Revisiting the CM Storm Trigger Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
Reviewed by: BluePanda
Reviewed on: February 21, 2013
CM Storm Trigger Introduction:
Cooler Master is back with a revision of one of my favorite keyboards. The CM Storm Trigger returns to my desk today with another switch option: MX Cherry Greens. These switches are designed with a higher actuation force of 80g – whereas your MX Cherry Reds are 45g, Browns 55g, Blacks 60g, and Blues 50g for reference – so you can expect to give a bit more press to get your point across. The keyboard itself is constructed the same as the MX Cherry Red version I reviewed back in April 2012, so as a recap review, you may need to take a look back HERE for more details.
The cost of the green switches come at a small price hike of about $10 more than the blue, red or black switches; but to be fair, the switches themselves do cost more. At CES 2013, Cooler Master had one with green LEDs, but sadly the retail version is back to its typical red backlighting, much to my dismay. Still, the body of the keyboard remains that of an utter zombie beating weapon – for those of you a little less familiar, go enjoy yourself by watching a YouTube video of the CM Storm Trigger in action. For some reason, buyers feel the need to smash up their old Razer keyboards with their new Trigger before using it (or drive over it with a truck) – it proves to be quite durable, as it is still usable after some of these smashings.
Enough about that – it's time we move on to the keyboard itself. I'll give a refresher course on some of the key features before we dive in. The CM Storm Trigger (regardless of the switch type) comes with five programmable macro keys, 64KB of onboard profile storage, two USB 2.0 ports, 1000Hz polling rate, and six key rollover through USB. You'll have the option to disable the pesky Windows key that effortlessly takes you away from full screen in the middle of your epic battles and you'll get all this at just less than three pounds weight. Now let's get on to the pictures already.
CM Storm Trigger Closer Look:
Starting with the typical box shots, we've got the CM Trigger box here again. The box itself doesn't look much different compared to the first one we saw; the only change being the sticker on the box signifying the inclusion of green switches. The box images really are the same, but the sticker indicating the switch type was a nice addition considering the different options available. You know you got what you ordered before completely opening the box.
Out of the box, the CM Trigger with MX Cherry Greens looks no different than any other CM Trigger – at least until you pop a key off. I know many of you probably have no desire to pull of keys when you buy a keyboard, but with a mechanical keyboard it's always nice seeing the switch behind it all. In this case you can see the actual green switch below the ESC key. It doesn't seem like much, but the different color goes a long way to give a different feel.
CM Storm Trigger Testing and Results:
Testing here is a little different than the last time we took a look at the CM Storm Trigger – so it's not quite a direct compare, though in reality it's quite a bit more of a direct compare than it would have been. Rather than assigning numbers to categories of comfort I've moved us forward to discussing how the keyboard feels and things to love or hate about it rather than "this keyboard was an 8" as a not so helpful measure. Therefore you will find information on how it performed in everyday use, work type situations, and of course gaming. Everyone has a different need and some of us crossbreed between these categories, so it is important to see how well it performs across the board.
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 8 GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: OCZ Agility 3 120 GB, 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
Writing emails and surfing the net doesn't seem like much use on a keyboard. I really noticed the change in keyboard even doing such simple tasks. The green switches are indeed heavier in typing. Even writing a brief email to a friend brought on some simple hand exercises nailing down the message. I will say the added force ensures you've not mistyped something as if you don't hear and feel the click, you know you've missed a letter. It's a nice guaranteed key press even on such low level use.
Doing work wasn't too bad with the green switches either. With a standard layout on the CM Trigger, finding the right keys to hit wasn't a problem at all. The number pad made crunching numbers quick and flawless with again that guaranteed key press by sound and feel. Although I found the green switches to be quieter than the blues and blacks, it does have a notable click that could be found annoying to an office mate or roommate – so just be prepared for a little cranky-ness until they get used to your new typing.
Gaming is what a lot of you really care about here. Though the keyboard has the standard keyboard layout, there is also an additional row of macro keys lined up the left; five of them to be exact. If you read my previous review of the CM Trigger, you can find out more about the included software to setting these up – it's quite simple and if not useful, at least fun to play with. I'm not a big fan of using macros in games, but when I have them for review I tend to make them do stupid things such as spam a chat or awkwardly shoot a gun. The position of them isn't too awkward to get to and I've found a lot more keyboards including them in this similar fashion.
The green switches themselves proved to be a little tiresome to my walking hand at first, but after a few hours of game play, it didn't seem that cumbersome anymore. The click and feel again proved to be that nice sure-fire "I pressed the key" satisfaction.
Regardless of the activity/use of the keyboard, I noticed right away that the switches were indeed a lot "heavier" than most switches. Though it was expected considering the actuation force ratings, it never seems likes something you would greatly notice. I'm right-handed, so my stronger hand didn't quite feel the extra weight as much, but my weaker left hand pointed out the change almost immediately after writing just a few emails. They are definitely heavy, but not something you couldn't get used to in a day or two. Overall, I really liked the feel and I think I'll keep using this one for a while.
CM Storm Trigger Conclusion:
In conclusion, I really liked this keyboard. I loved it the first time I reviewed it, besides the red LEDs, and I think I love it even a little more with the green switches. Although the greens were a little different to get used to compared to the other switches I've used in the past, I do think they are my new favorite switch type. They are a little more aggressive and if we break down the different feels I think you'll understand it a bit more.
First off, the green switch is a tactile switch, meaning it actually has a tactile bump down through the key press, which in turn is actually both felt and audible to the user. The greens also have a high actuation force of 80g compared to the browns at 55 and the blues at 60. Compared to the browns, they are by far a lot heavier and clickier. The greens are much stronger and not so gentle. Compared to blues, the greens are actually seemingly quieter. Perhaps it is the actual key cap in this case being quieter, but the actual spring itself seems a lot quieter as well – it isn't quite the annoying type, type, type, sound that I got from blues. Reds and blacks are hard to compare fairly here as they both are linear switches; they don't have the bump click and are entirely different on their own.
Overall I really like the new green switches. The CM Storm Trigger is still the beast of a keyboard it was, but I'd highly recommend the change in switches . The greens aren't for everyone, but if you like a really aggressive feel to both your typing and gaming, this is the keyboard for you.
CM Storm Trigger Pros:
- Well-built keyboard to endure the zombies.
- Green switches really add to the feel of any game, work, or email.
- Nice backlighting (despite my distaste for the red color).
- New life brought to the keyboard with the green switch type.
CM Storm Trigger Cons:
- Little loud if you aren't used to mechanicals.
- Heavier weight of the switch may make you weaklings tired for a week or so.