Cherry MX low profile switches have had a sneaky upgrade

Mechanical keyboards have become something of a staple for PC gaming. This is by no means necessary, as a regular keyboard still provides full functionality, but once you’ve dialed in the mechanical toggle keys, going back can be tricky. In addition, they are much cheaper than before. Mechanical switches come in many varieties to suit every taste. Some are loud and clicky, while others opt for muted tones, and everyone has a different feel. By far the most popular switches are now made by Cherry, and they’ve been secretly going and getting better behind our backs.

According to techpowerup, Cherry MX’s low-profile mechanical RGB switches have received a subtle update. The gold cross contactor has been greatly improved and now has a lifespan of 100 million operations instead of just 50 million. The improvements require the metal to have a particularly thick layer of gold on top and have an accurate welding diode to do the job properly. Cherry claims that most competitors don’t use these processes and save on gold, making their switches more reliable for long-term use.

The other big improvement that results from these improvements is lower return time. The mechanical keys seem to jump back to your fingers and that’s part of the fun of using them. Cherry claims that this failure now typically takes less than a millisecond, allowing keystrokes to be registered and repeated at greater speeds.

If you’ve bought a keyboard with these keys within the last six months, chances are you’re in luck. These low-profile switch changes happened in the middle of last year, so there’s a good chance most keyboards bought since then have these ultra-durable and fast keys. We don’t remember any noticeable price increases either, so the gold in the keys seems to be an additional bonus.

Of course, Cherry isn’t the only key maker in town. They feature prominently among the products on our list of the best mechanical keyboards, coming in at 2nd and 3rd, but it was actually the Corsair k100 RGB optical keyboard that came out on top. It uses Corsair OPX switches, it’s a huge keyboard with lots of RGB options and at a hefty price point. Those looking for a more budget-friendly option can check out our favorite cheap keyboards, most notably the G.SKILL KM360 with Cherry MX keys.

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