Author Topic: My research has been inconclusive. DotA gamer moving to mechanical KB needs help  (Read 13918 times)

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Offline pankakes

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Offline NikoGasm

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Out of the ones you've listed I would most strongly recommend the Filco. They're all great keyboards, but the Filco will be the most friendly for future customizations.
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Offline pankakes

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Yeah. The people to get the filco I want are being a pain in the ass... otherwise I'd probably already have that board. I have been trying to get it through amazon (keyboardstore uk). Idk where else to get it from!

Offline GordonZed

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It's going to be really tough to make an informed decision based on other people's opinions. Like anything in life, switch preference is very subjective. Go to the NCIX site and see if there's a location near you, that way you can go and actually try the more common switches. My local NCIX has a full aisle of mechanical keyboards that I thought I could only find online, and they have several out of the box for testing. If you don't have an NCIX near you, then you have no choice, but I would definitely try that first; it's like nerd heaven in there.

I personally wouldn't buy reds, as I'm more of a programmer than a gamer, but I will second that they feel amazing for FPS, that smooth linear feel made moving around with the WASD keys feel so natural if that makes any sense.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 March 2013, 06:08:00 by GordonZed »
Filco Majestouch Ninja TKL (MX blue)

Offline nullstring

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I am not saying browns are as ridiculous as blues.  But u are required to put more energy into the keypress for no benefit.

When u type fast u crash into the bottom anyway and that tells your fingers to stop.  Also when u r frantically playing a game u always crash the key into the bottom anyway.  So u may as well do that in the most energy efficient manner.  Reds allow the most energy-efficient key activation.  As a gamer that's mainly what I care about.
I am actually quite confident it requires about the same amount of energy to activate either a brown or a red switch.
My maths are a little rusty and I need to get to work, so give me a while to come back to this.

The force on the browns in non-linear, which means that you get to a higher force faster. After this higher force, the force in much less. The integral of this curve is the amount of energy we are interested in. Hell, maybe I could take a image manipulation program to fill in the area under the curve to the left of the activation point on the switch force curve graphs and see which how many pixels it comes out to.

Nevermind, the force graphs seem to disagree with what my experience is.
I own both reds and browns, and I feel that using a red keyboard is more tiring than using a brown (And I don't bottom out with reds). Looking at the force graph, i don't know how that's possible.
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« Last Edit: Mon, 04 March 2013, 07:23:23 by nullstring »

Offline Noko

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Yeah. The people to get the filco I want are being a pain in the ass... otherwise I'd probably already have that board. I have been trying to get it through amazon (keyboardstore uk). Idk where else to get it from!

NCIX.com has a US site and they carry a good range of Filcos.  I buy all my computer stuff from them (including my current Filco) and highly recommend them.
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Offline Kouni

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Quote
I own both reds and browns, and I feel that using a red keyboard is more tiring than using a brown (And I don't bottom out with reds). Looking at the force graph, i don't know how that's possible.
From my experience (switched from blacks to browns), a lot of the fatigue you get when using linear switches comes from overcontracting your hand muscles waiting for the key to register. I may well be wrong, but that's how it felt typing on blacks. It wasn't so much about the pressure needed to depress the key but about getting to the activation point without bottoming out. It's a subtle point, so you try to get "just there" and you're putting a lot of effort into controlling the pressure. With browns it's easy, the bump tells you when you're there.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 March 2013, 08:09:57 by Kouni »

Offline OnTheBrink

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Hello everyone, I have been brought here by the /r/buildapc>/r/mechanicalkeyboards subreddits.

I am glad I have found this forum, as the discussions here have answered a lot of my questions already. After several days of research, I am still not satisfied with any of the keyboards I have stumbled upon.

I believe for a game like DotA, I am going to want either black or brown switches. I use reddit a lot, and type a lot on several forums, so I don't think reds would be for me. I have been leaning towards blacks, as I have found a handful of dota pros that seem to prefer the black switches. However, while reading this forum, I have seen that many of you SC2 players enjoy using brown switches over blacks.

I am switching over from a 12 year old dell keyboard. From what I have read, any choice is going to be a big improvement from this. I was initially drawn to reds, but it seems that the unanimous opinion on the reds is that they are the worst to type on. I do a lot of typing.

