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#1 martyjay75

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:56 PM

Anyone know of a good gaming keyboard with a Mac layout that is equally functional on a PC partition?  Got a Razer Anansi (Mac) to compliment a Naga MMO mouse but found that many of the function/media keys didn't work while running windows.  From what I've seen I would have to get a PC-style keyboard that has drivers/software for both PC and MacOS.

#2 Frost

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:16 PM

I ended up deciding on a Logitech G510 and I am totally satisfied with it. The only problem with it was Logitech's Mac software had all kinds of odd problems, but Logitech finally threw out their Mac program altogether and replaced it with a complete port of their excellent PC software in the past couple of months.

I got a G19 before that but... one too many cords, 6 too few G keys. Resold it within a week and bought a G510, then kept that.
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#3 Tetsuya

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:44 AM

View Postmartyjay75, on 10 May 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

Anyone know of a good gaming keyboard with a Mac layout that is equally functional on a PC partition?  Got a Razer Anansi (Mac) to compliment a Naga MMO mouse but found that many of the function/media keys didn't work while running windows.  From what I've seen I would have to get a PC-style keyboard that has drivers/software for both PC and MacOS.

You could just download the Razer software for your Windows side.  It worked fine for my Black Widow Ultimate - it's the same keyboard, with different labels on the buttons.  Just download the Razer software for the Anansi for windows.  It should work.  

If you cant get that to work and feel the need to get a new keyboard that will - I had no problems of any kind with a Black Widow Ultimate (PC version, before i got a "Mac" branded one when i gave the first one to my wife) - All you had to do was download the Mac Razer Black WIdow software and manually re-assign the Command key in OSX (which takes about 2 seconds).  My Black Widows (both the "PC" version and the "Mac" version) both worked in both OSes as long as i had the drivers installed - i have no idea why the Anansi wouldn't be the same.

#4 Tetsuya

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:51 AM

As an addendum, you may need to enter the Razer config software and re-assign the media keys under Windows.... but you can do that easily.

#5 martyjay75

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

Truth be told,  I didn't give the anansi much of a shot.  I found the keys on the keyboard themselves to be a bit too narrow for my taste.  I did download the windows driver on the windows side, but still couldn't get the boards function keys to register on the PC side of things.  I got it mostly for it's G keys and the ability to switch the board to gaming mode, which I couldn't seem to do on the PC side, even with the software installed.  That fact coupled with Razer taking 6 days to respond to my inquiries made me opt to return the anansi to Amazon.

#6 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

Razer Blackwidow has a Mac version

virtually any keyboard you buy will be compatible with both Mac and Windows. Only thing would be the media keys and stuff for compatibility concerns
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#7 Tetsuya

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:07 PM

View Postmartyjay75, on 12 May 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

Truth be told,  I didn't give the anansi much of a shot.  I found the keys on the keyboard themselves to be a bit too narrow for my taste.  I did download the windows driver on the windows side, but still couldn't get the boards function keys to register on the PC side of things.  I got it mostly for it's G keys and the ability to switch the board to gaming mode, which I couldn't seem to do on the PC side, even with the software installed.  That fact coupled with Razer taking 6 days to respond to my inquiries made me opt to return the anansi to Amazon.

Try a Black Widow.  DONT buy the "Mac" version.  Just buy a Black Widow (the 2013 model or the Ultimate), plain-old-PC version, and it will work flawlessly on OSX as well as Windows.  The Razer "Mac" Software detects it, and you can go into the Keyboard pref pane to re-assign "Alt" to "Command".  So.. they keyboard wont have the little squiggly symbol on it - oh well.  Under OSX, the F7-F12 keys will function as they do on an apple keyboard, controlling itunes and volume, etc.  (F7 is Back; F8 Play, F8 Forward, etc)

I just tested it by unplugging my Black Widow Ultimate from my PC rig and trying it on this Mac.  I am typing this post with it.  

And, best part:

Mechanical.  Cannot stress that enough.  Mechanical os so much better than not, IMO.

