Thursday, December 11, 2014

Should I upgrade from my Logitech G15 keyboard?

IMG_0339

Now that I have finally bought myself a new graphics card and SLI is also a bust, I think I am going to go upgrade-less for the foreseeable future. Well, if I have to, I can upgrade the keyboard, but a good keyboard is hard to find and are expensive! I never thought I'd have to spend in excess of $100 for a keyboard to get a good one! How the times have changed!!!

Wait... now why do I need to upgrade the keyboard?

One, because I want to switch to a mechanical keyboard, but only because everyone says that they are great. To be honest, I have never used a mechanical keyboard in my life, hence I uncertain if I would fall in love with one or not. I've seen people claim that they do prefer certain mechanical key switches over others, which makes me wonder, choosing the right keyboard is going to be a hectic task. But then again, it is not possible for me to go and try them out one by one; not because there aren't any showrooms around, but because my wife would not be entertained by that idea. But I should give it a shot the next time we visit Kawasaki. Biccamera should have few for me to try out. That's how I chose the Logitech Z623 speakers when I bought them to replace the Corsair SP2200s, that crackled like crazy.

Is that the only reason to get a new keyboard?

No. I believe I have written about this a while back, but there is a defect in my keyboard. The LShift + I and LCtrl + I key combinations don't register as inputs. Since the "I" key works fine with the RShift and RCtrl keys, I have been able to tolerate this so far. However I run into this inconvenience whenever I am writing a blog post. So, if I want to pile up the reasons to upgrade the keyboard, I definitely would count this as one.

But hey, there's one more reason. INPUT LAG!!!!

And it is a major issue if you are a gamer, and I definitely am one (because my YouTube account is full of gameplay video uploads. Why don't you subscribe to it and give me some support while you are checking it out?). The G15 has an LCD screen and 6 G-keys (or macro keys) on the left edge. (This is a well-known fact I believe.) These are essential for its status as a Gaming Keyboard, otherwise it would be a jumbo sized typical keyboard. The Logitech Gaming Software is required for them to function at all, however it is not the most stable and bug free software out there. While it sometimes does not launch at startup of Windows and you have to kill it from Task Manager and relaunch it to get it to work correctly, the biggest issue that I have been facing is the huge input lag that it introduces to the graphics rendering pipeline.

LGS

High input lag causes unfavourable results, much more than a lower FPS - kind of like stuttering, at least to me. The effect of running Crysis 3 multiplayer at 100fps (low graphics settings) or more is completely nullified by the effect of input lag. (LGS is not the only culprit here, and I have been doing some tweaks wherever I can to make the input lag lower - check this post). So, in the last few weeks, I had been playing Crysis 3 without LGS running in the background. This is counter intuitive, because then I would lose things what make this keyboard a gaming keyboard. IMG_0342

What about those macro keys?

Ideally, I would want a keyboard that has some macro keys on the left edge, which can be reassigned for different keys on the keyboard, but doesn't need a software to function. Many high-end gaming keyboards come with onboard memory nowadays and the profiles that you configure using the keyboard's software can be flashed onto it so that you can plug and play it to another PC and get the same functionality. This is beneficial for professional gamers who attend competitions where they can use their own "customized" keyboard and get them working out of the box.

Am I fine with losing the LCD?

IMG_0341

Of course I would lose the LCD, because they aren't many keyboards with LCDs and the LCD would definitely require the use of some sort of controlling software. I guess there is no point pursuing it or moaning over it.

Conclusion

The big question now is, if I really am going to go through with this, which keyboard should I buy? I think I should decide on it after checking few them out for real.

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