titleThose of you who read our reviews often or know me personally know I have had a big interest in mechanical keyboards for years now. Most reviews spend time focusing on the keyboards features. When I heard that Cooler Master introduced their Storm Trigger with Cherry Green switches I had to get my hands on one. Not because of the keyboard, I already took a look at one in the past. But I was excited because everyone else sticks with the blue, brown, black, and red key switches and this time around we have a chance to check out something completely different.

Product Name: Cooler Master Storm Trigger w/ Green Switches

Review Sample Provided by: Cooler Master

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


Specifications

Model Number

SGK-6000-GKCG1 (Green Switch)

Key Switch

CHERRY Green

N Key Rollover

6

Macro Key

5

Polling Rate

1000 Hz /1 ms

Backlighting

All Keys

Windows Key Disable

Yes

On Board Memory

64 KB

Media Keys

Yes

Dimensions

475(L)x162(W)x25(H) mm

18.7(L)x6.5(W)x0.98(H) inch

Warranty

2 Years

Wrist Rest

Detachable

Weight

1260 g / 2.78 lbs



Packaging

The triggers packaging has the Storm color scheme with a black, white, and red across the front. A large picture of the keyboard takes up most of the top of the box and also lines up with the keyboard inside with a window to give you a peak at the keyboard.  The only difference between the packaging this time is the sticker on the front showing off that Cherry green keyswitch.

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Around on the back there are three pictures highlighting the Triggers 5 programmable macro keys, USB ports, and onboard profile memory. Beyond that the only thing on the back of the packaging are multiple feature listings in difference languages.

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Inside the Trigger has foam inserts on each side keeping it protected and holding the keyboard up over top of its accessories as well. Speaking of accessories they packed the wrist rest in up under the keyboard to keep it safe. The Triggers cord comes bagged up along with a small user guide and piece of paper that lets you know that you can go to the cmstorm.com website to download the keyboards software.

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Pictures and Features

Some of you may already be familiar with the styling of the Trigger. The entire top of the Trigger is a light grey satin finish. The only exception to that is the area around the direction pad over on the right where it is surrounded with a black satin finish. Around the outside edge of the keyboard is surrounded by that same black satin rubber finish. The styling of the Trigger is a little different than what you see from anyone else, this helps it stand out from the crowd while still looking sharp. The design on the top of the Trigger and under the direction pad give it a little rough styling, similar to the HAF series. But in hand, with the silky finish, it’s much less rough than you would expect from looking at it.

The layout of the keyboard itself is a full layout with number pad as well as the five macro keys on the left side. Most of the F keys up top also have double functionality as well. F1 to F4 are function keys related to the Triggers lighting and the others are all media keys.

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I mentioned the wrist rest before in the packaging section. Some people like wrist rests and others don’t, because of that Cooler Master made the wrist rest on the Trigger optional. There are three attachment points to keep it locked up against the Trigger. There are eight rubber feat on the wrist rest as well. To keep it from moving around on your desk.

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Around on the back side of the Trigger you have all of its connections bunched up in the top right area. The small USB plug is where you plug in the keyboards cable to hook to your PC. The other two USB ports can be used to hook up your mouse or another low power USB device. For more power you also have a 5 volt power connection, but Cooler Master doesn’t include a cable to hook up to it with the Trigger.

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The bottom of the Trigger has six wide rubber feet across it to keep everything from sliding around during intense gaming sessions. For those of you, like me, who like to angle their keyboard up there are two flip out feet. Although it may not look like it, the tips of the feet are actually completely rubber as well. This is great, normally company’s seem to forget the feet when looking at keeping the keyboard secure.  

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The main reason we took a look at this specific keyboard was the Cherry green switches. Of course I had to pull a few keys and take a peek at them. On top of the green switches you can also see the red LED’s above each switch. The keys themselves, as you can see, are actually a clear/white with the black coloring over top. This allows the backlighting to make it through while still having that dark look as well.

