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Mechanical keyboards...

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January 21, 2012 7:57:38 AM

Hi Gents,

Didnt see an area where i could ask this so i've decided to post it here. Please dont flame.

I'm looking to get a mechanical keyboard, but i specifically want NKRO (No key roll over) - apparently the best move is to go back to PS/2 for this. Does anybody here have this keyboard or another mechanical keyboard and can suggest one to me?

Its a bit pointless having spent the money to be able to go back to PS/2 on my i5 system so i can get a decent mechanical keyboard just to find out the Razer Blackwidow does not have NKRO.

Halp!

More about : mechanical keyboards

January 21, 2012 12:56:33 PM

There is a computer peripherals section on these forums, but I personally like the Das Keyboard (different versions come with blue or brown switches). I have also heard great things about the filco majestouch, wasdkeyboards and some others. Basically look for something that isn't branded "gaming" since that tends to be synonymous with "garbage" these days. Another user did recently get a Corsair K60 mechanical keyboard though, which while game oriented, has received strong praise. I would say maybe that is the 1 deviation, as long as you don't mind membrane peripheral keys (f1-f12 specifically).
January 21, 2012 2:31:14 PM

This is a nice guide on mechanical keybaords, if you have not done so already I suggest you read it.

http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-g...

NKRO does require PS/2 or a USB to PS/2 adaptor. However most USB keyboards support 6KRO which is enough for 99% of games.

Choosing a mech board all comes down to which Cherry MX key switch you prefer, which comes down to personal preference. Choosing which key switch is the most important factor to consider when choosing a mechanical keyboard, if you don't like the switch when you type on it, most likely, you won't ever like the keyboard.

Once you have decided which Cherry MX switch you prefer you can then go on to thinking about which brand you would like, which features you would like and aesthetics. Make sure you try before you buy!!!!

There are many different key switches used in mechanical keyboards.


Cherry MX Blues, as used in the Razer BlackWidow, Rosewill RK-9000, DAS Model S, Filco Majestouch

Cherry blues are clicky and tactile, Blues are usually used for typing and personaly I do not like these for gaming, It is almost impossible to "float" on Cherry blues and double tapping is also difficult. Cherry Blue switches are the best cherry switch for typing. The tactile bump can easily be felt, and the resistance is similar to your average keyboard. Although many people find them just fine for gaming, some don't like the fact that the release point is above the actuation point. This can cause some trouble with double-tapping. This is usually the case with someone who has experienced other mechanical switches before hand.


Cherry MX Browns, as used in the Filco Majestouch, DAS Model S Silent, Razer BlackWidow Stealth, Zowie Gear Celeritas

Cherry Browns are non-clicky and tactile, this means the keys do not make a clicking noise but still have a tactile bump felt when the key has actuated. Brown switches are considered a middle ground between typing and "gaming" switches. They have a light, tactile feel half way through the key press that lets you know the switch has activated. This gives you an indication of what you can release the switch. The switch is considered a middle ground because the reset point & actuation point are close enough together than you can "float" at that point, enabling you to double tap faster.


Cherry MX Blacks as used in the Steelseries 7G / 6Gv2, Thermaltake Meka G1, Mionix Zibal 60, Filco Majestouch

Cherry Black switches are linear (non-tactile) switches, these are considered one of the best switch types for gaming. When gaming, having a tactile bump does absolutely nothing because you're going to be bottoming out anyway. So these give you a very smooth feel. The actuation and release points are at the exact same position as well. So games that require a lot of double tapping become easier than on any other keyswitch. However, most people don't enjoy typing on them that much do in part, to their linear nature. If you're a person who tends to hit a wrong key every so often while gaming, these will be beneficial in that the high actuation force will help prevent many of those accidental presses.


Cherry MX Reds as used in the Corsair K60 & K90

Cherry MX Reds are another switch that can be considered a "gaming" switch. It's essentially a lighter version of the MX Black, requiring less force to actuate. Some people do not find this switch that good for typing or gaming because it is so light, but others rave for this fact. Light or Stiff is always a matter of preference.
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January 21, 2012 2:49:05 PM

I have owned the BlackWidow Ultimate, I didn't like the cherry mx blues, so I sent it back, During the time I had the BlackWidow I thought it was well made, If cherry blues were for me I would of kept it.

I then got the SteelSeries 6Gv2 (which I have now) instead with cherry mx blacks, which I prefer. I am also going to be returning the SteelSeries 6Gv2 however as the lettering on the keycaps have started fading after only 2 days use!