What I am looking for in a KB:

- Black Switches, maybe brown (Not so sure ^)
- Standard layout, but tenkeyless or not doesn't really matter.
- Not a mini-usb connector. I want it to last and would prefer a more solid setup.
- Lit keys would be ideal, but not necessary.

What originally got me looking into mechanicals was the Steelseries 6g v2, which uses black switches. My only gripe with that KB is the enlarged enter key, and movement of the \ key to next to the /. It's a small thing, but it would bug me.

I will keep looking around and will document my search here for others who may have the same desires. Please give me your thoughts on my search. Thanks

Just curious, why do you incorporate mini USB as not "solid"?
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Offline GordonZed

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Hello everyone, I have been brought here by the /r/buildapc>/r/mechanicalkeyboards subreddits.

I am glad I have found this forum, as the discussions here have answered a lot of my questions already. After several days of research, I am still not satisfied with any of the keyboards I have stumbled upon.

I believe for a game like DotA, I am going to want either black or brown switches. I use reddit a lot, and type a lot on several forums, so I don't think reds would be for me. I have been leaning towards blacks, as I have found a handful of dota pros that seem to prefer the black switches. However, while reading this forum, I have seen that many of you SC2 players enjoy using brown switches over blacks.

I am switching over from a 12 year old dell keyboard. From what I have read, any choice is going to be a big improvement from this. I was initially drawn to reds, but it seems that the unanimous opinion on the reds is that they are the worst to type on. I do a lot of typing.

What I am looking for in a KB:

- Black Switches, maybe brown (Not so sure ^)
- Standard layout, but tenkeyless or not doesn't really matter.
- Not a mini-usb connector. I want it to last and would prefer a more solid setup.
- Lit keys would be ideal, but not necessary.

What originally got me looking into mechanicals was the Steelseries 6g v2, which uses black switches. My only gripe with that KB is the enlarged enter key, and movement of the \ key to next to the /. It's a small thing, but it would bug me.

I will keep looking around and will document my search here for others who may have the same desires. Please give me your thoughts on my search. Thanks

Just curious, why do you incorporate mini USB as not "solid"?

I believe the common argument is that mini USB if stressed may damage the port itself, where as micro USB is more likely to bend the more replaceable cable.
Filco Majestouch Ninja TKL (MX blue)

Offline Hyde

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Also typing on reds is like typing on a cloud of boobs.

WOW. First time hearing that analogy.

lol yeah if you've been around geekhack long enough you'll realize that's what people call mx reds  ;P

Also personally I'd suggest you go with mx brown or mx red.

But keep in mind brown is one of those switch that you get used to right away and red takes a bit of time.

Initially I like typing on brown better and gaming on red better.  Overtime I got used to typing on red then now I prefer gaming and typing on red the best (even compare to mx blue and mx black).

Though like people said it's down to preference, but in general brown is the safe switch to start but if you're willing to give it some time red might be better in the long run.

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Offline pankakes

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Okay, ordered. Ninja Majestouch-2 TKL from keyboardco.com. I will certainly post follow up thoughts and reviews. It should be here by the end of the week.

Also, do I need the 0.2 mm reduction or the 0.4mm reduction o-rings?

Offline Grim Fandango

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I am afraid that your research will remain inconclusive, because everyone has their own preferences.

I do not like Blacks because they actually hurt/strain my hand on days that I type a lot. I do not like the tactility of blues when gaming. It is nice for RTS, but I do not like the tactility when you are using keys like you use the WASD cluster for movement. There is not performance loss or anything, but having to push through that tactile "bump" did not feel right to me in those situations. Even though it was not a big deal.

I really like reds. I do not think they are bad for typing at all. It has a very distinct feel, like "typing on a cloud". Once you hit your stride as a touch typer on this, it feels like your fingers are flying. I do however always bottom out because they are so light. I also have way more accidental button presses (even after using fairly intensively for over a year) than on any other switch.

Finally, I love my browns. They are still light and I enjoy their lightness like that of the reds. However, they are just heavy enough to not have the accidental keystroke problem. When typing, I enjoy that same tactile feel as on blues, but just way more subtle. Subtle enough to never be annoying, but pronounced enough to still give that nice feedback when typing. I also think that browns are kind of safe bet, because there are not extremes here. It is all middle of the road in terms of force needed to register a keystroke, tactile feedback, etc.

Other people have different opinions. This is just how I feel about the different popular switches.
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Offline Grim Fandango

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Okay, ordered. Ninja Majestouch-2 TKL from keyboardco.com. I will certainly post follow up thoughts and reviews. It should be here by the end of the week.