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Software

Before I mentioned the five macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, I’m sure you are curious how you go about programing them. Coming from the 710+ from Logitech before this, I was a little spoiled with having an on the fly macro programing. But even so once I downloaded the Triggers software off of their website and installed it I was ready to setup the Trigger. I should point out that when you download the software you are going to get a .rar file. It would be much easier if the download was for an executable or at least a .zip file that doesn’t require any other program to open.

Although the software version had changed, there weren’t any noticeable differences going from the Trigger software before to now, at least visually. That isn’t really a bad thing though; I actually had no problem with the software’s look or functions. I did have an issue where before with how the software starts minimized and I had that same issue once again. Outside of that issue I loved the software. It’s broken up into three tabs, the main page, a profile page, and the macro studio.

The main page of the software greats you with a full keyboard layout and each and every key is clickable. Once you click on a key you can assign its functionality from single key programs, macros, or even launch a program. I love that this isn’t limited to just the macro keys, that means for example that you can rebind all of your F keys and number pad for use in game and then just flip to that profile before you get in game.

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The Macro studio in the Triggers software is interesting. I love how they lay out your macro’s in a way similar to movie or audio production software. You can manually input your macro’s or you can also record them from your key presses as well. The recording function will record in real time or if you would like “god” mode, where it ignores the time between key presses.

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Performance

Before I talk about how the green switches felt, I wanted to touch on the Triggers other features. Its most notable feature is the red backlighting and the controls that allow you to flip through a few different options. Using the F1-F4 keys along with the function button you can turn the back lighting on or off, adjust the brightness, or flip through three different lighting modes. The modes are full backlighting, WASD, and full backlighting with a pulsing lighting. Along with those function keys, you also have media controls from F5-F11, personally I would prefer at least play/pause and volume buttons to be dedicated keys for quicker access. I generally end up not even using media keys that require the use of the function button, but it is still better than not having them at all.

The detachable cord on the top right of the Trigger is very useful, especially if you are someone like me who ends up packing up and going to LANs. I’m able to leave the cord at my desk and take the keyboard with me if I have another cord. Along with the USB connection we also have two USB ports on top of the Trigger. Along with the USB ports you have a 5 volt power connection as well, but the Trigger does not come with a power adapter. Normally, I will use the USB connection on my keyboard for my mouse to keep my desk free of extra cable clutter. In the case of the Trigger, I wasn’t able to do this. With the keyboard only using one USB connection you wouldn’t want the keyboard and your mouse competing with polling the USB bus, but on top of that there isn’t enough power. The Trigger uses its own MCU and controller along with its full LED lighting, all of those pull power, making the Trigger the most power hungry keyboard on the market (over USB at least). All is not lost; you can pick up a power adapter for more power to the two USB ports on the trigger if you need it. In my case, because I want to use a mouse, I will just have to deal with another cable across my desk.  

I spoke before about how when the feet are flipped up on the bottom of the Trigger there are rubber tips on the feet. How did they perform? Well when pushing the Trigger did lose a small amount of grip over the three large feet, but in actual use I never had an issue with the trigger moving on me at all. If anything I noticed that if I pushed my keyboard forward the feet would grab and grip so well that they would flip over, not a bad problem to have if you ask me.

So how are the Chery MX Green keyswitches? To understand them you need to understand where they fit in with other Cherry keyswitches on the market. For those of you who aren’t formiliar with mechanical keyboards. There are four keyswitches that are most used, all are from the manufacture Cherry. The four switches are all MX type and the color’s help set them apart. You have Blue, Red, Black, and brown normally. Green is fairly rare other than use just on spacebars and there are other models as well that are even less well known. Here is a breakdown of the switch actuation force as well as the key “feel”.

Keyswitch

Actuation Force

Feel

Cherry MX Blue

50cN

Clicky

Cherry MX Brown

45cN

Tactile

Cherry MX Red

45cN

Linear

Cherry MX Black

60cN

Linear

Cherry MX Green

80cN

Clicky

Being able to see how the switches break down helps understand the differences between the different switches. The Green switches stand above the rest with a much higher actuation force needed. Otherwise they are just like the Blue’s that most people really enjoy. Personally I prefer Browns due to their low actuation force, tactile feel, and low noise level. So what’s it like using the green’s day to day? Well I adjusted quickly to them once I was able to get over the noise that they do create. They do require more force to use but remind me of my old Intel Model F days (late Model F’s required 80cN of force as well). I don’t think that the green keyswitches are for everyone, but if you are a big fan of Blue’s you should try out a keyboard with green switches if possible, you might be surprised!

