What is the best Topre keyboard for gaming and general use?

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Muirium
µ

16 Aug 2019, 12:44

Have a read:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19593

I suggest a Realforce. Whether the classic version (which I have) or the recent R2 update is for you to decide. Certainly, they’re the best all round keyboards made anywhere in the world today. Topre gets you the whole package: premium switches, premium caps, and solid design. If you’ve got the cash, they’ve got your product.

Keeblar

16 Aug 2019, 15:24

Do you have any size or format preferences?
for example a TKL.

if not, have a look at the following to decide which would fit you best:
Leopold fc660c
Leopold fc980c
Realforce r2 TKL
Realforce r2

they're all great boards, and you can't go wrong with any of them. If you're deadset on the Realforce boards though, keep in mind there are a tonne of variants. I like the 45g's best myself and recommend that weight, but you might prefer 55gs, 30gs or the variable. I also recommend the limited PFU edition for that tiny bit of extra quality.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

16 Aug 2019, 15:38

Oh, there’s a lot of variables to play with for sure. Another one is damping. Here’s a video I made about that, an age back:

viewtopic.php?p=246538#p246538

The answers are generally quite simple. Pick the layout that looks right to you. (I’m obviously into tenkeyless and the little HHKB myself.) Watch some videos about damping and judge your reaction. (Standard, non-damped Realforces are actually very nice in any case.) And either go for 45g uniform weighting or prepare a damn good reason why not!

A quick primer on Topre weighting is that they do 3 different feels, each expressed in grams. 45g across the board is the most common and easiest to get. 30 is hard to source outside of Japan only models. 55g is quite something! That’s the one my Realforce has. Definitely juicy, but tiring for many people. And “ergo / variable” weighting is a specific mix of all three dome types across the keyboard.

Image

Looks weird, right? It is. Everyone advises against it for gaming. Variable is really intended for touch typing from home row, only.

User avatar
hansichen

16 Aug 2019, 16:32

Should be alright if you game on esdf though. R1 realforce boards are 6kro afaik so for some people it can be limiting, but that's only a small amount of games where you need to press 7 keys at once

hexpyws

16 Aug 2019, 17:47

Realforces are the best in my experience, but I did enjoy some Plum "clones" specifically for the bluetooth and RGB options (the former more than the latter).

It was also nice that they were about 1/2 of the cost (or less) as RF's

User avatar
Muirium
µ

16 Aug 2019, 17:51

And yet you write in the past tense. Guess they weren't quite enjoyable enough to bother keeping!

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Noodle

16 Aug 2019, 18:46

The standard Topre switches have a long, drawn-out tactility that makes them feel awfully hard to press and hold down compared to other switches of their weighting. I often recall getting stiff fingers when gaming on my Type Heaven (its especially bad for your pinky in the games where you need to hold or quickly tap left control or shift). There are lighter varieties (if you can find them), however the lighter you go with Topre domes the less tactile they become, and you reach a certain point where you mightaswell be using linear switches. You will get lighter domes in some places on the variable weighting boards, buf if you're like me the very thought of having a keyboard with a bunch of differently weighted switches is just weird and off-putting (especially when gaming).

I can't recommend Topre switches if gaming feel is important to you. The NKRO is nice for gaming, but Topre is first and foremost a typing switch. They're not impossibly bad for gaming, but it's clearly not what they were designed/optimized for. At the end of the day you're just going to have to ask yourself whether gaming feel or typing feel is more important to you and pick a keyboard/switch accordingly. If typing feel is more important to you, and you're ok with paying the arguably crazy price, then Topre might be the switch for you regardless.


Addendum:
I understand that you don't really want to do any DIY work, but I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the possibilities were you to change your mind. In the case of Topre switches for instance, you can buy aftermarket domes that are lighter and have a shorter, more snappy tactility. I've never used them myself, but I've heard they're a much better compromise for those more focused on gaming feel. They're drop-in replacements too, so no soldering or anything more complicated than taking the keyboard apart and reassembling it.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

16 Aug 2019, 20:19

Awfully hard to press and hold? You know what they say about body language. My right eyebrow is so curled just now, I can scarcely hide the fact that I dispute that assertion!

On the contrary, the swing feel that Topre keys have make sustained chords as assured as a piano. When they’re down: they well and truly feel down. That’s a sensation I miss with linears like MX.

User avatar
Noodle

17 Aug 2019, 01:15

I mean, you can dispute it all you like, that's how it made my fingers feel. The only other switch I can recall that made my fingers tired like that was MX blacks (which is about where I'd draw the line for linear switch stiffness), and only in certain games. Topre switches felt good to type on, but they felt heavy and clunky in games.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

17 Aug 2019, 01:58

True. I respect it feels that way to you. This is the touchy feely that lies at the heart of all conversation about keyboards. And the reason we haven’t all just agreed on a fixed answer to the best of everything.

For what it’s worth, I have gamed on Topre. 55g worth! And again even on my HHKB! But as I type so much more than I ever play, I may well be biased to think this is how it should be, because it’s what I like. Motivated reasoning, quite possibly. My fingers just feel what they feel.

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mcmaxmcmc

20 Aug 2019, 00:27

Topre boards often have really low polling rates... if you play rhythm games like osu! you really won't be able to play with it, sadly.

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