5-Way Mechanical Keyboard Roundup: Top Decks For Gamers And Enthusiasts

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Cherry MX Board Silent Design And Performance

The Cherry MX Board Silent is different from the other products we have looked at in many ways. First, it's not specifically a gaming keyboard and it offers nothing in the way of RGB, or macros. Instead, it is a workhorse that is designed to be used and abused for years on end. This makes it perfect for the office, or heavy typing environment, especially those where loud clicky keys are discouraged.

The overall look of the keyboard is also subdued, but there is an undeniable nostalgic look that brings you back to a simpler time. Especially if you get the beige, off-white model.

cherry main

The right side of the keyboard includes the traditional number pad as well as LED lights for the nub lock, caps lock and scroll lock features.

cherry numpad

What sets this board apart is its Cherry MX Silent Black switches. Each switch on the board comes with a noise-optimized 2-component stem, which minimizes noise when both topping and bottoming out. There is still a noise when the key is activated, but it's more of a small thud than an actual click and this is only if you fully bottom out the key. The switches also have a linear switching characteristic and an actuating force of 60cN, which gives them a higher spring force than most silent switches on the market.

The MX Board Silent can be found with both Cherry MX Silent Red and Cherry MX Black switches. The Black switches are designed more for industrial use, while the MX Red are predominately for gamers and people who want to type without the added distraction of clicky keys. Both, however feature Gold Crosspoint contact technology and are good for up to 50 million keystrokes per switch.

cherry switch

The Cherry MX Black Silent can be connected via either the included USB cable or you can use the PS/2 adapter. While PS/2 is considered mostly legacy at this point, there are a few reasons why some people still prefer it over USB. For instance, the PS/2 interface has lower latency and there are fewer problems with KVM switching on non-Wintel systems. PS/2 can also support true N-Key rollover.  In real world performance though, both work well, but the KVM switching could be a good option for industrial use as it allows you to control multiple computers through one keyboard.

cherry port

Chery MX Board Silent Performance

The Cherry MX Board Silent doesn't come with any software so we can jump right to the performance. In total we spent a good week with this keyboard. It was the first time we had a real chance to get down and dirty with the Cherry MX Silent Black switches, so we wanted to really see what they had to offer. In the end we can say they are quiet, but like someone standing in the corner not talking to anyone, there was something a little off. On the plus side, the switches were very quiet. Instead of a loud click there was nothing, unless you really bottomed out and even then there was only a slight thud. The switches were also very responsive, as each keystroke was recorded without a single miss. On the flip side we found the keys to be quickly fatiguing. After typing a few pages of this review, it was evident the Cherry MX Silent Black wasn't meant for long publishing sessions. Gaming wasn't in the cards either. The switches just aren't quick enough and they feel heavy to the touch in our opinion.

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