#8 martyjay75

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:19 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 12 May 2013 - 06:07 PM, said:

Try a Black Widow.  DONT buy the "Mac" version.  Just buy a Black Widow (the 2013 model or the Ultimate), plain-old-PC version, and it will work flawlessly on OSX as well as Windows.  The Razer "Mac" Software detects it, and you can go into the Keyboard pref pane to re-assign "Alt" to "Command".  So.. they keyboard wont have the little squiggly symbol on it - oh well.  Under OSX, the F7-F12 keys will function as they do on an apple keyboard, controlling itunes and volume, etc.  (F7 is Back; F8 Play, F8 Forward, etc)

I just tested it by unplugging my Black Widow Ultimate from my PC rig and trying it on this Mac.  I am typing this post with it.  


And, best part:

Mechanical.  Cannot stress that enough.  Mechanical os so much better than not, IMO.


You've given me something to think about.  Not sure if you've ever used the Anansi, but I'm assuming that the keys aren't as narrow on the Black Widow?  I see 3 different variations on Razer's website.  I take it that the Tournament Edition is a more compact w/o the left side macro keys?  And the "stealth" is just a quieter version of the Ultimate?

Have you had any issues with the Synapse 2.0 software?  Also, just curious as to how long you've had your ultimate.  I've been hearing a lot about keys going bad on Razer boards.

#9 Tetsuya

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:39 PM

I've had two of them.  i bought the "Mac" edition Black Widow when i still had a MacPro tower, and then gave that one to my wife when she wanted a mechanical and replaced it with the 'Ultimate' - both are from mid-late 2011.  AFAIK, they revamped the line for 2013 with newer switches (Cherry MX Black instead of the older "Red" series) and added the Stealth, which is just the same keyboard only silenced.  The Tournament edition is for game tournaments where they dont allow special/programmable keyboards (and space is often at a premium as players are right next to each other, so they cut the numpad).

I have had no problems with dead keys.  My wife's even got an entire glass of water dumped on it and after drying in the rice bucket for a day, worked fine.  I can't imagine that the Razer keyboards would have problems with dead keys and others wouldnt - pretty much every mechanical on the market uses the exact same Cherry MX switches, no matter what brand.  

I really like the mechanical action and the keys have ample separation for me and ive got big hands and fat fingers.  

Like i said, i made the last post by unplugging the Black Widow Ultimate from my PC and plugging it into my Mac.  It is not the "Mac" edition, but the appropriate F-keys will control iTunes with no modification (so, as long as you dont need the labels on the keys to know which is which, this is a non-issue) and you can go into the Keyboard pref pane in OSX and switch the "Alt" key to "Command" in about 5 seconds, so, again, as long as you dont need the little squigly mark on the key itself, it works fine.  

The Mac Razer software recognized the keyboard just fine and let me record a macro no problem.  (simple key and mouse presses).  Obviously, since it is the PC version, it works flawlessly in windows.  

I haven't had a lot of trouble with the Razer software in Windows because i dont really use it.  I bought the keyboard because it was mechanical and backlit (which i like) and was cheaper than the other brands (Thermaltake and other makers) at the time and used the exact same hardware (Cherry MX Red switches).

I just wish they made the Deathstalker in a mechanical.  I'd buy that.  I tried out the Star-wars branded keyboard that first had that programmable touchpad - it was pretty cool.

#10 the Battle Cat

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:05 AM

Love my Wolf King gaming keyboard.  It's PC and lacks a Command key but otherwise it works perfectly in OSX.  What I like about the key layout is that the core of it is like the keypad on an extended keyboard.  I used to use the keypad to game because the keys were not offset.  This gives me that and an orbit of keys around it that are handy as well as typically used.

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#11 badger2d

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

What's the ballyhoo about with mechanical keyboards for gaming? I've never used one. What does it improve on?

#12 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:17 PM

Not just for gaming.  Mechanical for everything, period.  
Better tactile response.  More satisfying keypresses.  WAY more durability than membrane based keyboards, as every single key has its own mechanical switch.  My wife's Black Widow Ultimate got water poured on it, and after drying for a day, worked fine.

