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Cooler Master is really proficient at making cooling parts for computers – hence the name Cooler Master. However, when it came to using the CK550, I honestly feel like they outdid themselves. In this article, we will be taking a closer look and reviewing the Cooler Master CK550. So before you go ahead and purchase it, have a look at what is covered in this article, and in the end, I’m sure you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the CK550, so let’s get right to it.

Unboxing:

The CK550 comes in a stylish box, which has an opening by the arrow keys. This is a great feature in my mind since you can give the keys a feel to see if it’s something you’d like. You could also pop one of the keys off (if you’re feeling brave enough) to look at the switches below. Included in the box is the “tool” to remove the keys should you need to do so.
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Specifications:

  • Key switches: Gateron (available in Brown, Blue, and Red)
  • Onboard memory: Yes (512KB)
  • Polling rate: 1,000Hz / 1ms
  • Microcontroller: ARM Cortex M3
  • Total weight: 850g
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • RGB: Full RGB, with preset color designs
  • Software: CK550 Cooler Master software – Ideal for Macros and RGB Color and Pattern Changes
  • USB hub / pass-through: No
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • Cable: Standard Rubberized cable.

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What does that all mean? Well to put it into perspective, the CK550 comes with all the features of an overpriced, elite keyboard, without all the extra costs. The CK550 with the Red Switches (The one we reviewed) was so smooth and quiet that it felt like you were using Black Switches. The clean grey metal finish shows off the excellent quality of material that Cooler Master used to manufacture this keyboard.

The Cooler Master CK550 software was easy enough to install, and the preset RGB lighting and designs are beautiful, to say the least. However, my favorite was still the standard purple backlighting that the keyboard comes with when plugging it in – that coupled with the grey metal finish – just beautiful. The software also allows you to set macros for the keys, which could come in handy, especially if you don’t want to be hitting the “Windows” key next to the “Ctrl” key. To install the software, just follow this link, and follow the prompts. Make sure that your keyboard is connected and ready to go.
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I mentioned the standard rubberized cable in the specifications because this could be a drawback for some people. A lot of gamers prefer the material wrapped cable, as this can handle being bent and rolled up and still retain the straight shape. The rubberized cable can quickly develop kinks, which could get annoying, especially if you’re trying to move your keyboard around to find the best position.

The USB connector is USB2.0, and it is not gold plated. This could be a gimmick for some, who don’t believe that having the gold plated USB connector could increase the conductivity speed. Having a 1ms response time with the USB 2.0 is impressive as well; however, I do believe that if it had the USB 3.0 connector, it would last “longer” in the sense that with updated motherboards coming with mostly USB 3.0, the connectivity and response time would decrease.

How did it perform?

I have no complaints with this keyboard, in fact, to date, it is one of the best mechanical keyboards I have had the privilege of using. It was responsive beyond belief, and I’m a huge fan of RGB, so it looked beautiful all the time. However, how did I find it in a game? Well, I played a few different games with the CK550, and this was my experience:
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  • CS:GO: So during CS:GO, the keyboard handled everything exceptionally well – can probably take a rage beating, but I didn’t do that, promise. The only downside was I kept hitting the “Windows” instead of the “Ctrl” key, and my game minimized a couple of times. Other than that, with the quieter switches, and the responsive keys, I really enjoyed playing CS:GO on it.
  • Dota 2: Not much to report on with Dota 2 while using the keyboard. I didn’t notice any difference to my gameplay in Dota 2 with this keyboard vs. my current one. I did, however, see that since the switches were smoother and softer, I accidentally used skills that I was not intending to, but that wasn’t a huge problem.
  • Star Wars Battlefront: This was awesome, I really enjoyed using the CK550 while playing this game. It was responsive and since you have to use a lot of different keys – sometimes in stressful/quick paced situations – the CK550 was ideal because you didn’t have to smash the keys.

Concluding Thoughts:

The Cooler Master CK550 is a great keyboard. It can compete with the top brands of keyboards which sell for much more than itself, and still feel great while doing that. The design and look are minimalist, yet always gives that gaming feels while accommodating the gaming life. The only thing I think this keyboard is missing is a wrist support pad. When raised with the back supports, the wrist pad could really come in handy.

So what are the pros and cons?



Pro’s:

  • Great design
  • Responsive
  • Well chosen switches

Con’s:

  • Cable is rubberized only
  • “Ctrl” key can get in the way when gaming
  • No wrist support pad

If you’re looking at purchasing a decent keyboard, and you don’t want to break the bank, this is the keyboard for you. With all the features and how it ran, it gets a solid 9/10 from me. If you would like to purchase it, just follow this link, and get it from Raru since the CK550 is currently available in South Africa. I hope you have enjoyed this review, and if you have anything you’d like to add, please leave a comment below.
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