Optical vs. Mechanical Keyboards. Which do you prefer? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Optical vs. Mechanical Keyboards. Which do you prefer?

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Optical vs. Mechanical Keyboards. Which do you prefer?

I know mechanical keyboards have existed since the 80's and have remained relatively unchanged, but yet they're still so popular. I'm curious to know why that is?

Due to the fact that optical keyboards use light as an actuation point rather than metal to metal contact like a mechanical keyboard, they have more reliable, consistent latency, and a better and longer lifespan.

They also perform better and still have that nice clicky sensation when keys are pressed (in my experience).

Is it because they're too new, or something else?

What do you guys think and do you have a preference/reasons for liking mechanical over optical keyboards (vise versa)?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 08:35 AM
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Its all about the feeling. Talking about reliability and performance might be a really great marketing strategy for a new product but not once in almost 5 years of using a mech. keyboard has any single switch failed me or disappointed me with poor performance. On the other hand of course I'm only a human playing shooter games and not a machine measuring the accuracy of a switch in nanoseconds.
What exactly do you mean with better performance?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:12 AM
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I was told that the optical is slightly faster then mechanical. Which if you can take advantage of and master would put you at a slight advantage in a twitch shooter. Here is an example:


Starts at 3:08



Last edited by EastCoast; 12-02-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 04:56 AM
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Mechanicals are overrated for anything but typing, if u ask me.
I notice it straight away in FPS games like CSGO

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 05:16 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by yoshi675 View Post
What do you guys think and do you have a preference/reasons for liking mechanical over optical keyboards (vise versa)?
Only problem I personally have with optical is the lack of choice and the fact that you can't really swap out the switches for very different ones.

Optical is still pretty new, and most of the ones available now are very gamery in look and quality. You don't really have any specialty boards yet like you do with enthousiast grade mechanical keyboards.

And because the way they actuate needs the switch type to be tied to the pcb type, you're very limited in terms of modifications. You're basically limited to the variations of the same switch from the same manufacturer.

Don't get me wrong, optical has some serious potential, and its great already for gamers, but it just isn't there yet for enthusiasts.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 02:30 PM
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I have to wonder why companies like Ducky, DasKeyboard, Cherry, etc don't jump on this? The writing is on the wall for the marketing and profit potential for optical keyboards. Yet we have companies that aren't well known or were keyboards aren't their primary focus bring new tech like this to market.

It's a real shame I'm not seeing more of this from well known keyboard manufactures.

Here is another feature with a optical keyboard, you can actual switch switches. Not sure what the practical need to do it but if you have browns and wants to game in blues you can do it (vise versa).

AORUS K9 Optical Gaming Keyboard

Last edited by EastCoast; 12-06-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 03:10 PM
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I've never used optical. I simply like the tactile feel of a mech and the variety that you get when it comes to feel.

If it ain't broke, lol

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 09:54 AM
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you guys should check out the TESORO GRAM SE SPECTRUM 0.1ms

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 11:15 AM
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What about actuation distance? MX Speed still has lowest actuation distance from what ive seen, with 1,2mm vs 1,5mm on most optical.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 11:32 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
I have to wonder why companies like Ducky, DasKeyboard, Cherry, etc don't jump on this? [...]
There's just nothing wrong with Cherry's mechanical switches. The problems with latency are more about the rest of the hardware of the keyboard. I heard somewhere it takes around 8ms for a controller chip used on a traditional keyboard to go through its debounce logic when you hit a key. That massive delay isn't really necessary. With a different debounce algorithm and different controller this could be done within 1ms. A different controller could also use 1000Hz instead of 125Hz for the USB connection to get that latency to go down as well.

I have an old Cherry G80-3000 keyboard from the 1990s and it's still in use here on another PC. It still works totally fine. Those mechanical switches just don't seem to go bad.

The keyboard being splash proof is also something about how the rest of the keyboard is designed, not really about the switches. I remember I've seen a keyboard somewhere that had channels to make it so a spilled drink would go through the keyboard and drip out of the bottom.

Being able to change the switches is also something about how the rest of the keyboard is designed, not about how the switches work internally.
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Keyboard , mechanical keyboard , opinions , optical , questions

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