CM Storm QuickFire Pro: Full NKRO over USB?

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 4, 2012 - 04:51 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, mechanical keyboard

Cooler Master announces the Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Pro mechanical keyboard available soon in four different CHERRY flavors. They claim full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) through USB, which is a first to my knowledge.

Higher-end keyboards seem to be growing further and further in fashion as of late.

Cooler Master jumped into the mechanical keyboard market with their QuickFire Rapid release in late 2011. The Rapid was available in Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Red switches. The Rapid was a Tenkeyless design, sparing you the width of a number pad if you do not wish to have one.

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Of course only the Pro keyboard would have a numpad… only accountants use it or something.

Cooler Master has obviously found that the Rapid a successful product as they will launch a sister design allegedly sometime this month. The Storm QuickFire Pro is a partially backlit full-sized keyboard. The Rapid Pro will be available in Cherry MX Blue, MX Brown, MX Black, and MX Red switch designs. If you are curious about the differences between keyboard switches then check out my explanation in the Rosewill RK-9000v2 review.

The most interesting feature of this keyboard is their claim of full NKRO through USB. Traditionally in order to press every button down on a keyboard you are limited to using a PS/2 connection. Recent research at Microsoft increased the USB limit to approximately 18 keys from the usual 6kro. I would be curious to see someone put that keyboard through Aquakey to verify those claims.

The QuickFire Pro is expected to have an MSRP of $99.99. If they are like other keyboard manufacturers, that likely depends on the switch used.

April 4, 2012 | 06:33 PM - Posted by icebug

I have a cheaply made Cherry Brown keyboard that I love typing on but my roommate doesn't like it soo much (hehehehe) Wouldn't mind getting a better built Cherry black keyboard especially one like with with some back lighting and media keys...

April 5, 2012 | 01:06 AM - Posted by Aaron Frost (not verified)

Icebug: check out the Ducky Shine keyboards. I just got a white-backlit, brown switch version that I'm very happy with. They come with blue, brown, black, and red switches. Backlight colors are white, blue, green, purple, and yellow. It's pricey, but the build quality is great. According to geekhack, it's NKRO over PS2 and 6KRO over USB.

You can get em here:

April 5, 2012 | 09:13 PM - Posted by Nadger (not verified)

Full Nkey rollover over usb...

They are likely using the same trick my Noppoo Choc Mini keyboard uses, it appears to the OS as 2 or 3 keyboards in order to achieve full nkro. However the mac OS does not like this trick and it will not work on a mac.

April 6, 2012 | 12:11 PM - Posted by Seryous

The Quickfire Rapid also has the same NKRO technology over USB. Even though it's not the perfect test, holding down both shifts + the caps lock key while over USB still lets you type the standard "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" sentence with 100% success. As for Aquakey, I will give it a go and report back.

April 7, 2012 | 11:33 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Odd -- Cooler Master's product page states NKRO in PS/2 mode but not USB.

Keep in mind... the way NKRO works is that you can have unlimited keys down at the same time.

So if you typed "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"... you would press down h without lifting t, and e without lifting h and t, and space without lifting h e and t, and q without lifting space e h and t.... etc.

Basically if you just pushed down as many buttons as possible -- without even needing to release any -- they would all register together (and ideally in the correct order, but that is not NKRO)

You see NKRO all the time for musical keyboards... because they don't necessarily know which notes you'll press together to make up a given chord.

August 3, 2012 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, QPAD MK-85 was the first to achieve NKRO through USB. It also has the most features for its price range, 'cept you can't change the backlight colors, but who looks at keys anyway.

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