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0xygenthief

Any Keyboard Enthusiasts Out There? Need Advice...

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0xygenthief

My Logitech G710+ gaming keyboard has been giving me headaches lately and last night I noticed that my "6" key no longer works.  Prior to this the ctrl and W keys were always coming off during games when my use of those keys were more more energetic than normal.  I am going to get a new one, probably sooner rather than later.  However, since I've had this keyboard for a couple of years now I haven't been keeping up with the trends, vendors or technology.  I see that Logitech has gone with their own proprietary switches and left the cherry MX fad behind.  Not that I am looking to stick with Logitech by any means.

As I was trying to educate myself I came across a "deal" for a Corsair K95 platinum in black for $140:

https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Gaming-Keyboards/RGB-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboards/k95-rgb-platinum-config-na/p/CH-9127012-NA

Lots of positive reviews both for the keyboard and the iCue software.

 

However.....

I stumbled down a mechanical keyboard rabbit hole last night and found this:

https://www.pcgamingrace.com/products/gmmk-full-customized

I REALLY like the idea of replaceable switches without having to break down your keyboard and solder/de-solder hardware.  I also like the idea of being able to use different types of keys simultaneously.  Though I am not familiar with the BOX style switches the GMMK keyboard caters to.  I saw a video that showed how you could add Cherry MX type switches by snipping off two pieces of plastic on each switch making the MX switches an option also.

Further researching replaceable switch keyboards I found a few others that were far more pricey, like the MASSDROP CTRL:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-ctrl-mechanical-keyboard

The problem with these alternatives to mainstream mechanical keyboards is service/support and software.  The GMMK didn't have any negative support ratings and has its own lighting software package that, based upon reviews, appears to be at best average.  Opposite that the CTRL uses QMK open source flash type software to offer extreme amounts of customization while not being user friendly.  The Corsair and Logitech software, by comparison seems more user friendly than both, more configurable than the GMMK and and better supported. 

 

The one boon to Logitech that the other software packages don't offer is game integration, like your keyboard rgbs will turn red or do an animation when you are on fire in game.  While that isn't outwardly important, I think having an external visual cue might be useful.

 

Anyway, if you made it this far through my long post, thanks.  If you have any suggestions please let me know.

 

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Elephant

Just some friendly advice, no matter what the description says, no mechemical keyboard will come with "quiet" keys. Sure, maybe there's noise reducing keys like MX brown (my go to) but it's only comparing to the noisy keys. If you are going for a mech keyboard and you want to guarantee a good reliable keyboard go with corsair's k95 or k70

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0xygenthief

Thanks for the input guys.

Looks like Newegg is running a good deal for the K70 at $120 with a game code for the division 2.  So a $60 game for free.  Hard to pass up...

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OFP

I went with the G413 Carbon this time around.  It's a solid piece.  Not RGB (static red only I think), no replaceable switches, no extra keys, but it's got their solid gaming software behind it and they stand behind it well (sent me a replacement no questions asked after I had a button stop registering because it drank half of one of my beers... didn't even have to send the old one to them....).  Top notch support experience IMO.  It's also priced pretty nicely. 

Real estate on my desk has gotten pretty valuable since I've been playing a lot of DCS lately, plus the G13, so its minimal amount of wasted space is nice.  And the weight/frame is nice too... don't have to chase it around like some of the lighter, creakier gaming keyboards I've had in the past.  But yeah it does have drawbacks (no switch choice/swappability, no RGB, no extra game code AFAIK, no extra macroable keys), so I don't think it fits some of the criteria you may be looking for, but I figured I'd put that out there anyway.

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0xygenthief

Thanks for the input OFP.  I am still undecided.  The extra game option was only in effect for a couple of hours so I missed the opportunity to take advantage of it with the K70.

For the longest time Logitech has been my go-to for peripherals, in fact all of my keyboards have been Logitech.  I too like the software, and for that reason alone I am forcing myself to keep their products in the top 3 of whatever I decide.  Their efforts to integrate all of their products not just for LED effects but for streaming controls and macros as well is what every vendor should strive for.  Just too bad their hardware is only slightly above average.  The durability being the issue at hand.  

The macro capability is important to me as I am trying to get my streaming setup back up and running.  I have thought about getting a stream deck as it is the perfect solution but quite expensive.  My thought was to have a full sized keyboard and dedicate the numpad as the stream control hotkeys.  OBS has mapping capabilty already but multi-command hotkey macros are the goal.  I would like to replicate the stream deck ability to react to a keypress by changing the LED color and highlighting the next available commands and possibly disabling others.  Lots of ideas bouncing around in my head but I'd like to avoid spending another 100+ bucks on a stream deck if I can avoid it.

 

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OFP

I haven't had a problem with the KB from a hardware standpoint.    Seems like good quality although I could see how some mechanical diehards would dislike the Romer G keys.  In fact I haven't had quality issues with this, the G35 headset, G600, G9X, or G13, all of which I've put through hell.... some for anywhere between 5-10 years now.  They stopped making the G13 so I've started to baby it because there's no suitable solution, I figure it's going to break now that I'm actually taking care of it....  Only issue I've had with Logitech anything were driver issues with the G13 for a bit (since fixed), and the G413 drinking the beer (ashamedly I must admit one of my Razer membrane KBs drank many many many beers without issue for years and now sits in the closet in perfect working condition still.....)

