Gaming Keyboard - Looking for Advice

Lutela

11 Feb 2019, 13:23

Hi All,

After a few months of using my gaming pc - based on the valuable advice gained here - I am looking to upgrade my keyboard.
I was thinking a mechanical one which isn't two heavily gaming based to make it inoperable for normal use.
Build quality is important, reasonably allowing an acceptable price up to £200ish.
I'd also like some macro keys - but I guess with good software for programmable keys for the rest its not a deal breaker.

Anyone got recommendations or advice?
My present thinking is between:
Razer RZ03-01870300-R3W1 Huntsman Elite (Good reviews - no macro keys - good software from reports - not overly aesthetically pleasing to me)
ROCCAT Vulcan 120 (Released end of the month - no macro keys - not sure of programmable keys- very pretty)
Corsair K95 Platinum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Cherry MX Brown (Generally good reviews but some bad ones - macro keys - software reported awkward - looks nice)

All three are expensive enough that I'd rather have them thought out before buying. Any alternatives would be good - but budget wise the most expensive of these is the limit.

Thanks for reading

andrewjoy

11 Feb 2019, 15:36

What type of switches do you like ?
Do you want to be able to swap out kecaps with little issue ?

I usually recommend a filco TKL when people are starting out.

https://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/usa ... yboard.asp

They are well made , its super easy to get keycap sets for the US layout ones. And i think at some point there where drop in replacement controllers for programming them.

Findecanor

11 Feb 2019, 16:34

I would go to a brick-and-mortar store that has a few keyboards on display and test a few switches. If you are lucky, they could also have a switch tester with different key switches to press, so you could get to know how the different types feel.

If you are right-handed and don't usually use a numeric keypad, then I would recommend a tenkeyless form factor so that you could have the mouse closer to the centre, which would be better for your right arm in the long run.

Many keyboard enthusiasts started out with Filco, years ago, but there are many good alternatives these days.
I would get a Leopold or a Ducky. Both have reputation for good build quality. Especially the keycaps, compared to those you listed and to Filco, and there are a few different colour variations.
Ducky has backlit keyboards. No macro keys however. Keyboards from both brands are available from MechanicalKeyboards.com for less than $130 with free shipping, although there are some that are a bit more expensive.

I would recommend to stay away from Razer. You can't trust them.

samuelcable

11 Feb 2019, 16:36

Leopold has top notch build quality imo, as well as a sound dampening foam that comes stock in the case and properly thick keycaps. My top recommendation

User avatar
cineraphael

11 Feb 2019, 16:47

- Filco are really good too. They made with heart of Japan if not Taiwan. At least on the website you can chose a Switches.

- Steelseries Apex are really good too, especially the QS1 Switches but they stop producing them. a QX2 series are better than a Cherry MX.

- Matias are also really good as well because it use Alp Style switches.

- Unicomp Model M - This one are the king of the 80 and 90s keyboard but I think they made these for typing and not for gaming but they cost like $99.

- Avoid Topre because of the Price.

andrewjoy

11 Feb 2019, 16:49

Findecanor wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:34

Many keyboard enthusiasts started out with Filco, years ago, but there are many good alternatives these days.
I would get a Leopold or a Ducky.
Anything costar like , with decent build quality is good :)

I prefer filco but if you can find the same quality for less go for it.

This is the list of drop in controllers

wiki/Costar_replacement_controllers

Dunno if any are still available.

User avatar
swampangel

11 Feb 2019, 16:59

cineraphael wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:47
- Unicomp Model M - This one are the king of the 80 and 90s keyboard but I think they made these for typing and not for gaming but they cost like $99.
2KRO, they can be _okay_ for gaming but I wouldn't recommend it.

I like the Coolermaster Masterkeys series for a sturdy no-frills Cherry board with a standard layout, but I don't think they're programmable.

samuelcable

11 Feb 2019, 17:02

cineraphael wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:47
- Steelseries Apex are really good too, especially the QS1 Switches but they stop producing them. a QX2 series are better than a Cherry MX.

- Matias are also really good as well because it use Alp Style switches.

- Unicomp Model M - This one are the king of the 80 and 90s keyboard but I think they made these for typing and not for gaming but they cost like $99.
Sometimes I legit can't tell if you're trolling...

Tias

11 Feb 2019, 18:27

andrewjoy wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:49
I prefer filco but if you can find the same quality for less go for it.

This is the list of drop in controllers

wiki/Costar_replacement_controllers

Dunno if any are still available.
1upkeyboards had the replacement controller, The Pegasus Hoof, for the Filco Majestouch in stock until just recently. Now it seems to be out of stock unfortunately.

My my first Mx-board was a Filco Majestouch 2 TKL with Mx Brown and it was a very solid board for the price.
swampangel wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:59
2KRO, they can be _okay_ for gaming but I wouldn't recommend it.

I like the Coolermaster Masterkeys series for a sturdy no-frills Cherry board with a standard layout, but I don't think they're programmable.
1upkeyboards still has the replacement controller for the Masterkeys S, The Unloved Bastard, available.

Red_October

11 Feb 2019, 21:32

Model F 122-key. N-key rollover, infinite programmability through Soarer's Converter, high reliability, won't move around too much under vigorous use. About 22 "extra" keys to program without resorting to layering, even!

User avatar
Hypersphere

12 Feb 2019, 00:26

CoolerMaster makes a solid reliable keyboard. I like the Quickfire Stealth with Cherry mx Greens, but these might be too heavy for gaming. I think gamers tend to like light linear switches such as reds, and there are even more sensitive or short-travel linear switches available in some makes of keyboards.

WASD keyboards have "Barebones" versions for sale without keycaps. I like this option, because I usually end up replacing the stock caps anyway, so this saves a new dollars up front.

My own favorites are expensive Topre boards (HHKB and RF87), vintage Alps boards, and IBM Model F, but I do not game (except for chess -- for which I generally do not need speed!).

User avatar
vvp

12 Feb 2019, 08:42

Red_October wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 21:32
Model F 122-key. N-key rollover, infinite programmability through Soarer's Converter
How much latency does Soarer's Converter add?
Last edited by vvp on 13 Feb 2019, 09:56, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jani80k

12 Feb 2019, 10:40

One Tip from my side. Make sure, you get PBT Keycaps, which are not lasered or printed but either dye subbed or double shot.
Most gaming keyboards have lasered ABS keycaps which start looking greasy right after unboxing the keyboard and touching it for the first time.

Moreover, you should try some keyboards before you buy. I bought my first mechanical keyboard after doing research on the internet and I figured that browns would be great - but I did not like them at all. A solid balanced choice is Cherry MX Red. But as I said try before you buy.

Filco is a great brand, but also Varmillo or Ducky is good. Don't believe the hype - RGB is not what makes a good keyboard. It's the build quality so don't go for Corsair, Razer or any of the other gaming gear brands. Go for a real keyboard brand.

Findecanor

12 Feb 2019, 11:21

Low ambient light in the room that lets you see the keys is much better for your eyes than piercing RGB light from a keyboard.

The keys on most backlit gaming keyboards are ABS only on the inside. The outside is painted and then the legends are burned off with a laser. That painted surface does not have any texture, feels weird, looks greasy and ... with time it will wear off, turning the legends into glowing blobs.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”