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ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

ROCCAT's Ryos MK FX mechanical gaming keyboard may well be the best keyboard we have ever reviewed. Read on and find out why.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Wed, Oct 5 2016 11:48 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: ROCCAT

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 32 IMAGES

Upon sitting with ROCCAT many years ago at CES, we knew instantly that this was a company we needed to keep a close eye on. Within five minutes of looking at slides and being shown a few of their products, we had to keep reminding ourselves to pick up our chin, as not to drool all over the desk at which we were sitting. The products were on full display, and we were seeing some unique things which other manufacturers were blatantly overlooking. Once they showed us the software and the changes available in their products, we were astonished, not only to see this new way of thinking about peripherals, but also in the fact that nobody had ever tried this before, and shockingly, nobody but ROCCAT is doing it now.

It was there that we first laid eyes on the ROCCAT Ryos keyboard, their original mechanical keyboard to boast so many functions it would make your head spin. However, as time has progressed, we have seen a few versions of this keyboard come out. There was the Ryos Pro, and Ryos MK, which both added their flavor and feature upgrades to a very successful line of keyboards, and it seems that ROCCAT has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. As new technologies arise, and the market demand for such features is high enough, ROCCAT comes up with a brilliant way to implement it into this series of keyboards, and with mostly positive feedback from previous Ryos mechanical keyboard owners, they all come highly recommended.

The latest evolution of this series is the Ryos MK FX mechanical gaming keyboard we are showing off today. Along with the EasyShift system, which doubles the keyboard layout, ROCCAT Talk, which allows like branded components to share the workload between them, Swarm software delivering the utmost in customization, the Ryos FX still has more to offer. The major selling point of this design is one, the switch type used in this model, as each model does vary on switch type used. There is also per key illumination ability, and even the use of ROCCAT FX, if you do not mind tinkering around with an open source SDK to allow games to offer illuminated information under your hands. Your friends have likely been bragging about their Ryos, and if there was a time to jump on the bandwagon, now is it, as the Ryos MK FX from ROCCAT is the best of the lineup.

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Borrowing the specifications from the ROCCAT product page, we see the list starts by covering common features that the Ryos MK FX delivers. The 109 key layout is backed with RGB LEDs, and via software can be adjusted on a per key basis. There is advanced anti-ghosting which covers up to 30 keys at once and NKRO support. There are three programmable Thumbster keys, five Macro keys, and 94 of the keys can be programmed for EasyShift. The polling rate is set to 1000Hz by default with 1ms response time. There are 1.8 meters of braided cable which includes a pair of 3.5mm jacks for the audio pass-through. Also in this design, there is not just one ARM Cortex processor in control over the keyboard, with the Ryos MK FX, there are two 32-bit processors used in this design. We also see, since there is a ton of things you can program and store on this keyboard, 2MB of onboard memory is included.

Physically, the keyboard is 508mm wide, 44mm tall, and 234mm from side to side, and weighing in at a hefty 1600 grams. Aside from the white painted steel plate, the entire construction is made of plastic. Various textures are used on different sections of the Ryos, and while some are engineered to add grip, others are designed with fingerprint reduction in mind as well. Any currently supported Windows operating system will have no issues running this keyboard, and outside of that, you will need two open USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm jacks for sound, and an internet connection to obtain the software.

When it comes to the Ryos MK FX, you have one choice of switches, using Cherry MX Brown switches, and one price found across the board. At the time of writing, the Ryos MK FX is listed at $149.99 no matter where you decided to click on the "add to cart button," and realistically, is quite affordable for what this keyboard delivers. There are a few other keyboards on the market which come close to what the Ryos MK FX offers, and while you can remap keys on most, dual functionality across the keyboard is something you will only find here. Then again, so are a lot of the ROCCAT exclusive features which the Ryos MK FX delivers.

So, while you may be able to locate more affordable mechanical keyboards, only the Ryos MK FX from ROCCAT is this well-equipped, and for what you will get, the pricing is almost too cheap for such a device.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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As ROCCAT usually does, right on the front of the packaging, there is a lot of information to absorb. Features are listed down the left side, and along the bottom is a list of extra technologies which are also offered with this design. Along the top are more features, and even as we look at the large image of the Ryos MK FX, some of the features are pointed out for you as well.

