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Cherry MX Speed Vs Brown Switches: Which Are Best For Gaming?

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Mechanical switches are nothing new in the world of gaming keyboards, in fact, this type of switch has been around for a very long time, giving users a more reliable and responsive experience. The mechanical switch offers a wide variety of features that means you can truly personalize your keyboard. A familiar name when it comes to this switch type is Cherry MX. Cherry MX is a brand now synonymous with gaming keyboards and if you have ever been looking to buy a new board, you are likely to have seen this brand of switches.

Cherry MX has a large catalog of different switch varieties, offering a variety of features to cater for different wants and needs. Today we are comparing Cherry MX Speed Vs Brown, to help you make an informed decision on your next switch or keyboard purchase. These two switch varieties are different nearly across the board, with both differing in operating force, travel distance, and noise.

Mechanical Vs Membrane: What’s The Difference?

When talking about switches, there are two main categories that they fall under – Mechanical and membrane. A switch sits beneath the keycaps on your keyboard and is responsible for registering a keypress, which takes place when a keypress reaches its actuation point, sending that information to your PC.

Mechanical Switch vs Membrane Switch scaled 1

Mechanical switches come with a variety of different unique features that give potential buyers a tailored option to their own bespoke needs. You can expect mechanical switches to be more responsive, produce different noises, come with different operating forces, varied travel time, and tactility. Membrane switches, however, are generally considered to be the same, with the odd difference from keyboard to keyboard.

Cherry MX Speed Vs Brown

Cherry MX Speed Silver switches differ from Cherry MX Brown in every way, aside from the inner workings and general housing materials. Firstly, the Cherry MX Speed switch is a linear style variant that closely resembles the Cherry MX red’s, with a shorter actuation distance. The Brown switch is one of Cherry MX’s popular tactile switches that feels similar to Cherry MX Blues but is much quieter.

  Cherry MX Speed Cherry MX Brown
Switch Characterstic Linear Tactile
Actuation Force 45 cN operating force 55 cN operating force
Key Travel 1.2mm 2.0mm
Full Actuation Distance 3.4mm 4.0mm
Sound Audible – non-clicky Audible – non-clicky

Cherry MX Speed

Cherry MX Speed, also known as Speed Silver, is much like MX Red’s, with a linear style, low actuation force, and short total travel. In theory, due to these having a lower travel distance, they are better for gaming (more responsive) but the difference is negligible. These are very quiet switches, with the only audible noise coming from the keypress bottoms out.

GIF MXRGB Speed

Cherry MX Brown

Brown switches are one of Cherry MX’s most popular tactile variants, offering a quieter option than the Blue switch while keeping that tactile response and satisfying feel. Tactile switches, like the MX Brown, have a slanted leg on the stem, which results in a bump around halfway through the keystroke. Once the switch is actuated, the bump registers tactile feedback. Cherry MX Browns have a light actuation force, making them great for gaming and typing.

cherry mx brown

Cherry MX Speed Vs Brown: Which Is Best?

This is quite a tough one to call and it will come down to whether you prefer linear or tactile switches. Normally I favor the linear, more responsive, Speed Silver switch but the Cherry MX Brown is a popular switch for a reason, it’s so satisfying to use.

Despite the brown having a higher actuation force of 55 cN plus more pre and post-travel, it is one of the best-selling switches. The audible noise on the Brown is louder though, so if you need a balance between performance and acoustic levels, the MX speed switch is probably for the best.

The Speed switch is not only quieter, it is linear, and many favor that style. Speed Silvers comes with the same actuation as the Red variant at 45 cN and the shorter pre and post-travel, in theory, means these are highly responsive. It is worth noting though, while the Speed switch is better on paper for gaming, you will struggle to notice the difference and as always for switches, the decision comes down to your personal preference.

Final Word

When it comes to Cherry MX Speed Vs Brown it is really linear Vs tactile, these are two widely different switch variants. Both are a great option for gaming and typing, however, on paper, the Speed Silvers is the better option for gaming thanks to their lower actuation force and shorter pre/post-travel. The Browns offer a unique feel and are highly popular because of the tactile bump they provide. Which you go for is down to you but yet again, there is no wrong answer here.

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