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Mechanical Corsair gaming keyboards for every budget

Mechanical Corsair gaming keyboards for every budget

Corsair is one of the coolest gaming brands in existence. In my opinion, its keyboards live up to that reputation. Exclusive partnerships with Cherry resulted in some new switch types over the past few years, which benefited the industry as a whole. MX Silent switches reduce noise and MX Speed switches decrease the time it takes for each press to reach the computer. When you view pages that sell Corsair products, always check the pricing on each switch type. Supply and demand can drive some prices up, so choosing a different switch may result in a better deal.

If you need an introduction to mechanical keyboards in general, take a look at our start page. If you need more information about switches, we have a page for that too. You can also ask questions on social media or in the comments section.

With that out of the way, let’s look at their offerings. We’ll start with Corsair’s cheapest models.

Corsair K65

 

Pros Cons
Small footprint for a low price Some users may miss backlighting
Aluminum upper case and excellent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
Removable cable Pad printed keycaps

The Corsair K65 is Corsair’s earliest tenkeyless model. It features their typical aluminum upper case, a removable cable, and a textured space bar. MX Red switches ensure a smooth and light gaming experience. It isn’t backlit, which may turn gamers who enjoy dark rooms away. If you don’t mind a little bit of ambient light and the TKL form factor, it’s definitely worth investigating. Few Cherry keyboards are cheaper.

Read through Bjorn3d’s review to see if it’s right for you.

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Corsair K63

 

Pros Cons
Backlighting may prove useful Plastic case
Decent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
Portable small form factor Keycaps are painted and etched

This rarely mentioned product marks a small sidegrade in Corsair’s tenkeyless line. It offers dedicated media keys, a vibrantly colored plate, and a short bezel. The net result is an attractive keyboard that shares many features with the STRAFE, which is next on our list. The STRAFE lacks media keys, so if you’re a music or film addict the K63 is an ideal budget board.

Read Bjorn3d’s review for more information.

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Corsair STRAFE

 

Pros Cons
Reasonable price for a full size MX board Plastic case
Decent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
Additional gaming oriented keycaps Keycaps are painted and etched

The STRAFE is an entry level model in Corsair’s full size lineup. Costs cuts resulted in fewer media buttons and a plastic chassis. It doesn’t come with a wrist rest either. Unless you’re looking for more media keys and a premium gaming experience, this keyboard will suffice. In fact, I would say that it suits offices and gaming setups. A number of switches are available, so look around to see what’s kicking around on Amazon before making a final choice. We’ve linked the variant with MX Silent switches as it has the best featured photos.

Our STRAFE RGB review covers a similar model, so check it out.

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Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE

 

Pros Cons
Ideal gaming switches Wrist rests aren’t healthy for typists
Aluminum upper case Nonstandard bottom row
Nice accessory package Keycaps are painted and etched

The K70 RAPIDFIRE does everything right, essentially. The original K70 did as well, but I selected the RAPIDFIRE because its forebear is rarely in stock on Amazon. Additional gaming keycaps are bundled in the packaging, it boasts a USB passthrough port, and it features Corsair’s sought-after volume roller. It’s what most people need in a gaming keyboard. Sure, you can purchase LEDs and additional features. They’re primarily cosmetic. If you don’t mind the lack of beautification options, the K70 RAPIDFIRE offers precisely what most gamers need.

The K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE is very similar. We reviewed it a while back, so feel free to take a look.

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Corsair K70 LUX

 

Pros Cons
Improved controller Wrist rests aren’t healthy for typists
Aluminum upper case Nonstandard bottom row
Nice accessory package Keycaps are painted and etched

The K70 LUX is a refresh, plain and simple. It keeps a USB passthrough port and various other features. Its primary selling point is an improved controller, which allows for more fluid lighting effects and macros. If you don’t need the additional lighting control or macro capabilities, I recommend choosing the cheapest K70 possible. Right now that crown goes to the RAPIDFIRE, but prices fluctuate greatly as stock is shifted around. So long as you keep an eye out for deals, you’ll come out ahead.

You can look to our K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE review for more information, as backlighting is the only difference between models.

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Corsair STRAFE RGB

 

 

Pros Cons
Cheapest Corsair RGB Plastic case
Decent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
Textured gaming keys Keycaps are painted and etched

The STRAFE RGB is the entry level multicolored LED keyboard in Corsair’s full size lineup, and it shares much with the less expensive monochromatic variant. Costs cuts resulted in fewer media buttons and a plastic chassis. A wrist rest was added to the package, which is useful for gamers. The STRAFE RGB’s pricing varies wildly based on the switch type you select, which is true of all Corsair keyboards. Be sure to view red and brown switch variants on Amazon to find the best price.

We covered the STRAFE RGB shortly after its release. Looking through our review might prove helpful.

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Corsair K95

Pros Cons
Tons of macro keys Macro key extension is plastic
Decent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
Textured gaming keys Keycaps are painted and etched

The K95 appends macro keys to the K70 chassis. It also includes a USB passthrough port. No textured gaming keys are included in the package. If you don’t mind those limited caveats, the K95 will serve you well as a noncompetitive gaming keyboard. Competitive games don’t allow macros, especially at tournaments, so it wouldn’t make sense to use it in such circumstances. If you’re playing local multiplayer or single player games that don’t penalize macro use it won’t present a problem. It might even streamline your gaming experience. On the other hand, graphic designers and 3D modelers might find the banks of macro keys useful in a professional setting. That’s where I see the K95 going above and beyond.

