what are linear optical switches

Compared to mechanical switches, linear optical switches leave more wording and better results. In any case, the question is, what is a linear optical switch? One good option is optical linear switches vs. linear mechanical switches. So let your hair down. I’ve prepared this blog to be tested by professional esports gamers and briefly discuss.

What are Linear Optical Switches?

After testing, razer optical linear switches that actuate at 1.2mm actuation distance, 16.67% shorter than other linear mechanical switches, and the lightweight 45g of actuation force. Also, these optical switches are the right rain option for gamers, without tactile feedback and noise.

What are Linear Optical Switches?

Linear mechanical switches are used for gaming, typing, newbies, and general use. And below is the razer linear switches table compared with linear mechanical switches.

Also, they’re super satisfying, comfortable, and durable for gaming and faster actuating than mechanical ones, making them better for ultra-competitive games where you’ll need the extra millisecond advantage. As well as feeling better and being more enjoyable, mechanical linear switches are generally more reliable. It is also easier to modify them as they are quieter and have more options.



  • Smooth and buttery feel
  • Faster Actuating
  • 100 million keystroke 
  • Loud, clicky noise
  • Enhance keystroke speed and response time
  • Consistent keypress
  • Soft touch
  • Ideally optimal for playing heavy games


  • Uncomfortable to use
  • Less Variety
  • Few mod options
  • No tactile feedback

Working of Optical Switches

Let straight, these linear switches operate through a combination of light and different mechanical components. The shape of the stem and upper or lower housing might be changed over linear mechanical switches. Also, when optical switches are lowered past a certain point, the light hits the sensor or logs the keystroke.Mechanical switches cannot compete with optical linear switches in terms of speed and durability.

An optical switch is contactless (that is, it does not touch) as opposed to a mechanical switch, which requires direct contact to activate the electrical plate.  Due to their contactless nature, optical switches typically last longer. Light-actuated switches are faster than electrical switches because they are actuated by light instead of electricity.

Features of Linear Optical Switches

They’re famous due to their crucial features. Before considering optical switches, you should understand all features, such as;

Keystroke Feel

Razer linear switches provide an overall better feel on every keystroke. Also, without tactile feedback and a bump-free feel making it much faster than linear mechanical switches, Razer linear switches were tested by esports players. So, if you’re playing heavy competitive games, linear switches provide less finger strain with a good keystroke feel.

Keystroke Feel

But after both linear switches testing, the linear mechanical switches win hands down in my case. Because linear mechanical switches are more significant, slower, and consistent than optical switches. Keystroke feel, resistance level, and actuation force aren’t optimal for newbies, typists, or general use. 

Noise Level

The noise level is too loud compared to linear mechanical switches. Also, the standard design of an optical linear switch produces loud, noisily, and hollowness. As compared to linear mechanical switches.

Furthermore, the loud sound of these optical switches can be disturbing or frustrating in public places while working. This means you have to take personal private space for playing games with optical switches. In your case, the linear optical switch sound may provide richness and enjoyment. 

On the other hand, linear mechanical switches can’t produce noise while using them. These switches are designed to operate quietly. With mechanical switches, you have the edge of working in a public place without frustrating someone.


These perfect keyboard switches win in speed comparison to linear mechanical switches.  A deep test of Razer linear switches using Cherry red and Cherry MX speed silver has been conducted.

So, the cherry MX red switches have an actuation distance of 2.0 mm and an average reaction speed of 0.2470 seconds, and gateron black linear optimal switches have a 2.0 mm actuation distance and an average reaction speed of 0. 2430 seconds. 


Otherwise, I’ve to test cherry MX speed silver with 1.2 mm actuation distance and an average reaction speed of 0.2460 seconds, then razer purple, optical switches 1.5 mm actuation distance and average reaction time 0.2301 seconds. After that, the optical switches produce good actuation and increase the speed.

If gaming is your hobby, then you should go with these switches due to the high speed that provides continuous keystrokes compared to linear mechanical switches. Furthermore, they’ll be an uncomfortable optical switch for beginners due to high speed. If you shift optical linear switches onto the speed silver, then speed and noise may be irritating for the first time.

