TTC Gold Brown vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the TTC Gold Brown and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the TTC Gold Brown and the Gateron Ink Yellow. The Gold Browns are known for their balanced nature, offering a slight, satisfying bump and a moderate weightiness. They have a softer sound profile compared to most switches, making them a great choice for those who prefer a quieter typing experience. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switches have a shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a pleasant smoothness and a touch of clackiness, they offer a unique tactile sensation. Both switches have their own distinct characteristics and appeal, making them suitable for different preferences. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision on the best switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

63g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the TTC Gold Brown and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches differ in terms of their composition. The Gold Brown features a polycarbonate top housing, while the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its top housing. Despite this difference, both housing materials contribute to a high-pitched and sharper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate in the Gold Brown switch creates a clear and resonant sound due to its stiffness, resulting in a crisper sound. Similarly, the INK blend in the Ink Yellow switch offers a satisfying thin and clacky sound, though not overly sharp. In terms of aesthetics, the Gold Brown's translucent polycarbonate top housing is suitable for RGB lighting, while the INK blend in the Ink Yellow switch does not have this feature.

Moving on to the bottom housing, both switches employ different materials with varying impacts. The Gold Brown utilizes a nylon bottom housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound compared to the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a duller and rounder sound profile. On the other hand, the INK blend in the Ink Yellow switch contributes to a pointed and high-pitched sound, described as clacky. These differences in bottom housing materials result in variations in the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the switch.

Overall, while the top and bottom housings of the TTC Gold Brown and Gateron Ink Yellow switches differ, they both contribute to a high-pitched sound profile. The polycarbonate top housing of the Gold Brown creates a clear and resonant sound, while the INK blend top housing of the Ink Yellow offers a satisfying and clacky sound. The nylon bottom housing of the Gold Brown elicits a deeper and fuller sound, while the INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Yellow contributes to a pointed and high-pitched sound. The choice between these switches will depend on personal preferences regarding the specific sound profile desired for typing or gaming experiences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation and bottom out forces of the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are slight differences to consider. The Gold Brown has a slightly lighter actuation force of 55 grams, while the Ink Yellow requires 60 grams to trigger a keystroke. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Gold Brown requires 63 grams of force whereas the Ink Yellow requires 67 grams. Both switches fall within the medium force range, but the Ink Yellow is slightly heavier overall.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Gold Brown may be the preferable choice. The lighter actuation force allows for longer periods of comfortable typing, making it suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. However, for individuals seeking a more substantial and tactile typing experience, the Ink Yellow provides a stronger push feel due to its heavier actuation and bottom out forces. This can provide a more satisfying feedback sensation while typing.

In terms of weight, both switches can cater to different preferences. The lighter actuation force of the Gold Brown makes it more suitable for prolonged use, whereas the heavier actuation force of the Ink Yellow caters to those who prefer a more forceful typing experience. Ultimately, the decision between the switches will depend on personal preferences and typing style.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance between the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, we can see that the Gold Brown has a slightly longer distance of 4 mm, while the Ink Yellow has a shorter distance of 3.5 mm. Generally, a 4.0 mm travel distance is considered more traditional, while 3.5 mm is on the shallower end. However, with the rise of gaming, shorter travel distances have become more popular due to their faster response times. If you prioritize responsiveness, the Ink Yellow switch with its shorter travel distance might be more suitable for you. On the other hand, some individuals may find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt, and if you prefer a deeper and more substantial keystroke, the Gold Brown switch with its longer travel distance could be the preferable option. Whether you prioritize speed or depth, both switches offer a distinct experience in terms of travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The TTC Gold Brown has an MSRP of $5.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Gold Brown for $3.28.

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

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, both the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch fall under the category of a neutral sound profile. This means that they have a moderate actuation force requirement and produce a sound that is not overly loud or quiet. The Gold Brown switch, however, has a rounded sound profile that is generally softer than most switches, while the Ink Yellow switch is described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. It's important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps being used.

As for feel, both switches offer a mild typing experience, providing a more gentle and approachable feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The Gold Brown switch is described as both buttery and accented. The buttery characteristic implies a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, while the accented description suggests a medium level of tactile feedback that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the Gold Brown switch is also described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, while both the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offer a balanced and neutral typing experience with moderate actuation force requirements, they differ in sound and feel. The Gold Brown switch has a softer, rounded sound profile and provides a buttery and accented feel with a polished finish. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch produces a clacky sound and offers a mild typing experience with a polished finish. If you are looking for a similar sound and feel, opting for the neutral characteristics of these switches will lead to comparable results. However, if you prefer a softer sound and a smoother keystroke, the Gold Brown switch may be more suitable, while those who enjoy a crisper sound and a shorter travel distance may prefer the Ink Yellow switch. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches will depend on personal preference and typing style.

Conclusion

In closing, when choosing between the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, consider your preferences and typing style. If you value a balanced typing experience with a slight bump and moderate weightiness, the Gold Brown switch is an excellent option. It offers a softer, rounded sound profile and is suitable for both beginners and advanced users. On the other hand, if you prefer a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Ink Yellow switch is worth considering. It offers a shorter travel distance, pleasant smoothness, and a clacky sound profile. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making them suitable for most intents and purposes. Additionally, if you prefer a mild and buttery typing experience, both switches offer that quality. The Gold Brown switch also provides accented and polished characteristics, while the Ink Yellow switch offers a polished typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on your personal preferences and the specific typing experience you desire.

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