Author Topic: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?  (Read 1864 times)

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Offline iLLucionist

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Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« on: Sat, 29 April 2017, 16:33:28 »
I know... gamers usually prefer MX Blacks or Reds.. Haven't decided myself yet.

But is there something that there are certain mech boards better suited for GAMING? Like a controller / PCB / the keyboard matrix?

Because I am under the impression that the gaming brands (corsair vengeance, ducky one, razer, steelseries) is just like filco / leopold / kul but less quality and more marketing.
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Offline slickmamba

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 29 April 2017, 17:21:48 »
i soldered my ergodox to be left hand only and it is great for gaming.  gives me more room for mouse movements in fps games
Personal boards: HHKB Type-S 55g, ergodox 62g clears, Smallfry JD40 ???, Duck Viper 62g clears, Duck Viper 60g vintage Blacks, 456GT Vintage Black, 456GT Vintage Clears, Koala Vintage Browns, LZ-GH 62g Zealios, IBM SSK
Classroom boards: All those above, IBM Model M(Thanks Moose!), ??

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 29 April 2017, 20:06:49 »
Ergodox,  God-Tier keyboard platform.. ULTIMATE ergonomics.. 

Offline Tactile

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 29 April 2017, 20:43:22 »
I suppose it depends on what is important to you or what you think will make an in-game difference. NKRO, we all know, is a feature desired by many. 1000 hz USB polling rate is a feature sought out by some folks. Cherry claim their analog MX 6.0 board has faster response time than most other keyboards. Logitech make a similar claim for their boards with Romer-G switches. Programmability is nice so you can disable keys you won't be using in the game so if you slip and hit a wrong key nothing happens. Some gamers use zone backlighting to keep track of groups of keys.

It's my personal opinion that finding a set of caps that work for you with just the right profile and surface area that you can hit reliably by feel can make more difference than anything electronic inside the keyboard - but that's just me.

Offline klennkellon

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 01:09:54 »
As far as layouts go, I think smaller keyboards are simply more ergonomic to game on. This is why I like TKL boards because they offer an excellent balance of function and ergonomics. I use the F-keys a lot and don't really care for having them under a function layer so as long as it at least has those I'm usually happy.

I can game on anything except switches that are very clicky or tactile. For me, gaming on a Model M was really uncomfortable. The keyboard itself is massive so my right hand was constantly bumping into the side of the keyboard. And the buckling springs for me at least, feel very unresponsive and clunky in gaming.


Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 04:29:46 »
Is there merit to the Corsair Vengeance series? Is there something that it does differently better that a gamer MUST have it?

I looked into MX Silver Cherry... but I think there will be too many accidental keypresses as I want to keep it for typing experience as well.

So now I'm leaning towards a Leopold 750 with Silent Reds, o-rings, and thick pbt caps and get back in the game.
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Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 07:00:26 »
My ship builds for Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages almost all assume you have an NKRO keyboard, and the hand techniques needed to make use of it...but that's as much about that game's lack of weapon groups as it is about a keyboard's general suitability for gaming.

On the speed front: MX 6.0 is fast, Logitech is faster (most likely the same tech that gets them to the front of the charts in mouse button lag comparisons), optical (and probably Hall effect as well) is fastest. There are a couple of cheaper Asian boards that I suspect might come out around the same as Logitech as well. Topre isn't as fast as you'd expect given that it's a non-contact switch. The top-runners are within about 1ms of each other, with Topre and its clones about 4ms behind, and everything else (with 1000hz polling) another 15-20ms back. I'd think, though, that these differences, even in the bigger cases, are probably more important for performance enthusiasts than they are for gamers. Though, subjectively, I do feel just a bit more competent pulling off fancy in-game movements with my Hall effect board than on anything else...

Now, as for features, the one you see marketed to gamers all the time is the presence of dedicated macro keys. Whether this makes a difference or not will depend on whether you're actually playing something where there are either a) commands where speed matters that you want to move closer to your hand's normal position without having to move any other command away, b) multi-action command sequences that you can condense to a single macro key press to increase your speed and consistency, or c) both. Higher-end non-gaming boards may feature some sort of programmability, but standalone macro keys can be used without having to bind over one of your regular keys or resort to a combination. I actually think it's rather a shame that we don't see this feature more often, since it also has non-gaming applications (especially if the keyboard and its software allow you more freedom than just having a macro key send a preset sequence).