#13 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:31 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 12 May 2013 - 11:39 PM, said:

I've had two of them.  i bought the "Mac" edition Black Widow when i still had a MacPro tower, and then gave that one to my wife when she wanted a mechanical and replaced it with the 'Ultimate' - both are from mid-late 2011.  AFAIK, they revamped the line for 2013 with newer switches (Cherry MX Black instead of the older "Red" series) and added the Stealth, which is just the same keyboard only silenced.  The Tournament edition is for game tournaments where they dont allow special/programmable keyboards (and space is often at a premium as players are right next to each other, so they cut the numpad).  

I really like the mechanical action and the keys have ample separation for me and ive got big hands and fat fingers.  

+1 Vote for mechanical. I cant go back to regular keyboards after using mechanical.

The Black Widow (regular and ultimate, all years (2013 and previous) use Cherry MX-Blue swtiches, which are the "most mechanical" of all switches as they give both tactile and auditory feedback. The Stealth edition uses Brown switches, which has the same tactile feel, but without the audible click (sounds like a mouse click on the Blue switches).

I prefer Blue myself, Red is the opposite of Blue, having 0 tactile feedback or click. I haven't looked into Black, but I'm fairly certain its a stiffer version of Red (the keys require more force to push down).

Best way to tryout a mechanical keyboard is go to your local computer shop and test a few the keyboards. They'll probably have some on display, and if not, the boxes usually have a few keys uncovered that you can press. Mechanical KB's feel very different at first, but after an hour or two of use you'll be used to it, and will love it. Test out the difference between Red and Blue switches, as that is a massive difference. I can't stand red, since I'm so used to Blue, and I'm sure it'd be the other way around if I started on Red.
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#14 Frigidman™

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:33 PM

Any of these have emblems on keys light up in the dark? One of my problems is my black keys keyboard is impossible to see when I try to game in the dark. So I have this little 'usb snake light' that plugs into the side of the keyboards extra USB hub to light up the left side of the keyboard. Unfortunately it is not bright enough for all the keyboard, and also if it WAS bright enough, it would be just like turning on a desk lamp which ends up ruining the whole point of gaming in the dark.

However my MBP has lit keys while I'm in the dark and am able to find every key at a quick glance without a problem. I can even code in a completely black room on it.

I've been pondering a new keyboard for my PC for a long time now, as the one I use now, is an old mac glass keyboard from my G4 tower ;) And sometimes it decides to 'stick' on the D or A keys making my guy keep sidestepping till I press it again. That and the shift key is getting harder and harder to press despite lithium grease attempts.

So I've been watching over this thread with interest ;)

PS: the 'stuck key' syndrome is some sort of hardware/usb/driver glitch. Its not mechanical... its purely software along the lines where the pc doesnt register the key-up event.

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#15 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:21 PM

The Black Widow UItimate (non-2013 version) has the keys backlit - thats the only difference between the regular Black Widow and Ultimate that i'm aware of.  

The standard BWU is a blue backlight, and you can set it to three different brightness settings (dim, bright, very bright) or to pulse from bright to dim.  The backlighting is only visible through the lettering/marking on the keys.  There are other variants of the original BWU for some specific games (Battlefield had a yellow-orange backlight) that have different color backlights, but theyve been discontinued for a while and im not sure where you could get one.  

The new 2013 models have backlit keys AND the entire keyboard is backlight (meaning you see the light between the keys as well).  I dont have one, so i dont know if you can shut the overall backlight on and off or of it is tied to the key backlighting.  The new 2013 models the backlight is Razer green, instead of blue.  I rather prefer my original BWU's blue color.

#16 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:29 PM

If you dont need the macro-ability of a Razer product, there is also Das Keyboard.  I dont know if they are backlit (i dont think so) but they come highly recommended and are very solid (and also use Cherry switches - good catch Snake on the various switch types, i'd never paid any attention).

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 15 May 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

Love my Wolf King gaming keyboard.  It's PC and lacks a Command key but otherwise it works perfectly in OSX.  What I like about the key layout is that the core of it is like the keypad on an extended keyboard.  I used to use the keypad to game because the keys were not offset.  This gives me that and an orbit of keys around it that are handy as well as typically used.

