Gateron CM vs. Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red

An in-depth look at the Gateron CM and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two options that stand out are the Gateron CM and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red, both of which are linear switches. The CM switch breaks away from convention with its full nylon housing, giving it a unique and bold look. Not only does it deliver a richer and deeper sound signature, but it also offers an effortlessly smooth typing experience, thanks to its impeccable factory lube job. The lengthened, dual-staged spring of the CM switch provides a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the G Pro 3.0 Red is a budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on performance. It offers a smooth typing experience with a medium-light actuation force, striking a balance between responsiveness and ease of use. Additionally, the frosted light diffuser allows for brighter and more vibrant RGB lighting effects, enhancing the overall typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 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

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring

Spring

20.5mm lengthened stainless steel spring

Housing materials

The Gateron CM and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red have contrasting housing materials for both the top and bottom of the switch. The CM utilizes a nylon top housing, which results in a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the G Pro 3.0 Red features a polycarbonate top housing, which produces a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, leading to a more clear and resonant sound. Aesthetically, polycarbonate is useful for RGB lighting due to its translucency.

In terms of the bottom housing, both the CM and G Pro 3.0 Red use nylon. This material elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile, similar to the nylon top housing. Nylon's softer nature allows it to absorb more sound compared to harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, both switches will deliver a similar sound experience for the bottom-out actions.

However, the difference in top housing materials will affect the sound and feel when letting go of a key. The CM's nylon top housing will absorb more sound, creating a softer and less crisp sound when releasing a key. On the other hand, the G Pro 3.0 Red's polycarbonate top housing will produce a clearer and more resonant sound when letting go of a key, enhancing the overall typing experience.

To summarize, while the CM and G Pro 3.0 Red share the same nylon bottom housing, their contrasting top housing materials result in different sound profiles. The CM's nylon top housing creates a deeper and fuller sound, while the G Pro 3.0 Red's polycarbonate top housing produces a sharper and crisper sound. Both switches will deliver a similar experience for bottom-out actions, but the material of the top housing will impact the sound and feel when releasing a key.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red linear switch, there are some notable differences. The CM switch has a higher actuation force of 55 grams compared to the G Pro 3.0 Red's lighter actuation force of 45 grams. This means that the CM switch requires slightly more force to trigger a keystroke. In terms of bottom out force, the CM switch is also heavier with a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, while the G Pro 3.0 Red has a lighter bottom out force of 50 grams. This indicates that the CM switch provides a more substantial typing experience, requiring a stronger push, while the G Pro 3.0 Red offers a lighter and potentially more comfortable typing experience. However, it is worth noting that both switches fall within the acceptable range for most users. Therefore, if you prefer a lighter typing experience, the G Pro 3.0 Red would be a better choice, while those who enjoy a heavier and more substantial feel may prefer the CM switch.

Travel distance

The Gateron CM linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. The G Pro has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the CM switch. A travel distance of 4 mm is considered the most traditional, while 3.6 mm is shallower. However, shorter travel distances have become more popular, especially among gamers who prefer faster response times. If you value a more responsive typing or gaming experience, the Gateron CM with its shorter travel distance might be a better option for you. On the other hand, some individuals find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt. If you prefer a more substantial keypress with a deeper feeling, the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red with its longer travel distance could be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches depends on personal preference and how you prioritize the feeling and responsiveness of your keystrokes.

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 Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red has an MSRP of $2.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the G Pro 3.0 Red for $2.77.

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

When it comes to sound, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a deep and rich sound signature. With a full nylon housing and an impeccable factory lube job, these switches provide a bassy and thocky sound that resembles the depth and richness associated with bass tones. They also have a low-pitched tone, contributing to a more mellow sound profile. On the other hand, the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red switch is described as neutral. While it may not have as distinctive of a sound profile as the CM switch, it still provides a moderate sound that is suitable for most intents and purposes. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a buttery and polished typing experience. With a smooth and fluid keystroke, these switches provide a seamless and effortless sensation when typing. The CM switches also have a creamy feel, resembling gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. Additionally, they are described as frictionless, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction during typing. On the other hand, the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red switch also provides a creamy and polished typing experience. With a smooth and refined finish, these switches offer reduced friction and smooth key travel. They are also mild, providing a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. The switches are described as silky, enhancing the overall smoothness of the typing feel and minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys.

In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The CM switch has a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound profile, while providing a buttery, polished, and frictionless typing experience. On the other hand, the G Pro 3.0 Red switch has a neutral sound profile and offers a creamy, mild, polished, and silky typing experience. Although they have their own unique qualities, both switches aim to provide smooth and enjoyable typing experiences. Depending on personal preferences, either switch can deliver similar results in terms of sound and feel, ensuring a satisfying typing journey.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize sound and are looking for a keyboard switch that can deliver a deeper and richer sound profile, the Gateron CM linear switch would be a great choice. With its full nylon housing and impeccable factory lube job, these switches offer a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound, which can enhance your auditory experience while typing. Additionally, the CM switches provide a bouncy typing experience with their lengthened, dual-staged spring, giving you a sensation of gliding gracefully with each keystroke.

On the other hand, if you are seeking a smooth typing experience without breaking the bank, the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red linear switch is an excellent option. With its medium-light actuation force, the G Pro 3.0 Red strikes a balance between responsiveness and ease of use. These switches also offer a creamy, mild, polished, and silky feel, providing a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Furthermore, the frosted light diffuser in the G Pro 3.0 Red allows for brighter and more vibrant RGB lighting effects, adding an extra touch of visual appeal to your setup.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gateron G Pro 3.0 Red linear switch depends on your priorities. If sound is your main concern and you prefer a deeper and richer sound profile, the CM switches would be a great fit. On the other hand, if you prioritize a smooth typing experience and are looking for a more budget-friendly option, the G Pro 3.0 Red is the way to go. Both switches offer their own unique features and characteristics, so consider your preferences and needs to make an informed decision.

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