Mechanical switches have a long history, offering users a more responsive, highly durable option in comparison with the cheaper dome-style switch. For a time, Cherry MX was at the forefront of this type of switch and was hugely popular with it too, with the brand now being synonymous with gaming keyboards.
Now, more and more brands are producing their own variants and it is no longer just a market full of clones, giving us a large variety of switch types to choose from. Cherry MX has a huge catalog of different varieties, meaning those new to the world of mechanical keyboards struggle to understand what the differences are and what they should buy.
For this reason, today, we are going to be looking at Cherry MX Red Vs Speed Silver switches. These two highly popular switch variants feature a lot in gaming keyboards, with the same linear style and actuation force.
If some of you are still scratching your heads, don’t worry, everything will be explained as we compare Cherry MX’s Silver switch against the old gaming favorite, MX Red.
- Linear style, great for competitive gameplay
- Lower noise levels compared to other switch variants
- Low actuation force required
- Low pre and post-travel
What Are Mechanical Switches And How Do They Differ From Membrane?
For those that are unaware, a switch sits underneath the keys on your keyboard. This mechanism registers a keystroke when it reaches its actuation point (the inner components make contact), sending the relevant information to the PC.
Switches come in two well-known varieties – Mechanical and Membrane. While mechanical switches feature a variety of different features to cater to everyone’s bespoke needs, such as response time, noise, actuation speed, travel time, and tactility, membrane switches only differ slightly from keyboard to keyboard.
Cherry MX Red Vs Speed
Cherry Red and Speed Silver are very similar switches. Both are linear, which means they have a smooth actuation with no tactile bump or audible noise to indicate a keypress has taken place. In this section, we will first discuss each switch and its properties before finally comparing the Cherry MX Silver against the MX Red, to see which you should opt for with your next keyboard selection.
|Cherry MX Speed||Cherry MX Red|
|Actuation Force||45 cN operating force||45 cN operating force|
|Full Actuation Distance||3.4mm||4.0mm|
|Sound||Audible – non-clicky||Audible – non-clicky|
Benefits Of MX Red & Speed Switches:
Cherry MX Red
The Cherry MX Red switch is probably one of the most well-known mechanical switches out there. The Red variant became hugely popular, especially with competitive players thanks to its low actuation force, linear style, and quieter operation.
Cherry MX Speed Silver
Silver Speed switches, much like the Reds, are also linear, requiring the same amount of operating force but with a lower pre and post-travel distance. In theory, the specs you see below mean that these are better suited for competitive gameplay than the Red variant.
Cherry MX Red Vs Speed: Which Is Best?
Before discussing any minor differences between the two similar switch types, it is worth pointing out that you are highly unlikely to notice said differences between the two. As discussed, both are linear-style mechanical switches with the same 45 cN operating force and no audible click. Both the Cherry MX Speed Silver and Red feel very smooth, with the only differences being the pre and post-travel, which is a mere millimeter or two in both instances.
With both switches sharing similar housing materials, linear style, and general inner components, it is unsurprising to see them both produce similar acoustic results. Sound with switches comes down to personal preference and while these are both considered quiet for mechanical switches, they still produce noise when bottoming out. You especially notice the lower audible noise when comparing these to a clicky Cherry MX blue, which is notoriously loud.
So which is best? Well, you could argue that the MX Speed variant is going to be the best, with a lower pre and post-travel time, meaning they are, in theory at least, more responsive. The truth is, you aren’t going to be able to tell the difference between these two, so base your decision on other factors if you are buying a keyboard. If you are looking to replace a current switch in your board, then I would recommend the more responsive Silver switch.
Which mechanical switch you go for largely depends on your personal preference more than anything but in regards to Cherry MX Red Vs Speed, there is no wrong answer as they are so similar. For those looking to buy a full keyboard, just base your decision on the board’s features and price, however, if you are looking to replace switches, then the Speed silver variant is better, albeit hard to notice.