Today I finally got my hands onto the GMMK 2 96% Barebones and I’ll be replacing the Razer BlackWidow Elite that is currently in place at the desk in our home office.
The BW Elite has been a good and faithful keyboard for quite a while, but at the end of the day it’s just a gaming keyboard and suffers from a few blights such as obscene amounts of switch and case ping, a very hollow, plasticy sound profile, and cheap ABS keycaps. The Razer Yellow mechanical switches are probably the best part about the keyboard, but they’re solder switches and honestly I wouldn’t want to reuse them anyways.
I’ll post some updates as I progress and maybe I’ll get a sound test of the BW Elite and the GMMK 2!
Has anybody else upgraded to a GMMK 2 from a stereotypical gaming keyboard?
Congrats, last years black Friday sale I got the full size GMMK 1 for my new work keyboard. Wish I would’ve held out a little longer now lol. I also retired all of my mass market gamer boards, I had a Razer Huntsman and a Logitech 513 retired for the GMMK 1 and GMMK Pro.
I’ve been slowly selling my Razer, Corsair, etc. keyboards, I had 4 or 5 from the past few years. Replaced one with my GMMK Pro, one with the GMMK 2 today, and working on the others.
I’ve got a GMMK 1 as well, the 60% size, and I swapped the Gateron Browns for Clears that I lubed with 205g0, much better experience. Thank God for hot-swappable PCBs!
I have a GMMK 2 in 65 and it’s the best out of the box keyboard I’ve used. I swapped to GSV2 stabs, but only because I wanted to try screw ins. The included stabs are pretty good, the fox switches are funky pre lubed goodness, and it’s an awesome sounding board. I reviewed the first gmmk, and the second version solves the nit picks of the first, and then some.
What switches are you planning on using?
There’s been a couple adventures in between but I started with a Logitech keyboard. I’m still a huge fan of the G hub software, but the GMMK2 is night and day quality in comparison.
I feel you should have started with the prebuilt if you were going to judge it compared to retail keyboards as now your switches will change how you feel about the board, but I fully understood why you wanted to build it yourself.
I wanted the keycaps that came with the prebuilt, and found the fox switches very nice, I was planning on replacing the switches, but I’m basically keeping it stock for the moment.
The gmmk 2 has a 1.75u shift so if you wanted backlit keycaps going with the default keycaps is easier than trying to find a set with one unless you want to go puddings in general. There’s more options for keycaps if you don’t want backlit keycaps.
I’ve had mostly Logitech keyboards, and the gmmk 2 prebult sounds, and feels so much better. While they may not be perfect in the eyes of enthusiasts for the price it’s quite good compared to retail keyboards.
Note I’m using a gmmk 1 key for the super key, not included with the gmmk 2.
Check out my sound tests! Razer BlackWidow Elite Sound Test - YouTube and Razer BlackWidow Elite Sound Test - YouTube. Use caution when listening to the Razer sound test, it’s awful. They sound much better (or worse!) in person, but the feel is what has improved the most. The Razer Yellow switches are very scratchy and not at all smooth, and it feels like each switch has a different weight. It seems to me that Razer designed these switches as cheaply as possible, that and the costar stabilizers really show that Razer prioritizes profit and marketing terms like “mechanical” when designing their keyboards. Which they should, it’s just a gaming keyboard, it’s not supposed to be a good performer!
The Kailh Box Red switches in my GMMK 2 are lightyears ahead of the Razer Yellows for overall quality and typing experience. Some scratch remains, but otherwise no complaints. Also contributing to the improved feel is the doubleshot PBT keycaps, ABS is smooth but I much prefer the textured surface of PBT.
Building the GMMK 2 was as simple as it could have been - just put the switches in and keycaps on, and you’re good to go. I did not do any mods to the stabilizers, though that is something to do in the future. The Box Reds are stock, no lube or films. I find Glorious Core to be user friendly and it offered me no hassle when setting up lighting, key binds, etc.
I see your point about the comparison but I didn’t want to spend extra for things I didn’t need, I already had switches and keycaps available to use. Otherwise, I would have gotten the pre-built version. I really want some of those Fox switches, just waiting for Glorious to sell them separately! (hint, hint @Millions)
For @TechwithCraw I would have liked to experience the 65% version but the numpad and F-row are needed for the work done at our home office computer. For switches I used Kailh Box Red linears that I had on hand. I definitely agree with you on the quality, it’s very good!
My kahil were a little scratchy too, but they were definitely quiet. For the extra cost of the prebuilt you got the fox switches, and the keycaps which the switches likely would cost that alone imho. I’m just glad they’re good. Hopefully they sell them separately soon. The keyboard didn’t come with any spares.
Still think including a proper “enter” key is a great option. My Ducky One 3 came with 11 additional keycaps.