TTC Gold Red vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the TTC Gold Red and the Gateron Ink Yellow, both of which fall under the linear switch category. The TTC Gold Red is known for its buttery smooth typing experience and light-medium level of resistance. Its snappy sound profile adds a touch of personality without being too ostentatious. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow offers a typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is characterized by a shorter travel and showcases a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. While these general descriptions provide a good starting point for comparison, let's delve deeper into the specific features and qualities of each switch to help you make the best decision for your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

50g

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

Comparing the housing materials of the TTC Gold Red and the Gateron Ink Yellow, we can see differences in their top and bottom housings. The Gold Red utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper and crisper sound profile. This stiffer plastic material results in a more clear and resonant sound, making it particularly suitable for switches featuring RGB lighting. In contrast, the Ink Yellow employs Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its top housing. This blend offers a pointed and high-pitched sound profile, but without being overly sharp. It delivers a satisfying thin and clacky sound. Although the materials differ, both switches aim to produce a distinct and pleasing sound experience when keys are released.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Gold Red employs a nylon material. This classic switch housing material brings about a deeper and fuller sound profile. Due to its softer nature, nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Conversely, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its bottom housing as well. This blend offers a pointed and high-pitched sound profile, similar to the top housing. It also contributes to the satisfying thin and clacky sound often associated with the switch.

Overall, while the specific materials may differ, both the TTC Gold Red and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches aim to offer unique and enjoyable sound characteristics. The stiffer polycarbonate top housing of the Gold Red brings about a sharper and crisper sound, while the INK blend top housing of the Ink Yellow creates a satisfying thin and clacky sound. Similarly, the nylon bottom housing of the Gold Red elicits a deeper and fuller sound, while the proprietary INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Yellow contributes to the same high-pitched and clacky sound. Whether it's the top or bottom housing, both switches prioritize delivering an exceptional sound experience for the user.

Weight

When comparing the TTC Gold Red linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there is a noticeable difference in their actuation and bottom out forces. The Gold Red has a lighter touch, with an actuation force of 43 grams and a bottom out force of 50 grams. This lighter actuation force allows for a smoother and quicker keystroke, making it ideal for those who prefer a lighter typing experience. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow has a heavier touch, with an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams. This heavier actuation force provides a more substantial typing experience and may be preferred by those who enjoy a stronger push feel. It is worth noting that both switches deliver smooth linear action, and while the forces are different, they still provide similar results in terms of delivering reliable keystrokes. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the TTC Gold Red linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there is a noticeable difference. The Gold Red has a travel distance of 4 mm, while the Ink Yellow has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. Traditionally, a 4.0 mm travel distance is more common, providing a standard depth that many users are accustomed to. On the other hand, the 3.5 mm travel distance of the Ink Yellow is more shallow, preferred by gamers who require faster response times. If you prioritize responsiveness, the shorter travel distance of the Ink Yellow would be a good choice. However, some individuals find shorter travel distances to feel abrupt, and if you prefer a more substantial key press experience, the 4.0 mm travel distance of the Gold Red would be more suitable. Overall, both switches offer different travel distances, catering to different preferences and needs.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The TTC Gold Red 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 Red 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, the Gold Red switch offers a thocky and low-pitched profile. When pressed, these switches produce a deep, rich, and satisfying sound akin to a soft "knock" or a deep "thud." This sound profile is bass-heavy and mellow, providing a pleasant auditory experience without being too overpowering. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a more neutral sound profile, characterized as crisp, bright, and percussive. It produces a clacky sound when pressed, which adds a sharp and snappy element to the typing experience. It is worth noting that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, based on the provided information, one can expect similar results in terms of sound between the two switches with the Gold Red being slightly deeper and the Ink Yellow being brighter and snappier.

When it comes to feel, both the Gold Red and Ink Yellow switches offer a mild and polished typing experience. The Gold Red switch provides a gentle typing experience with its mild characteristics. It falls within a safe middle-ground zone, offering a approachable feel to most users. Additionally, these switches are described as silky, meaning they offer an exceptionally smooth typing experience with minimal resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The Gold Red switch is also subtle, providing a gentle resistance that remains light but not feather-like. Moreover, the sound signature is not resonant, making it suitable for shared spaces. Similarly, the Ink Yellow switch offers a mild typing experience with its polished attributes. It boasts a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. This smoothness is achieved through the use of high-quality materials and factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel. Overall, both switches provide a gentle and polished typing feel, with the Gold Red being exceptionally smooth and the Ink Yellow offering a sleek experience.

In conclusion, both the TTC Gold Red linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offer a buttery smooth typing experience with light-medium resistance. The Gold Red switch is best known for its thocky and low-pitched sound profile, providing a deep and satisfying sound. It also offers a mild, silky, subtle, and polished typing feel. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a more neutral sound profile, offering a crisp and clacky sound when pressed. It provides a mild and polished typing feel. While there are subtle differences in sound and feel, the overall subjective qualities of these switches are quite similar. Therefore, users can expect comparable results from either switch, with the Gold Red offering a slightly deeper sound and exceptionally smooth feel, and the Ink Yellow providing a brighter sound and a sleek typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preferences and desired sound and feel characteristics.

Conclusion

To sum up, when deciding between the TTC Gold Red linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, you should consider your preferences for bottom out force, sound, and feel. The Gold Red switch has a lighter bottom out force of 50 grams, providing a light-medium resistance, while the Ink Yellow switch has a heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, offering a medium-heavy level of resistance. If you prefer a typing experience with a shorter travel, similar to that of a laptop keyboard, the Ink Yellow switch is recommended. On the other hand, if you prioritize a buttery smooth typing experience with a snappy sound profile, the Gold Red switch would be a better choice. In terms of sound, the Gold Red switch produces a thocky and low-pitched sound, while the Ink Yellow switch has a neutral and clacky sound profile. When it comes to feel, both switches are described as mild and polished, providing a gentle typing experience with smooth key travel. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on your individual preferences for resistance, sound, and feel.

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