Author Topic: Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?  (Read 75495 times)

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Offline GenjiN

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 20:18:09 »
Hi guys,

I currently own a cherry mx red switch keyboard and love how light the keys are (~45g actuation). However, I am a heavy gamer that plays fast paced games. I feel that the light tactile bump from the cherry browns would be very satisfying. Considering the cherry browns have the same actuation force as the reds, I am strongly considering trying them.

 I used to own a cherry mx blue keyboard and enjoyed the tactility it provided but they felt too sluggish and heavy, especially when double tapping. Therefore, I absolutely need a light switch for my long gaming sessions and the only two viable/affordable options are red and brown switches.

So, coming from a red switch keyboard, do you think I would notice the subtle tactile bump in a brown switch keyboard during fast paced gaming? Keep in mind that on my red switches I am bottoming out at full force 99% of the time. Thanks for your time and advice!

Offline RickyJ

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 21:28:29 »
You will definitely notice a difference, but you might not like it depending on the games you play.  I've been gaming (FPS/RPG) on my Leopold brown board for a while; it was fine for instantaneous button presses in RPGs, but constantly moving over the tactile bump in the WASD cluster for moving around in FPS games was getting pretty annoying.  I swapped out WASD switch guts in one of my Alps boards to be light linears like the Cherry reds, and enjoyed them instantly.  I'll be looking for a red switch tenkeyless for my next board just to use for gaming.

As always, it's about personal preference.  For me, I really didn't enjoy the frictiony feeling that the tactile bump gave while playing FPS games, but the board is perfectly fine for typing and RPGs where you fly right through it.
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Offline z13ghost

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 09 January 2012, 21:20:52 »
what about red cherry??
it good enough to do something else beside gaming like typing??

Offline lightsout714

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 09 January 2012, 21:52:08 »
Quote from: z13ghost;486991
what about red cherry??
it good enough to do something else beside gaming like typing??

Yes it's fine for typing. Very light though. Easy to bottom out.

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Offline shogrran

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 09 January 2012, 23:50:46 »
I am also curious as to the differences.

I am getting a second mechanical keyboard probably this end of January and I have a choice of either the mx red or mx brown.

Since I currently have an mxblue keyboard I chose the mxred as someone informed me that the mxred have a lighter feel than the browns on pressing the keys even though they both need the same force specs wise. Plus I wanted a different feel on a new keyboard and since I already have a clicky mxblue keyboard, I opted for the linear one.

I do not have a way of testing the keys since retailers from where I come from rarely open items such as these to put on display. My choice rested on me wanting to try a different type of key.

My problem now is that I like to know when the keys actually actuate so I know when to stop pressing. I doubt I'll feel that on the reds.
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 January 2012, 23:57:35 by shogrran »
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 00:32:42 »
I use Poker with reds as my primary keyboard. I also have a Leopold with browns that has been sitting in it's box mostly since I got the Poker. I prefer reds by a huge margin, or blues. The brown to me is not as good as either, as it is not really that tactile, just tactile enough to feel like a frictiony red which to me is less pleasant. If wanting a tactile switch that doesn't click I like clear better.

I hardly bottom my reds, and never seem to have any problem not pressing enough and missing a keystroke either. They do give a little more resistance as you approach bottom, which I notice just as much if not more so than the bump on browns.
« Last Edit: Tue, 10 January 2012, 00:34:51 by lysol »

Offline Tony

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 06:49:35 »
It is a very noticeable bump in brown when surfing the keyboard.

For bottoming out there is less difference between brown and red.
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Offline enoy21

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 08:21:14 »
I guess I'll find out when my reds get here on Friday. (I hope)
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Offline lightsout714

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 08:50:19 »
Quote from: lysol;487089
I use Poker with reds as my primary keyboard. I also have a Leopold with browns that has been sitting in it's box mostly since I got the Poker. I prefer reds by a huge margin, or blues. The brown to me is not as good as either, as it is not really that tactile, just tactile enough to feel like a frictiony red which to me is less pleasant. If wanting a tactile switch that doesn't click I like clear better.

