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Gaming Keyboard

Hey guys! To get right to the point, I need a new keyboard. I recently built a new monster machine that I am quite proud of, but realized that my Model M keyboard just doesnt do it the justice it deserves :D

I have been shopping around for a while and took a gander at a couple articles including the Toms hardware one about mechanical keyboards. I read about PS/2 and the different switches, but all the keyboards they suggest were 100+ and didnt offer some of the basic features I wanted.

I HAD settled on the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 which is the top seller and best rated on Newegg, but decided that I should really look into a mechanical keyboard considering I am really getting into gaming. I'm also enrolled in AP English which requires an essay a week, so typing comes into consideration as well. But to get back to my point, the opinion I gathered was that for heavy users, mechanical is the way to go.

But before anyone starts making suggestions, I have a couple features in mind that I would like t o have in the keyboard.

1. It needs to have back-lit keys. I am a highschooler, so when I'm not in school, I'm nocturnal. I wake up around 1PM, eat food, watch TV, and eat more food. I don't actually get around to doing things until around night, and then I stay up until around 3-4AM. So the majority of my gaming time is in my dim/dark basement. Because of this reason I would really prefer if it was backlit. I don't really care about what color backlit, but I prefer red (That part of the reason I chose the Sidewinder X4) All of my case and components are red and those that arent red are shined upon by my red fans. So I would like if it was red, but in the end if it saves me money, I will go with any color.

2. Mechanical switches. As I said earlier, I have recently become interested in mechanical switches, and would like to have them in my keyboard. The sidewinder is so ridiculously cheap though, that I am still not completely convinced. I understand that the general opinion is that mechanical is better, but how much better can they be if so many people want that keyboard. I don't have any particular preference on certain switches, but I heard that brown switches or blue switches were the way to go when you want something that performs very well in gaming but can also double as an office keyboard. Finally, I don't really care about noise. I like my game sounds blasting, and my music blaring, so the clacking on a mechanical keyboard is like music to my ears.

3. Finally, budget. This might come obvious to some of you, but just in case, I am not loaded. The reason I had originally settle o the X4 was partially because it was $47! For that price I was almost sure that I was going to buy it. But now that I have been looking at mechanical keyboards, I realize that they are way more expensive. I am willing to spend more money but not more than $100. And that's pushing it. I guess the main point here is that, if it's cheap, I'll consider it.

I'm pretty sure that's all of my preferences that are in my head now, but I'll edit it if I think of another one. I know I do have alot of pickiness, and I am perhaps wishing for something that doesn't exist, but any suggestions are very appreciated!
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  1. Bump?
  2. Best answer
    Fack, I had a whole reply typed out and lost it. Darn

    Mechanical switches are nothing special. Electrical switches with good springs are just as good and lighter. It's not worth the extra money to go back 20 years. Leave the typewriters to the hipsters

    When it comes to mice and keyboards I almost always recommend Logitech. I have a G19 which is awesome but it's also quite pricey. There are a number of similar keyboards which I will suggest

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/g19-keyboard-for-gaming

    G19 for reference

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/gaming-keyboard-g510

    The G510 is the replacement for the older G15 and is similar to the G19 but has more function keys and a G15 style display (although The G510's is newer and nicer). Most applications that support Logitech displays support the lowest common denominator which is the G15 style display, which also works on the G19 full colour display (albeit in monochrome). The G19 full colour display can't be ported back to the G15/G510 style display in the same fashion.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/gaming-keyboard-g110

    The G110 is very similar to the G19 but lacks the full colour display. It still has all the hotkey goodness (but less than the G510) which I've always found very useful in MMORPGs.

    All 3 of these keyboards have full 24 bit colour customizable backlights along with a customizable brightness. You can also set the colour based on the hotkey profile which is handy.
  3. If you can stretch your budget by a few dollars more I would seriously recommend this >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823114012

    Toms did a review of it last year >> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mechanical-switch-keyboard,2955-17.html

    On a side note, bumping your posts is against forum rules. Toms, although based in the US, is frequented by people from all over the world and many won't be in your timezone. So patience is key.

