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Thread: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

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    Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    I would like to treat myself with a good gaming keyboard, possibly a USB one corded as opposed to cordless, one with illuminated keys, including descent and sturdy palm rest. I would also like to get a mechanical keyboard that is relatively silent in operation, with a UK keyboard layout. I also would like to regulate the intensity of the illumination, and possibly have the ability to change the colour of the illumination. Although the latter would be a bonus, it would not be an absolute necessity. Additionally, I would prefer one of those keyboards whose cord or cable is braided.

    Having looked around for a while, I have noticed that although gaming keyboards have good features, they all appear to have some major negative aspects.
    For instance, it appears that keyboards connecting via a cable using a PS/2 connector are better, as they can handle more keys simultaneously, and tend to have more additional buttons, like multimedia and scroll buttons. Yet keyboards using USB connectors are prone to ghosting and the inability to handle many simultaneous keystrokes.

    Some nice features are the ability to lock the windows keys, and other features like incorporating a tiny LCD screen on the keyboard are more a distractions than anything else. I personally have no need for a keyboard that has an LCD screen, as I would find the LCD screen distracting and in the way when using the keyboard in the dark, especially when the computer monitor is so much better than such tiny monitor.

    Does the kind of keyboards that I am looking for with a UK keyboard layout exist?

    I am currently tempted by the following models:
    • Razer Black Widow Ultimate
    • Razer Black Widow Ultimate stealth Edition
    • Corsair Vengence K90
    • Logitech G19 (non mechanical keyboard)

    However all of the above, have considerable negative points that out way my decision in choosing any of these models:
    • The black widow ultimate according to reviews is too glossy and needs frequent cleaning, additionally it appears that this model suffers from slight ghosting and its durability is not that great. Being a mechanical keyboard also means that the clicking of the keys can be slightly loud.
    • The black widow ultimate stealth edition does not appear to have a UK keyboard layout yet, and although improvements have be made in order to have a mat finish, and less noisy key presses, it is still suffering from slight ghosting and durability issues according to some YouTube postings.
    • I do not know enough about the Corsair Vengeance K90 to comment on it; all that I found is that this keyboard uses both mechanical and non mechanical technology.
    • I am aware that the G19 is the odd one here as it is not a mechanical keyboard. But it has nice features, yet I dislike the fact that it requires a separate power source for powering the mini LCD screen that it has.
    If it wasn't for the fact that a separate power source was required, I would get the Logitech G19 keyboard without hesitation.

    I am not sure which of the above I should really purchase. I am aware that these keyboards are on the expensive side, but then again keyboards are the primary input mechanism followed by the mouse. Therefore, one should be as careful with choosing a keyboard as one would for a monitor.

    My current keyboard is in excess of 13 years old and has served me well, and still works very well, it is one that most people would probably not rate as great since it is a Trust Easy Scroll Silverline, and the features that this keyboard has is quite good compared to most modern keyboards.

    I have not looked nor considered any other brands like the Steelseries, Roccat or even Microsoft gaming keyboards. However, if others on this forum know of good quality gaming keyboards that have the features that I am looking, I would be ready to check these out.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    my G19 is great, you need the 5v power to run the screen and twin USB ports. its still one cable leaving the keyboard and you hook the power in near the end of the cable so its out the way, its also got very good rollover and is not noisy in use.

    can take a spill as it has drain holes (mine got stripped and went in the dishwasher last week as a cup of coffee went on it.)

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    Another vote on G19, The small display gota be one of the best part of it.

    Being able to see my cpu temperature, or who speaking on Mumbles or Ventrilo.
    And then there are some modern games that make use of the LCD that give you in game info on the LCD, like stats etc.

    The other great feature is programmable G1-12 Keys to use specific combo like ctrl+(there letter or number) or script like repeat number every so number of sec. then there also the option to use inbuilt profile for specific games to G1-12 keys for other uses in a game.

    Yes shame it needs extra power source, but as post above say it end of cable so can be easily hidden away out of sight.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    So mechanical is what you're after?.

    Most common keys for 'quiet' typing is MxBlacks or MxRed(MxCherry sometimes...).
    The corsair boards use red switches (require less effort / pressure to activate than blacks) for the majority of the board but its only the top row (i think, read a review to double check ) so the function keys and esc key arent mechanical they use dome switches like most keyboards, fine really for that area.

