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Rosewill Second Generation Mechanical Keyboard Review: RK-9000, RK-9000BR, RK-9000BL, RK-9000RE

Manufacturer: Rosewill

Rosewill RK-9000 v2 Accuracy & Precision Benchmark

It is not easy for a keyboard to accurately and precisely deliver verbatim user input to the computer. A user could deliver multiple instructions in a very specific order seemingly all at once. An ideal keyboard would succeed perfectly each and every time -- just as an ideal multi-GPU system would see perfect performance scaling from a single-GPU system. Is it ever that simple?

I will not harp on the obvious example of a ridiculously fast typist at the peak of their speed; instead I will use Starcraft 2 as an example. Let us assume you had two sentries where one had 76 units of energy and the other had 51 units of energy. You see Terran sending a big ball of marine/marauder up your ramp. You wish to cast a Guardian Shield to reduce their damage as well as a Forcefield to split their army.

You have both Sentries selected and you input G, F, and left click really quickly on your keyboard and mouse. If your keyboard accidentally registered your press as F, G there is about a 50/50 chance that your force field could come from the higher energy Sentry and denies you the ability use Guardian Shield until your initially lower energy Sentry charges about 24 units of energy.

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Starting state of sentries

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Guardian shield is properly cast first, leaving the force field for the other.

One way to test the accuracy and precision of a keyboard is to strike a series of keys with a straight-edge, such as a credit card, at a slight angle such that one side hits first. You are then pretty much guaranteed to strikes the keys in that order. If your computer does not display that series of keystrokes in the proper order, then something bad happened and it constitutes some failure. If the computer outputs what should be output, then it is a pass.

I should stress that this test is very unfair to the vast majority of keyboards. The point of modern keyboards is to be cheap and satisfy the needs of the vast majority of users. I expect that most users will never peak high enough for any decently built keyboard to be confused with. On the other hand, you should also know what the best keyboards are capable of achieving.

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The original RK-9000 is pretty much perfect; the RK-9000 actually achieved a perfect score in the forward test over USB. Both USB and PS/2 inputs were tested on the original RK-9000 to determine if USB could keep up with the original PS/2 connector. Thankfully it can, and I do not need to reboot my computer every time I need to switch keyboards.

I should point out that the Razer BlackWidow was tested last August and scored an 84/155 in the left-to-right test. This time the BlackWidow scored 134/155 on the left-to-right test. This suggests the possibility that at least certain keyboards are at an unfair disadvantage in the card test until they are broken in. I did not realize this was possible, but it appears to be suggested at least for the Razer keyboard. Unfortunately I do not have a fresh and unused first generation RK-9000 to test against.

Of course there is also the possibility that the keyboards just cannot keep up. The consistently lower right-to-left score could be evidence of that sort of trouble. Unfortunately it is really difficult to tell, though fortunately the inputs we are testing are quite far above what most if any human can input. Again, this test is brutal. Back in August I also tested two non-mechanical keyboards. These were their scores:

  • Logitech G15 v1: 31 out of 155
  • Dell Laptop Keyboard: 2 out of 155

Keep that in mind when seeing the above triple digit scores. This test challenges the top-of-the-top keyboards.

February 14, 2012 | 12:09 PM - Posted by Eggrenade

No input lag test? With high speed cameras as cheap as they are today? For shame.

February 15, 2012 | 08:37 AM - Posted by ToiT (not verified)

Great review Scott, thanks & keep up the good work!

February 16, 2012 | 05:22 PM - Posted by tigerbalm

$99.99...really? I bought the Corsair K90 for $99 at Fry's and it is far superior to the cheap Rosewill in every way! The Corsair is like an Audi, while the Rosewill is like driving a Hyundai. I thought the Rosewill would be $50, considering it offers nothing other than mechanical keys! The Corsair K90 is the best looking, aluminum chassis, MMo buttons, blue backlit keys, USB port, wrist support, etc. it just looks awesome! Not sure if the Rosewill is even worth more than $40, IMO...when compared to Razer, Corsair, etc. Rosewill doesn't look like it offers any features or creative design value for the money. Sorry for the harsh opinions, Rosewill, but you have to a LOT better and think outside the box!

March 23, 2012 | 06:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Unfortunately the corsair IS NOT fully mechanical.

October 14, 2012 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't listen to this guy people. For one thing, are you a gamer? If you are, then by all means... Razer and Corsair will offer you more features because they are geared towards you! However, if you are not a gamer, but a serious workaholic, like me, who has a bit of money to splurge on a superior, serious looking keyboard than the Rosewill fits your niche. The Rosewill is an excellent keyboard in every way and on top of not making you look like a 16 year old, it comes with Newegg's excellent warranty as well as superior internals, in my opinion, and better construction. The Rosewill has a very excellent red back plate that makes that occasional deep cleaning much easier. To each his own, but I say that keyboards like Rosewill RK 9000 are what seperate the keyboard enthusiast men from boys. The men can truly see and appreciate the engineering and aesthetic behind Rosewill's design instead of just looking at how many backlit LEDs and Macro keys your keyboard has. To each his own.

February 23, 2012 | 03:47 PM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

great animated GIFS! Great breakdown of what eash swtich is and how they work

April 17, 2012 | 12:08 PM - Posted by MeNotYou (not verified)

Great review

April 17, 2012 | 12:16 PM - Posted by tater2sacks (not verified)

Would love to Win one
How?
"Join us as we rattle away on the lovely mechanical keyswitches of Corsair's aluminum-clad Vengeance K60 and K90 keyboards."

April 21, 2012 | 11:15 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

... what?

April 22, 2012 | 09:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would have loved to see a new IBM type M keyboard (they are still made by Unicomp) as a compairison in this test as well. Those are the keyboards that all other "clicky" keyboards are measured by.

December 30, 2013 | 06:34 AM - Posted by Allthunbs

I grew up with the IBM keyboards. They weren't that fantastic. I did use a sponge pad keyboard for a while until it burned out and found it to be the fastest and most accurate keyboard I'd ever used. They had to be cleaned periodically so that made them unpopular. They were also huge, heavy, ugly but they worked like a charm. They are no longer available and not compatible with any of the PC/Mac/Unix worlds of today.

I'm having a huge problem and would welcome comments by anyone:

I'm looking for a production level dual-detent keyboard. It used to be available with hall effect switches but I cannot find that configuration any more either. The problem with the cherry switches is that the detent happens before the character is registered. I used to use the detent to register the character and then began to withdraw my finger. I can't do that with the cherry switches. The only thing I can do with them is use an "o"ring. The action would then be depress, detent would pull the key away but that would not signal my finger to withdraw so I'd have to use the o-ring for resistance but that's too strong so it becomes an effective bottoming out.

I'm also thinking that I add a foam pad under the keycap to replace the O-ring and that would serve as the soft bottom but if I'm thinking about it, surely someone has already done it so I'm wondering how that's working out?

Any other suggestions/comments?

January 31, 2014 | 08:31 PM - Posted by Georgetta (not verified)

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after
I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

Review my webpage: seo

August 14, 2013 | 10:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you want a full mechanical keyboard you should check out http://www.dsi-keyboards.com/mechanical-switch-keyboards.aspx they have a few one them on their site.

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