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ISO Expert Mechanical Keyboard Advice! Help Me Choose

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, I need someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to mechanical keyboards. I have a few questions. First off, let me say that I am in the process of buying my first mechanical keyboard. Currently I'm using a Sidewinder X4 that I've loved, but the red LED back-lighting doesn't go with my blue/black theme, plus it's ancient and I've heard oh so many good things about Cherry MX switches. I am first and foremost a gamer, mostly FPS but also a little of everything. That being said, I still have long coding sessions and papers to type so that is still important to me. Price is NO issue. I will drop some serious penny on the perfect, long-lasting product. I would rather not have 2 keyboards on my desk (one for gaming, and one for typing).

I want a fully stocked keyboard (NOT 10 Keyless) that is a beast in performance for gaming and still very comfortable to type on for hours. Here are my wants and needs for the perfect keyboard: 1. RBG or Blue LED Back-Lighting (RGB preferred) 2. Gaming Key Switches (Idk if Cherries are the best or if Logitech's Romer-G and Razer's Mechanical switches are truly better for gaming) 3. Media keys, volume scroll wheel, detachable wrist pad, & macro keys 4. Onboard memory and processing power (I read this guy's review and I feel like it will help gaming performance, is he wrong though?). 5.Silent (I hate the clacking sound), little to no flex, with durable keycaps.

From my own research I've narrowed it down to a few options, and with those options there are compromises and questions (Why can't there be just 1 keyboard to rule them all??!). NOTE***These are the ones I have found, if you guys have keyboard suggestions that fit me better please suggest away!

Logitech G910 Orion Spark

Corsair Gaming k95 RGB

Roccat Ryos MK Pro

Razer Blackwidow Chroma Stealth

Here are my questions:

1. Are the Romer-G/Razer Mechanicals actually better for gaming than the cherry mx switches?
2. Is onboard Memory/processor REALLY as important as the guy (in the review linked above) says it is? Logitech's and Razer's don't have onboard memory/processor, should I worry?
3. Which Cherry MX is truly the best for gaming/typing? I've read the browns are a good compromise but that the reds are the best for gaming. How much better are the reds vs. browns for gaming?
4. Cherry MX vs Romer-G vs Razer Mechanicals...Who's the winner?

Here are my thoughts on each keyboard:

1. The Orion Spark looks awesome, has a ton of features and their own gaming switch. I have the G502 mouse and love it. My only problem with this keyboard are the crazy key caps and no onboard memory/processor (however if onboard mem/pro isn't really a big deal performance wise then it would just be the keycaps). As far as I know there are no alternative keycap replacements and I would be forced to get used to these ones. Who knows, maybe I would love the keycap design. I hear they are a good cap design for gaming but a nightmare for typing. I want something that gives just as much of an edge in gaming as this keyboard but is great to type on.

2. The K95 seems almost perfect, the only thing holding me back on this one is whether or not its Cherry MX switch is truly inferior to the new Romer-G/Razer switches. Tons of macro keys. TONS. It looks stylish, it has great RGB lighting, brushed aluminum, media keys, volume wheel, detachable comfy looking wrist wrest. The only thing that would make this better is if it had a side swapable num pad like the sidewinder x6 (why doesn't everyone do that??)

3. The Roccat was one that I looked at for a while but I have some reservations about. First off, The board does have an impressive onboard dual processor and memory. It's not RGB which would have been better but it has a good blue led backlight. There is a wrist rest but its not detachable and is kinda giant. I read the rest isn't flush with the desktop either which might be bothersome. No media keys or volume wheel (those aren't TOO big of a deal but I still want them) but it does have macro keys below the space bar which I think is a cool and good idea. Also my pick of Cherry switches. Again there's the question: Cherry vs. Romer-G/Razer Mechanicals. This has USB/Audio pass thru which is nice but I have a separate hub for that.

4. Finally, the Razer Blackwidow Chroma Stealth. It has no onboard memory/processor. It does have redesigned Razer Mechanical switches which are supposed to be faster and better. Great RGB Lighting. A pathetic attempt at a wrist wrest but I could always get an after market one which could even be better than having a built in one, idk. The key switches are SILENT and that is a nice plus for me -- to have gaming switches that are silent. No crazy keycaps like the G910. Overall a solid choice.

