When does this usually happen?

Abu5217 wrote:
Thin_J wrote:

Also: still screw Razer and their rebranded crap offbrand switches. 50% off or not.

Do you mind elaborating? Any input is more than welcome.

Cherry MX is the most popular switch brand for mechanical Keyboards. They've been around forever and are considered the highest quality. When Razer first came out they used Cherry MX. Then they dropped Cherry (2 years ago?) and went with a Chinese knock-off for the $$$. Charge about the same and use a cheaper switch.

The Chinese switches are considered sub-par by the mechanical elite (mechanical keyboard reddit). They felt pretty good to me in the store though. Best buy had them on display and I would pick a Razer over no mechanical keyboard. I use Cherry MX Brown switches where the Razer is a bit closer to Blue. Cherry has several switch varieties that are louder, quieter, more and less firm for different tastes.

It's all about preferences for feel and how much you want to pay. You may get more life out of a Cherry, but any of them should last you years.

Yeah, I like the Cherry brown switches in Edwin's keyboard better than my "green" switches, but for me RGB trumps that so I still like mine better overall

Massdrop has some solid deals on mech boards.

GoldenDog wrote:
Abu5217 wrote:
Thin_J wrote:

Also: still screw Razer and their rebranded crap offbrand switches. 50% off or not.

Do you mind elaborating? Any input is more than welcome.

Cherry MX is the most popular switch brand for mechanical Keyboards. They've been around forever and are considered the highest quality. When Razer first came out they used Cherry MX. Then they dropped Cherry (2 years ago?) and went with a Chinese knock-off for the $$$. Charge about the same and use a cheaper switch.

The Chinese switches are considered sub-par by the mechanical elite (mechanical keyboard reddit). They felt pretty good to me in the store though. Best buy had them on display and I would pick a Razer over no mechanical keyboard. I use Cherry MX Brown switches where the Razer is a bit closer to Blue. Cherry has several switch varieties that are louder, quieter, more and less firm for different tastes.

It's all about preferences for feel and how much you want to pay. You may get more life out of a Cherry, but any of them should last you years.

Cool, thanks for the info.

GoldenDog wrote:
Abu5217 wrote:
Thin_J wrote:

Also: still screw Razer and their rebranded crap offbrand switches. 50% off or not.

Do you mind elaborating? Any input is more than welcome.

Cherry MX is the most popular switch brand for mechanical Keyboards. They've been around forever and are considered the highest quality. When Razer first came out they used Cherry MX. Then they dropped Cherry (2 years ago?) and went with a Chinese knock-off for the $$$. Charge about the same and use a cheaper switch.

They stopped using Cherry MX switches more recently than that; I had a Blackwidow Ultimate that had Cherry MX Blues in it bought in 2013, but it was the 2014 model.

The Chinese switches are considered sub-par by the mechanical elite (mechanical keyboard reddit). They felt pretty good to me in the store though. Best buy had them on display and I would pick a Razer over no mechanical keyboard. I use Cherry MX Brown switches where the Razer is a bit closer to Blue. Cherry has several switch varieties that are louder, quieter, more and less firm for different tastes.

It's all about preferences for feel and how much you want to pay. You may get more life out of a Cherry, but any of them should last you years.

While it's definitely a matter of how much you're willing to pay, the issues with the Chinese knockoff switches is the same as any knockoff; there's a definitive lack of quality to them. One of the things most noted is the failure rates on the newer Razer keyboards compared to the older ones. There have been numerous instances of people having switches go bad far in advance of what used to be considered end of life. There's no way that should be happening on newer keyboards when there are older ones still going strong.

I'm pretty happy with the CODE Keyboard so far. I seem to be fairly heavy-fingered, as I bottomed the sh*t out of keys on my Leopold with the Brown switches (more recently added O-rings to that board, definitely helped). So the added stiffness of the Clear switches on the CODE is working well for me, though I still find I bottom out plenty if I don't intentionally type with a lighter touch.

Only downside I have so far is the sharpness of the corner on the board's bottom left. My typing hand position isn't exactly what you would call Mavis Beacon approved, and I feel that corner poke into my hand, whereas I didn't ever notice any poking on my Leopold (probably because the corner is very rounded on that one). So that's a little annoying, though the poking may be prompting my hands into a better position, so there's that.

I really appreciate the CODE's approach to media keys - optionally turning the Menu key into a Fn key for media keys in the Home/PgUp key block. It's aligned so that you hold Menu with your thumb and comfortably reach the media keys with your fingers. Very well thought out.

Plus, I like backlighting, and the simple white backlighting matches the MacBook Pro that I have this plugged into.

AnimeJ wrote:

While it's definitely a matter of how much you're willing to pay, the issues with the Chinese knockoff switches is the same as any knockoff; there's a definitive lack of quality to them. One of the things most noted is the failure rates on the newer Razer keyboards compared to the older ones. There have been numerous instances of people having switches go bad far in advance of what used to be considered end of life. There's no way that should be happening on newer keyboards when there are older ones still going strong.

The other common issue is just one of simple switch consistency. They tend to vary much more widely across the same color switch. If Razer's "green" switches are rated at 55nm to actually actuate, one might be 55, one might be 50, another might be 60.

