What is a gaming keyboard? Up until the release of the SteelSeries 6Gv2 it was clear that in order to be considered a “gaming” keyboard it had to in some way glowed in the dark. Don’t take that the wrong way, we do like things that have lights and can be a bit flashy, but we don’t believe that’s what should define or set apart a keyboard for gaming. As we began to design the 6Gv2, we wanted to offer a keyboard that would do more than emulate the bridge console on the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and instead, we focused on raw performance and durability.
We took a long look at the most extreme use scenarios for keyboards and designed a keyboard that would meet and (in most cases) exceed every one of them. That’s why we refer to the 6Gv2 as the “heavyweight of gaming keyboards”. It’s not the prettiest chick in the beauty pageant. It doesn’t glow or pulse. But it packs a punch. A serious one.
SteelSeries 6Gv2 is built with mechanical no-click linear switches. The users experience with mechanical switches is very different compared to using the “soft feel” keys found on conventional keyboards or even laptops. So how is it different? Read on!
Traditional keyboards are built with small rubber domes under the keys. It is these rubber domes that provides the “soft feel” level of resistance when you type. When you operate a rubber dome keyboard, the keys needs to be pressed down until a membrane switch is activated. These membrane switches will slowly wear out, typically after one to five million key presses. You may already have tried this. After a while you will find yourself pressing harder and harder to get the keyboard to register key presses. Typing gradually becomes annoying and irritating – but when you’re gaming and you start missing critical in-game commands, frustration sets in. The 6Gv2 offers a lifecycle of 50 million key presses per key, which is more than 10 times of the amount than conventional keyboards.
From the demonstrations below, its easy to see that the Red and Black versions of the Cherry™ MX switches are nearly identical. The subtle difference is in the amount of force required to press, or actuate, the keys.
The Cherry™ Red switch features all the benefits, reliability and durability of the black switch, but requires less force to actuate it. Because of this, the Cherry™ Red switch is considered the “gaming” switch. It allows for much higher rate of presses due to the decreased amount of effort required to press the keys. It is a light switch designed for rapid-fire response.
Cherry™ MX Black Linear Switch:
Cherry™ MX Red Linear Switch:
As in all your peripherals, your preference for the lighter Cherry™ Red or the stiffer Cherry™ Black switches will be very much your own. We simply make the options available and the choice yours.
But the 6Gv2 offers more than just a long lifecycle. The rubber domes on a conventional keyboard will, over time,lose their tactile feeling due to rubber flexing. The keys you use the most will start to feel different. The physical construction of the mechanical switches used in the 6Gv2, and the strict tolerance levels in which the switches are manufactured, is what allows the key presses on this keyboard to always feel consistent.
It gets even better. With the 6Gv2 you don’t have to press the keys all the way down for them to register. Our mechanical switches will register key presses fast; the travel distance will be roughly 50% shorter than a conventional keyboard. You will type faster, with a consistent tactile feeling. Your Actions Per Minute (APM) can reach new heights with the 6Gv2 thanks to this feature.
The design and build quality of the SteelSeries 6Gv2 keyboard stands up to fast fingers, fists and furious slams. Its iron-infused plastic surface and keys present an optimal feel that when coupled with Cherry™ MX Red switches, gamers will find faster registered key presses and increased Actions Per Minute (ACM).
Cherry™ MX Red switches are among the toughest and highest quality key switches available on the market. SteelSeries 6Gv2 Red Switch is one of the few gaming keyboards on the market that has them. They bring the lifecycle of a keyboard up to 50 million key presses (the average is only about 6 million). Wow, that’s a a lot of gaming…and typing.
Ever tried pressing a few keys on your keyboard and getting a beep sound? It either happens when you press too many keys at the same time, or when you press too many keys within the same cluster at the same time (like the keys around WASD which often used for movements in games). If your keyboard exhibits this behavior it will hinder your ability to perform certain actions, movement in a FPS games being one example. The industry has labeled this anti-ghosting. When using USB, you can use up to 6 keys plus modifiers at the same time, which is the highest spec limit a USB connection can accommodate.
It will take a while to get used to a mechanical keyboard, most gamers or typists acclimate in approximately 1 to 2 weeks. Once you are properly acclimated you will appreciate better tactile feedback, superior response times and ultimately greater control. Simply put: You will become a better typist.
We don’t just call it “heavyweight” because it packs the best performance in the industry. The 6Gv2 is also physically heavy. All keys are mounted on a metal plate within the keyboard to ensure durability. The plastic material used to create the keyboard has metal elements, also to help to improve durability. We’re just like you. That’s why we know you can get “frustrated” when you lose a game. You may even hit something in front of you when it happens. Like a keyboard. We tried to take that into consideration when we designed the 6Gv2. Disclaimer: Don’t hit your stuff. It’s not nice.
The 6Gv2 is built with a USB as standard, but we also included a USB to PS/2 adapter in the box. The choice is yours.
We absolutely recommend using the PS/2 connector when possible. First,it will give you total freedom with no limit to the amount of simultaneous key presses. And, equally as important, using the PS/2 may just improve your overall gaming experience. The reason is that when you use a USB keyboard your computer is actually using CPU time polling your keyboard. The higher the polling rate the more CPU time is used to perform the polling. And because of the built-in debounce rate found on any quality keyboard, any polling rate above 200Hz is simply a waste of CPU time and really just a result of pointless marketing hype. Unlike USB keyboards a PS/2 keyboard isn’t polled at all. The keyboard simply sends a signal to the computer as key presses are made, which causes a hardware interrupt, forcing the CPU to register the signal.
We like the Windows key for certain things and in certain situations. But not when we are in the middle of a gaming session. We have replaced it with a SteelSeries Key that won’t wreak havoc during a gaming by minimizing your game or by opening a menu. The SteelSeries Key serves a different purpose: it’s a function key for the Media Controls found on the 6Gv2.
To keep the 6Gv2 compact and easy to transport, we decided against adding additional rows of space consuming keys for this. Instead you can press the SteelSeries key and access the Media Controls via the first six F-keys on the keyboard.