    Edit: I agree with everything Pinhedd posted. I'm using the G19 as well and I love the new software for it, makes assigning macros and keys a breeze apart from looking way cool imho. Don't get me wrong here, I have no regrets about buying the blackwidow, it's now on my secondary pc, but I find I'm using it less and less. Any 'serious' typing gets done on the logitech.
  4. Pinhedd said:
    Fack, I had a whole reply typed out and lost it. Darn

    Mechanical switches are nothing special. Electrical switches with good springs are just as good and lighter. It's not worth the extra money to go back 20 years. Leave the typewriters to the hipsters

    When it comes to mice and keyboards I almost always recommend Logitech. I have a G19 which is awesome but it's also quite pricey. There are a number of similar keyboards which I will suggest

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/g19-keyboard-for-gaming

    G19 for reference

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/gaming-keyboard-g510

    The G510 is the replacement for the older G15 and is similar to the G19 but has more function keys and a G15 style display (although The G510's is newer and nicer). Most applications that support Logitech displays support the lowest common denominator which is the G15 style display, which also works on the G19 full colour display (albeit in monochrome). The G19 full colour display can't be ported back to the G15/G510 style display in the same fashion.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/gaming/mice-keyboard-combos/gaming-keyboard-g110

    The G110 is very similar to the G19 but lacks the full colour display. It still has all the hotkey goodness (but less than the G510) which I've always found very useful in MMORPGs.

    All 3 of these keyboards have full 24 bit colour customizable backlights along with a customizable brightness. You can also set the colour based on the hotkey profile which is handy.


    I freaking hate that! I answer questions on my Samsung Galaxy Tab, and sometimes after 15 minutes decides to refresh and erase my text. Except not sometimes, ALL THE TIME. It makes me want to buy an Ipad.... Lol jk.

    But anyways thanks for typing everything back out! I guess I saw that they werent mechanical and overlooked them. The G19 is of course amazing but nearly twice my budget, so I cant buy that. But the G510 and the G110 certainly interest me for that price point. But my question is, how much do you actually use the LED screen? The G110 would be a good price for me but I feel that compared to the G510 it is less feature full and less aestically pleasing. But would it really be worth it?

    Also, is there any reason not to get mechanical switches? I hear they are all the rage and allow for intense gaming and fast typing. So i guess my question is if the logitechs work just as well as say the razer blackwidows?

    Also, as a side point, sometimes I tend to slam my keyboard. Hard. The Model M was a tank, but they certainly dont make them like they used to. Can the logitechs stand up to an occasional rage fest? :D
  5. a little black duck said:
    If you can stretch your budget by a few dollars more I would seriously recommend this >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823114012

    Toms did a review of it last year >> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mechanical-switch-keyboard,2955-17.html

    On a side note, bumping your posts is against forum rules. Toms, although based in the US, is frequented by people from all over the world and many won't be in your timezone. So patience is key.

    Edit: I agree with everything Pinhedd posted. I'm using the G19 as well and I love the new software for it, makes assigning macros and keys a breeze apart from looking way cool imho. Don't get me wrong here, I have no regrets about buying the blackwidow, it's now on my secondary pc, but I find I'm using it less and less. Any 'serious' typing gets done on the logitech.


    Good to know, maybe logitech really is the way to go.

    Reguarding your previous posting, that was the article I was referring to, but Ive heard that the razers arent really quality. And yea I guess that I was MAYBE aware of that rule :P but as a member here who is constantly answering questions, once a post gets past the first page I dont even bother to check it, because so many new questions come in, but i guess Ill take your words into consideration :D
  6. Dupontrocks11 said:
    Good to know, maybe logitech really is the way to go.