I hardly bottom my reds, and never seem to have any problem not pressing enough and missing a keystroke either. They do give a little more resistance as you approach bottom, which I notice just as much if not more so than the bump on browns.

Man you must type insanely soft to not bottom out on reds.  I don't see how someone could type with any speed on reds while not bottoming out. I'd love to see a video of that . I have to try crazy hard to not bottom out and I still do 50% of the time and this is while doing it real slow as to not bottom out.

Offline JustCallMeCrash

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 08:52:52 »
Reds are my current favorite switch.  They have usurped blues, then browns, then ergo-clears to be the key I want to type on all the time.  Sadly, I only have 2 boards and I'm not in the mood to do a mod on this Das to swap it from blues to reds.
Yes, you'll definitely notice a difference... I use my reds for typing and gaming and love every minute of both.

Offline shogrran

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 09:25:54 »
Is there any reason why red switches are usually more expensive than the others?

That is also why I am having a hard time choosing between browns and reds. The red version of quickfire rapid is more expensive than the browns. (plus I don't like its color scheme...)
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Offline Tony

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 09:54:33 »
Quote from: lightsout714;487238
Man you must type insanely soft to not bottom out on reds.  I don't see how someone could type with any speed on reds while not bottoming out. I'd love to see a video of that . I have to try crazy hard to not bottom out and I still do 50% of the time and this is while doing it real slow as to not bottom out.

Do not try to overdo it, since it make your typing awkward at high speed.

At first type with whatever force you have used to, therefore 100% bottoming out. Then try to use a bit less force while keep the accuracy and speed. Then try to do it less some more time, until you can see that you have missed some keys, then increase key force a bit again.

Stop when you feel good and do not miss a key and have typed with as light force as possible. Don't calculate the percent while typing, try to focus on text and the key feel.

For a week, you probably can type just a bit over the registering point, i.e. surfing the keyboard and getting the booby feelings that reds are so famous for.

If you bottom out it is also fine, but it's a waste of force from you and make your fingers to take the whole full reaction force from the keyboard, so your fingers are quicker to be tired.

For blues and browns it's easier since you have the bump to remind you. For reds you have to be sensitive enough to find out how much force is required.
« Last Edit: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:14:00 by Tony »
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Offline lightsout714

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:05:00 »
Thanks I'll try it out.

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Offline eth0s

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:15:27 »
@ OP:  You will notice a difference between reds and browns.  And browns are better for gaming, I think it's just what ur looking for.
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Offline enoy21

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:19:53 »
Quote from: eth0s;487307
@ OP:  You will notice a difference between reds and browns.  And browns are better for gaming, I think it's just what ur looking for.

Wouldn't this be dependant on the game ?   I hear that browns are better for rts games but linear is best for FPS which makes sense to me as you don't have a ton of rapid clicks in fps like you do in fps.
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Offline dimoniy

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:21:45 »
Quote from: eth0s;487307
And browns are better for gaming
Browns are not better for gaming. First, it depends on the type of gaming, second I own both reds and browns and I prefer reds for gaming and browns for typing
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Offline dimoniy

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:24:19 »
Quote from: enoy21;487312
Wouldn't this be dependant on the game ?   I hear that browns are better for rts games but linear is best for FPS which makes sense to me as you don't have a ton of rapid clicks in fps like you do in fps.

I dunno... I mostly play starcraft and battlefield 3 and I prefer reds for both of em. Maybe it's just me, but tactility gives me nothing when I'm playing. When typing though I'd prefer tactile switch over the linear
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Offline shogrran

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:53:56 »
Hmm... I always thought it didn't depend on gaming or typing but more of how you type or how you game?

I am thinking theoretically here - the reds are better for games that require quick and multiple spam press. Like - rhythm and music games since they require multiple and quick spam press. Linear switches would help because you don't have to wait for the "click" to reset before you can press again.