I am probably going to go for a Filco majestouch with Cherry blacks or the Corsair k90 next, all though I dislike the fact that not all keys on the Corsair k60/90 are mechanical: esc, f1-f12, print screen, scroll lock, pause, insert, home, delete, end, page up, page down and the macro keys are all rubber dome.
January 22, 2012 7:01:52 AM

I have heard that the Black Widow Ultimate has backlight problems, whereas both the regular and the ultimate have key issues.

I have the Black Widow regular and have no issues.

But you might want to look elsewhere, just because of the large number of people who do have issues.

In any case, I would definitely say Mechanical over Membrane any day.
January 22, 2012 6:42:03 PM

I believe none of the Black Widow keyboards offer NKRO.



January 22, 2012 7:37:05 PM

jaguarskx said:
I believe none of the Black Widow keyboards offer NKRO.


Correct, the BlackWidow does not have NKRO as it uses a USB connection.
January 24, 2012 2:05:42 PM

jaguarskx said:
I believe none of the Black Widow keyboards offer NKRO.


The keyboard (PS/2) I was using before my current Black Widow supposedly had n-key rollover. I honestly couldn't tell a difference (granted, I do type slow). It was membrane, and on that I certainly could tell a difference once I switched over; I will never go back to membrane, n-key rollover or not. If I had to choose between mechanical with no n-key rollover, or membrane with n-key rollover, to me there would be no choice. N-key rollover just isn't worth it.
January 24, 2012 2:20:26 PM

In my experience NKRO has only ever really been important if you play fighting games on emulators (or SFIV for instance), and sometimes in very high rated WoW arena on rogue when playing subtlety (old tbc hemo builds and cata sub daggers builds) just because you multitask a lot in this class/build combo. I've never run into an issue during FPS gameplay where anything beyond 6 key was necessary, but I also don't use the keyboard to move forward in any game, which removes 1 key from the equation in my gameplay and I'm not sure if this is impacting my opinion, or to what degree.

I'm a 110-120wpm typist, and I'm sure there are people who are much faster, but at least at my typing speed, never needed more than 6KRO. That said, obviously I prefer to be able to simultaneously press the entire keyboard, given the option.
January 24, 2012 2:48:43 PM

Personally I'm never going to be pressing more than 5 keys at any one time, so I don't have any need for NKRO.

6KRO is more than enough for 99% of games.

Anything higher imo is just bragging rights and marketing hype.
January 24, 2012 10:47:43 PM

casualcolors said:
In my experience NKRO has only ever really been important if you play fighting games on emulators (or SFIV for instance), and sometimes in very high rated WoW arena on rogue when playing subtlety (old tbc hemo builds and cata sub daggers builds) just because you multitask a lot in this class/build combo. I've never run into an issue during FPS gameplay where anything beyond 6 key was necessary, but I also don't use the keyboard to move forward in any game, which removes 1 key from the equation in my gameplay and I'm not sure if this is impacting my opinion, or to what degree.

I'm a 110-120wpm typist, and I'm sure there are people who are much faster, but at least at my typing speed, never needed more than 6KRO. That said, obviously I prefer to be able to simultaneously press the entire keyboard, given the option.

110wpm? Dude, I'm like 60wpm.

You're pretty damn fast, dude. My mom did secretary work and she always said that 100wpm is about what they expect. Keep in mind this was for large offices where the prerequisites were even higher. Dude, you are blazing fast.

I couldn't imagine playing SF4 using my keyboard. Just throwing a simple hadoken with the keyboard is enough to give me nightmares...let alone a shoryuken!
January 24, 2012 11:06:13 PM

My hadouken and shoryuken execution on the keyboard is flawless (far better than I am on fightstick or gamepad) but overall it's a less than satisfying experience.

The only reason I'm a fast typist is because I spent years playing real-time combat based text-MUDs.

Edit: my typing speed was measured but did include a single 1 letter typo so, take that for what it's worth I guess. I'm fast but did have 1 mistake when I was timed.
January 25, 2012 11:08:24 AM

casualcolors said:
My hadouken and shoryuken execution on the keyboard is flawless (far better than I am on fightstick or gamepad) but overall it's a less than satisfying experience.

The only reason I'm a fast typist is because I spent years playing real-time combat based text-MUDs.

Edit: my typing speed was measured but did include a single 1 letter typo so, take that for what it's worth I guess. I'm fast but did have 1 mistake when I was timed.

One mistake is nothing. I had probably 5 or 6 spelling errors or punctuation misstrokes on my last test and scored about a 55 (after deducting my errors). You are very fast.

Being able to play SF on keyboard is an amazing feat - although I can imagine combos are a million times easier. It is just the lack of the joystick that would I think cause me the most problems. But I could be wrong; I have never tried it.

