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Fairly new to simulators - advice please?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by JamesU, May 11, 2014.

  1. Hello all,

    As it's my first post - i'll introduce myself.

    I'm a huge racing fan, love following the F1 and the lower GP teams.

    I've always enjoyed playing racing games on consoles, a few years ago i bought the Microsoft Racing Wheel to play Forza and F1 2012/2013, which i was constantly on.

    Recently moving out from my parents i have a spare room, the boss (mrs) hasn't kicked up any form of a fuss when i've said i want a racing simulator setup in our spare room...on the condition i decorate our bedroom first. Result.

    I've only been looking and pricing things up for a couple of weeks, but so far i have a budget of:

    Wheel setup: £300-£400 - been looking at the Thrustmaster TX but i'm massively open to opinions, as i said above i've had the Microsoft wheel before which i was impressed with as it was my first wheel, but reading reviews on the Thrustmaster i'm aware that it is even better than the G25 wheel which i've always thought was fairly good.

    Racing seat/frame: I have the same budget of £300-£400 for this, but i've only looked on eBay - are there any specific websites anybody can recommend for this? The room that it will be going is is bare, so i have no desk and i'm starting from scratch, i also want 3 screens so is it best to have them all attached to this or buy a desk and have them all on that?

    Screens: I've been looking at some online, i have thought around £130 each for these, i'm fairly clued up on televisions but with monitors i'm not sure of the differences. The size i'm after is 24", any bigger with 3 screens may be a bit overkill but anything smaller is too tiny.

    And then of course the game, i'm looking to get the whole setup sorted first and then try demo's - i have been looking at rFactor/2 and iRacing, but many reviews online seem to not have a clear winner. I haven't looked at anything else but i'm open to suggestions!

    Thanks :)
  2. Fantastic, thanks. The GT Omega Racing website looks promising to purchase from :)

    As for the wheel, the G27, i've been looking around the forum and notice quite a few people use it - is the Thrustmaster TX better or should i possibly stick with the G27?

    I'll be using the wheel on both PC and Xbox One so it would be nice if they're compatible

    Thanks for the help!
  3. Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2 is all you need from a games perspectice, if you're gonna race online. ;)
  4. Ah, brilliant. I'll have a look at Assetto Corsa now - thanks!

  5. I've just been reading up on the G27 and it seems an amazing wheel, only thing that is letting it down is that it cannot be used on the Xbox One - which is a shame. Which wheel would be the best for PC and Xbox One?

    After looking at the setups thread on here i've noticed not everyone uses 3 screens - watching YouTube videos the advantage of the 3 screens seems high, i've never had a problem with just using the one main screen in the past, should i be looking at a single larger screen or a smaller 3 screen setup?
  6. I'd recommend Assetto Corsa and iRacing. iRacing has an excellent online service is in my opinion the best structured online racing sim available. Assetto Corsa looks stunning, feels great driving and has just had its multiplayer update and looking at the numbers of servers online I'd say the future looks bright for it. I'm not convinced about rFactor 2. I bought a lifetime license the day it was released but online its very quiet and it seems a lot of racers have moved on, development has been so slow, it just feels like rFactor 1.5. Also worth a look is RaceRoom Racing Experience on Steam. They already have a DTM module and will be adding WTCC and ADAC GT Masters add-ons too. Keep a look out for Project CARS when that goes on sale later in the year, its physics are not up to par with the other games I mentioned in my opinion but its fun to drive and looks stunning, possibly the best looking racing game to date.

    For a racing frame I'd recommend the Obutto Ozone. I'm using one of these and it makes for a great all-round rig. I can hook up my flight and racing gear and quickly switch between the two or just sit back and play FPS or as I'm doing now browsing the forum and typing this message :) You can buy numerous accessories like triple screen mounts, additional peripheral mounts for things like a gear shifter and even a cup holder...yes a cup holder! :) I have also sat in mine and caught up on regular office work as I have the acrylic table top accessory so no need for a separate desk.

    I think its pretty hard to beat Fanatec's Clubsport pedals, I have the v1 model and they are the best I've had without spending thousands on something more exotic. I'd like to upgrade my Porsche Wheel to their Clubsport Wheel at some point. I've heard good things aout Thrustmasters T500 RS and they are £301 on Amazon UK right now so that's a pretty good deal and well within your budget
  7. Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett

    Hi James, you have got yourself into a big playground the sim community caters for all tastes. If you want to really explore this addiction :) the PC sim's will open up a lot more choice's for you.

    i-racing is good for online but it can get costly for the full content, here on RD you don't have to pay for online racing just buy the sim and sign up with the club that's when it really gets good.

