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Fanatec Hardware - opinions

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Crowgasm, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Hi Folks,

    I'm looking for a new racing wheel/pedals combo to upgrade my semi-fossilized Logitech Driving Force Pro.

    I'm currently angling toward picking up a Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel US [http://us.fanatec.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=181], ClubSport Pedals V2 US [http://us.fanatec.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=255] and a ClubSport v2 table clamp, all from Fanatec. The bill on this bundle is about $600, with shipping.

    I play across platforms, mainly PC but also Xbox 360 and some PS3 once in a while, so the multi-platform support is appealing. I'm focused on Ascetto Corsa, Dirt 3, F1 2013 and GT Legends, among others on PC, and some Forza 4 on 360. I've read some good reviews on these but I'm a bit leery of professional reviews. So, I was curious if any here have these parts and can offer an opinion on quality, reliability and so on?

    They'll be hooked up to 3x 1440p 27" monitors for racing games on the PC. The $600 budget is acceptable, unless there are better options for less or much better for a bit more. One reservation is I recently picked up an Xbox One with Forza 5 and obviously this setup won't be Xbox One compatible. That's probably not a deal breaker, given the PC games are better.

    All relevant thoughts welcomed!
  2. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    3x1440p is a monstrous resolution! I hope you got a rig to keep up with it. As far as wheels go I have the whole Fanatec clubsport lineup and the quality control and longevity can be suspect. Since you are running multiplatform you are pretty limited on what you can get. Honestly I would say look at the new thrust matter wheel since it works with the xboned done. I think you may be able to get an adapter to use the clubsport pedals with it.
  3. Thanks for the feedback. Reading horrible experiences with the QQ issues on the new X1 Thrustmaster wheel which has put me off, frankly. Maybe it will improve in the future. For best PC specific gaming wheel now, where would I look beyond Fanatac?

    Nice rig, yes, but I can run 1440p x3 without issue.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Thrustmaster TX and get T500RS pedals separately if Xbox support is important? As I understand you just hook them in and you are done but do a bit of research on that.

    T500RS is a proven really solid wheel it don´t skimp on the PSU or ffb motor. They did skimp a bit on cooling but the new fan do the job quite a bit better. I think you need at least a CSR Elite to get something of similar quality. TX maybe just a bad first batch who knows but maybe it was a bad choice to get rid of that big external brick and cutting the bulk of it.

    That it does have less bulk and is a bit smoother is tempting a bit though.

    The biggest plus with the T500RS is that you can get whatever aftermarket wheel you want and put on it.

    As for Fanatec I do think they do good products surely. I love the CS shifter and the Clubsport pedals aren´t bad at all even though I preferr the T500RS with bushings but that is just preferences I am equally fast with both.

    Turbo S was a really nice wheel better then the G27 but not on the level of T500RS I feel.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I "upgraded" from a GT2/CSP setup to a T500RS once I stopped caring about Xbox360. For roughly the same money you get a far better FFB motor in the Thrustmaster. The T500RS pedals don't have a load cell and so many (but definitely not all) people prefer Clubsport pedals. But either pedal set is lightyears better than your DFGT ones.

    Saying that. I second the suggestion to go for the TX. Given the T500's excellent track record, I'm assuming that Thrustmaster just had some first batch issues with the new brushless motor, but we're now hopefully in second batch territory. Buy from a store which makes it easy to replace it should you have issues, but I'd say the risk is worth it. Your budget allows you to get the TX and extras, e.g. A 458GTE rim or other pedals.

    They still haven't released the Thrustmaster T3PA accessory, so if you want pedals which remain Xbox One capable you would have to buy a second hand T500RS set, but otherwise just for PC you could consider CSR Elite pedals: they offer the load cell and are certainly well regarded.

    the combo of TX/CSR Elite pedals would be better than a GT2 with clubsports in my opinion.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. The next best option beyond Fanatec (High-end models) is probably going to be the AccuForce by SimExperience. It will be offered in 3 flavors; one bare-bones version for modding or building your own setup, the Pro Model, and the high-end, arm busting extreme version for race teams. The Pro model is the only one that they have offered a rough price on - just under $2000 usd. The new wheels are estimated to be on the shelves Q3 - Q4 of this year.
    • Beer Beer x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. nice racenut!
    haven't heared this before
    anything else worth sharing bout the accuforce?
    sure bout those shelvedates? I thought Berney villers was talking about the end of 2014
    but it could very well be delayed into 2015...
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  8. is it really that easy? mounting another rim onto it?
    do you know another solution than these expensive sam maxwell buttonwheelplates when putting a custom rim onto it?

