Hello High Grounders and digital wanderers. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard review. Greg affiliated with Glorious PC Gaming Race hooked me up with a barebones modular keyboard, set of gateron green switches, and full set of keycaps making this review possible.
First we’re going to do look at some photos of the box opening and set up process. Then we’re going to rate the keyboard in five categories: set up, switches, build, backlight, and value. To wrap up, you’ll find an overview of the tech specs and a summary on whether or not I think this keyboard is worth your hard earned dollars.
If you want to buy this keyboard, you can support High Ground Gaming by purchasing through this link.
Zoom In: Specs
- Layout: 104 Key Standard QWERTY Layout
- Dimensions: 17.3 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches (440 x 129 x 36 mm) | 2.1 pounds (940g)
- Switch Type: Gateron, Kailh, or Cherry MX
- Keycaps: Doubleshot ABS Plastic Keys
- LED Lighting: RGB 16.8 million colors, 18 Special Effects
- Cable: 6 Feet (1.8m) w/ 3 Way Smart Management System
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz
- Game Technology: 100% Anti-Ghosting & NKRO
- Software: GMMK Keyboard Editor
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Glorious Modular Keyboard was the most lengthy keyboard set up process I’ve experienced so far. I’m usually prepared for an assembly process with computer chairs for example, but this was new for a keyboard. While it was time consuming to put together, this modular design does have some benefits which we will get into later in the review.
If you decide to buy into Glorious PC Gaming Race’s modular system, here’s what you’ll find when the package arrives:
- Glorious GMMK Keyboard
- Quick Start Guide
- Keycap Puller Tool
- Switch Puller Tool
- Glorious PC Gaming Race Sticker
- “Check Out Our Other Products” Message
- 120 Gateron Mechanical Switches+
- Quick Start Guide
These keycaps were all scrambled up when I opened the box. This could be due a harefooted UPS employee but certainly an indicator that Glorious PC Gaming Race needs to up their packaging game. In any event, not a big deal as they all need to be plugged into the back plate.
- 104 ABS Doubleshot Plastic Keycaps
- 4 Extra Media Keycaps
- 1 Signature Glorious ASCEND Keycap
Nose to the Grindstone
Before we talk about specifics, I’d like to mention I normally don’t rate keyboards on their set up process. This is because simply taking them out of the packaging and plugging into a USB port doesn’t seem to warrant an evaluation. The Glorious GMMK Keyboard is unique in this regard. It is a bit of a grind to get all the switches and keycaps installed (especially on this full size 104-key edition). It kind of reminds of one of those WoW or EQ quests where you have to collect so many of an item or kill so many of a type of enemy. You’ve got to embrace collecting the 50 rat tails and make peace with it. In the end, it is worth it because you turn in the quest and get rewarded with an awesome sword and/or XP. In this case you trade your time for a superior keyboard experience. You just have to decide whether you want to put in the time to level up. If you buy in, you get an extremely versatile keyboard that can be used to test a variety of mechanical switches: Gateron, Cherry, and Kailh. Are you trying to decide between Cherry MX Red Switches and Gateron Brown? If you’ve got the dough, you could buy two full 104 key sets of each and give them a go with your favorite titles.
I think for folks that like peripherals that plug and play, they will want to steer clear of this keyboard. For keyboard enthusiasts, tinkerers, and hardcore gamers it is a different story. It took me about 90 minutes to get everything unpacked, put together, and to test each key to make sure the switches were installed properly and registering. I was snapping photos here and there for this review, so I doubt it will take the average person that long. Nevertheless, installing 104 Gateron switches and 104 keycaps is bound to eat up a good chunk of time. The set up process isn’t difficult (it’s not like I needed to pull out some mad soldering skills or anything) and most of the components snapped together fairly easily. Glorious PC Gaming Race did a great job of making all the packaging and instructions clear and concise. They included all the tools — keycap puller, switch puller, and tweezer — that are necessary to get the job done efficiently.
There were a few Gateron Green Switch casualties. Some of the copper pins were already somewhat bent which was probably due to shipping. There were times when I pressed the switch down onto the keyboard only to have one or both of the copper pins bend and/or get thoroughly mashed. In these instances I either didn’t have the switch properly lined up with the board or the pins were already a little bent (or both). In any case, I had to straighten the copper pin back out with the included tweezer tool and try again. Some were so completely bent I had to exile the switch back to the box. Fortunately, Glorious included plenty of extra switches (20 or so). The company had wisely premeditated there would be clumsy fingered people like me buying their keyboards. Once the pins were properly aligned, there was minimal resistance and the switch popped right into the frame of the keyboard. Installing the keycaps was quite a bit easier. They were wiggly and sometimes stubborn, but didn’t have fragile parts like the copper pins of the switches. Glorious PC Gaming Race recommends having the keyboard plugged in while installing each switch. Once each individual switch was plugged in, I had Microsoft Word open and then pressed each switch to test for success. Ideally this is done after the switch is installed and before the keycap is put on over the top, or you create more work for yourself in the event a key isn’t registering and need to pull both the keycap and switch.
