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  1. #1

    What's a good gaming Keyboard? (2012 edition)

    Inspired by the gaming mouse thread, I ask what's a good gaming keyboard?
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  2. #2
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    I've been on the original G15 for years, and still love it. Although, the Corsair K90 has been looking pretty good to me.
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  3. #3
    Member RADIO_ACTIVE's Avatar
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    I've been using the G11 for years and love it, basically its the original G15 with out the screen. But if I were to buy a new keyboard this is what I would get
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823126087
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  4. #4
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    My thoughts on my gaming key board are here in this thread

    http://www.overclockers.com/forums/s...35&postcount=3

    BTW I own the Merc Stealth. Details in link above.


  5. #5
    moocow's Avatar
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    A solid mechanical keyboard is your best bet.

    All of those dome-cap keyboards feel terrible once you get your hands on a nice mechanical.

  6. #6
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    If you can get an original G15 then that for sure. Mine is still rocking.

    I did replace it with a G510. I love it as much as my G15.

  7. #7
    Member Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Depending on the type of gaming you do will alter suggestions.. FPS? MMO? Everything?

    Personally I own a G15 V2 with a G9x mouse. I'm replacing my G15 in favour for a Leopold FC500R Brown Mechanical. The gimmick of the LCD screen is starting to wear off. It's useful for sure; but I'm over it. And frankly I don't use my macros. The ONLY thing I'm going to miss is media controls. Most Mechanicals (The good ones.. I'm talking Leopold/Filco/Das) don't have media keys. So I'll probably just macro them onto the number pad or shift+function key or something.

    What's your budget, and what are your requirements from a keyboard? Backlighting? Media Keys? Macro keys? Etc.
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  8. #8
    I'd be looking for an all around gaming keyboard. Mechanical prefered. I was thinking the razer black widow. any input there?
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  9. #9
    Member Shell's Avatar
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    The best gaming keyboard is anything that's shallow and mechanical.

    Rubber dome gaming keyboard? Ha, nubs.
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  10. #10
    Member Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Razer Blackwidow.. Wouldn't be my first choice; no. But like I said; I'm going straight true Mechanical. No fancy LED's, no media controls, no macro keys. But to each their own. I'm not sure; but apart from the Corsair K90, and the Razer Blackwidow, there are no backlight mechanicals with macro keys/media controls out there? I think?
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  11. #11
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    I'm not sure; but apart from the Corsair K90, and the Razer Blackwidow, there are no backlight mechanicals with macro keys/media controls out there? I think?
    There are the Ducky Shine boards, which are pretty customizable. Can choose which switches you want, along with what color backlighting you want. They have media keys, but they're shared with the F keys, they don't have them separate. No macro keys though.
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  12. #12
    Member Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonSimonzi View Post
    There are the Ducky Shine boards, which are pretty customizable. Can choose which switches you want, along with what color backlighting you want. They have media keys, but they're shared with the F keys, they don't have them separate. No macro keys though.
    Nice. Good to know ^^.

    But I'd rather have either dedicated media keys.. If they're Shared with F keys; I'd actually rather not have it on the keyboard.. Takes away from the look :P. I'd rather just bind them myself wherever I like on the keyboard. XD. Which is what I'm going to do.. Sadly the Leopold FC500R Brown is out of stock at the place I was going to buy it (in around 2 weeks). =(. I've never heard of Ducky Shine though. I live in Aus.. Wonder if they even exist here haha.
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  13. #13
    Member Jkicak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RADIO_ACTIVE View Post
    I've been using the G11 for years and love it, basically its the original G15 with out the screen. But if I were to buy a new keyboard this is what I would get
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823126087

    i LOVED my g11! it was such a pleasure to type on but it started to short out and would cut out at times... a real pain when you are trying to play a game. i picked up a microsoft x4 but i don't like it much.. they keys are too small, too close and the wrist rest is too small.... the keys feel nice to type on though...
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  14. #14
    Member GatorChamp's Avatar
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    I have the G19 and I love it.
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  15. #15
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    I enjoy my G15, but it takes up a bit too much space on my keyboard tray, to be honest.
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  16. #16
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Nice. Good to know ^^.