    Reguarding your previous posting, that was the article I was referring to, but Ive heard that the razers arent really quality. And yea I guess that I was MAYBE aware of that rule :P but as a member here who is constantly answering questions, once a post gets past the first page I dont even bother to check it, because so many new questions come in, but i guess Ill take your words into consideration :D


    I've heard the same thing regardin razors, but tbh, I've never had any problems with the blackwidow ultimate, apart from the rather steep learning curve with mechanical switches.
    Re the rule thing. I wasn't trying to take you to task over it or anything, it was more of a reminder is all. I didn't realise it had slipped off the first page, I just looked at the time between your posts. I've always thought that having a mod point out those things is too much like a slap on the wrist. I appologise for the misunderstanding.
  7. Dupontrocks11 said:
    I freaking hate that! I answer questions on my Samsung Galaxy Tab, and sometimes after 15 minutes decides to refresh and erase my text. Except not sometimes, ALL THE TIME. It makes me want to buy an Ipad.... Lol jk.

    But anyways thanks for typing everything back out! I guess I saw that they werent mechanical and overlooked them. The G19 is of course amazing but nearly twice my budget, so I cant buy that. But the G510 and the G110 certainly interest me for that price point. But my question is, how much do you actually use the LED screen? The G110 would be a good price for me but I feel that compared to the G510 it is less feature full and less aestically pleasing. But would it really be worth it?

    Also, is there any reason not to get mechanical switches? I hear they are all the rage and allow for intense gaming and fast typing. So i guess my question is if the logitechs work just as well as say the razer blackwidows?

    Also, as a side point, sometimes I tend to slam my keyboard. Hard. The Model M was a tank, but they certainly dont make them like they used to. Can the logitechs stand up to an occasional rage fest? :D


    A highschooler who knows about the model M? I'm surprised.

    I use the Logitech displays more than I thought I would. A lot of games have native support for it and tons of applications do as well. A few noteworthy ones are:

    MSI Afterburner (G15/G510)

    Coretemp

    Everest (full G19 support)

    Ventrilo (some stupid G510/G19 hybrid)

    Teamspeak

    Mumble (more useful than the OSD)

    There's a more complete (but not inclusive) list here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logitech_G19

    Many of these games have both G15/510 and full G19 support. When I say full G19 I mean full colour apps designed for the G19, not just G15 apps that are run through compatibility.

    Mechanical switch keyboards may be better than generic OEM keyboards but the Logitech gaming keyboards are extremely responsive and have a very nice key pressure. I play a lot of games and type a lot, I've never felt that anything would be better than what I have now.

    A lot of computer shops have the Logitech keyboards on display, I suggest you try them out.

    EDIT: just to clarify the way the apps work. Each app runs on the PC and you select it on the keyboard using the keypad at the top so multiple apps can be running at the same time. There's even a youtube app (G19 only) which will play videos in the builtin monitor and sound through your default speakers. There's a built in suite of apps as well which is pretty nice.
  8. The Razer Blackwidow is about the cheapest Mechanical keyboard you can get (where I live at least), and from what I'v heard isn't as bad as Razer's other keyboards. (I foolishly purchased the Arctosa non-silver edition...)

    But here in Australia, if you want a mechanical keyboard for less than $100, your out of luck. Even a bit above that doesn't get you many features.

    I am currently using the Thermaltake Challenger Pro, its non mechanical but so far its fine. Has red LED back-lighting (brightness is adjustable), 10 dedicated macro keys (with up to 4 macro profiles supported), and a mostly useless hand cooling fan. The two USB ports on it are actually useless because of power constraints, but if you have a decent case you wont be running out of ports. Its a great keyboard for its price as it has a lot of features typically found in higher end keyboards.
    http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Esports-Challenger-Keyboard-Illumination/dp/B0042AI466/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342929828&sr=8-1&keywords=Thermaltake+challenger+pro
  9. a little black duck said:
    I've heard the same thing regardin razors, but tbh, I've never had any problems with the blackwidow ultimate, apart from the rather steep learning curve with mechanical switches.
    Re the rule thing. I wasn't trying to take you to task over it or anything, it was more of a reminder is all. I didn't realise it had slipped off the first page, I just looked at the time between your posts. I've always thought that having a mod point out those things is too much like a slap on the wrist. I appologise for the misunderstanding.


