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Upgrade to DFGT on a budget? (Long-ish post, beware)

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Martin Fiala, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    OK, so...as some of you may or may not know, I'm currently using a plain old DFGT with stock pedals only. Truth be told, I'm fairly satisfied with that, as surprising as many may find it - I've modded the brake to be considerably stiffer and more progressive, so it's actually quite passable. The FFB is acceptable to me as well and I like the ton of buttons the wheel has, plus I'm quite fond of using the sequential shifter as a handbrake in rally games. The only real annoyances to me are how loud the wheel is (both the gear rattle with some FFB effects and the gear whine when moving the wheel fast to catch slides or something like that) and the fact I feel the wheel has a fair bit of resistance when I need to move it fast. But I'm on a tight budget, so I can't complain much.

    Currently, however, it looks like I might (or might not still, but hopefully yes) be able to invest some money into upgrading. Who wouldn't want to upgrade, right? But based on the fact my simracing budget is still very limited, I'm considering several options and I'm not sure which way to go to get the best for my buck.

    What I'm considering:

    1. Keep the DFGT and buy some better pedals. I was originally planning on getting the 2 pedal CSL Elite version to replace the DFGT stock pedals, with the option to eventually upgrade to the loadcell version in the future. Currently, I'd be able to just get the loadcell version straight away, though I'm not sure how sensible that is for me - I'm just an office chair racer, I don't have a rig. Obvious downside - I'm still using the clunky and noisy DFGT. Obvious upside - I'm still using the DFGT with all of its buttons and shifter.

    2. Getting Logitech G29 with the H-shifter. Not sure how much of an upgrade over DFGT this is. Obviously this gets me a full setup with a decent pedals including clutch and an H-shifter, which is nice, though it seems the H-shifter is kinda bad. And I still have all those buttons to use, given that the wheel is basically a souped up DFGT when it comes to its design. But I'm not sure if it makes sense to replace DFGT with G29 when it comes to FFB and noise - it seems like G29 might still be kinda clunky and noisy, though it seems like the gear whine is greatly lowered and the wheel does not have as much resistance to turn. So maybe...?

    3. Getting T150/TMX Pro. From what I've seen and read, getting T150/TMX could actually be considered upgrade when it comes to FFB feel, wheel resistance and noise, and it's supposedly quite close in feel to their more pricier offerings. And by getting the Pro version, I'm also getting a semi-decent set of pedals with clutch (T3PA's) that could be further modded. I wouldn't need a clutch as getting the TH8A along with it would probably not be an option right now (not sure yet), but I guess having a clutch pedal doesn't hurt anyway and I could eventually get the shifter in the future. I'm not worried much about the cheap "toyish" feel of the wheel people talk about - I don't think it'd be much different than DFGT and I don't have a problem with that. Obvious downside - I lose quite a few of the buttons and the sequential shifter.

    4. Getting T300. Obviously the biggest upgrade when it comes to wheel itself. Despite the worryingly frequent reports of bad T300 reliability and subpar build quality, it's obviously the best of the wheels mentioned here. Obvious downside - the pedals. I'd just be going from one fairly bad pedal set to another fairly bad pedal set. Getting the set with T3PA's would not be an option right now or in near future, so I'd be stuck with the stock T300 pedals. And I'd obviously again lose the buttons and the sequential shifter, just like with the T150/TMX.

    5. Getting TX. Most of what I've mentioned with T300 obviously applies, though I'm not sure how the reliability problems of T300 relate to TX. And the default TX rim (Ferrari Alitalia) looks really bad and really cheap to me (I think I like the T150/TX more, to be honest). The upside (and the main reason I'm even considering the TX) is that I could maybe get the TX cheaper than the T300, which might mean I could be closer to getting T3PA's this way.

    So, yeah.

    Any thoughts and comments (or other options I haven't considered) on this welcome. Obviously this is something I have to decide for myself, but it's good to hear others thoughts on it.

    BTW, please bear in mind that "just wait and save some more money" is not really an option - I either get something now (IF I get something now), or I don't get anything in forseeable future. Same thing goes for upgrading pedals, adding shifter or something like that - it's unlikely it's going to happen any time soon. What I get now is what I get to use for quite some time.
     