Also, do I need the 0.2 mm reduction or the 0.4mm reduction o-rings?

Just noticed this post. Congrats. So you went with reds in the end?

I have a Filco Majestouch 2 and love it. Have fun.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 March 2013, 18:23:11 by Grim Fandango »
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Offline GordonZed

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Hope you like it bud, I just got a Filco Majestouch Ninja TKL with MX blues, very solid board.
Filco Majestouch Ninja TKL (MX blue)

Offline pankakes

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Yup, decided on the reds after all. I just really like it the best out of what I have been able to get my fingers on so far. I am still concerned with what type of o-ring to get. I got the WASD sample kit, which came with some o-rings. I prefer the softest ones, but I don't know if I should get the thinner ones or the thicker ones that WASD offers.

Offline pankakes

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I guess I will have to wait until my sexy new keyboard arrives to decide which o-rings to go for. I do have the sample kit, but it's hard to tell with just one key. We shall see....

Offline Surnia

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Personal point of view with the dampers: I purchased them well before WASD started offering the different diameters and cush levels, but I had tried the black ones on a Das Silent (MX Browns). The end effect was great for noise, but started to annoy me: I had purchased the mechanical (my first) for the solid feel and typing experience, but the ORings made the keys feel very mushy when I DID bottom out. In the end I took them off, and then realized that I wasn't too fond of the browns (too light) and gave it to my Mom. Replaced it with a full layout Majestouch 2 Ninja on MX Blacks, and have not looked back. Suits MY typing pressures far more than the browns did and I no longer bottom out, and I enjoy the linears far more than I thought I would. The higher actuation force prevents me from bottoming out, and when I do type harder its a nice satisfying click.

DO be aware that the dampers WILL cushion the keys when you do bottom out and reduce the noise levels, but its no longer a crisp click when you bottom out (if that matters to you).

Noppoo Choc Mini with MX Black | Filco 104 MJ2 Ninja with MX Black

Offline Skull_Angel

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Just to contrast on Sarina's experience; I type and game (primarily game) on MX Red and using the thick and soft O-rings (40a-r from WASD) greatly increased my comfort level for gaming. When I first started using MX Red they just "fit" my preference, but I had heavy hands for gaming and the sharp feel of bottoming out hard was almost painful (on a mental level, if that makes sense); after receiving and installing the O-rings that painful instance just completely disappeared.

Some say O-rings add a "mushy" feel to bottoming out, but personally it feels more... "organic" in the way that you still land solid, but it doesn't give a sharp "thwack" in doing so; I guess they do feel "mushy" if you don't install them correctly though, I've experienced that. When I think "mushy" I imagine the feel of a worn out hydraulic shock-absorber, and that just doesn't compare correctly for me. The most accurate analogy I can give is running on concrete barefoot (no dampeners) compared to running on various mats.

on a side note: my typing techniques have adapted to MX Reds since using them exclusively for nearly a year now, I rarely bottom out while typing and have no where near as "heavy a hand" when gaming.

Offline noisyturtle

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Since I got a red switch board, I only game on reds. All other switches feel heavy and distract from the experience. Reds are smooth, light, great for long sessions and rapid presses. For typing I use a blue brown or green board depending on how I feel, but usually blue.

Offline pankakes

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The keyboard is in! It just arrived about half an hour ago. I am typing on it here :]

I am very happy with my choice. The reds are amazing to type on! I can't wait to try it out for gaming. My speed on this keyboard is already up to normal. It follows the standard formatting that my old dell keyboard did, and has the same size key caps. This will be a very easy transition for me.

I can already see how much louder the keyboard is! I am only sometimes bottoming out when I type, but it's still noticeably louder than my old keyboard. It shouldn't be a problem, though. It's not that loud, just relative to the rubber dome board. I want to type on it for a couple days before I decide to get the o-rings.

I really dig the TKL format. Having my mouse closer is going to be much better!

Heres a view of the battlestation: http://i.imgur.com/9Q87xTr.jpg


LITTLE BIT OF A CONCERN: The spacebar does squeak very slightly when pressed. It's very subtle, but since I read about the complaint in past reviews I was looking out for it. I am not sure how to fix it. Any ideas? I'll figure it out eventually if it starts to bug me enough.

Overall, extremely satisfied with this keyboard! Thanks everyone for your advice.