I guess physically the clicky switches really doesn't need to reset before you can use them again(?) - as I am using cherry mx blues and I can still spam press without releasing up to the click -- but I think psychologically people tend to wait for the reset before pressing again specially with the clicky blues and browns. That is why some people find it hard to spam press with these keys.  Just my theoretical thoughts... I haven't received my mx red board yet.
« Last Edit: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:56:37 by shogrran »
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Offline Armando Penblade

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 15:10:57 »
Remember to take everyone's opinions-as-facts with a grain or six of salt. Things like "reds are better for gaming" or "blues are **** for everything" are deeply personal statements, and people can pull all manner of justifications for these statements out of their rear-ends when they need to.

Consider how *you* use your keyboard and think about what makes sense for you. For instance, many people think that the linearity, heaviness, and "feel" of MX Black switches are terrible for straight-up typing, but when the time came for me to buy a mechanical keyboard to use in an office environment, they were my first choice. I type heavily and quickly, but bottoming out on Cherry switches tends to be noisier (or at least a noticeably different caliber of noise) than rubber domes. As such, the heavy, tough-to-bottom-out MX Blacks would let me maintain my high speed (the heaviness would "spring" my fingers back up) while helping me avoiding bottoming out most of the keys. As such, they'd be plenty of quiet--moreso than so-light-you-bottom-em-out Reds or clickity-clackity Blues, at least.

On the other hand, I'd hate these things for gaming, PERSONALLY. Having to whack the keys that hard would get really annoying, just as it did on my ancient rubber dome keyboard that was starting to wear out after years of abuse. I'd love some Reds or Browns for that :D. Other folks would HATE that. It's so deeply individual that even extremely strong opinions might be meaningless to you!
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Offline kektr0city

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 11 January 2012, 16:06:20 »
Ripster says it best.

personally, i switched from brown to red switches for gaming because i really liked the light, springy, linear feel.  you should try out the brown switches and see which one you enjoy more.
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Offline Tony

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 02:06:46 »
To compare between switches is like to compare between flowers.

Every type has its own flair and feel which is not necessarily better or worse than others.
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Offline ignition

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 02:27:10 »
I'm probably alone in saying that I prefer browns for that subtle tactility. the bump is subtle enough not to bother me in movement in FPS, but it's noticeable enough to tell me 'hey, you  just pressed a button!'.

I own red, brown and black switch keyboards.

Offline enoy21

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 07:08:59 »
I think alot of people like brows for that very reason. The slight subtle tactility.  It may very well be why I go back to them , but I like the linear switch feel and am ok with bottoming out to let me know that a key has been pressed.  I can't wait to try my reds when they get here.
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Offline GeorgeStorm

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 07:26:58 »
As others have said, it's a very personal thing.
I started with blues, tried a brown keyboard, and am getting another blue since I far prefer them.
Am also getting one with reds to try them out, listening to the opinions of others is all well and good, but nothing beats trying them out for yourself :)
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Offline hazeluff

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 18:39:29 »
Feeling the difference? Yes.

I love the little bumb when I'm playing starcraft, feels great when I'm like doing the double tap to focus on a queen. Its a personal thing I think. I love the little "feedback"; It's like my keyboard is telling me I did my double tap correctly or that my key registered.

Offline enoy21

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 18 January 2012, 21:01:36 »
Quote from: hazeluff;489060
Feeling the difference? Yes.

I love the little bumb ... feels great when I'm like doing the double tap ... on a queen. Its a personal thing I think. I love the little "feedback"; It's like ...telling me I did my double tap correctly ....



You need a bumb to tell you that ?  


Actually , after spending some time with my reds , yes you will notice the difference.  At first I really didn't notice that much , but then it became pretty drastic after using my blues at work ... The funny thing is that now that I'm typing on them more and adjusting to them , I think the reds feel pretty good once you get into your rhythm of typing.  Both are similar enough that either are great switches.  I very well may end up keeping my reds and take the browns I  just ordered to work to make peace with the guys in the office down the hallway.  

Plus it allows me better chance to play the arcade games here on the site with out as much   CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK.
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Offline C.S.

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 18 January 2012, 21:30:18 »
I've never used Reds, but I have used Blues and Browns.  To me, the Browns started off as being decidedly tactile; however, after using Blues for a while, the tactility of the Browns became almost unnoticeable.  I think Browns are the perfect go-between; they're really quite light, but there's just enough of a tactile bump to give you that "I actually hit it" feeling.  I enjoyed using my Brown board for gaming, though it was only for solo situations.

