Mechanical Keyboard Guide

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audiomatron

I have a 1994 IBM model M on my work PC, and a Unicomp Customizer 104 on my home PC. Both of these are awesome. I seriously can't stand to type on a rubber dome keyboard or a laptop since I started using these. Plus, if I ever need a murder weapon, these keyboards are heavy enough to bludgeon someone to death! Buckling spring switches FTW!

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Nixon

After watching some reviews of the Gigabyte Osmium Aivia that you guys had in the pic, I decided to buy it! (It was going on a 27% off sale)
Will be my first mechanical keyboard.

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Nixon

Never mind, It's garbage. Got it and it doesn't even work. What a flop!
Going with Corsair or Logitech.

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MrBlonde81

I have a Cooler Master with 10 key and cherry brown switches and a Corsair K90. The K90 is superior for my gaming. I installed rubber dampeners on both and prefer either over my old membrane Logitech wave.

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Cube

Where can I get a keyboard with the layout of the big enterkey but has LED backlight?

I have a very old keyboard like that and it is my FAV layout nut I can never find it.

http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u154082/membrane_keyboard.jpeg

That lay out is hard to find.

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leavetheweak

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823162016

Tah Dah!
EDIT: its only partially backlit.

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Cube

Huumm I think I might buy that thanks.

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orevilo

Just look for any 105 key ISO layout.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I prefer library-quiet keyboards. I've long been a fan of short-throw keys.

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fygquas

There is an expensive Japanese keyboard that's supposedly good or even better than mechanical. It's used in the Japanese airport. Anyone knows what I am talking about?

EDIT: Found it!

Topre realforce keyboard.

"Topre capacitive key switches are a patented hybrid between a mechanical spring based switch, a rubber dome switch, and a capacitive sensor which, combined, provide tactility, comfort, and excellent durability. The unique electrostatic design of Topre switches requires no physical mechanical coupling and therefore key switch bounce/chatter is eliminated."

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cappomutato

I just wish there was a MS ergo clone with cherry switches.

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Ghost XFX

1) Buy a Das Keyboard

2) Sit in front of PC and go "Randy Marsh" as you sit blissfully unaware how good it feels at your fingertips...

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Renegade Knight

Which switch would have a feel the closest to the orginal IBM PC? Those keyboards were awesome.

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Renegade Knight

Figured it out. IBM Model M. Buckling Spring switch.

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drufause

I love my 10 Key-less Ducky with Black Cherry Switches. I hope to replace it with a Ducky Shine II.

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DoctorX

Ducky keyboards FTW!

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CaptainFabulous

No love for the Model M and its patented (superior) buckling spring design? For shame Dave, for SHAME!

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TheMurph

I do think the Dream Machine would look pretty badass with one of these sitting in front of it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UnicompCustomizer-Classic104Key.jpg

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jbwhite99

I've told people they can have my Model M (it is over 20 years old) when they pry it from my cold dead hands. The space bar and the left arrow stick every once in a while, but that's it. It has outlived PCs since a PS/2 Model 80 - 12 computers in all.

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vrmlbasic

A 25 year old keyboard?! Putting all the other brow-raising questions that raises on hold for a bit, how do you survive without the "Windows" key?

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CaptainFabulous

I feel exactly the same way. I've been using the same Model M for almost 25 years. I will not part with it.

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Insula Gilliganis

Good thing that Dave's advice & expertise wasn't used or just ignored while making the Dream Machine! :-)

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Rift2

Microsoft 600 is the best for 6.00 way faster then any mech keyboard out there =)

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John Pombrio

Corsair K90 but with two wonky keys (unfortunately the 1 and 2 keys). Tried tuner cleaner ( which worked for a while) but might need to move them.

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muiza

I have the strangest boner looking at those gifs. XD

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Ghost XFX

Did you just imagine hearing Barry White playing in the background? ROFL

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swaggerdrag0n

I have a CM Storm Trigger with Cherry MX Brown switches and I love it. Before this keyboard I tried the Blue Switch boards that my coworkers use and I thought they had too light of a feel for typing. The Brown switches give a bit more resistance after the actuation and that makes it easier for your fingers to bounce back without bottoming out. Plus, the keys are significantly quieter (though still louder than a membrane keyboard). Typing on it is a joy and I refuse to type on regular keyboards now. I played BF3 with this keyboard and like it better than red switches b/c you can feel when the key is being activated due to the bump. I feel it is less tiring on the hands b/c you don't have to hold the key down all the way, just over the bump.

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severnia

I have the same and love it. i tend to bottom out when typing quickly but i got a pack of silencers from WASDkeyboards.com (and a few custom keycaps and its prefect now. i will not go back to a keyboard thats not mechanical for personal use, and of all the ones ive tried, the browns fit me the best.