Offline Skull_Angel

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Lube fixes the squeaky stabilizers, best bet is something thick like grease and just apply a small amount to the contact areas.

Offline pankakes

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Okay. I will try some sort of lubricant on the spacebar. I have been typing a lot today, and have not been too bothered by the noise.

Offline Grim Fandango

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Okay. I will try some sort of lubricant on the spacebar. I have been typing a lot today, and have not been too bothered by the noise.

Do not get too OCD when it comes to the noise of your keyboard. "rattle" and "ping" can really mess up your experience, but only if you let it. If you decide to not pay too much attention to it, you will find yourself not caring within a few hours.
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Offline Demofly

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A filco with reds.

I like your taste.
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Offline pankakes

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Do not get too OCD when it comes to the noise of your keyboard. "rattle" and "ping" can really mess up your experience, but only if you let it. If you decide to not pay too much attention to it, you will find yourself not caring within a few hours.

I already have made that conclusion on my own. It doesn't bother me at all. It was just something I noticed upon my first inspection of the board. It really is a pleasure to use. I find myself repeating the typing speed testers just to keep typing, haha. I could use the practice anyways, as I am around 75 wpm. Thanks for the thought, though. I do think I will be doing the o-ring mod. With the thicker soft rings 40A-R. They are sold out on WASD, so I will have to wait until 3/13 to order them. Anyone know somewhere else I could buy these now?

I was able to play a few games of dota2 last night and the reds worked very well. I couldn't be happier. I will start to like it even more as I continue to get used to the new keyboard. I used the same keyboard for about 12 years, so it's taking some time to get used to the differences in layout/design.


Offline pankakes

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Update:

This keyboard is a pleasure to use. I am loving it. **** yeah filco!

Offline TotalChaos

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Reds Rule.

Kill some newbs 4 me  ;D
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Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline pankakes

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Reds Rule.

Dude. Seriously. When I got the sample pack from WASD, it was harder to tell which one I was going to like better, but even then I still felt like the reds were best.

Now that I have been typing on this board, I can't believe I was even considering any other switch. Especially for gaming, oh man this thing is way better than the rubber dome trash.

Offline pankakes

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Still loving it. I feel like the o-rings are good to protect the health of my hands, but I think I will miss the clacky :[

My dad used my pc for a minute tonight and he was complaining about the ninja printed keycaps

Offline pankakes

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Here is a video of my keyboard and me typing on it:


Offline CPTBadAss

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I prefer soft-landing pads to O-rings. I feel like the travel reduction is too much even if its the thinner 0.2mm ones.

Offline pankakes

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What is this soft-landing pad? I'm a mech noob still :P

Offline CPTBadAss

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What is this soft-landing pad? I'm a mech noob still :P

Check this out and then let me know if you have any questions.

Offline pankakes

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What is this soft-landing pad? I'm a mech noob still :P

Check this out and then let me know if you have any questions.

That explains a lot, thanks. I don't know though. I am keeping it vanilla for now I think. I know having some sort of dampening mod would be better for me, so I feel I should do it soon.

Offline Skull_Angel

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I prefer soft-landing pads to O-rings. I feel like the travel reduction is too much even if its the thinner 0.2mm ones.

Isn't the travel reduction the same on the landing pads? Or do they "squish" that much? Improperly installed o-rings feel really funny, you have to butt them up against the stem stabilizers or they feel all sorts of weird.

Offline CPTBadAss

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I prefer soft-landing pads to O-rings. I feel like the travel reduction is too much even if its the thinner 0.2mm ones.

Isn't the travel reduction the same on the landing pads? Or do they "squish" that much? Improperly installed o-rings feel really funny, you have to butt them up against the stem stabilizers or they feel all sorts of weird.

I measured the thickness of one at 1 mm. And I just measured an o-ring at 2 mm. WASD must mean 0.2 cm, not mm. And the landing pads squish way more. The softness is way under the 40A of the soft red o-rings.

Offline Skull_Angel

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I prefer soft-landing pads to O-rings. I feel like the travel reduction is too much even if its the thinner 0.2mm ones.

Isn't the travel reduction the same on the landing pads? Or do they "squish" that much? Improperly installed o-rings feel really funny, you have to butt them up against the stem stabilizers or they feel all sorts of weird.