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The bulk of this thin side of the outer packaging is used for a low angle view of the Ryos MK FX. Nearer the left end of this panel, we see the logo, ROCCAT name, and it is followed by Ryos MK FX. It also describes this as a mechanical gaming keyboard with per-key RGB illumination.

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Both of the smallest panels are identical. Each displays a view of the keyboard, and deliver the product naming to the left, leaving the right end to offer up the ROCCAT site address.

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The left end of this panel is used to show the naming and another image of the keyboard, but we moved in closer to the text at the right end. This is where you will locate the serial number, model number, and also offers icons and legal statements about the product.

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The back is busier than what we saw on the front. Down the left is a sneak peek at the software, a look at the switches, and a mention of ROCCAT Talk. The middle is used to show the keyboard, with loads of features listed below, and the right side addresses the Easy Shift system, finishes, audio jacks, and then explains what comes in the box.

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After removing the sleeve, and then opening the box, we find a well-protected Ryos MK FX inside. The cabling is bundled and tucked in the back, and along with strips of plastic to protect the shiny black surfaces, we see the Ryos MK FX also ships with a thin plastic dust cover. Enclosed with cardboard around all its edges, our keyboard was delivered in perfect condition.

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What you see here is what is left to find inside of the box. There is the manual which addresses connectivity, covers the features found on this keyboard, and even offers a cheat sheet for all the default secondary key commands. This way you can unfold the guide and use it until you get used to all of the functionality. There is disposal information included for areas where this is a concern, and we also get a sheet of stickers.

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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The left side of the Ryos MK FX looks much like the Ryos and Ryos Pro. The side offers a large notch cut away from it to make moving it easier, and while the top three rows are angled at the user or lying flat, the front three rows of keys angle away from the user with the keyboard flat on the desk.

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Still on the left side, but at the corner where it meets the front edge of the Ryos MK FX, we find the pass-through audio. The pink connection is used for a microphone, and the green jack is for headphones. You do need to connect the audio jacks from the main wire harness to use these jacks.

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 11 | TweakTown.com

The majority of the left side offers the standard QWERTY layout, and this is the US version as well. Outside of the usual suspects, there is a column of keys to the left, the M1 through M5 keys, to which you can program macros within easy reach.

ROCCAT Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 12 | TweakTown.com

The default dual purpose keys are found along the top edge. The F1 mutes sound and the F2 lowers the volume. That leaves the F2 raising the volume, and pressing the Function key and the F4 key will bring up the calculator on the screen.

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Carrying on with multimedia functionality, we next run into this group of four keys. The F5 can be used to play or pause a track, and the F6 will stop it. F7 is used to take the media back one track, and the F8 allows you to advance the media one track.

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Moving on, the F9 opens my PC or This PC folder on the screen, and F10 brings up your default browser. F11 allows you to cycle through five levels of brightness, including turning them off, and the F12 is designated for on-the-fly Macro recording with the five M-keys.

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The left Shift key on the keyboard, by default, activates the Easy Shift system and is why there is a plus symbol on this key. By using this key, after some tinkering in the software, you can have in total near 200 keys under your control.

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Along the bottom, we can see that the wide wrist rest is built right into this keyboard, and it offers room for them to put in the words mechanical keyboard in the shiny trim, and it is also where they display their name and logo. Just above all of this, we locate the trio of Thumbster keys, which in the past, have not been mechanical switches.

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At the right end of the keyboard, we find all of the command keys, arrow key set, and a full number pad layout. The Pause Break key offers the ability to put the PC into hibernation, and we do find arrow keys within the number pad for those left-hand users out there.

Ryos MK FX Continued

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With the feet extended at this time, we see that not all of the rows of keys are angled toward the user as we typically find. Of course, having the built-in rest changes your angle of attack, and with this design, the angle works well and so does the angle of the keys.

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Five feet secure this large keyboard to your desk, three along the front, and two near the back. The product page makes mention of the wire management trails built into this keyboard, but sadly the cable used does not even come close to fitting in these grooves.

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The flip out feet is of standard size and tend to lock into the extended position quite well. The ends of both feet have been rubberized, allowing the Ryos MK FX to keep its grip on whatever table top you choose to set it upon.