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TheMissingPiece

I have a Corsair K60 and love it, but I wish the switches were brown. I do my fair share of typing and don't want to wake up my entire house doing so. Still, any mechanical is the 100% way to go if you care about your peripherals.

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TheFrawg

I also own a K60, and while I like it, I wish it's keys were clickier. I find myself missing keystrokes while typing, or getting double characters.

I've ordered a 1990 Model M off ebay, here's to hoping I love it as much as I remember loving it. Memory can be a tricky thing.

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Blackheart-1220

I have the strangest boner looking at those gifs. XD

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Insula Gilliganis

Not knowing much about keyboards since my preferred one is my 1993 Gateway 2000 membrane version.. after all these years I am just so use to using it.. that after reading this article, I feel like "The Murph" just popped my cherry.. keyboard!!

No mention of Cherry's MX green key switches, found on the Cooler Master Storm Trigger released earlier this year. Quoting a March 7, 2013 TechReport.com article, MX greens are "tougher, springier than their siblings, and they don't sacrifice the all-important click and tactile bump. Our understanding is that the greens are normally found under the space bars of Cherry MX blue keyboards. In both feel and specifications, though, the greens are closer to the buckling spring switches of IBM's iconic Model M keyboards."

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rwpritchett

The article should also discuss the different stabilizers used for mechanical keyboards since that can influence the feel of the keys. There's also Cherry MX green switches, though I think they are exclusive to Cooler Masters keyboards.

Personally, I've got browns and reds with full NKRO over USB on my mech boards and won't ever go back to squishy membrane keys. If one doesn't like the clickety-clack of a mech board, there are o-rings that can be installed to quiet them down.

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SteveStorm

I'm disappointed you ignored the best keyboard tech available; buckling spring.

Buckling spring technology makes for the best keyboard ever. Nothing else comes close in feel, responsiveness, crispness, and noise. True, when I get into a typing fury it sounds like a herd of elephants but no other keyboard comes close. It was the first quality keyboard and it still is the best.

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Ghost XFX

Those weren't buckling springs. Those were boobs. Yes, boobs at your fingertips....

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John Pombrio

I have one better. Hall effect keyboards. Not a contact in sight, just a magnet that is pushed down by the key spring. I saw keyboards that literally had the tops of the keys worn away, not just the writing but the entire key top. Not failure proof though as I occasionally had to replace a key or two.

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nightstorm242

As I type this on my nearly 30 year old IBM Model M keyboard with not a single dead key, I agree with your comment completely. Quick, responsive, well nigh indestructible. That said, it weighs about 10 pounds, and my neighbors wish I'd get a quieter keyboard. The price you pay for perfection, amiright?

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USraging

I have a Razer black widow, and coming from a synthetic keyboard i find that i can type faster and more accurately.

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Plif

Every article I read about mechanical keyboards mentions their durability in terms of keystrokes and says they're more durable than synthetic keyboards, but I have yet to kill a key on my Logitech G15 from 2006.

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TheFrawg

I used to love Microsoft Ergonomic keyboards, but would kill keys on them. After 3 of the same keyboard I finally decided to give mechanical another try.

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DoctorX

i killed my logitech g510 after a year... but i used it for work too.

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Hey.That_Dude

My friend is so anti-noise that he swears he will never use a mechanical keyboard until they make as much noise as a membrane.

Personally I hate membranes because they don't have that full stroke feeling. I tend to mash membrane keyboards because of this. this comes from years of playing string instruments where not pressing down hard and fast will change your sound.

I know this is a bad, but "Different (key)strokes for different folks."

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DoctorX

you can get mx browns... plus you can get dampeners to put on each key that makes it silent. I actually tried those and they work great... i have mx blues and took them off because i like the noize

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Hey.That_Dude

He'd complain about having to put dampeners on over a hundred keys to get what comes naturally from a membrane. Anyways, It's just his preference. Personally, I love my Logitech G710+.

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xRadeon

So many cherries! o_0 But yes, I've been considering it. I have a Microsoft Sidewinder X4 keyboard, it's good, but would like to see what other options there are. :)

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jgottberg

lol!

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Scrub206

I have a Ducky 9008 S with Cherry MX Blue switches and green back lighting. I absolutely love it <3 You guys should do a guide on how to properly clean it a keyboard next hahaha.

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DoctorX

i love my ducky shine 2 TKL... I have 3.. blue, brown, and red.

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vrmlbasic

How many "centinetwons" does it take to push a synthetic keyboard key?

Does Cherry Red require more force per key than a synthetic keyboard?

BTW

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reutnes

I don't know about "centitwons" but it's pretty easy to judge how much foce is required just by stacking some nickels on top of a key. http://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/wiki/ripometer

Cherry Red is the lightest button press on the market, I think.

Cherry Red requires 45g to actuate a keypress.
The Dell OEM rubberdome requires 65g
Most scissor switches (like you find in most laptops) also require 65g