    I've been reading everywhere that the t500rspedals are the weakest link in the package
    also that they're no match for the csp v2's
    but a friend of mine likes his thrustmasterpedals very much
    do you think that bodin load cell is worth it?
  9. Derekspearedesigns sells some adapters. Then you just look for wheels with 70 mm bolt circle and you are done. It´s kind of a standard for MOMOs and all kind of steering rims out there.

    As for buttons we have a store here in Sweden that have campaigns all the time on the simraceway SRW S1 wheel. They sell it for 15$ when ebay or whatever sell it for 130$... I don´t know how they could do that but got a couple. Remove the paddles and handles and they are perfect as a button box to put on the wheels but this only works on PC.
    You get rev lights working through fanaled too :)

    I know many like the Clubsports for good reason, I surely preferr the brake on the CSP V2 as I could feel the spring in the "real brake mod" and it was just to soft. But that all change when I put skateboard bushings in there instead. You can check out basherboards.com but it´s just ordinary skateboard bushings you may find them in the closest skateboard shop. Virtually for free and give a smoother brake with more progressive resistance then the clubsports.

    I haven´t tried the loadcell mod for the T500RS as I have absolutely no need but I am sure it´s good too.

    For me it´s a before the bushing mod and after though they wheren´t at all bad before either quite a bit better then the G27 pedals I feel.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. That's what I read on the iRacing forums regarding the AccuForce. There is a little more info there if you have access - nothing major though. The discussion mainly deals with the various levels of forces with different brands and how they relate to real-world torque figures.
    • Beer Beer x 2
  11. Very interesting where did you get that information? I have been looking for information about The Accuforce but could not find any, not even on their website.
  12. yeah, they communicate via the Iracing forum
    but I don't have a subscription and am NOT gonna pay membership to read their forums
  13. At one point I switched my CSPv1 to run with a G25. This meant I lost the ability to use the Fanatec on-wheel menu to set ABS rumble and was only able to set limited functionality via FanaLEDs in some games. I then discovered that I really missed having the ABS rumble motor giving me a rumble at 65% brake force as a reminder. It turned out that I had spent 2 years relying on that ABS rumble to help me judge braking force (especially in console racers like GT5 and Forza 4). With that feature unavailable I had a lot more trouble judging my braking accurately.

    If you are used to braking as a function of pedal travel then you may like switching over to braking as a function of pressure, but you may not. There's also the question of how firm you want braking to be: A DFGT pedal offers effectively no resistance and someone with years of experience of that might get a nasty shock switching to something which requires stamping hard on the brake.

    The T500RS pedals are sturdy, flexible and functional. I rate them better than the G25/G27 ones, both in flexibility and in feel. They offer slightly less pedal travel (on accelerator and clutch) than the CSPs, and you can't adjust spring tension as easily as the CSPs, so that's definitely a win for Fantaec. However, I have discovered that I actually like braking as a function of pedal travel so I'm quite happy with my CSPv1 sitting in the box and using my T500RS pedals. Everyone is different :)
    • Beer Beer x 1
  14. There is a thread on the iRacing forums regarding the AccuForce wheel. The info I mentioned above was posted by Berney Villers recently.

    I wonder what the cost will be for the base version. It will be mod-able with after-market wheels and other accessories and will not have the full enclosure like the Pro-Model.
    I understand but, there really isn't much more information than that yet other than to say that the AccuForce is undergoing stress testing and that is going well. There were quite a few people concerned about the overall strength of the wheel force, it seems they want to use it to get a good work out. :) Berney stated that the high-end wheel would only be sold to those who qualify, such as professional racing teams and the like, due to the extremely high forces. The force of the Mod and Pro models will be reduced but, still very close to strong enough to simulate wheel forces in real cars although, maybe not crash situations.

    To anyone interested in acquiring the AccuForce, you can send them a message via the SimExperience website to be added to the contact list. They will notify you when the wheels become available.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Thanks all, for the detailed feedback here. Some food for though. I'm really strongly put off the Thrustmaster TX given the enormous numbers of reviewers lamenting its quality control and build issues, showing many different hardware failures with the wheels, if not the pedals. This may be as it's a younger product and that may improve as they work out some issues, but still, for such a (relatively) pricey product, I'm more than leery.