    But I'd rather have either dedicated media keys.. If they're Shared with F keys; I'd actually rather not have it on the keyboard.. Takes away from the look :P. I'd rather just bind them myself wherever I like on the keyboard. XD. Which is what I'm going to do.. Sadly the Leopold FC500R Brown is out of stock at the place I was going to buy it (in around 2 weeks). =(. I've never heard of Ducky Shine though. I live in Aus.. Wonder if they even exist here haha.
    I agree, I'm a fan of dedicated media keys as well. Can't stand ones that are just bound to the F keys.
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  17. #17
    I've never been able to bring myself to spend that much on the G series keyboards but they sure look nice. I have been using the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 and I like it. I don't really use them but it has six macro keys that have three modes that can be set to anything and a nice backlight.
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  18. #18
    back lighting is not a huge factor at all. But dedicated media keys, those are important. Seems the k90 and blackwidow are the leading contenders. The k90 is ugly as sin and I really dont need macro keys let alone 18 of them. but it does have dedicated media keys, where as the razer does not. the F/media keys being the same is a huge downfall on the board.

    Should also mention i'm looking at the black widow ultimate not the standard
    Last edited by Soverntear; 01-08-12 at 03:50 PM.
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  19. #19
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    I'm going to answer this as simply as possible: Rosewill mechanical keyboards are a "GOOD" gaming keyboard. That is to say, it's the bare minimum to make the cut for me, and at 100$ they trump most mechanical keyboards 50% more including the das keyboard in terms of build quality. They're amazing for the money, but can and will have issues with the USB port, far more likely if you move your keyboard around alot. (if you pick up your keyboard and you don't see a perfect dust outline of where it was, it's probably getting moved around enough to cause that usb plug to fail)

    Below are my personal reccomendations for which switch to select for the application at hand (Please note, while these recommendations reflect my personal experience with the myriad of mechys I've used, this would qualify as anecdotal and opinion if anything. I think it could be used as a reference for a quick and easy selection based on your primary gaming habits; and I hope it helps demystify the nature of the different keys available from Cherry*.)

    Real Time Strategy:
    (Starcraft 2, League of Legends, etc)

    I'm currently using cherry MX reds for my Starcraft play, but I found that cherry browns and cherry blues were sublime with Starcraft 2. It seems as if the feedback is extremely helpful in a game where you're issuing several commands a minute. As a general example, if you're gold or above, your APM is at 40+; the feedback you get from cherry browns and cherry blues helps you more consistently hit the keys you want to hit and get reassurance that you hit them or that you didn't. I'm missing keys with my cherry reds when I know I didn't with my cherry browns. (for clarification here: it's not that I'm entirely missing the key with my finger, it's that I don't get any indication of when the key actually sends the signal to the computer, so for example, if the signal gets sent at 50% key press, it's really easy to get to 49% and just never get a keypress sent, but with blues or browns you get a characteristic bump or click; that tactility confirms to you automatically that you hit the key, and I feel like you're at an advantage when you know at a muscle level you hit the key)

    Top picks:
    Blues and browns.


    ----

    First Person Shooter:
    (Unreal Tournament, Quake, Counter Strike)

    I found that cherry reds were wonderful for shooters, as were cherry blacks, although I think blacks and reds sacrifice too much when it comes to everything else. I'd select browns here as well. I just feel you get a better key stroke length, better feedback, and generally enjoyable experience everywhere, but if you're not immediately put off by linear switches... I don't know what it is about linear switches for FPS gaming, but it just works so well for me. I honestly can't say exactly what it is, but I've just always loved linear for FPS. Given my choice of any keyboard, it'd be blacks for shooters... or reds if you prefer a lighter switch. A fun way to test actuation strength is to use nickels, if you browse geekhack a lot there's a strong chance you've seen pictures of one of ripsters keyboards with a chrome ball on one of the keys, or a bunch of nickels stacked up... each nickel weighs 5 grams. So for cherry reds, imagine exerting the same amount of force that 7 nickels would apply to the key (35 grams), and for blacks you'd need 11 nickels (55 grams). Feel both in your hand and you'll get a good idea of how hard you'd have to press the key. If you can't live without feedback, I'd say browns... but if you can either reds or blacks are solid choices.

    Top Picks:
    Reds, Browns, and Blacks.


