Key switches are responsible for “actuating” the user’s desired keypress. Cherry MX switches have different ways of activating the desired letter and of providing feedback to the end user. For instance, “Black” switches are linear and don’t provide loud clicks or tactile “bumps” when a key is depressed. “Red” switches require less force to actuate the letter, and feel smooth as the key goes up and down, making them great for PC gaming.
There are other Cherry MX “colors,” too, that aren’t available in the new Silent series. “Brown” switches provide a tactile bump during the middle of the keypress, and target both PC gamers and typists. “Blue” switches provide a tactile bump when the switch is all the way down as it actuates the keypress. “Clear” switches aren’t quite as well known as the other colors, and provide the most friction of the series due to their large tactile bump.
“The popular Cherry Silent Red Keyswitch, with its light linear feel and no pressure point, and the linear Silent Black both carry the unique and unequalled Gold Crosspoint technology the world has come to expect from Cherry,” the company said. “Gold Crosspoint contacts are self-cleaning, resistant to dust and dirt, and they ensure the reliability of the keyswitch in a keyboard layout.”
The new Cherry MX Silent switches are now offered to keyboard manufacturers in multiple fastening configurations. Each one features an actuation force of 45cN, less than 5 milliseconds of bounce, and IP40 protection against solid objects over 1mm. They also promise over 50 million actuations, meaning they will last a good long time in mechanical keyboards. Even more, the RGB versions come packed with a transparent case and light-scattering lens.
The Cherry MX Silent RGB switches were previously used exclusively in Corsair’s Strafe RGB mechanical keyboard, which sells for $160. The description of the switch on Corsair’s product page states that it’s the world’s first to feature “fully integrated noise reduction technology for gaming key switches.” The patented noise reduction tech consists of two integrated component tappets, and a “precision-engineered” glass-fiber reinforced base.
As for the overall switch, it consists of pressure-resistant metal alloy springs, gold-plated contact closures, and gold cross-point contacts. The stems that connect the switch to the actual keycap are indeed colored to represent its type, and based on Corsair’s product page, the Strafe RGB uses the Cherry MX Silent RGB Red model. The keyboard also ships with non-silent Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, or Blue switches.
Here are the model numbers for the company’s new Cherry MX Silent switches:
|Cherry MX Silent Black||MX3A-11NN|
|Cherry MX Silent RGB Black||MX3A-11NA|
|Cherry MX Silent Red||MX3A-L1NN|
|Cherry MX Silent RGB Red||MX3A-L1NA|