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A large cable emanates from the center of the back edge, and after nearly six foot of length, we run into the connections which need to be made. There is a pair of USB 2.0 connections, both of which must be used for full functionality, and we also see a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for the pass-through ports. ROCCAT does bundle the cable for shipping but offers a hook and loop strap, which does help tend the wire if you desire to travel with this keyboard.

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Removing a few of the keycaps, we find a set of Cherry MX Brown switches used with the Ryos MK FX. The tops of each switch are made of clear plastic, and this is due to the internal LED lighting. We also see that all of the torsion bars are encased within the frame, and it makes keycap removal much simpler.

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The caps found on the switches are molded once in opaque plastic, which allows the LED light to pass right through them. They are then painted black, the legends are laser etched, and a UV coating has been added to help resist fading and scratching of the black coating.

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Just to see if the LEDs were all intact and functional, as we usually do, we powered up the device. At first, we were greeted with a solid assembly of LED lighting, which at this time happened to be red only.

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Fiddling around a bit, we found out how to swap lighting effects, and it is now in which you can see the full RGB capabilities of this design. Keep in mind, you can also set other modes, as well as making profiles which have just what lights are needed for the game or any other random pattern you wish to devise to see.

ROCCAT Swarm Software

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After a few software updates from the original download, a firmware update, and installing ROCCAT FX software, we could finally get some screen grabs of the software. ROCCAT Swarm opens by default to the pinned menu of the software, and by default there are a few settings already here. This is where you can add and remove certain settings for all of the tabs, to have the most important setting for you, all-in-one easy to find location.

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Moving to the right, now in the settings menu, on the left, we can adjust the repeat delay, repeat rate, cursor blink rate, and you can even test the adjustments made. At the bottom, still, on the left, this is where you would reset the keyboard settings back to default. On the right, we can disable keys, adjust the LED display and time in which the keyboard will go into sleep mode, you can record and use audio macros, and even adjust the LEDs to react a certain way when a Macro is used.

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Key assignment gets pretty deep. On the top, you can pick either the keyboard view, we have now, or opt to list all keys down, and have to scroll through them to remap or program. On the left, you can add Macros, or choose from many of the predefined setups in the various games they have already set up for you.

To change anything in this menu, you must first choose a key to adjust, and it is then in which the lower section appears. This is where you can set the default and EasyShift function of a key, but you can also see your choices, and reset the key if need be.

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Illumination can be done two ways. There is the preset option, and here you can pick from the ten options in which to display the LED lighting. The image of the keyboard is a real-time display of your choices, and below it, you can adjust the speed of the effect, its brightness, or its color. In the custom mode of illumination, all of this applies, but it is where you can set groups of keys and individual color, make patterns, or maybe illuminate just the WASD keys if that is your style.

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Along the bottom, we found the tab for the profile manager, and this window pops up. This is where you can add images to the profile, name then according to usage, set it to load with a certain application, and import or delete profiles from previous devices.

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The Macro Manager is top notch. You can create a new Macro for your needs, but if we are speaking of gaming or productivity, you may want to look through the list of options already defined by ROCCAT. When it comes to creating your own Macro, it will appear in a list of keys and commands on the right, and at the top of that side is where you can make adjustments to the Macro.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM

Playing DOOM with the Ryos MK FX under our left hand took a while to get comfortable, but once used to the layout and design of the keyboard, we became more proficient, and gained more respect for this as a gaming keyboard. We did find that we had to put the keyboard back further than we are used to, which took the most adjusting too, and it is because of the large size, and the non-detachable wrist rest, it needed room for support along the front too.

We did set a few text macros for quick replies and off-handed comments we use most often, and the Thumbster keys allowed us the ability to use them for weapons modifiers and to be able to swap weapons while circling the enemy at the same time. As we say, it takes some getting used to, but the tactile feel of the brown switches without all the noise is pleasant. They Ryos MK FX just took some time to grow on us, but once we got used to things, we felt more able to take on the enemy with all the options for functionality.