  2. Vangelis Parginos

    Vangelis Parginos
    Greek SimRacing Community

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    Martin i feel all of your thoughts and worries.
    One and a half year ago i was using the dfgt with those pedals, with a lot of mods, soft balls, even i tried to modify the spring, until the time i broke the spring, so i ordered the g27. Another big issue was the paddles of the dfgt.
    From the dfgt for me at the time, the g27 was like moving from the toy section to the more real life feeling.
    Paddles great, pedals wonderful, leather with metal wheel. It felt amazing. I was missing the buttons but after a while i got used of it. I use the g27 for almost a year, no complains except the noise and some loss at the FFB especially with the center deadzone.
    Until i tried the t300 and i was amazed, i know its not the best out there, but for my price range, it is,
    I found a good offer for the alcantara version with the t3pa pedals and decided to make the move.
    I dont regret it for one moment. Great FFB at all games, no noise (except from the fan). But im still using the logitech pedals with the nixim mod because i feel them more stable, i dont know if its because i have them mounted and out of the plastic case so they are looking more strong. Compared to the dfgt pedals the t3pa are great.
    Finally my thoughts for you, dont go with the t150, or the g29, you better stay with dfgt for a little more and when you re ready go for the t300/tx at some pack with the t3pa or even better with the t3pa pro.
     
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  3. Jazz Forsberg

    Jazz Forsberg
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    I'm with the greek :laugh::)
     
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  4. ws11

    ws11
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  5. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    @Vangelis Parginos Thanks for your comments. But to be fair, it actually reads as if I perhaps *should* get the G29 - you seem to think it was an improvement over the DFGT ("the g27 was like moving from the toy section to the more real life feeling", "I use the g27 for almost a year, no complains except the noise and some loss at the FFB especially with the center deadzone") and you're even still using the pedals to this day, even though you have T3PA's available, so I guess that's another thing that could be considered a recommendation. And supposedly, from what I've seen and read, the G29 is somewhat improved from G27 in some of what you mentioned, even if it isn't as big improvement as many have hoped for.

    I understand you were trying to say I should definitely get the T300, even if I wait for it longer, but like I've said, I won't be able to get T300 and T3PA's, so if I get the T300 (or TX), it means just going with the stock pedals which are clearly not great. And I also mentioned that waiting a while and saving some more is not really an option. I know it might sound weird, but it is what it is. I don't like it either. So the option for me really is to get something now or not get anything at all any time soon (and I'd obviously rather have something slightly better for the time being).

    But I hear you (and Jazz) regarding the T300, don't get me wrong. You've certainly given me more to think about. Thanks. :thumbsup:

    @ws11 That is certainly an option as well, but see my first option - If I stayed with the DFGT and just got better pedals, I'd be likely able to go with something even better than the G25/27 pedals. But thanks anyway. (BTW, I think your English is perfectly fine, though I'm not a native speaker either.)
     
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  6. Jazz Forsberg

    Jazz Forsberg
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    Won't be neither a bad move to buy a set of decent pedals and wait for the wheel. I'd probably do that if I were in your situation.
     
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  7. alexSchmurtz

    alexSchmurtz
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    I'm not sure how much it will help your thinking, but I got a T300 almost a year ago. First, I don't have any reliability problem so far! :D Then, I had also read so many things about the bad pedals, that I was already thinking the next step would be a better pedal set! I obviously have a better budget than you, even if I could not consider getting everything at once. So I am 11 months later: the wheel is really great! I still think it is probably the best value for money: there are many cheaper wheels, and they are many much better wheels. But that one seems a good compromise: it is smooth, precise, and it just start to get expensive! And I still keep in mind buying good pedals: but the original ones are still doing the job: I've improved a lot my lap times in these 11 months, but it has a lot more to do with all the good advices I got and with practice, than from the equipment.

    That said, I also read that getting good pedals are a good way of improving a setup… So I would tend to agree with Jazz: getting a good set of pedals would be a good move too! :)

    So in an ideal word, maybe you can get one or the other. And then save for the other one, for next year?
     
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  8. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
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    Me too. :D Although I would suggest a T500 RS set up. ;)
     
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  9. RasmusP

    RasmusP
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    I have a G27 and friends have a g29 and a dfgt.
    Dfgt pedals really "bad", g29 the same as G27 (not that good..)
    Dfgt has better ffb than both because it hasn't got that annoying deadzone!
    But dfgt is too slow for drifting. Dirt Rally shows it quite well.

    Soooo... If you want to play R3E, AC, track racing I would go with loadcell pedals!
    If you do more drifting, dirt etc I would go with a fanatec wheel or t300/500!

