cherry mx reds>membrane/rubber dome
cherry mx black>membrane/rubber dome
membrane/rubberdome>cherry mx blue/brown/clear etc
cherry mx red/black is by far the best switch for gaming and this is not debateable. they may not be the best for typing
i'll say i recommend the CM Quickfire pro with cherry mx red switches
on a budget, and a Filco Majestouch 2 with reds if you want a full size, highest of quality keyboardEdit:
hi I'm not the guy who made this guide but I want to throw in a bit more information about keyboards
helder seems to have totally gimped on keyboard information despite the fact that he obsessed over them for a while
there are only three important things you want in a good keyboard:
- High key rollover
- Good feel (subjective)
- Preferably PS/2 connection (correlating with first point)
generally, membrane and rubber dome keyboards (if you don't know what keyboard you are using, you're probably using one of these) aren't very good for playing games of any kind. they're cheaply made and mass produced, and usually only have 2-4 key rollover
the reason why you want a high key rollover for playing video games is because a lower one will make simultaneous key presses impossible. so, with a 3kr (3-key rollover) you'd be able to click 3 buttons at the same time without your inputs being stopped and no longer registering. many companies advertise a higher key rollover as "anti-ghosting", but it is, in fact, incorrectly named, and at this point is merely a marketing term. usb connection keyboards limit the key rollover to 6kr, which is fine for pretty much all games unless you're playing beatmania or o2jam.
if you really want a keyboard with NKR (any number of keys can be pressed at the same time and still register), you'll have to get a keyboard which uses a PS/2 connection. also, PS/2 connections don't poll the way USB keyboards do; instead, they send a signal to the PC when they are told to (when you activate a key) which causes a hardware interrupt, forcing your CPU to register the keystroke. this is superior to USB's polling, because it forces an instant interrupt. also, it can't be delayed by other devices taking up bandwidth on your USB bus, and won't constantly and unnecessarily poll your CPU, which will only waste CPU time. PS/2 wins on every front here.
for a keyboard with a good feel, you'll want to get into the market for a mechanical keyboard. the keyboards helder mentioned earlier in this section are very nice keyboards. i actually use one of the keyboards he recommended, the filco majestouch2 with red switches. the reason why we prefer Cherry MX red switches is because they have a very light required force to activate the keys and are linear. this guide is really great for learning about all the different types of switches: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-guide
however, among the most popular switches made by Cherry Corp, which is the most well-recognized brand of mechanical keyboard switches, the key differences are:
Cherry MX Blue:
- low required activation force (which means the keys aren't resistant to being pressed)
- tactile (which means there is a tactile "bump" when you activate them, allowing you to feel when the switches were activated)
- clicky (which means it will make a lot of sound when the keys are activated).
there's one reason why I don't think these switches are good for gaming (my opinion and my opinion only; there are plenty of good players of all games who use these switches in their keyboards), and that's because their release point is far above their activation point, meaning that you have to almost entirely release the key to deactivate it. it makes for an annoying experience, especially for WASD movement, at least in my opinion.
Cherry MX Red:
- very low required activation force
- linear (which means there is no tactile "bump" when you activate the keys)
- not clicky (still louder than your average membrane or rubber dome keyboard if you bottom out the keys, but assuming you type as lightly as possible, you can make these keyboards have next to no noise)
Cherry MX Brown: many consider these to be the in-between of the blue switch and the red switch. they have
- low required activation force
- are tactile
- aren't clicky
they also don't have the problem with the release point that the blues do, which means they probably feel better (although note i have only ever used blue and red switches; my knowledge of other keyboards comes from the internet)
Cherry MX Black: a lot of people consider these a "tougher" version of the red switches. they have
- high required activation force (which means the keys have a lot of resistance)
- are linear
- aren't clicky.
a popular black switch keyboard is the SteelSeries 6gv2, but i've heard mixed things about it. the go-to companies for any of these keyboards are usually companies which specialize in keyboards, e.g. Filco, Rosewill, etc.AVOID "GAMING" KEYBOARDS WHICH AREN'T MECHANICAL.
these keyboards are made of the same material as any other rubber domes/membranes, and are essentially really big scams. Razer sells a mechanical keyboard called the BlackWidow, but i wouldn't recommend buying it because it has relatively low build quality and only 3-key rollover (although it has 6kr in the WASD "cluster" as they call it). it used to be a good budget choice, but with CoolerMaster's recent CM line of mechanical keyboards, it fails at even that (and don't even get me started on the BlackWidow Ultimate; it's basically just $50 extra so your keyboard will light up).
that's pretty much it for keyboards. like helder said, if you're only playing FPS, your keyboard is probably one of your least important tools. however, it's worth it to be educated on what is and isn't a good purchase (since this is a guide about how not to get scammed, after all), and in my opinion, mechanical keyboards (especially red switch ones) are far superior to membrane or rubber dome ones for both typing and playing. there are different types of switches and keyboards out there you could learn about (such as Topre, Alps, and the other switches made by Cherry Corp), and if you're truly interested in learning about them, check out the guide i linked on overclock.net