Take a look at Proclockers’ review to learn more about the K95.

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Corsair K70 LUX RGB

 

Pros Cons
Improved RGB controller Wrist rests aren’t healthy for typists
Aluminum upper case Nonstandard bottom row
Nice accessory package Keycaps are painted and etched

This is a direct upgrade from the K70 LUX that adds RGB backlighting to the mix. Its keyswitches improve light concentration, but few (if any) other changes were implemented. The USB passthrough port remains. Accessory keycaps and a wrist rest are still there. In essence, it’s the first high end RGB keyboard in Corsair’s lineup. If you want RGB lighting it’s a great choice. If you don’t think you need the extra color, going monochromatic might be a better financial decision.

Tom’s Hardware reviewed the K70 LUX RGB. I recommend reading their article to pick up a few more details.

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Corsair K65 LUX RGB

Pros Cons
Small tenkeyless footprint Cable isn’t removable
Aluminum upper case and excellent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
RGB backlighting Painted and etched keycaps

This updated version of the K65 offers a wrist rest, RGB backlighting, and a USB passthrough port. Its controller and switches have been optimized for RGB lighting as well. It has a few additional keys for volume and other simple functions, but it doesn’t have the nice volume roller that typically defines Corsair’s high end keyboards. I also think that a removable cable, even if it used a proprietary connector, would have been a good idea. Tenkeyless models are typically intended to be portable, especially high end variants, and fixed cables impede that functionality. There really isn’t much else to discuss, as this is a somewhat minimalist model.

Gamersnexus has a fairly detailed review up that touches on soldering, which I found interesting.

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Corsair K95 RGB

 

Pros Cons
Tons of macro keys Macro key extension is plastic
Decent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
RGB backlighting Keycaps are painted and etched

The K95 RGB doesn’t include a USB passthrough port due to its high power draw. RGB backlighting is notorious for pushing the envelope in USB 2.0 implementations, though 3.0 tends to handle it well. With that exception, it’s essentially the same as its cheaper monochromatic relative. Buy it if you want RGB backlighting and need an army of macro keys. As a final note, the textured FPS and MOBA keycaps aren’t included in this package.

Rocket Jump Ninja’s video review provides a ton of valuable details.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM

 

Pros Cons
Bank of macro keys Fewer macro keys than K95 RGB
Excellent build quality Nonstandard bottom row
RGB backlighting Keycaps are painted and etched

Corsair’s recent refresh of the K95 ditched the plastic appendage on the left hand side of the keyboard. Removing the extension limited the number of macro keys that could be added, but it upped the consistency of the fit and finish in a pleasant way. RGB edge lighting and logo lighting add to the aesthetic. Because there are fewer keys to drive (and due to USB 3.0’s improved current capacity) the USB passthrough port returns on this variant of the K95. Certain variants of this keyboard can dip below the last gen K95 RGB in price, so it’s worth researching both options.

Tweak Town has a great review up that includes a tear down. I think tear downs are vital, as they make additional assembly related critique possible.

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Corsair RAPIDFIRE keyboards

 

Pros Cons
Faster keyswitches More expensive than standard
Excellent build quality No additional features
All from Corsair’s premium line Difficult to acquire at times

Corsair offers RAPIDFIRE branded keyboards at premium prices. The K65 RGB, K70, and K70 RGB received RAPIDFIRE updates, though other options like the K95 can have MX Speed switches as well. MX Speed and Speed RGB switches are optimized for gaming, which may justify the price hike for some users. A high activation point means that your key presses are registered slightly faster.

If you’re a top tier competitive gamer, the extra milliseconds that Speed switches save could be a game changer. For people like me, who are closer to the center of the bell curve, the difference will be negligible. High activation points also benefit typists who don’t bottom out. If that’s your style, Speed switches might offer you a WPM advantage. If you prefer bottoming out or saving your wallet, it’s probably better to go with cheaper options like RGB Red or standard Red switches.

Corsair’s best keyboard?

There is no single “best keyboard” in Corsair’s lineup, as each gamer has different needs. I do, however, have a favorite. The K70 RAPIDFIRE — in its non-RGB form — offers everything a gamer needs in a reasonably priced package. It even includes Corsair’s high end build quality. An aluminum upper case and volume roller are features that I respect greatly.

Remember to use your own discretion, though. If you see something that you like, such as a removable cable or RGB backlighting, don’t hesitate to select a different model. It’s pretty much impossible to buy a bad Corsair keyboard. My last bit of advice involves their software. Do some reading on it first. Ensure that you’re prepared, as it can require some time investment to grasp.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

Once again, feel free to ask questions via social media or this site’s comment system. Have fun shopping!

Image Credits: Schwitz18 | Twitter (username unknown) | Newegg | Gamers Nexus

 

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About The Author
Alec DeVries
The siren song of mechanical keyboards drew me in some time ago. Now I'm an active user on Deskthority and a writer here at GoMK.
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