In the lab: Rosewill’s RK-9000V2 mechanical keyboard

The review samples just keep on coming. Now that I’m done with Intel’s Broadwell NUC, the latest clicky keyboard from Rosewill is waiting for my attention.

We already saw this keyboard at CES last month. As its name suggests, the RK-9000V2 is meant to succeed the original RK-9000, which remains a popular option thanks to its low price, clean design, and wide selection of Cherry MX switches.

The V2 model promises the same perks along with some new ones: better reliability, a sturdier chassis, full n-key rollover via an optional PS/2 connector, Fn+F key shortcuts for media and audio controls, and a way to disable the Windows key. The Rosewill logo above the numpad is more understated, too, which doesn’t hurt.

Newegg already sells the RK-9000V2 with a choice of Cherry MX brown and blue switches. Pricing is $119.99 for both variants. I’ll be looking at the MX brown version, and I expect to tell you more about it very soonβ€”as soon as I finish work on the next TR System Guide, that is.

Comments closed
    • Luminair
    • 5 years ago

    THERE IS NO LORD BUT OUR LORD ERGO PRO

    IT HAS BEGUN [url<]https://geekhack.org/index.php?PHPSESSID=eov2r7ja6grmgepn76gitf2d33&topic=53184.msg1643564#msg1643564[/url<]

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 5 years ago

    I’m looking for a sturdy MX-red keyboard with numpad that doesn’t break the bank, but mechanical keyboards seem overpriced as ****.

    Any suggestions, gerbils?

      • anotherengineer
      • 5 years ago

      “I’m looking for a sturdy MX-red keyboard with numpad that doesn’t break the bank”

      “Any suggestions”

      Uuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
      Does under $100 not break the bank??

      [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201058R&cm_re=cherry_mx_red-_-23-201-058R-_-Product[/url<] [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823129013&cm_re=cherry_mx_red-_-23-129-013-_-Product[/url<] [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201075&cm_re=cherry_mx_red-_-23-201-075-_-Product[/url<] [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201073&cm_re=cherry_mx_red-_-23-201-073-_-Product[/url<] edit - wow lucky USA [url<]http://www.walmart.com/ip/TG3-KBA-CBL108P-WHT-DPU-L1-Deck-108-Key-White-LED-Red-MX-Switch-Keyboard/43155719[/url<] [url<]http://www.walmart.com/ip/TG3-KBA-CBL108P-BLU-DPU-L1-Deck-108-Key-Blue-LED-Red-MX-Switch-Keyboard/43155563[/url<]

      • just brew it!
      • 5 years ago

      Define “break the bank”. Some people consider even $20 to be too much to pay for a keyboard.

    • FromageTheDog
    • 5 years ago

    At the point where you are willing to spend that kind of scratch, the CODE keyboard (https://codekeyboards.com/) is totally worth the extra $30. No tragically ugly logo, backlighting, MX clears…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      No doubt the street price on these will be lower. The original RK-9000 was available for $60-70/often enough, and not just during the economic crash or EOL inventory clearance. I expect to see these for $80 or so in not too long.

        • keltor
        • 5 years ago

        Still no MX green or MX clear is a no go for some people.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 5 years ago

          wtf do people want to break their fingers when typing? Browns are stiff enough for me.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 5 years ago

            THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.

      • slowriot
      • 5 years ago

      MX Clears are a negative.

    • dmjifn
    • 5 years ago

    > full n-key rollover via an optional PS/2 connector,

    I wonder why this continues to be a thing? I seem to remember the lore being it had something to do with Windows’s drivers via USB vs PS/2.
    The keyboard I’m using appears to register as many keys as I press at once, as fast as I can press it, over USB – through a KVM – with no extra drivers. I’m talking all 10 fingers (or both palms) at once, several times in succession, and no missed keypresses. It makes me wonder if I don’t understand the issue or if these premium keyboard mfrs just aren’t getting it done.

      • DPete27
      • 5 years ago

      I need full n-key rollover when I play MMOs, I just smash my forearm on the keyboard. You should see the pwnage!!!

        • dmjifn
        • 5 years ago

        lulz u hax0r that raid bro!!1 πŸ˜‰

      • jessterman21
      • 5 years ago

      I’m into PS/2 for the CPU interrupt, not the n-key rollover. Just sets my mind at ease more.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 5 years ago

        It’s definitely not a new feature. N-key rollover for PS/2 via adaptor goes for all keyboards AFAIK.

