Gateron Ink Yellow vs. TTC Silent Brown

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two options stand out: the Gateron Ink Yellow and the TTC Silent Brown. Each switch offers a unique typing experience catered to different preferences. The Ink Yellow is a linear switch known for its shorter travel and smoothness. It provides a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its clackiness and polished feel, this switch is perfect for those who appreciate a neutral and mildly clacky typing experience. On the other hand, the Silent Brown is a tactile switch loved for its comfortable typing experience and satisfying rounded tactile bump. It offers a light-medium level of resistance, providing a buttery and mildly muted feel when typing. The muted sound profile is an added bonus for those looking for a quieter typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.80 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the TTC Silent Brown switches differ significantly. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This results in a satisfying and clacky sound when typing. In contrast, the Silent Brown incorporates a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. The stiffer nature of polycarbonate offers a more clear and resonant sound profile, making it ideal for users who plan to use RGB lighting. Therefore, while both switches produce a relatively high-pitched sound, the Ink Yellow's top housing provides a thinner and clackier sound, while the Silent Brown's polycarbonate housing offers a sharper and crisper tone.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Ink Yellow and the Silent Brown vary once again. The Ink Yellow employs its proprietary INK blend bottom housing, which delivers a pointed and high-pitched sound profile like its top housing. This consistent sound profile creates a cohesive typing experience. On the other hand, the Silent Brown incorporates a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. As a result, the Silent Brown switch produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon housing contributes to a duller and rounder sound, creating a different auditory experience compared to the Ink Yellow's bottom housing.

While the top and bottom housings of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the TTC Silent Brown switches have distinct qualities, they both contribute to the overall sound and feel of the switch. The bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel when the user presses down on a key. In the case of the Ink Yellow, it enhances the pointed and high-pitched sound, while the Silent Brown's nylon housing provides a deeper and fuller tone. On the other hand, when the user releases a key, the top housing comes into play. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top housing adds to the clacky and thin sound, while the polycarbonate housing of the Silent Brown produces a crisper and sharper sound. Therefore, despite their differences, both switches offer unique sound experiences based on the combination of their top and bottom housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch, there are some similarities and differences to consider. In terms of weight, the Ink Yellow is slightly heavier than the Silent Brown. The Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, which falls into the medium-heavy category. On the other hand, the Silent Brown has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, also classified as medium-heavy.

Both switches require a certain level of force to trigger a keystroke, with the Ink Yellow requiring a slightly higher actuation force. However, in terms of bottoming out, they are quite similar, with the Silent Brown having a slightly lighter force.

Considering the weight factor, those who prefer a lighter feel may lean towards the Silent Brown switch, as it requires less force for both actuation and bottoming out. This can be beneficial for longer typing sessions or extended gaming sessions, providing a more comfortable experience. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may opt for the Ink Yellow switch, as both its actuation and bottom out forces are slightly heavier.

In conclusion, while there are differences in actuation and bottom out forces between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch, they both fall into the medium-heavy category. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preference, with the Silent Brown offering a lighter feel and the Ink Yellow providing a slightly heavier and more substantial typing experience.

Travel distance

When it comes to travel distance, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch offer different options. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Silent Brown has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.8 mm. In terms of the traditional range, the Silent Brown falls on the shallower end at 3.8 mm, while the Ink Yellow is closer to the middle. Gamers looking for faster response times might prefer the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. On the other hand, those who prefer a more substantial feel might lean towards the Silent Brown with its slightly longer travel distance. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The TTC Silent 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 Silent Brown for $3.68.

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 Ink Yellow linear switch has a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This means that it produces a moderate sound when pressed, suitable for both beginners and advanced users, and can be used in various settings such as at home or at work. Additionally, it has a clacky characteristic, producing a crisp, bright, and percussive sound.

On the other hand, the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch offers a muted sound profile. This means that it produces a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches. The muted sound profile of these switches helps to minimize the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a quieter typing experience.

Moving on to feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow provides a mild and polished typing experience. The mild characteristic indicates a gentle typing experience, suitable for most users due to its approachable qualities. The polished feature, achieved through smooth and refined materials and factory lubing, results in reduced friction and smooth key travel. This combination offers a sleek typing experience.

Similarly, the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch offers a mild and polished feel. It provides a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, often described as buttery. This uniform typing sensation offers a seamless and effortless typing experience. Like the Ink Yellow, the Silent Brown switch also boasts a mild characteristic and a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow provides a neutral and clacky sound profile, along with a mild and polished typing experience. On the other hand, the Silent Brown offers a muted sound profile and a buttery and polished feel. Both switches provide a comfortable typing experience with their respective characteristics. Choosing between them depends on personal preference, with the Ink Yellow being more suitable for those who prefer a clacky and smooth typing experience, while the Silent Brown is ideal for those seeking a more muted and buttery feel.

Conclusion

To sum up, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is a great choice for those who want a typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, this switch provides a medium-heavy feel. It offers a smooth and clacky sound profile, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished, providing a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch is best known for its comfortable typing experience with a light-medium level of resistance and a satisfying rounded tactile bump. With a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, this switch also falls into the medium-heavy category. The Silent Brown switch offers a muted sound profile, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. In terms of feel, it is described as buttery, mild, and polished, providing a seamless and effortless typing sensation, with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, if you prefer a typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a slightly heavier bottom out force, and a smooth and clacky sound profile, choose the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch. On the other hand, if you prioritize a comfortable typing experience with a rounded tactile bump, a lighter bottom out force, and a muted sound profile, the TTC Silent Brown tactile switch is the way to go. Consider your preferences for typing experience, sound, and feel when making your decision between these two switches.

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