I never got in to the text based muds - I can imagine the amount of retyping you had to do gave you some good practice.

Set the lantern on the ground and pull my sword.

Set the lantern on the ground. Pull my sword.

Set the lantern on the ground.

Pull my sword.

Ah, **** it.


Just kidding, man. :na: 
January 25, 2012 6:35:24 PM

If only you were horribly far off. The games I played skipped on some of the roleplaying nuances, but the command systems were very similar in some cases. Usually moves like that would be abbreviated to &wield &drop &get etc etc
January 25, 2012 7:28:26 PM

wpm averages typically arent constant. quite a few factors can come into play. for instance:

-dictating from oral, handwritten notes or thinking on the go?
-mechanical or membrane keyboard?
-any hand issues like arthritis or cts?
-posture, time of day, alertness.

in general though, the more practice you get the better you will type. having a mechanical keyboard with the audible click and key letoff on activation will definitely improve your typing speed and accuracy though.

whats funny is that i finally realize why my old ibm keyboard used to skip letters... apparently it only has 2kro according to a certain forum. i guess it cannot handle 100+ wpm which is too bad since its built like a tank.

...

i'm in the market for a new mechanical board myself.... since the ibm is now dead after someone drunkenly (no not myself) spilled a whole glass of alcohol into it.

personally i love buckling spring technology as it is the BEST and i do mean that... feeling board out there. however, i need 6kro or nkro if i'm going to be spending the money for a good board.

looking at deck keyboards or das keyboards currently. there are a few other contenders but its a hard choice as not one stands above the rest.
January 26, 2012 8:56:18 AM

ssddx said:

looking at deck keyboards or das keyboards currently. there are a few other contenders but its a hard choice as not one stands above the rest.


A lot of mechanical keyboards are the same, a lot are built in the same factory, just with a different name/shell.

January 26, 2012 2:58:57 PM

the same? yes and no.

there are only a few different types of commonly found switches for mechanical keyboards. these are buckling spring (imb, unicomp only), cherry, alps, and one other i cannot seem to remember.

personally i prefer buckling spring but it looks like that is not a valid choice for my next board.

i was looking at cherry and the blacks have the resistance i want but the blues have the letoff and click.

then we get into things such as build quality. deck keyboards apparently have some of the best made keys. next up are ibm/uc keys followed by the laser inscribed keys (which can be blurry).

theres a huge mechanical keyboard information post over at another forum. i think its hardforums or something of that nature.
January 26, 2012 4:39:12 PM

What I was saying in my previous post was, lots of mechanical keyboards are the same, a lot are built in the same factory, just with a different name/shell.

I.e The Mionix Zibal 60, Thermaltake Meka G1 and the Ozone Strike are all the same keyboard, same switches, made in the same factory, just with different name/shell.

I wasn't referring to key switches.

A lot of keyboards are just re-badged and re-branded. The Mionix Zibal 60, WASD, Das, Thermaltake Meka G1, & Filco Keyboards are all made by the same company (Costar)

I posted a nice mechanical keyboard guide in my 1st post in this thread.

I prefer Cherry MX blacks, which I am using at the moment. I have had Cherry MX Blues in the past and I really don't like them, they're good for typing but I hate them for gaming.
January 26, 2012 6:44:57 PM

casualcolors said:
If only you were horribly far off. The games I played skipped on some of the roleplaying nuances, but the command systems were very similar in some cases. Usually moves like that would be abbreviated to &wield &drop &get etc etc


To be honest, I would never be able to get through one of those games. Just way too much thinking required for me. I would probably end up losing interest after the first few minutes.
January 26, 2012 6:45:54 PM

ssddx said:
the same? yes and no.

there are only a few different types of commonly found switches for mechanical keyboards. these are buckling spring (imb, unicomp only), cherry, alps, and one other i cannot seem to remember.

personally i prefer buckling spring but it looks like that is not a valid choice for my next board.

i was looking at cherry and the blacks have the resistance i want but the blues have the letoff and click.

then we get into things such as build quality. deck keyboards apparently have some of the best made keys. next up are ibm/uc keys followed by the laser inscribed keys (which can be blurry).

theres a huge mechanical keyboard information post over at another forum. i think its hardforums or something of that nature.


How would you rate Razer's Keyboards?

I know a lot of people like to hate on Razer, and I just don't see it justified.
January 26, 2012 6:49:32 PM

thanks for the power the response gents (and/or any ladies attending) !

will definitely try these keyboards out first hand (haha, pun excused please) before i put the cash down.
!