I'm looking forward to seeing what Wooting can do with their analogue switches. Personally, I hate the feel of game controllers-- waaaaaaay too much reliance on thumb dexterity for me-- so if analogue sensing can give me a good substitute for playing games that are usually best-suited to controllers, I'd be all over that.
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Offline poq

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 07:35:08 »
I personally use a split ortho 40% for gaming, with 35g gateron clears. I wouldn't recommend it for games that use number keys or f-keys frequently, but I really only use it for CS. I play most other games with a controller. Nothing "gaming" keyboards do makes them inherently better for gaming, that's 99% marketing BS aside from the use of MX Silver/Speed switches, but even then the difference they make is small. There could be an argument made for macro keys, but most dedicated keys like that are so out of the way and the software side of things is usually poor enough that you'd be better off setting up AHK scripts or buying a mouse with lots of thumb buttons.

You're more likely to find bad keyboards for gaming than you are to find exceptional ones, if that makes sense. There really isn't much that changes the experience outside of switches and size.

Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 08:04:39 »
My ship builds for Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages almost all assume you have an NKRO keyboard, and the hand techniques needed to make use of it...but that's as much about that game's lack of weapon groups as it is about a keyboard's general suitability for gaming.

On the speed front: MX 6.0 is fast, Logitech is faster (most likely the same tech that gets them to the front of the charts in mouse button lag comparisons), optical (and probably Hall effect as well) is fastest. There are a couple of cheaper Asian boards that I suspect might come out around the same as Logitech as well. Topre isn't as fast as you'd expect given that it's a non-contact switch. The top-runners are within about 1ms of each other, with Topre and its clones about 4ms behind, and everything else (with 1000hz polling) another 15-20ms back. I'd think, though, that these differences, even in the bigger cases, are probably more important for performance enthusiasts than they are for gamers. Though, subjectively, I do feel just a bit more competent pulling off fancy in-game movements with my Hall effect board than on anything else...

Now, as for features, the one you see marketed to gamers all the time is the presence of dedicated macro keys. Whether this makes a difference or not will depend on whether you're actually playing something where there are either a) commands where speed matters that you want to move closer to your hand's normal position without having to move any other command away, b) multi-action command sequences that you can condense to a single macro key press to increase your speed and consistency, or c) both. Higher-end non-gaming boards may feature some sort of programmability, but standalone macro keys can be used without having to bind over one of your regular keys or resort to a combination. I actually think it's rather a shame that we don't see this feature more often, since it also has non-gaming applications (especially if the keyboard and its software allow you more freedom than just having a macro key send a preset sequence).

I'm looking forward to seeing what Wooting can do with their analogue switches. Personally, I hate the feel of game controllers-- waaaaaaay too much reliance on thumb dexterity for me-- so if analogue sensing can give me a good substitute for playing games that are usually best-suited to controllers, I'd be all over that.

With logitech boards are you referring to? romer-g boards?
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Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 08:06:28 »
I personally use a split ortho 40% for gaming, with 35g gateron clears. I wouldn't recommend it for games that use number keys or f-keys frequently, but I really only use it for CS. I play most other games with a controller. Nothing "gaming" keyboards do makes them inherently better for gaming, that's 99% marketing BS aside from the use of MX Silver/Speed switches, but even then the difference they make is small. There could be an argument made for macro keys, but most dedicated keys like that are so out of the way and the software side of things is usually poor enough that you'd be better off setting up AHK scripts or buying a mouse with lots of thumb buttons.

You're more likely to find bad keyboards for gaming than you are to find exceptional ones, if that makes sense. There really isn't much that changes the experience outside of switches and size.

Thanks... yeah... I wanna step up my game. Two weeks ago bought G403. I was SOO MUCH MORE ACCURATE in BF4 it was insane how large the difference was. So I figured if the other person has 144hz, PWM3366, and Reds already I will lose if they are trained because the hardware gives them a competitive advantage. So I need a 144Hz and a board with reds I figured.
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Offline poq

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 09:52:50 »
I personally use a split ortho 40% for gaming, with 35g gateron clears. I wouldn't recommend it for games that use number keys or f-keys frequently, but I really only use it for CS. I play most other games with a controller. Nothing "gaming" keyboards do makes them inherently better for gaming, that's 99% marketing BS aside from the use of MX Silver/Speed switches, but even then the difference they make is small. There could be an argument made for macro keys, but most dedicated keys like that are so out of the way and the software side of things is usually poor enough that you'd be better off setting up AHK scripts or buying a mouse with lots of thumb buttons.

You're more likely to find bad keyboards for gaming than you are to find exceptional ones, if that makes sense. There really isn't much that changes the experience outside of switches and size.

