Corsair K95 RGB Platinum vs Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboard: which one should you buy?

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum (Image credit: ©Corsair)

So, you've gone through a list of best gaming keyboards and are still undecided on which one might be the best, all-around one for you. For something that performs the same main function across all models and brands, there's a surprising amount of variety. From key switches to wrist rests and extra features, a generic membrane keyboard hasn't cut it for a while.

The Corsair K95 RGB platinum and Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboards are made with one thing in mind, but depending on the kind of games you like to play, your finger span, or even the sound of the keys, there's going to be one that seems more appealing than the rest of the best, even if actuation points and response times are nearly identical. These two keyboards are very different, and yet both are excellent options for different reasons. (Both bring the RGB flair, though.)

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

The Corsair K95 a hunk of a keyboard—and yes, it's good looking, too. Not only is it a full-sized keyboard, but it also has six macro keys on the left side, perfect for those who find multi-button mice uncomfortable, but still want more options for custom keybindings.

It features Cherry MX Speed switches, which still require 45g of force to activate like Reds, but travel only 1.2mm rather than the standard 2mm. Like the regular Reds, the MX Speed are still linear switches, so not only are they quiet but you don't need to press them all the way down to activate them. These features alone make the Corsair K95 a great choice for those who play a lot of MOBAs and MMO.

But if you like your keyboards with a little 'extra,' you're covered in that area too. The Corsair K95 has a few dedicated media controls, including a volume wheel, a USB 2.0 port (yes, not USB 3.0), and 8MB of profile storage for whatever macro and lighting profiles you need to set for your games. It even comes with a rubber wrist rest that offers a bit more comfort than a generic, plastic one.

Razer Huntsman Elite (Image credit: Razer)

Razer Huntsman Elite

If the Corsair K95 fits more into the realm of what we would consider a "gold standard" of mechanical gaming keyboard, the Razer Huntsman Elite marches to the beat of its own drum. But it's still one of the best mechanical keyboards you can buy, largely due to its innovative opto-mechanical switches. As the name suggests, the Huntsman Elite is outfitted with hybrid optical/mechanical switches. Instead of using metal contact leaves, these switches register keystrokes with lasers, which eliminates switch debounce and extends the lifespan of the switch—by an extra 50 million clicks compared to Cherry MX, according to Razer.

The Huntsman Elite switches are clicky, just like Cherry Blues, so they are much louder than the keys on Corsair's K95, but mechanically they are built different. The click and actuation mechanisms are completely separate, which gets rid of the hysteresis issue commonly found in Blue switches—when the reset point is located above the actuation point. The distance the keys travel between the reset and actuation point has been reduced to nearly 0mm as well, and requires only 45g of force, same as the K95.

Additionally, Razer has recently added an optical linear switch option to the Huntsman Elite, which it says has “twice the actuation speed of traditional linear mechanical switches, in part by eliminating all debounce delay.” These switches first made their appearance in the Huntsman Tournament Edition, so it's great to see they are now an option in this version of the keyboard.

However, other than having its own dedicated media controls, the Huntsman Elite doesn't have the rest of the extra features like the K95—it doesn't support macros, and there's no USB passthrough port. But Razer does include an extremely comfortable wrist rest with this keyboard, one that's way more comfortable than Corsair's K95.

Which one should I buy?

Corsair's K95 generally goes for $199.99 and Razer's Huntsman Elite for the same, though as these keyboards age and deal seasons come and go, the price for either will drop. In terms of key switches, the Cherry MX Speed and Razer's opto-mechanical (or optical linear) are evenly matched despite the major difference in their designs, and both have a full-size footprint. You're going to have a great experience playing games with either, regardless of what those games are.

That brings the main deciding factors between the two to comfort and versatility. The wrist rest on the Huntsman Elite is cushioned and runs near parallel to the keyboard. The K95 has a harsher slope from the keyboard and, while rubberized, is a harder surface than the Huntsman Elite. However, the K95 has the added bonus of dedicated macro keys, which comes in handy for specific games, and a dedicated USB passthrough, which you may or may not use.

Of course, there's also the sound and feel of the key presses to consider. If you absolutely despise the sound and/or feel of Cherry Blues, then the K95 is a no-brainer in this case, or vice versa. If you're indifferent, then you'll most likely end up in the comfort/versatility camp. If comfort is more important, than go with the Huntsman Elite. If you like a little more versatility, go with the K95. Either way, you're getting a great gaming keyboard.

Joanna Nelius
When Joanna's not writing about gaming desktops, cloud gaming, or other hardware-related things, she's doing terrible stuff in The Sims 4, roleplaying as a Malkavian, or playing horror games that would give normal people nightmares. She also likes narrative adventures.