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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Keyboard advice.

    Hey all.

    So I'm in the market for a new keyboard. There's nothing particularly wrong with the one I'm using currently (I think it's a Microsoft Sidewinder or something, fairly standard fair), but I'd like something a bit nicer to use.

    I use a clunky old IBM mechanical keyboard at work, and it's absolutely wonderful, However the keyboard on my home PC will be used for gaming as well, so I'm not sure how well mechanical keys will go. Does anyone have experience with using a mechanical keyboard for gaming?

    I'd also like to have some media keys on the keyboard if at all possible, something for skipping forward/back through music playlists.

    so, recommendations?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Yeah, mechanical keyboards can be excellent for gaming. The key (sorry) is what type of switches are used. Different switches have different properties and are suited for different uses - and also suited for different people, because personal preference is an important factor.

    Traditionally, linear switches like Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Black are regarded as the most gaming-oriented switches. Cherry MX Blue is in the opposite camp and is regarded as a typing-oriented switch; it's also pretty loud. Cherry MX Brown is perhaps a sort of happy medium, and is not loud like the Blue switch. There are a number of other switches from Cherry and others, those four are just some of the most common.

    If possible, I would recommend trying them out in a store, to see which type of switch works for you. I have a keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches, and I'm generally quite happy with it. Sometimes it does get a bit too error-prone when I'm typing, but that's because MX Reds are very light and non-tactile, so it's easy to register keypresses if your fingers stray. That's just a side effect of what makes that switch attractive for gaming in the first place.

  3. #3
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    Proper IBM keyboards (Model Ms) used 'collapsing' or 'buckling' springs - they felt amazing but they're DEAFENINGLY loud and way to heavy for gaming! There are still people who make such things but if you have to ask - yes they're pricey - see here

    http://www.clickykeyboards.com/

    Mechanical Keyboards (as Sakkura already said) mostly use Cherry Switches nowadays - check this for details

    http://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index...ical-switches/

    I'm a Brown's man myself - they feel great for typing but you can still play games. I tried Blues but the resistance makes it hard to play anything which requires frequent clicking (says a man who used Model Ms for a decade!)

    I've used Cherry Red/Black 'gaming' keyboards and I really saw no real benefits over decent-quality membrane boards - those switches are favourites of snake-oil sellers like Razer and I think they use them purely to add a 'tick' to the box which says "mechanical" - unless you're hammering-the-crap out of your keyboard, you probably won't see much benefit.

    If you get into this more deeply, you can add 'silencer rings' to allow you extra 'action' switches without the noise - and then there are newer/rare types of switches such as Greens/Clears - backlit/non-backlit- dual-shot keycaps - 'ninja' layouts (legends on the front of keys) and 'stealth' (no legends) and custom colouring and - well, you name it - check this configurator!!

    http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.p...tml#ad-image-0

    It's all very expensive too - a good mechanical keyboard is over 100/$150 - and whilst they are made to last, they do suffer from a few issues - most famous being "the ping"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNND9kaWP6s

    Whatever you choose - make sure you source it from somewhere who'll back-it-up. It should last a lifetime - they should support it for that long with replacement keys etc.

    GL!

  4. #4
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    I should also add I use a keyboard a stupid number of hours a day and with a completely open choice, I'm currently using one of these and I'm pretty happy.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perixx-PERIB...pr_product_top

    I don't have a lot of space - the action is fine - the keycaps are taking a massive kicking and not leeching-off - it cost next-to-nowt - I have a fund ready to spend on a backlit tenkeyless Cherry Brown board but I'm waiting for the right combo to be available in the UK (most likely a Ducky Shine 3 TKL or a Max Blackbird)

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    It's all very expensive too - a good mechanical keyboard is over 100/$150 - and whilst they are made to last, they do suffer from a few issues - most famous being "the ping"
    You can get good quality for a little less than that. Cooler Master has some pretty decent boards in the 70-90 range, for example.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info.

    Using the details you've given regarding switches, I've found the Logitech Gaming Keyboard G710 fits my requirements, and uses a Cherry MX Brown switch. I've got a Logitech G400 mouse which I've found to be pretty good (good size, weighty but not clunky, reliable), but I've heard other people have found the Logitech experience a bit pants, and the "Gaming" name normally implies dubious quality.

    Are there any glaring issues that you know of (or notice) with that keyboard?

