Keyboards

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard

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Observations and gaming

Cooler Master will be offering this keyboard in two models. This review will be using the Cherry MX Blue the other choice is Cherry MX Red.

Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire XT Mechanical Keyboard
4 Cherry MX styles and features exist giving the user a wide range of performance and explained below.

Tony did such a good job giving a Cherry MX mechanical key style, operation and breakdown I borrowed it from his
Cooler Master QuickFire PRO review. http://www.modders-inc.com/cooler-master-quick-fire-pro-keyboard/4/

The Cooler Master Cm Storm Quickfire XT utilizes Cherry MX Mechanical switches which enables pretty much unparalleled precision and response.

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard CM Storm, Cooler Master, Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard 1

 

Here in essence is what we are dealing with. This is a Cherry MX Red switch. Many keyboards on the market use a rubber dome with a contact to engage the key press but the mechanical switches use a plastic stem to separate the contacts and when depressed allows the contact to be completed initiating a key press signal.

There are many different Key switch types and they are coded by color as to the type of actuation they use.  The reason for so many options is that keyboards are used for more than just gaming and therefore the different actuation types may be preferable compared to another for whatever the task at hand is. The CM Storm QuickFire XT is available in two different key switch types Blue and Red. All four are briefly explained below.

 

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard CM Storm, Cooler Master, Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard 2

Type: Linear Switch  Tactile: No Click: No,  QuickFire XT: No

Actuation Force: 60g (40g-80g overall) Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom Cherry MX-Black switches are linear (non-tactile) switches, these are considered one of the best switch types for gaming. When gaming, having a tactile bump does absolutely nothing because you’re going to be bottoming out anyway. So these give you a very smooth feel. The actuation and release points are at the exact same position as well. So games that require a lot of double tapping become easier than on any other key switch. However, most people don’t enjoy typing on them that much do in part, to their linear nature. If you’re a person who tends to hit a wrong key every so often while gaming, these will be beneficial in that the high actuation force will help prevent many of those accidental presses.

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard CM Storm, Cooler Master, Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard 3

Type: Tactile Switch Tactile: Yes Click: No,  QuickFire XT: No

Actuation Force: 45g (55g Peak Force) Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom Cherry MX Brown switches are considered a middle ground between typing and “gaming” switches. They have a light, tactile feel half way through the key press that lets you know the switch has activated. This gives you an indication of what you can release the switch. The switch is considered a middle ground because the reset point & actuation point are close enough together than you can “float” at that point, enabling you to double tap faster.

As a note: this switch actually has a peak force of 55G, it is 45G at the point of actuation. This is due to the design of the Cherry switch itself.

 

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard CM Storm, Cooler Master, Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard 4

Type: Tactile & Click Switch  Tactile: Yes, precise Click: Yes,  QuickFire XT: Yes

Actuation Force: 50g (60g Peak Force) Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom Cherry MX Blue switches are the best cherry switch for typing. The tactile bump can easily be felt, and the resistance is similar to your average keyboard.

Although many people find them just fine for gaming, some don’t like the fact that the release point is above the actuation point. This can cause some trouble with double-tapping. This is usually the case with someone who has experienced other mechanical switches before hand.

As a note: this switch actually has a peak force of 60g, it is 50g at the point of actuation. This is due to the design of the Cherry switch itself.

 

CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard CM Storm, Cooler Master, Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard 1

Type: Linear Switch  Tactile: No Click: No,  QuickFire XT: Yes

Actuation Force: 45g Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom Cherry MX-Red’s are another switch that can be considered a “gaming” switch. It’s essentially a lighter version of the MX Black, requiring less force to actuate. Some people do not find this switch that good for typing or gaming because it is so light, but others rave for this fact. Light or Stiff is always a matter of preference. This switch was hard to find; and was reported as EOL, but it is still in limited production with a higher than average MOQ leading to higher cost to board makers. Marketed with high demand, boards with this switch are becoming more common, but are generally more expensive as well.

KEYS IN SUMMARY

You have a choice when purchasing any of these styles. My suggestion is find a sample of each of the 2 MX key styles and get some feel for your liking. Once you have one, expect some time to get used to the difference if coming from a non-mech board. By offering 2 Cherry MX key styles you can choose what you feel would be most desirable. There is a big difference in feel, feedback and sound. 2 variations of keys for the same board is some nice versatility for about any one looking for a Mech Keyboard. (side note, the CM Storm QuickFire PRO has all 4 to choose from).

Did I say “sound”? The Cherry Blue MX style reviewed is a Clicky sounding feedback that takes getting used to. If your nearby others you may want to consider quite styles like the Cherry Red MX.

 Gaming

You definitely get a tactile advantage with mechanical style keyboards. The tactile feel and sound gives you feedback to know your pressure and input is successful with the key action from the board. The CM Storm QuickFire XT has fast response and I think better tapping out double hits or fire actions. Pressure to me does not feel any more than non mechanical standard rubber backed contact style keyboards.

When the CM Storm QuickFire XT is plugged into a PS/2 port the unrestricted N- rollover transmits all the keys pressed at any one time thus NKRO…. Uh, what?

NKRO
The number represents how many keys you can press at once and still have them be recognized by the keyboard.  Most membrane keyboards are 2KRO and 3KRO.  Some mechanical keyboards which aren’t quite NKRO come in 20KRO flavors.

NKRO (is what the CM Storm QuickFire XT uses) is the ‘Unlimited’ version of Key Rollover. This means that each key is scanned completely independently by the keyboard hardware, so that each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time in PS/2 connected mode.”
KRO definition from (http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/terms.php) :

For those that want to use this for mmorpg play you will love that the CM Storm QuickFire XT has this feature. This means that you can hit multiple keys or macro’s and have them all play without locking up your game.

I tested the keyboard movements and response on a few movement games like World of Tanks and DOTA.
It was flawless, responded without hesitation or delay. I like the slightly raised marking/lettering, you can feel
direction markings knowing your on the right keys without looking.

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Hidden away in a dark part of the Modders-Inc offices is a man, no a machine, that writes reviews so epic that they have been listed in the top ten best reads by the New York Times. Well that is what we tell him otherwise we have no idea what would happen if he knew the truth.

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