So there you all have it. Everything that's been going thru my head these past couple days. Overall I feel like I would love to try them out side by side to see and feel it all in person but I don't have a store nearby that carries any let alone all of these. I'll update as I go to help answer this thread also. Thanks for reading and PLEASE HELP!
post #2 of 8
Well lets clear up some things first, you have fallen for the gamer-bro hype train hook line and sinker.
Quote:
I want a fully stocked keyboard (NOT 10 Keyless) that is a beast in performance for gaming and still very comfortable to type on for hours. Here are my wants and needs for the perfect keyboard: 1. RBG or Blue LED Back-Lighting (RGB preferred) 2. Gaming Key Switches (Idk if Cherries are the best or if Logitech's Romer-G and Razer's Mechanical switches are truly better for gaming) 3. Media keys, volume scroll wheel, detachable wrist pad, & macro keys 4. Onboard memory and processing power (I read this guy's review and I feel like it will help gaming performance, is he wrong though?). 5.Silent (I hate the clacking sound), little to no flex, with durable keycaps.

There is no such thing as a 'beast' keyboard, its a keyboard, just a simple input device. No keyboard will magically make you a better gamer.
There is no such thing as 'gaming switches' Its all about personal preference. Cherry, Alps, Rubber Dome, etc, all are perfectly fine for gaming.
Onboard Memory won't make a difference in gaming, again, simple input device. The memory is only for things like built in macro's and controlling lighting modes and media keys.
There is no such thing as a silent mechanical keyboard. Every Cherry switch will be on par with a rubber dome keyboard at its quietest.

You've clearly been sucked in by the gamer-bro marketing of mechanical keyboards, not saying that as an insult, but there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Lets take a look at your board picks
Quote:
1. The Orion Spark looks awesome, has a ton of features and their own gaming switch. I have the G502 mouse and love it. My only problem with this keyboard are the crazy key caps and no onboard memory/processor (however if onboard mem/pro isn't really a big deal performance wise then it would just be the keycaps). As far as I know there are no alternative keycap replacements and I would be forced to get used to these ones. Who knows, maybe I would love the keycap design. I hear they are a good cap design for gaming but a nightmare for typing. I want something that gives just as much of an edge in gaming as this keyboard but is great to type on.

The Orion. Processor does not mean anything. No alternative keycaps, but you're still on the gamer-bro marketing train for thinking keycaps will make a difference in your gaming level. its pretty poorly reviewed around these parts.
Quote:
2. The K95 seems almost perfect, the only thing holding me back on this one is whether or not its Cherry MX switch is truly inferior to the new Romer-G/Razer switches. Tons of macro keys. TONS. It looks stylish, it has great RGB lighting, brushed aluminum, media keys, volume wheel, detachable comfy looking wrist wrest. The only thing that would make this better is if it had a side swapable num pad like the sidewinder x6 (why doesn't everyone do that??)

'Razer' Switches are actually just another brand of switch (kailh ) with the razer logo slapped on them., which are just as good as cherry switches, both equal.
A big problem is the non-standard layout, which like the Orion above, means you won't be finding keycap sets that you can use on your board easily. Corsair does not sell replacements either, and the keycap quality is pretty crap. The swappable numb pad isn't a thing for reasons I won't get into. I'm not a big fan of corsairs keyboards as they are as bad as razer when it comes to marketing misinformation and a few other things.
Quote:
3. The Roccat was one that I looked at for a while but I have some reservations about. First off, The board does have an impressive onboard dual processor and memory. It's not RGB which would have been better but it has a good blue led backlight. There is a wrist rest but its not detachable and is kinda giant. I read the rest isn't flush with the desktop either which might be bothersome. No media keys or volume wheel (those aren't TOO big of a deal but I still want them) but it does have macro keys below the space bar which I think is a cool and good idea. Also my pick of Cherry switches. Again there's the question: Cherry vs. Romer-G/Razer Mechanicals. This has USB/Audio pass thru which is nice but I have a separate hub for that.

Again, processor does not mean jack.
I don't know too much about the board, but other than its a generic gamer-bro board.
Quote:
4. Finally, the Razer Blackwidow Chroma Stealth. It has no onboard memory/processor. It does have redesigned Razer Mechanical switches which are supposed to be faster and better. Great RGB Lighting. A pathetic attempt at a wrist wrest but I could always get an after market one which could even be better than having a built in one, idk. The key switches are SILENT and that is a nice plus for me -- to have gaming switches that are silent. No crazy keycaps like the G910. Overall a solid choice.
Another gamer-bro marketing board, the switches are not faster or better, they are all the same.
The switches are not silent.
Again, non replaceable keycaps due to its non-standard layout, same issues as the ones above. Crap keycaps.




