Gateron CM vs. KTT Cream Yellow

An in-depth look at the Gateron CM and the KTT Cream Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Comparing the Gateron CM and KTT Cream Yellow mechanical keyboard switches reveals two distinct choices for keyboard enthusiasts. The CM switch breaks away from convention with its full nylon housing, resulting in a richer and deeper sound signature. Its impeccable factory lube job ensures a smooth and effortless typing experience, reminiscent of gliding gracefully with each keystroke. With its lengthened and dual-staged spring, the CM switch offers a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the Cream Yellow switch is designed specifically to deliver a distinctively clacky sound. Its shortened bottom-out distance and long-pole stem contribute to resonant audio feedback, while the lengthened spring adds a unique bouncy feel to typing. Both switches have their own merits, providing options for those seeking a buttery, bassy, and polished feel with the CM, or a bouncy and clacky experience with the Cream Yellow. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best decision for your keyboard preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Bottom-out force

58g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring

Spring

18mm spring

Housing materials

The Gateron CM and the KTT Cream Yellow differ in terms of their housing materials. The CM utilizes a nylon top housing, while the Cream Yellow features a polycarbonate top housing. The properties of these materials result in distinct sound profiles. Typing on the CM, with its nylon top housing, creates a deeper and fuller sound due to the softer nature of nylon, which absorbs more sound than harder plastics. Conversely, the Cream Yellow's polycarbonate top housing leads to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. The translucency of polycarbonate also makes it ideal for RGB lighting effects.

Moving on to the bottom housings, both the CM and the Cream Yellow use nylon. As a classic switch housing material, nylon contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile. The relatively softer nature of nylon allows for better sound absorption, resulting in a duller and rounder sound when typing on switches with nylon bottom housings. Therefore, in terms of sound profile, the bottom housings of the CM and the Cream Yellow offer similar characteristics.

When the top and bottom housings differ within a switch, the qualities associated with each material are divided between the top and bottom. While pressing down on the CM or Cream Yellow, the bottom housing's properties will be felt, impacting the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the top housing will play a more significant role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Ultimately, the choice between the CM and the Cream Yellow will depend on whether a deeper and fuller sound with a duller and rounder profile (CM) or a sharper and crisper sound (Cream Yellow) is preferred.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. In terms of weight, the Cream Yellow switch is lighter, making it ideal for those seeking a lightweight typing experience, particularly for extended periods of use or gaming sessions. The actuation force of the Cream Yellow is 50 grams, while the CM requires slightly more force at 55 grams to trigger a keystroke. However, both switches provide a similar medium pressure feel with their bottom out forces. The CM has a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, whereas the Cream Yellow requires 58 grams to fully press down. Therefore, those who prefer a more substantial typing experience may lean towards the CM switch with its heavier forces. Overall, while the Cream Yellow offers a lighter actuation force, the CM switch provides a slightly heavier actuation and bottom out force.

Travel distance

The Gateron CM linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, which is considered slightly longer than the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch, which has a travel distance of 3.5 mm. Both switches have shorter travel distances compared to the traditional 4.0 mm. These shorter travel distances are popular among gamers who value faster response times. If you prioritize a more responsive typing or gaming experience, the Gateron CM would be a suitable choice. However, some individuals may find the shorter travel distance of the Cream Yellow to be too abrupt, instead preferring a deeper key press. In that case, the KTT Cream Yellow, with its slightly longer travel distance, would be a better option. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron CM has an MSRP of $4.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the CM for $4.25.

The KTT Cream Yellow has an MSRP of $2.75 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Cream Yellow for $2.55.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound profile. These switches produce a deeper and richer sound during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The Cream Yellow linear switch, on the other hand, is described as clacky. When pressing these switches, you can expect a sharp and snappy sound that is crisp, bright, and percussive. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, if you are looking for a deeper and richer sound, the CM switches would be a better choice, while the Cream Yellow switches provide a distinct and snappy sound.

When it comes to the feel of the switches, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a buttery, polished, and creamy typing experience. These switches provide a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The typing sensation is described as seamless, effortless, and uniform, as if gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. The Cream Yellow linear switch, on the other hand, provides a bouncy feel. These switches offer a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, giving the keys a lively feel and rebound when pressed. If you prefer a smoother and more polished typing experience, the CM switches would be a better choice, while the Cream Yellow switches offer a bouncy and lively feel.

In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switches are known for their deeper and richer sound profile, along with a smooth and effortless typing experience. The sound is characterized by a bassy and thocky tone, while the feel is described as buttery and polished. On the other hand, the KTT Cream Yellow linear switches deliver a distinctively clacky sound and a bouncy typing feel. Overall, both switches offer unique qualities that cater to different preferences. If you are looking for a deeper sound and a smoother typing experience, go for the Gateron CM switches. If you prefer a snappy sound and a bouncy feel, the Cream Yellow switches would be a great option. Remember to consider other factors such as your choice of keyboard board and keycaps, as they can also impact the sound and feel significantly.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a mechanical keyboard switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force and a richer, deeper sound signature, the Gateron CM linear switch would be a great choice for you. With its full nylon housing and impeccable factory lube job, the CM switch offers an effortlessly smooth typing experience, evoking a sensation of gliding gracefully with each keystroke. Additionally, its lengthened, dual-staged spring provides a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a shorter bottom-out distance, resonant audio feedback, and a uniquely bouncy typing feel, the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch is the way to go. Known for its distinctively clacky sound, the Cream Yellow switch will provide a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. Its lengthened spring also contributes to a bouncy typing feel, giving you a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron CM and KTT Cream Yellow switches will depend on your preferences for sound and feel. Whether you prefer a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound with a buttery, polished, or creamy feel, or a clacky sound with a bouncy feel, both switches have unique features to offer.

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