    Lol dont even worry about it. Theres rules for a reason! Better you remind me then a mod :)
  10. Dupontrocks11 said:
    Lol dont even worry about it. Theres rules for a reason! Better you remind me then a mod :)


    To be honest I don't mind occasional self bumps, it's better than reposting an otherwise legitimately unanswered question. Sometimes good posts get bumped off the front page by all the "HOW DOES I INSTALL C?" and "HOW DOES i DRIVERS 4 my Web" posts before someone has a chance to answer them.
  11. Pinhedd said:
    A highschooler who knows about the model M? I'm surprised.

    I use the Logitech displays more than I thought I would. A lot of games have native support for it and tons of applications do as well. A few noteworthy ones are:

    MSI Afterburner (G15/G510)

    Coretemp

    Everest (full G19 support)

    Ventrilo (some stupid G510/G19 hybrid)

    Teamspeak

    Mumble (more useful than the OSD)

    There's a more complete (but not inclusive) list here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logitech_G19

    Many of these games have both G15/510 and full G19 support. When I say full G19 I mean full colour apps designed for the G19, not just G15 apps that are run through compatibility.

    Mechanical switch keyboards may be better than generic OEM keyboards but the Logitech gaming keyboards are extremely responsive and have a very nice key pressure. I play a lot of games and type a lot, I've never felt that anything would be better than what I have now.

    A lot of computer shops have the Logitech keyboards on display, I suggest you try them out.

    EDIT: just to clarify the way the apps work. Each app runs on the PC and you select it on the keyboard using the keypad at the top so multiple apps can be running at the same time. There's even a youtube app (G19 only) which will play videos in the builtin monitor and sound through your default speakers. There's a built in suite of apps as well which is pretty nice.


    Just because I'm in high school doesnt mean I dont like the past generation! I'm much more proud of my classic vinyl collection than my itunes library!

    Thats good to know about the g510. I guess thats what ill probably be going with. You've convinced me that the extra price (although it still is pretty cheap) is worth it! But now that I intend to buy this magnificent keyboard, what applets would you suggest?
  12. Dupontrocks11 said:
    Just because I'm in high school doesnt mean I dont like the past generation! I'm much more proud of my classic vinyl collection than my itunes library!

    Thats good to know about the g510. I guess thats what ill probably be going with. You've convinced me that the extra price (although it still is pretty cheap) is worth it! But now that I intend to buy this magnificent keyboard, what applets would you suggest?


    A lot of them are built in to the application that they're designed for and will start automatically along with the application. Some may need to be enabled in the application's option menu.

    There are also a ton of supplementary applets which are also available. Some function as patches for existing applications, some are standalone, others are companion applets that communicate with an existing application over a socket interface.

    The wiki link I provided has a pretty concise list of 'native' applets that are built in to other applications. Most of these will start along with the application when the Logitech game software is detected (don't forget to install this!), while others have to be turned on.

    Here is a link to a forum repository of standalone applets

    http://www.logitechusers.com/completed-sdk-created-lcd-applets/

    As always, make sure to try before you buy if you can.
  13. Pinhedd said:
    To be honest I don't mind occasional self bumps, it's better than reposting an otherwise legitimately unanswered question. Sometimes good posts get bumped off the front page by all the "HOW DOES I INSTALL C?" and "HOW DOES i DRIVERS 4 my Web" posts before someone has a chance to answer them.


    Lol couldnt have described my feelings better XD
  14. Best answer selected by dupontrocks11.
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