Overwatch

Playing Overwatch, we found a lot more of the same thing we saw with DOOM. Just that this time, battles can be faster paced at times, and we found programming the board to where we moved out left hand less, ended up very beneficial. We were setting the specialty attacks, and many comments to spam the chat window while playing. Movements are only what we intended due to the heavier springs used in the Cherry MX Brown switches, and the tactile bump would surely let us know if we had been resting too heavy on any of the keys.

All in all, we find no issues with gaming, nor did we find any limitations to what this Ryos MK FX was able to do for us. All you have to do is come up with the idea, and take the time to program what it is you want the near 200 keys to do for you.

Windows and Productivity

Day to day, we found the Ryos MK FX to be a large keyboard. As we tend to gravitate to TKL keyboards, jumping to the Ryos MK FX from even the standard 104-key products takes some getting used to. It was about three or four days of getting used to the size and tinkering around with the software options when we got appreciative of this keyboard.

Specifically when it came to production purposes. You can make the keyboard do any shortcuts you want, set it for any commands you could want to eliminate from mouse duty and go to town with the features that the Ryos MKL FX presented. We also did not notice many instances where the springs were not heavy enough to keep us from hitting multiple keys at speed, but there were a few times we ran into this along the way.

We also noticed very little vibration through the keyboard. It is built solid and is ready to take on just about any abuse your work day or gaming sessions will require.

Final Thoughts

Everything you have heard about ROCCAT keyboards is true, and with their Ryos MK FX, you can unleash the best of what they have to offer on your opponents. While we were not able to confirm anything on the inside of the keyboard due to a hidden screw under the lock indicator LED panel, on paper this keyboard offers more in technology and features than anything else on the market. Also, along with the per-key LED programmability, if you install the ROCCAT FX software, and don't mind programming things via the SDK available for this keyboard, you can even get gaming lighting effect to be produced across keys.

This means lights are flashing when the cops are chasing you, Mana and health bars, the area of attack from the enemy, al of that sort of cool stuff. Whatever your minds can come up with, and your fingers can program; this keyboard is capable of producing it. To deliver all of this, plus on-the-fly Macros, Thumbster buttons, and the EasyShift system, we can see why dual 32-bit processors are needed. The feature set is just that demanding.

While the Ryos MK FX is a large design, the built-in wrist rest is appreciated in long hours at the PC and can be felt with the lack of pain in your forearms and fingers. The lack of any vibrations keeps your fingers from tingling, and we found the layout of the 109-key US setup to be thought out well, with all keys within easy reach. We do wish a key puller was included, as framed keyboards do tend to hold onto trash a bit more than exposed top plate designs, and we know cleaning will be an issue at some point in this keyboard's lifespan.

We also did not care for the fact that you have to destroy a cover plate to get to that last screw. While we can appreciate that ROCCAT does not want us in there, there are times where a knowledgeable owner will fix something or open it up to dry it off after an accidental spill, without trying to RMA the product. We had to break through the product sticker on the back to get to a screw. It would be plainly obvious if we opened it and tried to RMA it and easily denied for that reason, so why not let us have access? On the flip side of this complaint, we hope that nobody would have a need to open it up to replace dead LEDs, and it does not harm the tremendous functionality of the product; so we can overlook this.

Everything comes down to the pricing at some point or another, at least for the majority of people out there looking for a new mechanical keyboard. While the nearly $150 pricing represents a hefty cost of ownership, you will not, we repeat, will not, find a more affordable solution packed to the gills with features like the Ryos MK FX. From the components on the inside, the choice of switches used, the ROCCAT exclusive options, per-key programmable RGB lighting, the list goes on and on. If you have the room for a larger keyboard and don't mind the mouse being a tad further to the right or left than usual, you will not find another product this capable, at any cost.

Considering the fact that lesser equipped keyboards have come and gone over the years, some of which costing much more than this one does, it does not take a genius to appreciate the bang for the buck offered in this design. If you are looking for the best in what keyboards have to offer to date, give the ROCCAT Ryos MK FX a try - you will not be disappointed.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance100%
Quality including Design and Build98%
General Features100%
Bundle and Packaging96%
Value for Money100%
Overall99%

The Bottom Line: ROCCAT's Ryos MK FX is so feature rich it will make your head spin trying to figure it all out! Every bit of the design is built with purpose, and you will not find another keyboard offering this much at any cost.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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