In our last blog post, we introduced you to some of the best custom gaming laptop accessories in order to put your gaming experience over the top. Once you’ve built your own gaming laptop here at Magic Micro Computers, the maker of the best custom gaming laptops, it’s time to complete your whole gaming experience. In this blog post, we’ll take a more intimate look at the custom gaming keyboard for your custom-built gaming computer. Contact us today to get started!


WHAT’S A MECHANICAL SWITCH?


Those new to gaming may not understand what a mechanical switch is. A mechanical switch is the mechanism underneath the key that offers feedback to the gamer. There are different types of switches that make different noises and respond with different times and responses that make them useful to gamers.


Old fashioned keyboards made a loud noise when typing due to the physical strike of the letter against the paper and the roll. This sound provided instant feedback to the user so they know if a key had been pressed or not. Today, an audio response is still useful, as well as tactile feedback that makes typing easier and improves the speed and efficiency of typing.


Rubber dome keyboards are your traditional keyboards that come standard on most computers. They are much simpler in design, and therefore, less versatile.


THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF A MECHANICAL KEYBOARD SWITCH


  • Keycap. Where you place your fingers on the keys themselves and that has the letter and/or symbol written on.

  • Stem. The rod down the middle that has the keycap on top and creates the feel between the upper housing and the coil.

  • Upper housing. The name of the case that holds all the components together.

  • Coil spring. The part that activates the switch and is wrapped around the slider that brings the switch back to its original position after activation.

  • Slider. The part that pushes against the spring and interrupts the connection between the metal contact leaves.

  • Metal contact leaves. The part of the switch that registers the keystroke.


THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF A RUBBER DOME SWITCH


  • Keycap

  • Slider

  • Silicone membrane layer

  • Printed circuit board with electrical circuits


Mechanical switches are preferred by gamers because they offer the most feedback, as well as the most control and function while gaming. There are three behavior classes of mechanical switches and mechanical keyboards:


  1. Linear. Linear mechanical keyboards are designed to be smooth and consistent.

  2. Tactile. Tactile mechanical keyboards are designed with a bump in the middle of travel, usually around the actuation point.

  3. Clicky. Clicky mechanical keyboards are designed with a bump in the middle of travel that makes a distinct, sharp click sound.


A GLOSSARY OF KEYBOARD FUNCTIONS


  • Actuation point. This is the distance the switch has to depress for an input to be registered in the keystroke. An actuation point is measured from the top of the keystroke. This is often measured in millimeters, so the smaller the distance, the faster the stroke.

  • Reset point. This is the distance the key rebounds in order for the switch to reset itself. This is also called pre-travel and is usually measured in millimeters. The shorter the distance, the faster the switch.

  • Travel. This is the total distance that the switch can physically move.

  • Bottom-out. This is the point at which the key is depressed fully and can go no further.

  • Hysteresis. This is when the actuation point and the reset point are misaligned, which can cause the switch not to rebound high enough in order for the actuation point to be reset.

  • Debounce. This is a technique that ensures only one signal is registered by your mechanical keyboard. Basically, when the two metal contacts complete a circuit from your keystrokes, it is possible for multiple signals to be generated. This is called signal bouncing is definitely something most gamers do not want in their mechanical keyboard.


WHICH MECHANICAL KEYBOARD IS RIGHT FOR YOUR GAMING NEEDS?


Without a doubt mechanical keyboards are the much better choice for a superb gaming experience. They offer real-time feedback, so you have no doubt that a key was pressed. Mechanical keyboards are much more durable than rubber dome keyboards, lasting up to four times as long as a rubber dome keyboard and are frequently measured in cycles. So now the questions become which mechanical keyboard is right for you and your gaming needs?


Tactile and clicky switches offer feedback with every keystroke with either a click or a feel of the bump when you hit the actuation point. With actuation points, the gamer does not have to press down fully in order to register a move or a stroke, which leads to faster typing and thus faster play. This can be useful in games where actions per minute are a key component of winning.


However, linear mechanical switches are great for faster-paced games, such as first-person shooters. Keystrokes register faster with no dome to compress or click to overcome.


Thus, you need to consider a mechanical keyboards auditory, tactile, and force components when choosing a mechanical keyboard that works for you. Often, gamers have multiple keyboards that they use, depending on the game.


WHY MAGIC MICRO COMPUTERS


All mechanical keyboards are compatible with Magic Micro Computers custom gaming laptops. Magic Micro Computers has been in business for well over a decade, offering the best custom built gaming PCs so you can have a top-notch gaming experience. We offer Barebones PCs, such as our top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen AM4 DDR4 Barebones #1, which comes with six USB 2.0 & 3.0, 16x PCI express slot, m.2 drive slot , HD sound and GB LAN. Or, choose a desktop gaming computer, such as Magic Intel i5 Kaby Lake Mini, which is a full tower desktop gaming computer that features New 7th generation Intel i5 Quad core Kaby lake CPU and Intel HD dual head video with HDMI and DVI out. Or, choose from the best custom gaming laptops offered by Magic Micro Computers.


Magic Micro Computers believe the best gaming experience begins with the best custom built gaming computer. When you custom build your gaming computer, you get to choose the gaming components that you want and desire for your particular gaming needs. As a gamer, you’ve probably experienced a time when you were gaming and you didn’t have the right bandwidth or memory to play adequately. That all ends when you build your own gaming computer. With Magic Micro Computers, you’ll receive tech support for life and customer service answers when you need it. Order your custom built gaming computer, and experience a better gaming experience today!

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