Honestly, it seems like you're in it more for the look, you want the flashly blingy boards, but if you're wanting real quality, there are much better options out there, but don't have all the flash of the boards you picked. If thats the route you want to go, then fine, but you may want to consider whats more important to you, flashy lights and 'gamer' brand logos everywhere? or something thats much better built and customizable. Also, keep in mind that a mechanical keyboard won't make you a better player. It may be more comfortable and other benefits, but it will not offer you any direct advantage over a cheap keyboard.

If I HAD to pick one of those 4, it would reluctantly be the corsair, only because its the least stinky turd of the bunch.

Something thats a little of both which I would recommend you look at is the
Ducky Shine 5

The build quality will be much higher than anything you listed, it has a standard keycap layout, so later on you can replace its keys with some high end quality stuff ( unfortunately most keyboards stock keycaps are pretty crap )
RGB lighting
Should be available in multiple switch choices.
its lighting should be much better than the corsair boards.

Sorry if i come off a bit harsh or elitist, but I and lots of others around here much prefer quality and value compared to the over priced gamer-bro boards that companies push so hard on consumers with marketing and gamer jargon.
Edited by Jixr - 10/7/15 at 7:52am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jixr View Post

Well lets clear up some things first, you have fallen for the gamer-bro hype train hook line and sinker.
There is no such thing as a 'beast' keyboard, its a keyboard, just a simple input device. No keyboard will magically make you a better gamer.
There is no such thing as 'gaming switches' Its all about personal preference. Cherry, Alps, Rubber Dome, etc, all are perfectly fine for gaming.
Onboard Memory won't make a difference in gaming, again, simple input device. The memory is only for things like built in macro's and controlling lighting modes and media keys.
There is no such thing as a silent mechanical keyboard. Every Cherry switch will be on par with a rubber dome keyboard at its quietest.

You've clearly been sucked in by the gamer-bro marketing of mechanical keyboards, not saying that as an insult, but there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Lets take a look at your board picks
The Orion. Processor does not mean anything. No alternative keycaps, but you're still on the gamer-bro marketing train for thinking keycaps will make a difference in your gaming level. its pretty poorly reviewed around these parts.
'Razer' Switches are actually just another brand of switch (kailh ) with the razer logo slapped on them., which are just as good as cherry switches, both equal.
A big problem is the non-standard layout, which like the Orion above, means you won't be finding keycap sets that you can use on your board easily. Corsair does not sell replacements either, and the keycap quality is pretty crap. The swappable numb pad isn't a thing for reasons I won't get into. I'm not a big fan of corsairs keyboards as they are as bad as razer when it comes to marketing misinformation and a few other things.
Again, processor does not mean jack.
I don't know too much about the board, but other than its a generic gamer-bro board.
Another gamer-bro marketing board, the switches are not faster or better, they are all the same.
The switches are not silent.
Again, non replaceable keycaps due to its non-standard layout, same issues as the ones above. Crap keycaps.




Honestly, it seems like you're in it more for the look, you want the flashly blingy boards, but if you're wanting real quality, there are much better options out there, but don't have all the flash of the boards you picked. If thats the route you want to go, then fine, but you may want to consider whats more important to you, flashy lights and 'gamer' brand logos everywhere? or something thats much better built and customizable. Also, keep in mind that a mechanical keyboard won't make you a better player. It may be more comfortable and other benefits, but it will not offer you any direct advantage over a cheap keyboard.

If I HAD to pick one of those 4, it would reluctantly be the corsair, only because its the least stinky turd of the bunch.

Something thats a little of both which I would recommend you look at is the
Ducky Shine 5

The build quality will be much higher than anything you listed, it has a standard keycap layout, so later on you can replace its keys with some high end quality stuff ( unfortunately most keyboards stock keycaps are pretty crap )
RGB lighting
Should be available in multiple switch choices.
its lighting should be much better than the corsair boards.

Sorry if i come off a bit harsh or elitist, but I and lots of others around here much prefer quality and value compared to the over priced gamer-bro boards that companies push so hard on consumers with marketing and gamer jargon.