I have trouble thinking that Brown switches could cause any disturbance with gaming.  I don't think there's anything to lose with them; Reds, on the other hand, could be quite hit or miss.  I have used Blacks and found them to be much too stiff for my liking.  Reds could be better, but I can't see the tactility of Browns being a problem; the bump is simply too subtle not to try it, in my opinion.
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Offline C.S.

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 18 January 2012, 21:32:54 »
Quote from: enoy21;493736
You need a bumb to tell you that ?  


Actually , after spending some time with my reds , yes you will notice the difference.  At first I really didn't notice that much , but then it became pretty drastic after using my blues at work ... The funny thing is that now that I'm typing on them more and adjusting to them , I think the reds feel pretty good once you get into your rhythm of typing.  Both are similar enough that either are great switches.  I very well may end up keeping my reds and take the browns I  just ordered to work to make peace with the guys in the office down the hallway.  

Plus it allows me better chance to play the arcade games here on the site with out as much   CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK.

Based on my experience:

Blues to Reds:  Huge difference
Blues to Browns:  Pretty big difference
Browns to Reds:  Depending on age, kind of different
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Offline dish

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 26 January 2012, 21:35:56 »
Browns are better even in FPS/RPG games after you get used to them.  It will take a while coming from a traditional keyboard.  

I can type at identical speed (~140 wpm, ~4 errors/700 characters or 4/minute) on reds or browns.  I sort of have no preference while typing but for gaming browns all the way.  I think there's a huge difference between the two.  Browns are peppier and the actuation is blatant by the "give" feeling you have while pressing the key.  If you type slow you can feel the ramp up, but if you are typing at a reasonable speed or gaming it's only the give you should be noticing.  I don't bottom out on either.

It's not nearly as obvious when the red registers or is released compared to the browns.  I found it kind of annoying in any double tap situation, like focus on  hotkey groups in SC2 or dash/roll in fps games (WW, AA, SS, DD, FF, etc.)  It's largely personal preference I guess, but I think there is an objective argument to be made that browns are better for any double tap situation or any situation where you must press+release a key rapidly.  At the very least you will learn it faster and more intuitively than with reds, especially if you are looking to double tap in the window of a single frame.

You'll probably be equally as happy with either, and reds might be a more natural transition from a normal keyboard.
« Last Edit: Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:41:20 by dish »

Offline dish

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Cherry MX Red vs. Brown: Will I notice the difference?
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 19:11:44 »
Tactile bump is superior in every genre.  It just take a while to get used to.  It feels "mushy" at first for WASD movement, but after a while it even feels natural there.  

I own a leopold with reds and a ducky with browns.  The leopold is better constructed and I would advise not getting a ducky 1087 with affordable alternatives available these days.  I've played fps, rts, and MMOs at a competitive level (and been sponsored in two out of the three genres.)

Linear will feel natural coming from a rubber dome keyboard.  Objectively, there's nothing wrong with either switch.  The biggest difference while typing is when you are doing a site like typeracer or some other type of timed/accuracy tested typing.  With browns you 100% know whether you hit a key or not and how many times you've hit it.  With reds you can second guess yourself at times, and it will slow you down a bit. For actual use there's no huge difference.  I probably mess up the same while programming, writing papers, typing scientific papers, grading, or doing day to day stuff.  

If you want to decide based on feeling:

Reds Force required ramps up linearly, even after actuation.  It's not obvious when the key was actually pressed.
Browns You push the key and feel it "give" after actuation.

I'm typing on reds right now and I wanted them for a long time after reading about them, but I feel browns are functionally superior. That give is a slight advantage compared to not physically knowing.  There's no actual downside to the browns either. Just look at the force graph of browns and reds here.  Red/brown have almost identical resistance while held down.  It's a myth that red is better for fps games than browns, and those graphs show you exactly why.
« Last Edit: Fri, 27 January 2012, 20:08:06 by dish »