I measured the thickness of one at 1 mm. And I just measured an o-ring at 2 mm. WASD must mean 0.2 cm, not mm. And the landing pads squish way more. The softness is way under the 40A of the soft red o-rings.

Interesting, anything to note about durability? The black o-rings that WASD originally sold couldn't be reused after a year, they were close to falling apart when I removed them (and a few had cracked in half); iirc, they were generic silicone o-rings. As I understand it they started stocking ones made of more durable material though.

I haven't seen much feedback on the landing pads, but the soft ones don't strike me as being very durable; I'd like to know more if you could elaborate on the subject.

Offline CPTBadAss

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I'll let you know in a few months. I just grabbed them like a month ago. So far they seem fine in terms of wear.

Offline Skull_Angel

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I'll let you know in a few months. I just grabbed them like a month ago. So far they seem fine in terms of wear.

Sweet, look forward to hearing about 'em.

Offline TotalChaos

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I prefer soft-landing pads to O-rings. I feel like the travel reduction is too much even if its the thinner 0.2mm ones.

Isn't the travel reduction the same on the landing pads? Or do they "squish" that much? Improperly installed o-rings feel really funny, you have to butt them up against the stem stabilizers or they feel all sorts of weird.

I measured the thickness of one at 1 mm. And I just measured an o-ring at 2 mm. WASD must mean 0.2 cm, not mm.
There is a big difference between the thickness of an object and how much it reduces travel.  And to make things even more complicated, it matters which specific keycaps you are using.  WASD keycaps have a higher Riding Height than CoolerMaster keycaps and this affects the travel distance reduction.

The taller keycaps are very helpful from an ergonomic standpoint.  They allow more padding so you can have safer impacts without reducing travel distance much.


Quote
And the landing pads squish way more. The softness is way under the 40A of the soft red o-rings.
I bought sheets of 10A rubber and the 10A rubber is much harder than the pads.

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Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline CPTBadAss

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There is a big difference between the thickness of an object and how much it reduces travel.  And to make things even more complicated, it matters which specific keycaps you are using.  WASD keycaps have a higher Riding Height than CoolerMaster keycaps and this affects the travel distance reduction.

The taller keycaps are very helpful from an ergonomic standpoint.  They allow more padding so you can have safer impacts without reducing travel distance much.

That's very true, the keycaps affect how the o-rings/pads work. The OEM caps with the crossbars on the bottom seem to  work "better" vs the SP caps which don't have anything inside.


And you're saying the soft-landing pads are softer than 10A?

Offline TotalChaos

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There is a big difference between the thickness of an object and how much it reduces travel.  And to make things even more complicated, it matters which specific keycaps you are using.  WASD keycaps have a higher Riding Height than CoolerMaster keycaps and this affects the travel distance reduction.

The taller keycaps are very helpful from an ergonomic standpoint.  They allow more padding so you can have safer impacts without reducing travel distance much.

That's very true, the keycaps affect how the o-rings/pads work. The OEM caps with the crossbars on the bottom seem to  work "better" vs the SP caps which don't have anything inside.
Are you saying that no SP keycaps ever have reinforcement bars?

I have been calling them "reinforcement bars" but "crossbars" is less chars to type so maybe I will change.

I wrote SP a long email a while back asking them to show upskirt pics so I can see which of their keycaps have crossbars and which do not.  Its very very very important when using the current ergonomic protections available on the market.

They did not answer me which keycaps have crossbars and which do not.  Did any upskirt shots ever appear on their website?

I was thinking it was only their doubleshot keycaps that were missing the crossbars because, I assume, the manufacturing process excludes them.  But for all I know, no SP keycaps ever come with crossbars.


Quote
And you're saying the soft-landing pads are softer than 10A?
If you want to get really technical about it then referring to the pads using a durometer A-rating is inappropriate due to really technical reasons.  You can read up about if you really want. :)

What I am saying as a human is that soft landing pads are softer and squishier and have more elasticity than my sheets of 10A rubber.  I basically wasted $300.00 buying this rubber thinking it would be like foam padding and it just isn't.  Its solid rubber with no air pockets so its much more rigid and much less ergonomic.  Live and learn.

Another way of saying it is that 10A rubber is much denser and harder than the soft foam padding.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline CPTBadAss

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I should've said the SP set that I have (Valentine's Set) has no cross bars. Those are the only ones I can say for certain don't have them.

And I'm familiar with how the durometer scale works. I've done durometer testing before :)