If you’re considering a Glorious board you may want to go for a TKL (87 key) over the Full Size (104 key) if you plan on swapping switches often. It’ll save you some time during initial set up and in the long run. Ultimately it’s about what price you’re willing to pay for versatility. Being able to swap and test a variety of mechanical switches is a huge perk even if it is time consuming. The alternative would be buying a new mechanical keyboard each time you decided to try a new switch (neither economical or a great space saving strategy) or disassembling and re-soldering new switches (requires technical skills).
Putting the initial setup grind aside, overall my experience with this keyboard was favorable. I did a lot of typing on the keyboard and these gateron green switches remind me of the Kalih Blue switches I tested during my review of the Havit Low Profile Mech Keyboard. They are loud and the keyboard really clacks when I get into the typing groove. However, I do think they are a bit smoother with a little less tactile feedback than the Kalih blue switch. These greens are “heavy.” The actuation force of the Gateron Green Switch is relatively high at 80g. I haven’t tried a Cherry Green switch, but from what I’ve read most gamers find the Gateron Greens to be a smoother ride to the bottom and feature a more distinct click noise than the Cherry Greens. I did game on a Steelseries 6Gv2 with Cherry MX Black switches for awhile which has no click or tactile feedback, but an actuation force of 60 grams. I loved that board and the mechanical switch experience with that was comparable to this Glorious Modular with Greens with the big difference being that the black switches were silent.
I think the big take away is if you don’t want a loud switch, you want to steer clear of these Gateron greens. If you like a lot of click, some tactile feedback, and don’t mind pressing pretty hard for actuation (or naturally type like a Gorilla) these will be right up your alley.
Glorious PC Gaming Race checks the quality mechanical keyboard boxes with their GMMK-RGB model: sandblasted aluminum faceplate, braided cable with cable management pathways, RGB LED lights (16.8 million colors), 18 special lighting effects, complimentary software, ABS doubleshot plastic keycaps, and fully modular mechanical keys. The all black with no visible branding looks attractive and minimalist. I do not prefer the font used for the keys or the raised keycap design but those are subjective details. I do really like the glossy finish around the 4 sides of each keycap, with the matte finish on the top face. It looks polished and helps the backlight throw off an even more distinctive glow.
Lighting is controlled with software downloaded from pcgamingrace.com or via commands on the keyboard itself. The software unlocks the full potential of RGB and the 16.8 million color options. Furthermore, you can build profiles and custom macros using the aforementioned software. I’m not a big backlighting guy but the fact that this keyboard has 18 special effects (breathe, wave 1, wave 2, etc) to choose from is neat. I did recently review one of Cooler Master’s brand new boards and the backlighting was slightly brighter than this one. Nonetheless, the effect is plenty bright enough for low light conditions or if you are one with the darkness.
The going rate for their GMMK-RGB barebones keyboard is $60, a set of gateron switches $30, and a set of keycaps another $20. Mathing that equals a total of $110 which ain’t cheap. That $110 isn’t necessarily easy to stomach from the get-go, but trying out a new set of switches down the road for $15-30 is better than buying another $100 mechanical keyboard. Of course, you could grab the barebone keyboard for $60 and do some deal hunting on Massdrop or elsewhere and pickup your switches/keycaps for a bit less. The question remains: is Glorious PC Gaming Race delivering value with their kit? I think so, especially if you are someone who is going to take advantage of the versatility of the board and tryout a bunch of mechanical switches. But I also think the greatest value lies in their barebones keyboard at $60; if you’re patient you could find better deals on the Gateron switches and keycap set. It would be nice to see Glorious PC Gaming Race give customers a discount if they buy all three (backplate, switches, keycaps) all at once.
If you’re a keyboard enthusiast or curious about trying a wide variety of switches this modular keyboard is for you. Glorious PC Gaming Race built a top tier solution for a common problem. Their fully modular keyboard with hot-swappable switches allows gamers and typists to test out all the mechanical switches without compromise.
If you’re interested in purchasing this keyboard, you can support High Ground Gaming by purchasing through this link: PC Gaming Race.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Setup - 6/10
Switches - 8/10
Build - 9/10
Backlight - 8/10
Value - 7/10
Ascension to the Glorious PC Gaming Race must be earned through the trials of mechanical switch and keycap assembly. For keyboard enthusiasts and gamers who want to try a variety of mechanical switches, this modular keyboard is a Godsend. View PC Gaming Race’s full keyboard line up here.
- Modular design
- Selection of top-notch switches
- Quality aluminum plate & braided cable
- Lengthy setup
- Poor packaging
- Subpar stabilizers