Actuation Method

With Razer, you’ll get light actuation because the design of the bottom housing of optical switches and stem differs from mechanical switches. On the other hand, standard mechanical linear switches have metal contact points only. Also, the actuation force is 45g, and linear mechanical switches have a 44g actuation force. Moreover, testing the actuation point of both linear switches is 1.2 mm.


Let me get straight, the durability is 100 million keystrokes. Also, the electric actuation or light-operated switch is more durable. The durability are bites at the cherry compared to standard linear mechanical switches.

Because the mechanical switches are 50 million keystrokes like Cherry MX red and Cherry MX speed silver linear switches. In that case, optical linear switches will outlast mechanical switches. In short, optical switches win their speed and durability department.

How much variety and price of optical switches?

A few dozen varieties of optical switches are available in the keyboard switches market compared to mechanical switches. The market contains more than 100 types of mechanical switches.

Aside from low-profile switches, silent switches, and speed switches, mechanical switches are available in several niche options. In fact, linear mechanical switches also available in many colors. There is no optical switch available for most specialty switches, such as linear switches, clicky switches, or tactile switches.

How much variety and price of optical switches?

Furthermore, Mechanical switches are efficiently available and cheaper as chips than optical switches. Several cheap clone switches are available, which is one of the reasons. Plus, mechanical switches are available in several types, but linear mechanical switches are available at a low price compared.

Alternatively, the Razer Huntsman optical switch is fast but costs a bit more. Linear optical keyboards are more expensive than linear, tactile, and clicky mechanical keyboards.

The mechanical switch, however, can be significantly cheaper than an expensive one and will still function just as well, although the budget option might sound better than the high-end option. Therefore, the price advantage is given to mechanical switches, although high-end ones can be quite pricey.

Which linear switch is easily found and mod?

In short, linear mechanical switches and keyboards can be easily found due to the many types available in the market and easily found by performance. Gateron yellow linear mechanical switches are a good option if you’re a newbie. Plus, for fast typists, Gateron Ink black linear switches are a better choice, and for gaming, the cherry MX red or speed silver are ideal choices. 

On the other hand, you’ve no option for optical switches. Visited a big box store, and almost many keyboards available were mechanical, while there might be a few optical keyboards. Because Razer was one of the biggest mechanical keyboard manufacturers to bring new optical switches. But finding the Razer Huntsman keyboard with an optical switch depends on your luck.

An optical keyboard has more drawbacks, as well as requiring a separate PCB for installation. They aren’t compatible with a normal hot-swappable mechanical keyboard. Moreover, you’ll need a specially designed keyboard to install them.

Should you get it?

The optical are designed for professional and expert gamers to survive highly competitive games. So, after using linear mechanical switches, you are ready for faster and more durability with a loud noise on every keystroke. optical switches are a great option. Optical switches provide over-edge performance or a rich feel without tactile feedback. 

Should you get Optical Switches

But if you start gaming with switches, they can be uncomfortable due to the actuation method, speed, and 100 million keystroke durability. Furthermore, these switches could be more optimal for typing and general usage. You need a private space to place them because the sound can be disturbing and frustrating for people.


Optical linear switches are optimal for playing heavy games. The design of switches and their abilities gives an edge over other mechanical switches. Liquid optical switches may be a good option if you like playing heavy games.

In simple words, no linear optical switches produce a loud sound as compared to linear or tactile mechanical switches. If you have private space, then you should get linear optical switches; otherwise, linear mechanical switches bite at the cherry option for those who want no noise in their keyboard switches.

Each keystroke is smooth and bump-free with linear switches. Since linear switches have those qualities, many believe they would be ideal for gaming. However, tactile feedback slightly reduces speed and response time.

Wrapping up

After testing both linear switches, choosing between mechanical or optical linear switches might be hard because optical keyboard switches provide the fastest smooth working, great durability, no tactile bump feel, and a deep feeling. On the other hand, finding keyboard luck is difficult. There are few types and options available producing loud noise, are not optimal for typing or newbies, and are an uncomfortable switch. 

Although, with linear mechanical switches, you have great options for gaming, typing, and beginners, without noise, better speed, actuation forces, and resistance enhance experience day by day. Asking me, I always recommend linear mechanical switches if you are a newbie, typist, or professional gamer.

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