    If you do both and want to have both I would go with a g29. You can do both much better than with the dfgt but the Upgrade isn't a "wow". Plus tweaking a lot because of the deadzone will be needed.

    Hope it helps and sorry for the bad english. In a hurry and on Phone :whistling::)
     
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  10. Jazz Forsberg

    Jazz Forsberg
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    Well... Vangelis knows that I actually preffer a good set of pedals rather than a better wheel. If I had to chose, I'd invest in a pedal set first for sure (many reasons for that)
    On a side note DFGT wheel is not "that" bad, and the little shifter is quite nice as sequential. Actually is the best entry steering wheel and nothing beats it in FFB at its price (imo ofc). I could live with it a lot longer than with those pedals...

    Don't get me wrong a nice wheel matters, but I do really need decent FFB on my feet first. Once this sorted out next step would be a "sweet spot" wheel for a given budget and your set. You can even find a lot of 2nd hand wheels in very good shape.

    T300 should be the minimun step-up from your DFGT (again, imo). Beyond that you could go either TM way or Fanatec one, or actually you could just sent all to hell and jump directly into a DD/OSW :laugh:

    I know is not an easy decision when budget is limited, been there soooo many times. So good luck making up your mind ;) (and stay away from fanboys :whistling:)

    :)

    Edit. load cell :thumbsup:
     
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  11. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    Thanks everyone for your opinions and experience, much appreciated.

    @RasmusP To be perfectly honest I don't think I could be much faster in Dirt Rally just by using a different wheel, I feel like I'm pretty much at the limit of my abilities already (well, at least on my good day) and I don't feel much slowed down by the wheel :) But obviously I could be mistaken.

    (And I pretty much *know* it's not the wheel nor pedals that's slowing me down in R3E and similar sims ;) )
     
  12. RasmusP

    RasmusP
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    Of course, some guys beat us all with a gamepad :roflmao:
    To give a specific example: in AC I wanted to learn how to hold a drift (seems to be pretty much like in real life) and I can do that quite well now. Giving a little swing with the wheel, full throttle, let the wheel go full opposite lock and playing with throttle and steering.
    Problem at my dfgt friend: The wheel isn't fast enough to go into that important opposite lock. You would have to push it with your hands just to spin faster.
    We tried over an hour with different settings but no chance :cry:
    He has driven my g27 too and he things that this behaviour slows him down in Dirt Rally. I think that too, that's why I said that :)
    In R3E etc you don't really need that "spinning speed" in the wheel. It's more like little, active corrections and if you really lose it, you are gone more or less either way...
    But in R3E etc the braking matters! I can see that in every Club event here! The Main difference is the braking.
    And while I am just not good enough, but could be on my pedals, my friend with his dfgt has no chance to trail brake. Let alone without Abs!

    But I have to change my recommendation! :p
    Wheel priority: t300 with stock pedals.
    Pedals + leather: g29

    I would go with the t300. Sometimes I wish I'd have done that too! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  13. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    BTW, on a related note to the above - how do people here feel about used T300? I see some offers that would likely allow me to get the T3PA's with the wheel, but given the horror stories about T300 reliability, I'm quite worried buying used is not a good idea (I'm not even sure buying new is good idea for this very reason, but at least there's warranty when you buy new).

    Opinions anyone?
     
  14. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    Well, sometimes being indecisive can apparently work to your advantage.

    Just happened to stumble upon a sale on Amazon that had brand new T300 with full warranty going for 199 euro. Too tempting of a deal to pass on... so yeah, ordered it. Let's hope the reliability issues won't be a problem (but at least I have a full warranty this way).

    They were selling like hot cakes, too - by the time I finished checkout, half of them were already gone.
     
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  15. Jazz Forsberg

    Jazz Forsberg
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    You'll love it :thumbsup:
     
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  16. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    I certainly can't wait :) And the best thing about this is I should be able to get the T3PA's as well and finally have a clutch, as long as everything works out fine. Though I'm not ordering them straight away just yet.
     
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  17. Sergio Goncalves

    Sergio Goncalves

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    Where did you buy it? I only saw it at that price in amazon.de for amazon prime members.
     
  18. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    Amazon.de indeed, but it wasn't for Prime only. How do you know it was Prime only?
     
  19. GP20

    GP20

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    Too late but T300RS or G920 which is better than G27 or G29.
     
  20. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    @GP20 Just out of interest - in what way is G920 better than G29? It seems like exactly the same wheel, except with less buttons, no rev lights and less ugly color scheme.