Corsair, known first for their memory kits, have since diversified into nearly everything needed for a PC tower now- cases, cooling, PSUs, memory, storage and even graphics cards as a result of a partnership with MSI. With CPUs and motherboards out of the picture (at least for now), they have sought to get their product line to cover peripherals as well with an offering of keyboards, mice, mouse pads and headsets/speakers as of today. They made history in 2014 with the introduction of RGB keyboards using genuine Cherry MX switches and have possibly the strongest partnership with Cherry compared to other customer companies- so much so that they get exclusives on new switches more than anyone else. First was the MX Silent (Red) in standard and RGB fashion that came with the Strafe RGB and now they have the Cherry MX Speed (Silver) in their new RAPIDFIRE sub-brand of keyboards. Thanks to Corsair, we get to take a look at the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE now.
Let’s take a look at the specs from the product page:
Adding to this, we have the force diagram for the new Cherry MX Speed (Silver) switches:
Compare that to the same for the more standard Cherry MX Red switch (Excuse the larger size):
There are two sets of specifications and features accordingly- one for the Corsair K70 RGB keyboards, and in particular those common to the new LUX and RAPIDFIRE, and another for the Cherry MX Speed (Silver switches). The former is an update on the original K70 RGB in that these feature stronger drivers enabling full 16.8 M color options without color flicker during transition, updated keycaps with a larger font legend to allow more light to pass through, and USB pass-through. The Cherry MX Speed (Silver) switches are linear switches with a much shorter actuation distance at 1.2 mm compared to 2 mm for their MX Red switches with the same ~45 cN of actuation force, and the travel distance and bottoming out force are also different at 3.4 mm, ~70 cN vs 4 mm, ~60 cN respectively. The reset position once bottomed out is also different and actually it takes longer for the MX Speed to reset from bottoming out than the MX Red switches. So while Corsair and Cherry can brag about this switch being the “fastest to actuate”, it is a good thing that these take more force to bottom out since multiple press strokes on the same key will end up evening out or even worse for these. These switches came about as Cherry showing they can still innovate and go where the money and market is- with gamers. Logitech (Romer G with 1.5 mm actuation distance, 3 mm travel), Steelseries ( QG1 at 1.5 mm actuation, 3 mm travel) and Kailh (1.5 mm actuation, 3.5 mm travel) are the direct competition accordingly. The keyboard as a while has a 2 year warranty which I would like to see go up to 3 years at the very least, but the re-worked SMD LEDs on the RGB switches seem to be significantly more stable and longer lasting than before so I have less of an issue now than before. Let’s now take a look at the keyboard on the next page.