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Overall and Final Verdict

It’s interesting taking a second look at a product for review with a fairly small change. It’s great to be able to come back and remember what I loved about the keyboard the first time. With full backlighting, on board memory, and lots of programmability in its software the Trigger is a great keyboard. With Cooler Master offering it with five different key switches including the rare green key switch they are reaching out to people with different preferences. I would love to see them go even farther with this and consider other backlighting color options. That would most likely create to many SKU’s though. I did have a couple complaints with the Trigger. I hope with future models that Cooler Master might consider running two USB cables for the keyboard if they are going to have USB hub on the keyboard, just to make it more usable. The other issue was much smaller, when you open up the software it minimizes by default. If you don’t catch that you might try opening it up multiple times. All in all I was once again impressed with the Trigger. The addition of green keyswitches just helps it stand out even more in a very crowded market. Once again, Cooler Master is showing that they are all in when it comes to the keyboard market. 

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #30262 03 Apr 2013 03:50
I think you guys will especially like the breakdown on the differences between all of the Cherry keyswitches in the performance section
SpeedBump's Avatar
SpeedBump replied the topic: #30263 03 Apr 2013 05:45
Good review. I have the "blue" version of this keyboard. It is my 2nd mechanical. I have never really considered mechs before due to the high price (compared to a normal membrane style) Over the years I have come to a point where I went thru multiple brands and found my favorite. The Saitek Eclipse.

I had gone thru a couple of them before jumping onto the mech bandwagon. My son bought his first mech...Razer Blackwidow Ultimate...and I used it a handful of times. Kinda found out what all the excitement with a mech was. Really liked it and when gong back to my trusty Saitek, I was kinda sad. Decided to get myself a Mech. At LAN OC v12, you had a Mionix Zibal 60 with blacks. I didn't win it, but I did buy it from the guy who did. Very sweet keyboard. I didn't like the black key switches. For gaming, they were just too stiff for me. For typing, I liked it alot. Kinda backwards as most guys like the blacks for gaming and not as much for typing.

This Trigger I am using right now...I absolutely love it. It has seen constant use for a couple months now and is holding up nicely. I am starting to notice some wear on the keys. I use my right thumb for "space" and you can plainly see the spot where my thumb presses. The other keys are also showing some "shine" but being small, you can't really notice it. The wrist rest is showing no signs of use. Looks like day one. That is a good thing as I figured the rubberized coating would more than likely show some wear especially around the arrow keys. ( I don't use WASD keys...LOL) I don't think I would like the green switches as they are stiffer than the blacks.

Sorry for the wall of text, just figured I'd toss out my take on the durability of the Trigger in case some guys were wondering. Thanks for the review. Spot on imho. ;)
Masterfry's Avatar
Masterfry replied the topic: #30314 08 Apr 2013 05:40
I've been thinking about getting a new mechanical keyboard and trying a new switch. I want to try something really stiff like almost buckling, and I want it to be loud as hell because lets face it, that's why we get mechanical keyboards ;) The green switches seem like they would fancy my taste buds but I'm looking for something without the ten key. I'm considering one of the Ducky's but not sure yet. Anyways, great review and thanks for the detailed information on the keyboard.
garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #30319 08 Apr 2013 07:27
There is also the cooler master storm rapid with green switches as well that is tenkeyless

www.amazon.com/dp/B00C2MBG2U/?tag=lare0a-20
(the amazon option over on the right side is cheaper when you figure in free shipping)

Also has anyone else gotten green switches back in? At CES Cooler Master told me they bought up all of the green switch stock for a while. The ducky shine with green switches shows as unavailable on amazon as well.

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