The G513 has RGB and programmable keys (although not extra macro keys), the Razer Huntsman Elite is a really nice looking piece although I've had issues with many razer devices in the past (the KB mentioned above being the lone exception), and Roccat has a couple good offerings as well.  And then of course there's the Corsair lineup which is excellent (probably best of any manufacturer IMO).  I've had people recommend the GMMK as well.

Lots of great choices these days, good luck!

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0xygenthief

I just tried installing G Hub to see if the juice was worth the squeeze...

Couldn't even get it to install.  Spent an hour trying everything I could, looking at logs, checking forums, etc...  

I guess that helps in the decision making process!

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0xygenthief
On 4/16/2019 at 1:30 AM, muskie said:

I love mechanical keybaords. Can't go wrong with Filco, DAS, and Ducky. (In that order imo). 

As do I, the problem is that I no longer have the disposable income I once had being a family man and all.  So frugality is part of the decision making process.  I've been lucky and have had the opportunity to type on both a DAS full sized and Ducky mini keyboard.  While they are both some high quality options they are I have to say that I am not the biggest fan of the minimalist keyboard trend.  Anything smaller than TKL feels too small to me.  It is all psychological, I know.

I thought both the DAS (not sure what version) and the Ducky one2mini sounded very nice.  Both had clicky switches, likely blues.  While I truly love the sound and feel of clicky switches I plan on getting back into streaming soon and so either linear or tactile switches are going to have to tide me over.

This is another reason why I am really leaning towards hot swap switch keyboard models.  What if I decide to change my mind and opt for clicky switches in the future?  Another keyboard?  The wife would LOVE that.

I found a new option the other day and I am tempted to take the plunge:

https://www.hexgears.org/products/gemini-dusk-mechanical-keyboard

The full aluminum body, hot swap switches and open source firmware programming put this at an amazing price point at $160.  Their other products are getting really good reviews right now.  I think I may opt to be one of the first owners of this keyboard.  I can't say whether or not the KLL software is comparable to QMK though I do know they have similar roots.  I need to do my research on that point.

Another alternative could be a Kira: https://kono.store/collections/all-products-list/products/kira-mechanical-keyboard?variant=12128969359460

Slightly smaller footprint but more keys technically.  The metal frame version is on sale when paired with box royals (which are what I want anyway).  The price of the Gemini would be the same after I purchased some box royals...

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Daisho-

I am dreading the day that my Steelseries merc stealth keyboard dies on me, it has been the best keyboard I have ever had for gaming. They stopped making it and no one else comes close to the layout it provides. They can still be found, but the prices are through the roof for one.

 

 

 

 

 

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maniacalwombat

Although it sounds like you might be past the idea of Logitech, I would recommend looking at the G910.  I've been using it for a couple of years and I love it.  It's just my personal choice.  The suggestion of the K95 and K70 are great suggestions, but if you're looking at the K70, I would recommend going for the K70 mk2 if the price is comparable.  In addition, I've seen good top 10 lists/best in class lists for keyboards on CNET, Tech Radar, PCMag, PCGamer, Toms Guide, to name my favorites.  They could probably come in handy if you're still undecided and will have reviews for all of the boards on the list.

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Soran

I've been looking into the Wooting 2 keyboard. Its a similar price and its an optical analog keyboard. I plan on getting one myself in the near future to replace my Saitek Eclipse II

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0xygenthief

The Wooting 2 looks to be a very huge advancement for gamers.  I really like the concept and may be tempted to get a secondary  board that has the same capabilities down the road.  The problems I see the Wooting 2 having are the same problems logitech has with their new switches.  Proprietary design means they can only be hot swappable with their own switches though it is worse for Logitech since they don't offer hot swappability and there are no alternatives for keycaps.  The second issue is LED location.  Like the Logitech switches, the light can only travel upwards and the switches themselves are not transparent.  Aesthetically this will hurt their overall ability to draw new gamers (who are just as interested in fashion as they are in form).

Lastly is software and interoperability with games.  It "should" work just fine, but I haven't found keyboard software that works as advertised yet.  Again, I will probably get one of these in the future just to experiment with but it won't be my next purchase. 

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0xygenthief
22 hours ago, maniacalwombat said:

Although it sounds like you might be past the idea of Logitech, I would recommend looking at the G910.  I've been using it for a couple of years and I love it.  It's just my personal choice.  The suggestion of the K95 and K70 are great suggestions, but if you're looking at the K70, I would recommend going for the K70 mk2 if the price is comparable.  In addition, I've seen good top 10 lists/best in class lists for keyboards on CNET, Tech Radar, PCMag, PCGamer, Toms Guide, to name my favorites.  They could probably come in handy if you're still undecided and will have reviews for all of the boards on the list.

No doubt Corsair and Logitech provide a decent quality set of products, otherwise I wouldn't be considering them.  My biggest gripe with these two leaders in the gaming industry is the price point.  You are essentially just buying a name.  Both Corsair and Logitech tout software that does a lot of what gamers/enthusiasts are leaning towards.  But that same software is being trashed on a regular basis by "honest" reviews.  By honest I mean non-sponsored reviews.  I trust guys like Chyrosran22 more than PCMag or any of the big review factories.  

Hot swappable keyboards are not new, yet these industry leaders don't have any products with the tech currently, why?  Simple, guys like me who will buy a new keyboard rather than solder a new switch on the existing keyboard.  That is money in their pocket, and it makes me angry knowing some accountant/sales dipshit made that decision for us gamers.  I simply am not anxious to reward that type of predatory consumerism when superior products may be available.

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