    Add Game Stock Car 2013 to your list of PC sim's it's best bang for the buck, with new content on the way

    As for wheels the TX 458 is your best option for Xbox one & PC

    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  8. Kevin, what a fantastic post - thank you so much.

    As we only live in a 2 bedroomed maisonette the mrs is fairly moany that the space will be taken up, that Obutto oZone looks brilliant as it looks like I can take it down if i don't use it for a month or if someone comes to stay one weekend!

    Those fanatec pedals look very nice, i like how they can be mounted both ways too.

    As for that T500 wheel, it doesnt look like it's compatiable with the Xbox One, i may have to bite the bullet and just not play any racing games on it, but it would be a bit of a bummer...

    Brilliant post though, the racing cockpit looks perfect.

    Paul, i'll have a look at that game and that wheel looks more promising, am i able to use the fanatec pedals with it or is it not able to do that?

    One thing about the game, i'm not a massive stock car fan, coming from the UK i prefer most single seater race series' and touring cars.

    Thanks to both of you for the help! :)
  9. The frame can be split in two, you bolt the seat section to the wheel mount/monitor mount section with four Allen key bolts. The monitor stand can be easily removed, its just two knobs on the back of the frame to release the tube section. Its all tubular design, sliding inside each other and the wheel try can be un-done quickly or just adjusted up and down with two knobs which screw into the tube. I used a GameRacer seat before I had this cockpit but still needed a desk for everything else. This suits every need for me and the seat is comfortable enough to spend hours behind the wheel or working at my PC.
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  10. Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett

  11. Fantastic, thanks to both of you.

    Best get decorating!
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  12. Thanks Paul. I'll look into it.

    I tend to be one to have champagne tastes with lemonade finances, i'll end up with the top of the range stuff and not go out for 2 months afterwards :rolleyes:
  13. Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett


    With this hobby you can do it with £500 or £50.000, it's the same you will still have fun with it :)

    My setup is some what of a dinosaur PC dual core,Win Xp and Logitech combo DFGT wheel & G27 pedals/shifter. One small screen as well with a timber home made wheel stand, all on a tight budget a bit at a time but it still gives me that racing buzz. So just shop around for what you want there's a big playground out there for the taking for all budgets.

    So good hunting any questions no mater how dumb post on RD there's good crowd here to help you out :thumbsup:
  14. For a wheel and pedals, I would recommend a Thrustmaster TX and T3PA pedals which are due to be release this month for $99. The 7 speed shifter TH8A will be released this summer for the TX. The TX is the only FFB wheel available for the XBO if you insist on having XBO compatibility, and of course it also works on the PC. This would allow you to play Forza 5 and any other racing games coming to the XBO over its lifetime. I love my TX.

    For games, I would recommend RaceRoom Racing Experience, Assetto Corsa, Game Stock Car Extreme and iRacing. rFactor 2 would be behind those in my opinion just because its very rough around the edges, and needs a lot more polish. I play all of these games regularly. For offline play, I'm torn between RaceRoom Racing Experience(R3E) and Assetto Corsa(AC), those are my first picks for offline racing and both are very very good. Game Stock Car Extreme is also good and gives a lot of bang for the buck, lots of cars and tracks to choose from for a low price and its very well polished for an older game engine. iRacing is the best online sim available, bar none and its not even close. If you want to race online, iRacing gives you everything you could possibly want and then some, and then some, and then some. The driving model is tough though and not very forgiving. It takes a lot of practice to be good at it and honestly, it just doesn't feel like any other racing sim. Its hard to jump in and out of iRacing from another sim because they drive so differently.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  15. I think my PC will be alright to run things...

    I have:
    Windows 7 - 64bit
    4GB RAM (Which i might be upgrading)
    500GB HDD
    2.66 Quad Core Processor
    ATI AMD Radeon HD 5800 Graphics Card

    It's good enough to run games such as battlefield 4 on high (almost ultra) settings, so i have no problems i don't think.

    I did have a seat on a frame when i was playing the last couple of F1 games on the 360, but that got binned when i moved out, so i'm looking to have something sturdy enough but also something that feels realistic!

    Thanks for all the help, it's been amazing.

    1 other thing, the graphics card i have has 1 x HDMI output and 2 x DVI outputs, how hard is it to get the 3 screen setup?

    Also, do 3 screens bog down on performance?
  16. Double post but it seems we posted at pretty much the same time...

    Thanks for those suggestions, i'll have a look at all of them! Getting the game is the last thing on the list at the moment, but it's good to know there are more than the 2 or 3 that i originally thought :D
  17. 3 screens are going to require a significant hardware upgrade, CPU and GPU. That's a lot more pixels to push compared to a single screen.
  18. What would be the minimum requirements for that sort of stuff?