          • just brew it!
          • 5 years ago

          Definitely not new, the original RK-9000 had n-key via PS/2 too.

          However, it is *not* true that it goes for all keyboards. The design of the switch matrix needs to support it as well (it requires an extra blocking diode at each keyswitch).

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      Go to a proper n-key rollover testing website. I think MS has one. Also, which keyboard do you have?

        • dmjifn
        • 5 years ago

        I ended up with the Realforce 87u 45g.

        You know, you often come back at me with these good suggestions and I’m tired of it. πŸ˜‰
        So, I checked. I pressed 10 keys at once. All of them got through but only 6 stay depressed. That pretty clearly demonstrates the issue!

        • Froz
        • 5 years ago

        I did the test, couldn’t find any ghosting issues. I’m using CM Storm Trigger Z with USB connection with default windows drivers. It does show me 3 keyboards in device manager, so it might be using that trick to achieve n-key rollover.

          • just brew it!
          • 5 years ago

          Bingo. This is a standard trick for getting >6-key rollover with stock drivers.

      • siberx
      • 5 years ago

      I’ve implemented my own [url=https://github.com/jtryon/openclack<]keyboard controller firmware[/url<], so I have some background on this issue. Firstly, when it comes to n-key rollover your keyboard needs more components to make it work, namely you need a diode installed for each key to prevent feedback currents into other sense lines. This is required whether you have a PS/2 or USB interface, and high end keyboards claiming any kind of NKRO have this already. As you have noticed though, some makers claim NKRO over PS/2 but [i<]not[/i<] over usb. The difference comes down to how the PS/2 and USB protocols transmit data, combined with some legacy nonsense. In the case of PS/2, the keyboard simply transmits a KeyDown or KeyUp message whenever the associated action occurs on a given key. The motherboard and operating system are then responsible for tracking which keys are held down at any given time on the basis of these messages, meaning (hardware-permitting) PS/2 allows you to hold down an arbitrary number of keys simultaneously. In the case of USB however, the keyboard regularly sends packets to the host system specifying [i<]which[/i<] keys are pressed at that moment in time. If a key isn't included in that packet, it's assumed to not be pressed and is considered "up". The rub comes with the fact that the USB HID spec that allows so many devices to conveniently work automatically when plugged in with the included drivers includes provisions for a very particular type of keyboard device descriptor called a "USB Boot Keyboard". This descriptor type exists because the HID group wanted to give manufacturers of simple stuff (like BIOSes and embedded devices) an easy way to support keyboards without having to code in full support for decoding and parsing the rather complex descriptor format available to HID devices. This so-called boot keyboard specifies a single byte for modifiers (bitstuffed, so you get your alt/shift/ctrl/windows on each side IIRC) plus a maximum of 6 bytes specifying currently held down keycodes. If you want your keyboard to work in the BIOS, it must implement the USB Boot Keyboard spec, which limits it to 6 keys plus modifiers (which is why you sometimes see the term 6KRO over USB). Since your first active keys must be sent out in this limited format, the way to get a USB keyboard to support more rollover is to have the device enumerate is [i<]multiple[/i<] USB HID peripherals, with the second one being a fancier custom HID descriptor that supports as many simultaneously held down keys as you have memory for. Your first 6 held-down keys get sent out in the Boot Keyboard device, and any additional ones are sent over your full-fledged keyboard device that Windows (or your other full-blown OS) understands properly. This is, however, a lot of extra work - it's eminently doable and possible to do NKRO over USB, but the simple fact is that firmware engineers are lazy assholes and can't be arsed to go to the extra trouble of implementing a second device descriptor just for the people who think they need more than 6 keys (in addition to the modifiers!) held down at the same time. Some boutique manufacturers do just for marketing or bragging reasons, but when you get 6+modifiers from the boot keyboard descriptor it's hard to justify the extra development time and debugging associated with adding on more capability when nobody is really going to use it.

        • cynan
        • 5 years ago

        Excellent and informative summary of how a keyboard communicates with a PC.

        As far as NKRO goes, however, you kind of sum it up in the last sentence:

        NKRO: Why bother when “nobody is really going to use it.”

      • just brew it!
      • 5 years ago

      Some keyboards get around the limitation of the USB keyboard protocol by appearing to the OS as two logical keyboards. The 6-key limit also doesn’t include modifiers (Shift/Ctrl/etc.), so if some of those keys you’re pressing are modifiers you can get to 10 without hitting the limit.

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