Not at all, I appreciate the blunt honesty and straight forwardness. You're right that I have fallen for marketing, at some point and to some extent we all do. I just think marketing (done right) can be a very positive thing for consumers because it can provide an important sense of validation. I used to think all marketing was untrustworthy, now I like to let myself be sold on an idea or product only because (whether in reality it gives me a gaming edge or not) I will have an overall better consumer experience. Still, that goes to some extent. I completely understand that there's no magic "whatever" out there that's going to make me a pro gamer over night.

I just want a well built board, that looks really good, has blue LED or RGB lighting, and is comfortable and good for quick gaming. I have considered the Duck Shine 5 since posting this thread but I can't seem to find anywhere that sells it here in the USA. Any ideas where I could look for a seller? Also what are some other really solid keyboards you might recommend for me, and out of curiosity which keyboard do you yourself use?

EDIT: NVM found the Ducky S 5 on here, just out of stock. https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1367
Edited by iRonMan22 - 10/7/15 at 12:26pm
post #4 of 8
it just released, so its going to be limited stock for awhile, but don't worry, its a much much better board than all the others.

If you want to go a single color led, while still having a high quality board, then that opens up your options even further.

I myself, did the progression from buying a cheap mech, to some of the gamer ones, realised they were trash, went to some high end brands, then eventually to hand built custom designed ones.

A few ( in no particular order or feature set ) good brands out there that are full size

Filco: Solid as a rock, no nonsense board, super customizable.
Cooler Master XT: ( not the XTi ) Basically the same as the filco
Ducky Zero/Shine series: High quality LED keyboards
WASD V2 series, good quality, but the keycaps are a bit cheap.

If you're thinking the k95, i'm going to assume you have about $200 to spend, and for that I'd recommend the filco/XT/Ducky with a set of PBT keycaps. That way you have a solid keyboard, solid keycaps, and better than anything in your list for the same price point. The only thing is, its kinda the opposite of what your looking at. Clean lines, no flashy styling, no unneeded 'features'


And a note on keycaps, due to the nature of it, backlit keycaps are going to be cheap thin plastic, to allow light to pass, all the good keycaps ( pbt thick plastic ) are not back light friendly. ( there is one exception, but the set won't fit the corsair or razer rgb boards again due to their non standard layout )


All in all, that's just my opinion, If you want to get deep into custom keyboards, swapping out your keycap sets, and things like that, the ones in your list are not the way to go.

If you want something to purchase and just plug and play, the corsair sounds like its the best for you, as it has most of the features that you've listed that you desire.
Edited by Jixr - 10/7/15 at 1:40pm
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Awesome, you've been a big help. I appreciate all the info/advice. By the way, what is the one exception to the backlight friendly pbt keycaps?
post #6 of 8
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1329

These, the only half decent backlight friendly keycap set ( also comes in white )

but again note this is for a standard layout, which the corsair, razer rgb keyboards are not.
Edited by Jixr - 10/7/15 at 2:47pm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well again thanks for the help. I actually did some more looking and came up with the G. Skill KM780. It's a littler neweer to the market but it has all of the features I'm looking for plus it looks incredible. I watched some youtube reviews on it and they all say great things. Only 10 reviews on Newegg atm, but all are glowing. I think I found the one. That's not to say though that you weren't a big help, because you really were. I was able to go test out the Orion Spark, Razer Blackwidow Chroma and K70 with Cherry Reds (no k95 in stock) at Best Buy today. I loved the Cherry Reds. They were perfect. Seeing the Orion in person hurt my eyes, too much. And Razer was just...Flat. Anyway, I've ordered the G. Skill KM780 in Cherry Reds. Super excited.
post #8 of 8
Going with your criteria for a new keyboard, go with the Ducky Shine 5, they are built solidly (though yes the keycaps aren't the best, I remember wearing out the space bar cap on my DKS 2 from CS:S b-hopping manually), they have great lighting options with RGB leds and different effects and what not, and you can get a wrist rest separately for them (though you can just go with any wrist rest on the market anyhow).

Also go with Cherry MX Red switches, they in my experience and many others, are best suited for gaming, and if the noise is a concern, you can get rubber o-ring sets to quiet them down when you bottom out the actuation, which you will probably do when you first move to mech switches from rubber dome.
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