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I have one of these.. but i never use it because its mushy as hell.  It needs to be mechanical, then i'd love it.  I also had a pre-Razer-buying-it Nostromo, and quit using it for the same reason.. however, Razer makes a mechanical version (the Orbweaver) which im thinking of trying out.  

I *really* wish they made a mechanical version of the Deathstalker.  I really like the programable touchpad... ive tried it out on the Star Wars themed keyboard they first released it on.  If it was mechanical, i'd buy one tomorrow.

#17 Frigidman™

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:29 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 15 May 2013 - 07:21 PM, said:

The Black Widow UItimate (non-2013 version) has the keys backlit - thats the only difference between the regular Black Widow and Ultimate that i'm aware of.  

The standard BWU is a blue backlight, and you can set it to three different brightness settings (dim, bright, very bright) or to pulse from bright to dim.  The backlighting is only visible through the lettering/marking on the keys.  There are other variants of the original BWU for some specific games (Battlefield had a yellow-orange backlight) that have different color backlights, but theyve been discontinued for a while and im not sure where you could get one.  

The new 2013 models have backlit keys AND the entire keyboard is backlight (meaning you see the light between the keys as well).  I dont have one, so i dont know if you can shut the overall backlight on and off or of it is tied to the key backlighting.  The new 2013 models the backlight is Razer green, instead of blue.  I rather prefer my original BWU's blue color.

Right, I have a deathadder thats blue, I like the blue as its not ostentatious. I looked up those various ones, and it seems the noisey clicky boards are standard, unless you get the 'stealth' varient, which is what I would be interested in. To me, a keyboard should not be an obstruction to playing. So making a lot of clicking noise, is an obstruction ;) Also keys that are hard to press, or have serious giveaway. However reading up on the stealth it seems very much what I might like... shame it only glows in green. I'll have to look more into them, find them in local stores to feel/try. But thanks for the heads up in that direction.

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#18 the Battle Cat

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:44 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 15 May 2013 - 07:29 PM, said:

I have one of these.. but i never use it because its mushy as hell.  

... Well.  Why, I never ... ;)
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#19 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:47 PM

View PostFrigidman, on 15 May 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:

Right, I have a deathadder thats blue, I like the blue as its not ostentatious. I looked up those various ones, and it seems the noisey clicky boards are standard, unless you get the 'stealth' varient, which is what I would be interested in. To me, a keyboard should not be an obstruction to playing. So making a lot of clicking noise, is an obstruction ;) Also keys that are hard to press, or have serious giveaway. However reading up on the stealth it seems very much what I might like... shame it only glows in green. I'll have to look more into them, find them in local stores to feel/try. But thanks for the heads up in that direction.

If you haven't used a mechanical, try one before you buy.  Give the clicky-keys a try, its actually quite nice to be able to HEAR that your keypress went in.  I dont find the switches in my BWU to be hard to press at all.

#20 Frigidman™

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:58 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 15 May 2013 - 08:47 PM, said:

If you haven't used a mechanical, try one before you buy.  Give the clicky-keys a try, its actually quite nice to be able to HEAR that your keypress went in.  I dont find the switches in my BWU to be hard to press at all.

We can agree to disagree on "noise is nice", as its personal preference ;)

To me, it is not nice to hear something (anything) when I press keys, or buttons. My deathadder has very little audible response on its buttons. My mac mouse is clacky as hell (but then it is a really old logitech). I used to have a keyboard a long time ago that clickettyclacked when keys were pressed, and I absolutely unequivocally hated it with a passion.

I want to hear the game, subtle footsteps, ambient noises etc from the game... and if something is happening in my own room that is not from the game, then its bugs the hell out of me.

For example when my 'seat' would make this clicking noise when I slightly jerked quick mouse movements... had to grease the sucker, then take it apart to find this little plastic bit that was getting caught in some mechanism that make the noise, cut it back... silenced the damned chair! HAHA.

Yes, I am greatly annoyed by sounds ;)

Dont get me started when outside noises happen like dogs barking. Motorcycles. Airplanes. Birds... rats... butterflies. So much noise in this world conflicting with my gaming enjoyment.

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