Cherry tends to have much more narrow tolerances overall on their switches.

It's one of those things that may or may not affect you depending on how picky you are. If you're a clumsy typist that bottoms out basically 100% of the time, it may not matter so much.

I just figure that even at 50% off on the Razer, there are still other actual Cherry MX boards that will be almost the same price and you just get a better quality keyboard. My CM Storm Quickfire TK was $85, has straight white backlighting, and Cherry MX Brown switches. I put O-rings on it to help the noise of me bottoming out the keys all the time, and it's been my favorite board ever since.

Listen to Thin_J.
He's a smart man and his goatee is as killer as his keycap game.
*EDIT*
And also he sold me a Das pro-S that I am still using at work.

Ok, sorry. I forgot to come back.
I like the g910. I havnt programmed the keys yet but playing with the colors is fun.
The keys feel great. I've never owned a mechanical so I can't compare it to anything and I got used to the keys in a half hour. They are not as big a deal as some reviewers make them Out to be.
I'll post some pics/vid soon.

Interesting bit over on SemiAccurate: Cherry is going to be making their own keyboards. Apparently, they'll be using a new sensor type that individually wires up every key, and it won't use matrix scanning; rather, each keypress will individually signal the controller, which will issue interrupts when things happen, rather than waiting for polling. They mention the drivers working with a bitfield instead of individual key down/up events, where the status of every key is reported at every read, so there shouldn't be any key rollover. All keys simultaneously pressed should work just as well as one.

I have no idea how that will work with existing drivers; my assumption is that it'll be a normal USB keyboard, with the 8-key rollover that's built into the spec, until you fire up their special driver, at which point it will go to full N-key and interrupt-enabled. One of their fundamental assertions is that all existing keyboards have around 20ms lag time, and that this new Cherry can do 1ms. I have no idea how true that is. (well, the 20ms part, anyway. I have no reason to doubt 1ms on the Cherry board.)

Original article is here.

That is how keys/pads/switches/etc in midi intruments typically work IIRC

Also, haven't cherry always made their own keyboards? Like the Cherry MX5000 (last sold in 1997)

Yeah, there have always been Cherry branded keyboards, it's just that they're usually super hard to actually find.

Bah. Felt the accidental doubleclick on the button. Phoooey.

Or, you know, just playing Stepmania.

plavonica wrote:
Veloxi wrote:

Huh, looks like they can (according to my Mac variant here). Odd I've never run into this in all my years of typing. When does this usually happen?

Running at an angle (w,d,shift) while crouch-jumping (ctr-space) through a window while throwing a grenade (e) and reloading (r). Technically 'e' and 'r' should be pressed one after the other but sometimes in the heat of battle you hold onto 'e' while pressing 'r'. It's a bit of a tricky maneuver and not all games allow it, but it is effective for bursting in an area while on the run.

Wait, I ran out of fingers at some point in there. Maybe that's why I suck at FPSs.

A couple pics . I'll add a vid or 2 as soon as uploading is done
IMAGE(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cC2J8WWfxdc/VJwjq2DwvuI/AAAAAAAArhA/pJas0Lhj5B8/w1136-h639-no/20141225_094805.jpg)

IMAGE(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-cU7MY4YFWwQ/VJwlyy0ofwI/AAAAAAAArhc/n646f5arpLE/w1136-h639-no/20141225_094843.jpg)

Just got myself a Ducky Legend (Blues).

http://www.duckychannel.com.tw/en/du...

Delicious.

So, does anyone have an opinion on either the Razer Orbweaver or Logitec Programmable Gameboard?

I am torn between one of these or a full mechanical keyboard. Anyone have either? Thoughts? Thanks.

Abu5217 wrote:

So, does anyone have an opinion on either the Razer Orbweaver or Logitec Programmable Gameboard?

I am torn between one of these or a full mechanical keyboard. Anyone have either? Thoughts? Thanks.

I have a G13 and it's definitely a nice piece of hardware. That said, I seldom use it because there are so few circumstances where it ends up feeling superior to just using the main keyboard. Given the thread this is in I do have to point out that the G13 isn't mechanical. They keys do have a very nice feel to them.

Elycion wrote:

I have a G13 and it's definitely a nice piece of hardware. That said, I seldom use it because there are so few circumstances where it ends up feeling superior to just using the main keyboard. Given the thread this is in I do have to point out that the G13 isn't mechanical. They keys do have a very nice feel to them.

Cool, thanks for the reply. I don't know if I would actually really use these, so this is good info. While the Logitec offering is not mechanical, the Orbweaver is, but it has the Razer switches, which others have stated are less than ideal.

The space bar on my keyboard stopped working perfectly (Cherry MX Black switches). It sometimes wouldn't register if I was typing quickly or didn't hit the key very deliberately.

Spraying a little DeoxIT contact cleaner fixed the problem. You could probably get away with using cheaper contact cleaner. I just happened to have this laying around.

So, if you have any wonky Cherry MX switches, try spraying a little bit of that stuff in the switch while it's pressed down. It may fix your problem.