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Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid REVIEW

by Jon Quach | December 31, 2012December 31, 2012 10:31 am PDT

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The QuickFire rapid is one of the few mechanical keyboard models on the market that not only offer the traditional MX cherry blue and MX cherry brown options, but also MX cherry black and MX cherry red as well. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve added a new variant to the QuickFire Rapid line-up, this one loaded with MX cherry green switches – a switch type of legends that, for many years, only a few fanatics have ever experienced.

Cherry MX Blue Switches

Cherry blue switches are the loudest out of the bunch listed. Once pressed, it produces a unique glass-like “click”. You can also feel a slight tactile “bump” as you press down on the key. The switch actuates at a “medium” pressure, or 50g if you want to be precise and scientific.

I personally have a  love/hate relationship with the blues. The joy I get from the pristine audible “click” can only be compared to romanticized thoughts of typewriters clacking away in the 50’s. However, after prolonged use, the volume of those clicks can drive a user mad, and others around the user even madder.

Cherry MX Brown Switches

Cherry browns switches are like a ninja cherry blue. Like the blues, they also have a tactile bump, letting the user know that the key has been actuated. However, unlike the blues, they’re silent as they lack the audible click – well, as silent as mechanical keyboards can be. They’re slightly “lighter” compared to the blues, actuating at around 45g of pressure.

Cherry MX Red Switches

Cherry reds are the lightest out of the bunch. Several years ago, the only way you could get a keyboard loaded with reds was to order it from Asia, or participate in forum based “group buys”.

Fortunately, manufacturers have recently started using reds in their line-up. The surge of reds into the keyboard market allowed them to skyrocket to become one of the more beloved switches of gamers and typists.

Unlike the blues and browns, cherry reds are a linear switch. In other words, you won’t feel a tactile “bump” when you press the key. These switches actuate at a feather-like touch of just 45g of pressure. To put this into perspective – Based on personal experience, it takes less effort to type on a cherry mx red keyboard, than on an Apple keyboard.

Cherry MX Black Switches

Cherry blacks are the heaviest out of the bunch. Like coffee, sushi, golf, and bungee jumping, cherry blacks are of an acquired “taste”. Like the reds, they are non-bumpy linear switches. However, unlike the reds, they actuate at around 65-70g of force. Which may not sound like much, but after even 2 minutes of typing, cherry black boards can cramp the fingers of inexperienced users.

Blacks have been revered as being the gaming switches, as the heaviness of the keys can help prevent mis-clicks. However, with the popularity of reds on the rise, black switches have quietly become abandoned by a fair number of users in both the keyboard and gaming community.

Cherry MX Green Switches

I’ve never tried cherry greens before, but from what I’ve read, they’re essentially a marriage of cherry black and cherry blues. They have the awesome audible clickiness of the blues, with the intimidating heaviness of the blacks. Because of the extreme nature of these switches, they’re considered to having either the “best of both worlds”, or the “worse of both worlds”.

Keyboard Vocab

Actuate

“ac·tu·at·e”
To put into motion or action; activate.

Versus The Competition

Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid

Leopold FC200 (Tenkeyless)

 Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid

 Apple Bluetooth Keyboard

You only start noticing a difference would be comparing it to a non-mechanical keyboard, like this membrane-based Apple keyboard that actuates via a series of scissor switches rather than cherry MX switches.


Jon Quach

Jon Quach is known on the web, primarily on YouTube, for his abstract, creative, and often humorous presentation of Technology. Unlike traditional...

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