    ----

    MMO's:
    (World of Warcraft, Star Wars: TOR, etc)


    Really, any keys. All my reccomendations really are for esports guys who want to min max their keyboards. MMO players don't need maximum performance (no offense to you hardcore arena players, but seriously), they're better off focusing on the keyboard they most enjoy typing on especially since MMO's are rarely short lived experiences, my guess is you'll wear off the letters on most key caps before quitting whatever MMO you're on. I was a WoW player for quite some time, but eventually grew pretty bored with it. But, from my experiences, and knowing it's a game prone to long drawn out sessions, I'd say primarily choose whatever's most comfortable. For me, I prefer typist keyboards for WoW (blues, primarily). World of Chatcraft is exactly that and you'll spend a ton of time just typing stuff, googling stuff, etc. It's a very typing intensive game, but for the mechanical elements of the game (IE, raiding, pvp, etc.), I'd say my RTS reccomendations are the most appropriate. That said, I still think comfort overrides all for long haul games like MMO's.

    Top picks: Blues and Browns.


    ----

    For everyone else, refer to this guide:

    Blues click when you press them and have a resistive bump. The deactuation point is above the actuation point, so the key presses are sometimes hard to continuously actuate (double tapping is not as natural feeling). Basically the problem is that when you hit a key, there are two signals sent: key_down, and key_up. when you press it down it sends key_down, or at least this is how many programs interpret a keyboards behaviour; and on release of the key, you get a key_up. I'm not a hardware guru so I can't quite tell you exactly how it works, but for the sake of conveying the right idea, I think this helps. Basically, with blues; the key up point in the switch is higher than the click, so some people have trouble reliably getting to the key up, before again pushing the key back down for another key down. In short, the tactile bump is really useless for key releases, but feels sublime on key presses. =D

    Browns don't click and have a resistive bump, the feel is similar to a mix between reds and blues.
    Blacks have no bump or click and are very stiff, hard to type on.
    Reds have no bump or click and are very light, also somewhat hard to type on but if you get used to it can be nice. It's what I'm rocking at home.
    Don't concern yourself with Clears.


    If it's not mechanical, it's not a GAMING keyboard. This may seem like a really stupid thing to say, but if you consider a keyboard in the same light as a mouse it starts to make a lot more sense. Obviously, your OEM dell mouse is nothing compared to a really high end gaming mouse. That gaming mouse is so good because it utilizes a top end sensor, great mechanical switches for the buttons, and they usually come with some flash and awe to get them moving off the shelves. I think with this in mind, my statement makes a lot more sense... it's just that far more people are going to notice an improvement between a crappy mouse and a good mouse than those that will notice play improvement from a keyboard. Pretty much anybody can feel the difference between the various cherry key switches, because they're extremely different feeling... but that may not necessarily convey that it would improve your gaming. Basically, gaming mice are the best of the best of the best in the mice world. There aren't any office mice that can out track a deathadder... so why would we settle for an oem keyboard if oem mice won't do?

    OVERALL, my top pick is:
    Rosewill RK9000-BR, or the Das Keyboard Professional Silent (ultimate if you want blank keys). Cherry browns are just such a great gaming switch. They have tactile feedback, but succeed where blues fail; and they're light enough to actuate that they're not a burden to type on. The Razer Blackwidow Stealth Ultimate (THE NON ULTIMATE IS NOT 6KRO) is one of few options for a truly high end gaming oriented keyboard in my opinion (IE, macro keys, backlighting, and other features that gamers tend to enjoy). It uses browns, has audio plugs, backlighting, etc. Just keep in mind the software is ass.

    Finally, an "ultimate" gamer/geek centric guide at another well respected forum: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/me...keyboard-guide

    *aside from an old buckling spring I've tried, the only mechanical switch I've used besides cherrys are the alps blacks. I wanna say they're the "simple" variety, whatever was in the ABS M1. That board was unusable prior modding, but I took all the tactile bump parts out of the switches and what I got after that was something similar in feel to reds, but with a slightly shorter feeling throw and a bit more grit in the keystroke. Overall it wasn't a quality board, but it was 20$... so I ain't even mad.
    Last edited by Aynjell; 02-23-13 at 05:26 AM.
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    Janus67 (01-10-12), musicfan (03-16-13), nightelph (06-18-12)

  21. #20
    Registered bitts's Avatar
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    i am using Logitech G110 and have used Razer Lycosa, dint like lycosa though... and i am loving G110.
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