    So, Xbox compatibility aside, if I'm focused mainly on the PC side, am I still on a good course with the Fanatec Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel US and the $250 ClubSport Pedals V2 US? Noting these both have Xbox360 compatibility - do more experienced users here think there's any chance this wheel/pedal combo might be Xbox One compatible in the future? I'm guessing not, but it's not a deal breaker for me.
  16. There is effectively 0% chance of Xbox One compatibility with older Fanatec wheels. Fanatec have suggested that they may produce a new clubsport wheel base which is Xbox One compatible, but no further details on release. After getting burned quoting release dates in the past, Fanatec these days tends to delay announcements until they have something ready to ship, though.
  17. As a quick addendum, if I'm honing in on PC support as my main need, do users here have opinions on the difference between the Porsche 911 GT3 RS V2 Wheel US and the Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel US? The G2 model has Xbox360 support which isn't a big deal but are there other notable differences? I'm finding positive reviews of both but no real notice on technical differences that are significant.
  18. Well, in my opinion the Fanatec kit is great. They stand behind their product and have found a way to get quasi-high end sim racing equipment to the masses for relatively cheap. They hit the various price points with a substantial range of products especially considering their size, and, unless you want to go the DIY route (like I eventually did... after 2 logitecs, 3 fanatecs, and a partrage in a FREX tree), you aren't gonna find anything else with the features and compatibility that you want.
    Also there are plug ins like fanaleds, and most of their stuff can be improved with minor modifications. Say for instance you have a hundered or so bucks and already have the CSR wheel and CSP vII (are they back in stock yet btw?), you could run to the hardware shop and radio shack and in a few hours... Voila you have pedals with a hydraulic or pneumatic brake that will keep pace with my SimCalipered-Hydro-vibe-hallmagpot frex pedals for a fifth the price...
    Get the CSR for the display.... or go find a cheap GT3 used somewhere til you can made the $1-200 to $8-1200 wheel leap...
    • Beer Beer x 2
  19. I've had my Thrustmaster TX for about a month now and still love it very much, even more so than my T500RS that I also own. I do use the T500 pedals with the TX however since I like having a clutch but I'm firmly convinced that the TX's brushless motor and other improvements make it a better wheel as far as FFB feel goes. I too was worried about all of the intital negative reviews about them dying but I'm starting to think a few scenarios are likely, either the new firmware update fixed most of the problems or maybe there was some other minor updates to the wheel without telling anyone in recent months. You also can't trust every Amazon review on many products especially under certain circumstances. Let me explain, when a product comes along like the Xbox One that leaves people with existing wheels out in the cold and angry, and a new product like the TX comes along with Xbox One compatibility but forcing people to pay $400 for a new wheel, you could easily see some people just posting negative reviews against the product in an attempt to hurt Thrustmaster and Microsoft for alienating them with their old wheels. Maybe that happened to a degree, maybe it didn't. My wheel is working great.

    One last point, the TX is a little quirky with the Xbox One which I suspect is what most TX users bought theirs for even though it's also very much PC compatible. The original release TX REQUIRED a firmware update, not recommended, but REQUIRED and I suspect many people disregarded that notice or didn't think it mattered so maybe their wheel died or didn't perform correctly. I've read people that stated their wheel was working fine then went to bed and got up the next day and it wasn't working. Well, I can testify that the TX is a little weird in how it works with the Xbox One. If I try to power up my Xbox One using the home button on the TX wheel with the wheel already connected to the Xbox One, it will power it up, but I may or may not be able to use the D-pad on the wheel to navigate menus in the Xbox home screen or it may not work at all in Forza 5 and I've even seen the wheel power itself back off after powering up the Xbox One The solution has always been to unplug the wheel from the Xbox One and reconnect it and it started working just fine. What I have found that works more consistently is to power up the Xbox One on the front of the console, then simply plug in the wheel to the Xbox One after its powered up and it always works properly. I do wonder if some of those Amazon reviewers didn't realize that the TX and Xbox One was a bit quirky and just thought their wheel had died and sent it back for refund or repair.

    With the fantastic reputation that the T500 earned, its hard to imagine that Thrustmaster didn't know how to build a quality product and didn't learn anything from the T500. I can tell you with my experience with the TX that so far besides the quirky power-on behavior of the Xbox One with the TX, the wheel is working great and I use mine with the Xbox One and even more so with PC racing sims. I would sorely miss my TX if I didn't have it and I highly recommend it.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ii think what we are all pontificating about can be summed up and answered more effectively if you can give us the absolute maximum you are willing to spend on a rig, tell us if you want a wheel and pedals or are you looking for a "rig" with race seat, monitors, computer (upgrade), and if you really consider ex-bone compatibility a necessity (really?)...
    I have stated, value for money, you won't get any better than fanatec in the (high)-low to mid range wheel and pedal market (as in, up to about 600$)... Some other folks have made the case for thrustmaster as well as the ol' logitec kit (I have had all three, though the thrustmaster kit was flight sim stuff so there's that to consider...)
    Beyond 600$ or so, there is stuff like ecci for around 8-?000 bucks, frex (I have frex hydraulic pedals), Derek spheres, arc, Leo, hpp, tsw, and others which offer different solutions to the same functionality....