Thanks... yeah... I wanna step up my game. Two weeks ago bought G403. I was SOO MUCH MORE ACCURATE in BF4 it was insane how large the difference was. So I figured if the other person has 144hz, PWM3366, and Reds already I will lose if they are trained because the hardware gives them a competitive advantage. So I need a 144Hz and a board with reds I figured.
:

I'd say from experience a 144Hz monitor is probably going to give you a better increase in gaming performance than a new keyboard will, unless you're gaming on beam springs or some **** like that.

Offline daerid

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 11:58:25 »
Ergodox,  God-Tier keyboard platform.. ULTIMATE ergonomics.. 

Except for the searing pain it causes in my thumbs :-\

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 30 April 2017, 12:09:52 »
Ergodox,  God-Tier keyboard platform.. ULTIMATE ergonomics.. 

Except for the searing pain it causes in my thumbs :-\

Used improperly .. this is the fault of a man's carelessness in his attempt to wield a God-Tier weapon..

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Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 04:52:24 »
Anything that doesn't have a controller that uses V-USB? Cut out anything that adds latency!  >:D

Can't give you a list about that though. I'm sure with enough digging you can find info on the latency of differnt boards. 1000hz polling rates don't mean much if the firmware is adding excess latency on top of all the other fancy stuff it can do. You see this in mice with variances of up to 20ms added latency, iirc.

I looked into info concerning keyboard latency years ago and it's not uncommon for many to have close to or over 70ms latency with bad firmware communication. It's not something that's really easy to test and a lot of tests seem to have been done by recording using a high-speed camera with the keyboard in question next a monitor to capture approximate time passed upon activation. If you want to dig deep enough into latency, you have to consider everything connecting you to the task you're trying to accomplish, including the firmware and software; peripheral hardware and firmware, peripheral <> computer interface, computer software, computer <> monitor interface, monitor hardware and firmware...

Iirc, many games have a locked registration timing for keyboard inputs as well, so things can get muddied easily.

Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 05:34:04 »
Anything that doesn't have a controller that uses V-USB? Cut out anything that adds latency!  >:D

Can't give you a list about that though. I'm sure with enough digging you can find info on the latency of differnt boards. 1000hz polling rates don't mean much if the firmware is adding excess latency on top of all the other fancy stuff it can do. You see this in mice with variances of up to 20ms added latency, iirc.

I looked into info concerning keyboard latency years ago and it's not uncommon for many to have close to or over 70ms latency with bad firmware communication. It's not something that's really easy to test and a lot of tests seem to have been done by recording using a high-speed camera with the keyboard in question next a monitor to capture approximate time passed upon activation. If you want to dig deep enough into latency, you have to consider everything connecting you to the task you're trying to accomplish, including the firmware and software; peripheral hardware and firmware, peripheral <> computer interface, computer software, computer <> monitor interface, monitor hardware and firmware...

Iirc, many games have a locked registration timing for keyboard inputs as well, so things can get muddied easily.

Then, I guess, a good rule of thumb is to take the most minimalist board you can find. So NO RGB etc. Like Corsair Vengeance etc. That all adds time. And I guess those companies don't write proper firmware since they mostly market boards.

So that brings me back to Filco, Leopold, KUL, pok3r (with lighting) etc I guess.
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Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 07:31:36 »
Anything that doesn't have a controller that uses V-USB? Cut out anything that adds latency!  >:D

Can't give you a list about that though. I'm sure with enough digging you can find info on the latency of differnt boards. 1000hz polling rates don't mean much if the firmware is adding excess latency on top of all the other fancy stuff it can do. You see this in mice with variances of up to 20ms added latency, iirc.

I looked into info concerning keyboard latency years ago and it's not uncommon for many to have close to or over 70ms latency with bad firmware communication. It's not something that's really easy to test and a lot of tests seem to have been done by recording using a high-speed camera with the keyboard in question next a monitor to capture approximate time passed upon activation. If you want to dig deep enough into latency, you have to consider everything connecting you to the task you're trying to accomplish, including the firmware and software; peripheral hardware and firmware, peripheral <> computer interface, computer software, computer <> monitor interface, monitor hardware and firmware...

Iirc, many games have a locked registration timing for keyboard inputs as well, so things can get muddied easily.

Then, I guess, a good rule of thumb is to take the most minimalist board you can find. So NO RGB etc. Like Corsair Vengeance etc. That all adds time. And I guess those companies don't write proper firmware since they mostly market boards.

So that brings me back to Filco, Leopold, KUL, pok3r (with lighting) etc I guess.

I couldn't really tell you what effect lighting has on latency. Without having looked into recent boards, it's impossible to say who's firmware is up to snuff as well; I guess it would be a safe bet to go with a minimalistic board since there are less things to consider, but I would research important points of boards that interest you before dismissing for possible performance benefits/detriments.