    Razer, yeah the quality isnt good compared to most other brands however it is normally the cheaper variant.As you dont want a loud board (MXblues are used in the razer hence the noise) then its pointless looking at it.

    G19 if like any other logitech keyboard (g15, g510 etc) it wont be nice in comparison with mech boards... certainly way down the scale! However the screen and lighting is superb but since you mentioned mechanical boards id be inclined to say avoid logitech boards but obviously if happy with dome switches, its a solid choice.


    In regards to USB vs PS/2, yes ps/2 is the much better option if you can have it... i used ps/2 with my Filco keyboard but after upgrading systems i didnt realise ps/2 had been cut from the board , so was forced to go back to usb. The key pros of ps/2 is that, it requires less cpu power... usb devices poll at intervals so it requires cpu power to check at these intervals to check if any activity has happened, with ps/2 there is no polling and its simply press a key and it will prompt the system immediately so basically ps/2 is instant.

    PS/2 also supports NKRO, which is nKey Roll Over so any amount of keys can be pressed at once, keyboards that support ps/2 should support this. However using USB isnt bad either, looking at your system you have a decent cpu so it wont make a blind bit of difference to you as cpu usage is MINIMAL (maybe back in single core days it might have done something ) and in regards to KRO its something like 6 for USB which is still plentiful, Just remember to research the board to ensure what roll over it supports! Think the corsair is 6, the razer is 6 but its not proper KRO so its only certain keys(something to look out for...) whereas the corsair is a proper KRO so any 6 keys.


    Best recommendation is to read this guide : http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/me...keyboard-guide

    Very useful stuff there and as for suggestions i personally would recommend the Filco range but its pricey and doesnt offer the feature you want i.e backlighting and wrist rests .

    Apparently wasd keyboards are solid things however im not sure how much it would cost for shipping etc, http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/ alot of customisation .
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    The mechanical keyboard guide on the overclock.net page was very interesting. There was a lot of features and functionality that I had noticed but did not know about the terminology.

    It appears that what I may be looking for in a mechanical keyboard is going to be hard to find.

    Perhaps the fact that mechanical keyboards have mechanical parts and switches in them, make them more prone to breaking, especially if the same set of keys tend to be used over and over again, creating some sort of fragility somewhere.

    I shall be looking further at different brand of mechanical keyboards and try to find reviews on these.

    I shall also try to find out information regarding the #KRO and NKRO, if this is available, as this feature appears to be important. It is a pity that most illuminated mechanical keyboards lack a PS/2 connectivity. Perhaps the #KRO rating will improve when manufacturers start releasing USB 3.0 mechanical keyboards.

    If I do not find a more or less silent illuminated mechanical keyboard, whose backlit intensity can be regulated and one that has a descent wrist rest, I may need to consider the Logitech G19 seriously.

    Other than that the “Mionix Zibal 60” appear to be a good alternative.

    Thank you for the information.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    you don't have enough fingers stop a G19 working.

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    Probably not.

    The G19 does look nice and does have good features, I must admit.
    It will also make the ensemble complete with the G9(/X) mouse that I have.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    Kerandran, whats led you to believe that mechanical keys are less reliable? They are rated to 5x that of membrane switches, they tend to last well beyond that... if have a look at the IBM model M(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard) you will still find perfectly faultless version of it, thats some 20 years and most were used in high usage places!.

    Mechs will last a lot longer than membrane and on the off chance one does break/die, you only need to replace a single switch (maybe a quid or two) that is effected, the repair is easy and requires little time/effort. Membrane boards will just need replacing overall .

    The g19 is a 6KRO which as i said is plentiful, and also like gonz0 said you dont have enough fingers (one hand) to stop it working. Logitech generally dont cheap out on that area so it will be a full key matrix i.e you can press ANY 6 keys, where as people like razer cheap out and make it so 6 keys = pressing WASD shift and space, instead of being anything. Its something to keep in mind but its not a real gamechanger and i find its just nice to know that i can do X amount of keys, remember some other keyboards struggled with me crouching and moving forward while reloading... annoying times!.


