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G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 Keyboard Review

Switches, Lighting & Key Caps

The G.Skill KM780 we have on hand employs Cherry MX RGB Brown switches, although as we mentioned earlier, you can get models with RGB Red, RGB Blue, Red, Brown, or Blue switches.

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Cherry’s RGB switches have an LED mounted on the top of the switch housing, and a transparent casing is intended to allow the light to spill out liberally over the surface of a keyboard. In that regard, the KM780 shines, as it were. The lighting isn’t quite even, but given the placement of the LEDs, it’s about what one should expect.

The location of the LEDs causes one notable problem, though, in that secondary characters on key caps tend to be dimmer. This is common problem on keyboards, but the issue is sometimes more or less noticeable depending on the size and placement of the characters as well as the reflective properties of the top plate.

In the case of the KM780, secondary characters are significantly dimmer than the primary ones. The dedicated M buttons and media controls, though, enjoy exceptionally bright lighting.

The KM780’s key caps are mold-injection ABS plastic, and the keyboard also ships with 10 replacement key caps that are made of the same. The bonus caps are bright red in color and have horizontal grooves. The W, A, and D keys also have a sharp angle, ostensibly to provide a more emphatic feel for that oh-so-important cluster.

As usual, I’m of two minds about these funky key caps. On the one hand, they look and feel really cool. On the other hand, it’s striking (and not necessarily in a good way) when those familiar keys suddenly feel so different. I used them for a while and eventually adjusted to them, but only somewhat. They’re a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. And forget about leaving them on if you use your keyboard for any typing; they completely wreck the typing experience. Thus, if you like the gaming caps but also use your keyboard for anything but gaming, you’ll have to switch them out before and after each session.


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  • cryoburner
    19621208 said:
    For some typists, any deviation from the norm is going to be problematic, and it’s unclear why Cougar and G.Skill would bother with the change.

    It might be to make the Alt key a bit more reachable, particularly for gaming, where you may want to use Alt as a secondary thumb function while keeping your fingers on WASD.
    Reply
  • KenMarley
    One of the most primitive macro software I've seen for a gaming keyboard. Software very unstable, had to reinstall it after every reboot just to be able to open it up.
    Reply
  • Trolling4Dolars
    I have tried many keyboards over the years, and my KM780 MX, Blue switches, red backlight is my favorite. I like it so much, I purchased another one for work (with my own cash). The 6 G keys and the volume roller are my top features. I have a 8' wide desk, so the large size is not a problem. I give it 2 big thumbs up.
    Reply
  • Realist9
    Still waiting on someone to release a new version of the zboard fang. IMO, the best gaming keypad ever made. The keys were physically distinct and made if very easy to know which one you were hitting, just by feel. The layout also helped make sure you were hitting the right keys. Now they want almost $200 used, IF you can find one. Ridiculous. Why can't someone make an updated version of the Fang???
    Reply
  • SBMfromLA
    I also have the Fang Zboard. I remember picking it up at Circuit City on a closeout sale for $20. It's sitting under my desk.
    Reply
  • KaiserPhantasma
    im guessing software is the "weak" side of these keyboard?
    Reply
  • bgunner
    I personally have this keyboard myself, MK780 red LED with MX red switches, and would like to mention a few things that were not mentioned in the article or possibly mentioned wrongly.

    As for the N-Key roll over switch on the back of the keyboard and the software. In the software you are not able to select what the N-key rollover is set to but it does display the current position it is set to. I urge you, Scolaner, to try this and find out for yourself.

    The Volume LED indicator doesn't seem to rise with the volume IF the volume is adjusted by Windows or a program that can control the volume, Creative control console as an example. It only registers if the volume wheel is physically moved. Did you notice these anomalies while testing?

    EDIT: After a bunch of testing and a reset of the OS It was found that in order for the volume LED indicator to work properly the G.Skill software must be run at startup. IF it is not running then the LED does not register the volume change if it is changed from inside the OS. The N-Key rollover selection as mentioned earlier still stands. The reason for this is it is a manual switch and has no motorized mechanisms to flip the switch when a different selection is made inside the software. The way the following is written it says you can adjust teh N-Key rollover from within the software which is not the case.

    Under the Setting tab, you can adjust the polling rate to 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, or 1,000Hz; toggle between NKRO or 6KRO; and create sleep and timer settings (for which you can add a lighting effect, because why not).
    Reply
  • bgunner
    19621786 said:
    One of the most primitive macro software I've seen for a gaming keyboard. Software very unstable, had to reinstall it after every reboot just to be able to open it up.

    Odd I have never had an issue with the software for the MK780 myself. This points more towards compatibility issues. If you want to speak of primitive Macro software try using what came with my old keyboard from Saitek, the original Cyborg.
    Reply
  • Realist9
    19623859 said:
    I also have the Fang Zboard. I remember picking it up at Circuit City on a closeout sale for $20. It's sitting under my desk.
    I use mine every day. You should put yours up for sale on fleabay or something. Someone will buy it. I'd buy one as a backup, but people asking $200 kinda stops me.
    Reply
  • firefyte
    I'd like to know (in all KB reviews) what layouts and country options they have available. I'd rather not have to search the manufacturer's website to find out if I can actually purchase the KB.
    Reply