I tried looking into this stuff about 6 years ago or so and the information was sparce at best, ended up just noting boards to avoid and going with a name-brand manufacturer that had a good reputation for keyboard manufacturing (ended up with a Ducky Shine II). A quick Google search still doesn't bring up much, but narrowing down the search to specifics may help.

Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 07:42:01 »
Anything that doesn't have a controller that uses V-USB? Cut out anything that adds latency!  >:D

Can't give you a list about that though. I'm sure with enough digging you can find info on the latency of differnt boards. 1000hz polling rates don't mean much if the firmware is adding excess latency on top of all the other fancy stuff it can do. You see this in mice with variances of up to 20ms added latency, iirc.

I looked into info concerning keyboard latency years ago and it's not uncommon for many to have close to or over 70ms latency with bad firmware communication. It's not something that's really easy to test and a lot of tests seem to have been done by recording using a high-speed camera with the keyboard in question next a monitor to capture approximate time passed upon activation. If you want to dig deep enough into latency, you have to consider everything connecting you to the task you're trying to accomplish, including the firmware and software; peripheral hardware and firmware, peripheral <> computer interface, computer software, computer <> monitor interface, monitor hardware and firmware...

Iirc, many games have a locked registration timing for keyboard inputs as well, so things can get muddied easily.

Then, I guess, a good rule of thumb is to take the most minimalist board you can find. So NO RGB etc. Like Corsair Vengeance etc. That all adds time. And I guess those companies don't write proper firmware since they mostly market boards.

So that brings me back to Filco, Leopold, KUL, pok3r (with lighting) etc I guess.

I couldn't really tell you what effect lighting has on latency. Without having looked into recent boards, it's impossible to say who's firmware is up to snuff as well; I guess it would be a safe bet to go with a minimalistic board since there are less things to consider, but I would research important points of boards that interest you before dismissing for possible performance benefits/detriments.

I tried looking into this stuff about 6 years ago or so and the information was sparce at best, ended up just noting boards to avoid and going with a name-brand manufacturer that had a good reputation for keyboard manufacturing (ended up with a Ducky Shine II). A quick Google search still doesn't bring up much, but narrowing down the search to specifics may help.

I think I'm going with the new Leopold Majestouch 2 silent TKL with silent reds and then add another controller. I want to swap caps / control at the hardware level anyways, so perhaps the controller makes some improvement. I guess given that the board is NKRO it must also be relatively quick otherwise it couldn't deliver NKRO.
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Offline RELLIK

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 07:58:36 »
Indeed much is marketing, but assuming anybody is getting into switches with less travel for FPS you should be getting G20 caps, the lift from S>W is a greater delay than any throw distance will matter IMO. Though a single pad/oroboros type board would be best, assuming you want to abandon the standard keyboard form.

And of course putting just as much though into a mouse. The current trend for FPS mice to be minimal and limiting inputs players can perform  with their other hand is absolutely retarded.

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Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 08:19:50 »
Ok, I couldn't resist. I DID IT.

I ordered the new Filco Majestouch 2 TKL in chalk white (HAKAU) with Silent Reds and red (1.5mm 40 hardness) O-rings. I COULDNT RESIST DAT WHITE.

I can change to best caps later on... and probably change controller.

Should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. Will post pics to you all to enjoy.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 08:21:19 »
Ok, I couldn't resist. I DID IT.

I ordered the new Filco Majestouch 2 TKL in chalk white (HAKAU) with Silent Reds and red (1.5mm 40 hardness) O-rings. I COULDNT RESIST DAT WHITE.

I can change to best caps later on... and probably change controller.

Should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. Will post pics to you all to enjoy.

don't you already haz 5 of these ?

Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Switch aside, are there boards better for GAMING?
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 01 May 2017, 08:35:59 »
Ok, I couldn't resist. I DID IT.

I ordered the new Filco Majestouch 2 TKL in chalk white (HAKAU) with Silent Reds and red (1.5mm 40 hardness) O-rings. I COULDNT RESIST DAT WHITE.

I can change to best caps later on... and probably change controller.

Should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. Will post pics to you all to enjoy.

don't you already haz 5 of these ?

I only have browns, clears, and teh topre.

I own these boards:
Filco Majestouch 2 Ninja TKL with MX Browns, black case (2012 bought).
HHKB 45g Black with normal caps
HHKB 45g White with blank caps
87U black 55g uniform
KUL ES-87 with MX Clears, smoke white.

And soon the new mx silent red filco..
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