    The alternatives I've found in the region are the Corsair Vengeance K70 Cherry MX Red (Nordic), Corsair Vengeance K90 (EN), Corsair Vengeance K95 (Nordic), But they're all a bit pricier (and all use the Cherry MX Red switches).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    I use a clunky old IBM mechanical keyboard at work, and it's absolutely wonderful
    well, not many will agree I guess but I honestly think this is the best you can get.
    I use external lenovo keyboard with trackpoint (originally patented by IBM) at home for gaming which means I do not use a mouse whatsoever. nothing comes close to trackpoint once you get the grip how to use it, very responsive and intuitive. You have both your hands on keyboard at the same time which gives you fine control.

    unfortunately as they are not very creative with it, you are stuck with business-like setup. still, I will stick to it as it works for every game I ever played

    now there is a new wireless version, very high on my wishlist:

    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdet...B12F1FF88E33C7

    btw. would anyone know if any other wireless trackpoint (also called pointing stick sometimes) keyboard exists??? thx for hints

    [EDIT] see I misunderstood what mechanical keyboard is, but still can highly recommend the trackpoint one
    Last edited by zdeno84; 05-04-2014 at 08:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Nordic layout? You're in New Zealand, not old Zealand. ;)

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Nordic layout? You're in New Zealand, not old Zealand. ;)
    Yeah I'm wondering what 'Nordic' layout actually means. from a quick glance of the image for each of the Nordic layout keyboards, the layout still appears to be QWERTY based, and the letters are in english?

    Ed: further investigation suggests the Nordic layout has a few keys differently, although the image on the website seems to be for an English layout.
    Last edited by Wheelz; 05-04-2014 at 09:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    (or ) are added next to P and L, and some symbols are rearranged to make room for them.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Thanks for confirming that. Not really sure why the shops have Nordic layout keyboards down here, when I'm pretty there's next to no market for it.

    Think I'll go with the Logitech Gaming Keyboard G710 as it seems to check all the boxes and it's the cheapest.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    Thanks for confirming that. Not really sure why the shops have Nordic layout keyboards down here, when I'm pretty there's next to no market for it.
    Just preparations for our upcoming conquest.

    Where are you buying from though?

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    I have a Ducky Zero Shine with cherry brown switches, and it's great. Enough of a bump to feel that you've engaged the switch, not as loud as blues.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Yeah, So the Logitech G710+ just arrived yesterday. I've not had much of chance to try it out, but what I have found so far has been pretty good. The Mechanical nature of the keys has a much nicer feel for doing, basically anything, than my old keyboard (which is courtesy of the Cherry Brown Switch).
    It's also got a good weight to it, which was a nice suprise I was worried it might have been tacky what with the "Gaming" branding and all.

    Also, the key back-lighting is surprisingly nice, and it has keys in all the right places (I noticed a lot of modern keyboards seem to have the blackslash key ('\') in a weird place.

  15. #15
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    G710+ uses Browns and a proprietary Logitech 'silencer ring' to lose the clatter.

    it's arguably not bad value at the 100 it costs in the UK - given that it's backlit, gimmick-packed and about the size of Cornwall - but I have to wonder if I'd not have spent that money on "proper" mechanical from someone like Ducky or Filco

    If, for no other reason, than the fact that thing is FUCKING MASSIVE :)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    I have a Ducky Zero Shine with cherry brown switches, and it's great. Enough of a bump to feel that you've engaged the switch, not as loud as blues.
    I think I've settled on a Shine - I was going to try the Max Blackbird - I'm still a bit torn either way.

    I want TKL which reduces the selection quite a bit y'see - if I wanted an 'aircraft carrier' sized keyboard, I'd have more choice 0;

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node sinomatic's Avatar
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    My keyboard is giving up the ghost and am looking at finally taking the mechanical keyboard plunge. I know blues require more force to push relative to browns and reds, but how would they measure up against membrane keyboards in terms of force? Having never tried a mechanical keyboard to my knowledge, I have no basis for comparison.
    I quite like the idea of the tactile bump and (from what I've heard in videos) I love the sound of blues, but is it really that much of a difference to play with versus browns/reds (particularly in FPS for instance), and are they noticeably more tiring on the fingers to type with?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    They're not any more tiring than membrane keyboards. You'll have to adjust to them, but once you do you won't want to go back. I think my browns even require less force than my membrane keyboard used to. The first week I was accidentally pressing keys by resting my hands on the keyboard.

    I chose brown because I type a lot and game. They're nice intermediate keys for that. They also make a bit less noise than blues. Reds (without any bump) are great if you need to repeat the same keypress very often, for example if you're a Starcraft pro.

    You and I game at the lofty heights of mediocrity, so I personally see no need for a keyboard with red switches. Even blues are a step up, gaming-wise, over membranes. And they do indeed have the best sound.

  19. #19
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    Blues are NOISY - that's their main issue - if you share space with other people, they WILL complain - I've actually had complaints from people in other offices ;0

    Browns are quieter - and of course silencer rings can reduce that a bit on any mech keyboard but they're a faff to install.

    Both of those have a tactile 'trigger point' - you cannot hit them 'by accident' - you know when they've been hit.

    Blacks and Reds lack that so they're basically 'joypad switches' on a keyboard (with differing weights). Their only benefit is they'll take a much greater 'kicking' than a membrane keyboard - esp good if you use a small group of a keys a LOT - typists will never get along with them tho, the lack of an obvious 'trigger' makes them hard-on-the-fingers.

    If you're in the UK and order a keyboard which you don't like - remember you can return it 'no questions asked' within a week for a full refund/different keys (you may have to cover return postage if the store specify this at checkout time)

  20. #20
    I've got a Steelseries 6GV2, cherry black. 50 from ASDA (60 in PC world).

    I love it to bits. Will never go back to membrane.

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