Four alternatives to Cherry MX keyswitches

Credit: Razer

With mechanical keyboards fast becoming to the norm for PC gaming in recent years, many vendors have embraced Cherry MX as their keyswitch of choice. However, it’s far from the only option out there.

Here are some alternatives to Cherry MX:

Razer Switches

Designed from the ground up for gaming, Razer says their Razer Mechanical Switches are designed to last 60% longer than standard mechanical switches.

Credit: Razer

There are three color-coded variants on offer here:

  • Razer Green Switch: These feature a tactile bump and distinctive click sound along with optimized actuation and reset points for superior gaming and typing performance.

  • Razer Orange Switch: These offer the same tactile bump as the Green switches do but without the audible click. They also require less actuation force.

  • Razer Yellow Switch: These boast an ultra-fast actuation of only 1.2mm and quiet performance, even for rapid-fire keypresses.



Actuation Force

Travel Distance

Actuation Point

Actuation vs Reset Point

Green

50g

4mm

1.9mm

0.4mm

Orange

45g

4mm

1.9mm

0.4mm

Yellow

45g

3.5mm

1.2mm

0mm

Credit: Razer

Kailh

Manufacturer by Kaihua Electronics, Kailh switches are - to put it politely - “legal-clones” of Cherry MX switches.

Credit: NovelKeys LLC

Most Kailh switches are pretty analogous to their CherryMX counterparts but do promise a higher lifespan (70 million keystrokes vs 20 million keystrokes) and a slightly-cheaper price-tag.

There are a number of variants on offer here, broken out into three families:

  • Kailh Box Switches: These feature a reinforced stem with water and dust resistance

  • Kailh Speed Switches: These have a shorter travel and key activation distance

  • Kailh Pro Switches: These offer a shorter travel and activation distance than Kailh Box Switches, but a greater distance than that of Kaihl Speed Switches.


Family

Actuation Force

Travel Distance

Actuation Point

Black

Box

60g

3.6mm

1.8mm

Brown

Box

50g

3.6mm

1.8mm

Red

Box

45g

3.6mm

1.8mm

White

Box

50g

3.6mm

1.8mm

Bronze

Speed

50g

3.5mm

1.1mm

Copper

Speed

50g

3.5mm

1.1mm

Silver

Speed

50g

3.5mm

1.1mm

Purple

Pro

50g

3.6mm

1.7mm

Logitech Romer-G Switches

Like Razer, Logitech have also invested in designing and building their own range of gaming keyswitches in the form of Romer-G switches.

Credit: Logitech

According to Logitech, “Esports pros all over the world prefer Logitech G mechanical keyboards for their speed, consistency, and reliability.”

Each Romer-G switch claims to have a lifespan of 70 million presses.


Actuation Force

Travel Distance

Actuation Point

Romer-G Tactile

45g

3.2mm

1.5mm

Romer-G Linear

45g

3.2mm

1.5mm

Romer-G GX Blue

50g

4mm

1.9mm

Credit: Logitech

Roccat Titan Switches

Roccat are also touting their own gamer-designed keyswitches in the form of the Roccat Titan keyswitches. However, unlike other accessory vendors, they’re only focused on a single version of the new keyswitch. At least for now.

Credit: Roccat

Actuation Force

Travel Distance

Actuation Point

Roccat Titan

45g

3.6mm

1.8mm

The main point of difference here is that Roccat’s Titan switches all come integrated with the company's AIMO lighting ecosystem.

Each Titan switch features a long-life LED that can be individually configured to display multiple illumination effects in 16.M colors. The housing of the Titan switch is also completely transparent, spreading the LED lighting farther.

This also has the added benefit of protecting the inner part of the switch from dust and making it easy to maintain and keep clean.

Roccat also talk up some software improvements on the official website for the Titan switches, saying that it reliably reads the keystroke signal at a much earlier point after actuation, making the Titan switch 20% faster than its competitors.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

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Tags Romer-GKailh SwitchesRoccat Titan KeyswitchesRazer SwitchesCherryMXRoccat Titan

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Fergus Halliday
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