    From my other post, if looking for a dome switch board then the G19 aint a bad board at all, logitech do decent stuff and i wish they would move to the mech market . G15 or G19 really are great! And as gonz0 is praising its quality then you shouldnt be disappointed, just avoid the g510 it felt CRAP.



    May i also add that you seem to be forgetting one of the boards you even shortlisted , the corsair k90... looked quickly at it again and its 20KRO, excellent USB stuff!.
    Lets sum up the k90:
    1. Has red switches, quiet switches
    2. Has backlight
    3. Has wrist rest
    4. Has high KRO
    5. Has a 2 year warranty, regardless of mechanical reliability!
    6. Looks excellent

    Heres scans blurb
    "• Light, responsive Cherry MX Red Mechanical switches for fast, efficient gaming action
    • 45g actuation force
    • 2mm to actuation and 4mm to bottom
    • Rated for 50 million operations
    • Gold contacts
    • Three banks of eighteen G Macro Keys with Macro Record and Bank Select hot keys
    • 36Kb of onboard memory for storing up to three sets of eighteen G keys for gaming on the go
    • On-the-fly, macro recording
    • Laser-etched, backlit keys with four illumination levels (off, 66%, 75%, and full illumination) selectable from the keyboard
    • Six multimedia keys — Stop, Previous, Play/Pause, Next, Mute, Volume Up/Down — with Solid metal, weighted volume “drum roller”
    • Windows Lock key for uninterrupted game play
    • Metal top plate for increased strength, durability and rigidity
    • USB pass-through connector giving easy access to a USB port on the back of the keyboard (USB 2.0/1.1/1.0)
    • USB Connector with gold plated contacts
    • Selectable report rate: 1000Hz/500Hz/250Hz/125Hz (1ms/2ms/4ms/8ms) response time
    • 2m non-tangle cable
    • Adjustable feet tilt for optimum personalization and positioning"

    I think it fits the bill? even adjustable lighting!
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Exclamation Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks12 View Post
    May i also add that you seem to be forgetting one of the boards you even shortlisted , the corsair k90... looked quickly at it again and its 20KRO, excellent USB stuff!.
    Just a quick glance & post, USB does more than 6KRO ?

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    yeah, just normally USB boards tend to max at 6KRO but ive never seen an NKRO usb board. 20 is way more than needed really so its a solid effort by Corsair .
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    It is true that in the mid-80s during the era of the DEC PDP-11 and the VAX servers, including the IBM mainframes, a number of terminals were using some descent mechanical keyboards, that lasted a long time. So my assumption based on the poorer quality of a brand was not a good thing to do.

    Having looked at more reviews of the Corsair Vengeance K90, it appears that this one would suite my needs very well. It is also a rather stylish keyboard, that appear sturdy.
    I will just have to make sure that the model I get has a proper UK keyboard layout, as most of the picture representation of the vengeance k90 keyboard appear to be the American layout, based on the position of the (“) double quote and the (@) at symbol. I suppose that the correct UK version of this keyboard is “CH-9000003-UK”, if so, I will just have to find the best price available for this keyboard on the net, and ensure that the seller is reputable.

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    I think one of the MS sidewinder's, possibly the X4, had 20 or more key rollover on usb.

    I like geekhack for reviews of keyboards, they also have a good guide on the different types of mechanical keyboards.

    Like Hicks I also use a Filco. Love this keyboard. When I upgraded my pc I fortunately did think about the ps/2 connection but seeing as they are dying out I would expect my next upgrade to be to a mobo without a ps/2 port.

    If you are not sure about how key rollover or anti ghosting will affect your game play then try out this MS site using typical key press combinations.

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    if you buy it from any normal retailer (amazon, scan etc) then it should be a UK layout, alot of the time the image is a US layout just by laziness saves them taking one more photo...
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    Have you looked at QPAD 80 / 85?

    Edit: what type of game(s) do you play?

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    FYI QPAD MK-85 is on special at OCUK, http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduc...odid=KB-001-QP £119.99

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    Re: Gaming keyboards – Searching for the best

    I Have the MK-80 if you are interested in it, i would be happy to answer questions. First thing i will point out is the 80 is the blue switch model so VERY noisy!

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