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Discussion | VR, Triple Monitors or Ultrawides?

What's your preferred setup?

  • VR

    Votes: 621 41.6%
  • Triples

    Votes: 260 17.4%
  • Ultrawide

    Votes: 294 19.7%
  • Single Screen / Other

    Votes: 317 21.2%

  • Total voters
    1,492
This week HTC are launching two brand new Vive products, in a market that continues to grow at rapid pace. Has VR taken the lead in the sim racing world, and if not why?

I have fond memories of my first virtual reality experience in sim racing. I did a couple of practice laps before jumping into a race at the Circuit de Catalunya, being a track I knew well. Any doubts I had about how immersive the experience would be were dispelled almost immediately. A car in front of me was run wide on lap one, hitting a brake marker board which spiralled towards my head. Instinctively I ducked down in my seat, only for a sheepish grin to spread across my face, feeling rather foolish.

The Vive Pro 2 features a 5K resolution display, and an impressive 120Hz refresh rate.
As it reached mainstream market adoption, it became clear that VR was going to lend itself very well to sim racing. The immersive experience that it offers truly is second-to-none, with many converts of the opinion that they could never go back. That being said triple monitor setups are still a very popular option, with many racers enjoying the peripheral vision it offers. Similarly, this is something that can be very enjoyable about using an ultrawide monitor.

Of all the options then, which one is the best? Naturally the topic is incredibly subjective, often due to personal preference, budget or space. However, each also comes with benefits that even make them more suited to different aspects of sim racing.

One of the biggest criticisms of VR since its adoption has been of the low resolutions offered, particularly for the computing power required, compared with monitor alternatives. While virtual reality is still a very young technology and improving all the time, it has to be said that the more crisp image offered by monitors can be a lot easier on the eye, particularly during longer sessions. Furthermore, setting up a VR rig can be a little more time consuming, particularly for those who want to learn the nuances involved with recording virtual reality gameplay.

Ultrawide.jpg

Ultrawides and super ultrawides have fast become a favourite amongst sim racers.

Having tried all three, I've found my preference to be either VR or triple screens, but it depends entirely on the situation. If I am unwinding or practicing alone, I always choose to go with VR simply for the more immersive experience. However, I have found it a lot easier to use triple monitors, or even a single monitor when competing online. It can be trickier to memorise where everything on the steering wheel is, as required when playing in VR. Similarly, in-game menus tend to be easier to navigate on monitors than in virtual reality, which can detract from the experience of using the latter in some situations.

Overall, my go-to is usually VR, and when we consider how far it has come in such a short space of time, and the investment that is going into virtual reality and augmented reality tech, their future does look very exciting indeed.

Finally, we would love to hear your thoughts on this, and find out more about our community's setups!
About author
Charlie Lockwood
23. Motorsport and Sim Racing enthusiast.

Comments

Just looked at the vote stats and i get it. Got my Rift S 6 months ago and can never look back. Don't want to use any monitor again, ever. There are drawbacks but they are far outweighed by the unbelievable tech of a VR headset that makes my emersion so complete. Anything that makes you close your eyes as you are about to crash gets my vote. For most of us, we cant drive racing cars so sim racing is the next best thing so why not make it as real as possible. Most drawbacks can be improved. Brain adjustment is probably lack of G force fooling the brain causing sick feeling which is fixed for me by locking to horizon. Big debate on that one but 1 it works so brain likes it and 2 i have never seen the earth shake but my car does it a lot. Picture quality is harder to fix but with messing around with settings can be made acceptable in my opinion. When you consider the tech involved maybe our expectations are to high at present. So yes, i am a great fan and think a vote in all future years will only show an increase of use.
 
Triples, but with head tracking. If you dial it in properly,. the ability to look to the side and spot the apex is a really useful feature - and it cost me all of 60 quid.
 
I feel like being such a pleb, with my single 24' 60hz monitor ! Even worse, I play (Assetto Corsa) with a controller :|

Yet I'm having fun and I perform rather well, I guess it's what matters.
Yes it sounds crazy indeed but hey everyone has the right to choose so if you‘ re fine ... its cool
I was also simracing more than 10 years on a 27’ 60hz monitor, before upgrading to a 34‘ UW 144hz

But playing AC with a joypad is .... wow i just cant Imagine
 
Only VR for me.

Can't wait for the new Vive.
Again better resolution and FoV then the Reverb G2, in addition I fully expect the lenses to be a lot better and have a wider "sweetspot". If that will be the case, I am definitely upgrading.
 
Have owned all three, i returned to just my triples. on 32' triples ATM, but thinking 40' is the go.

VR,
con too much sacrifice in visual fidelity to get smooth framerate
con awkward for button boxes, and makes all the cool gear like tablet displays etc redundant. need to learn muscle memory to find your gears etc.
pro a bit more immersive.

Ultrawide
Con no matter what you try, fov is just never great, and its always stretchy at the edges, can be overcome by running triples mode on it, but then.. uhh..
Pro, no need to screw around with monitors setting up nvidia surround etc.
Pro you get to see your whole rig, all your fancy addons,

Triples
Con, setting up, cost of mounts, finding cards/monitors with all the correct cables.
Pro. you get to see your whole rig, all your fancy addons, and if you go 32+ inch triples as immersive as it gets since the roof of the car is well the roof, and everything under the steering is not relevant either. so visually you are getting what you need to see.
Yes I couldnt agree more with what you are saying,
last year I had 32 inch curved ultrawide and now a G9 setup,
all I have done since getting it is mess around with FOV but with the triples every car was good out the box no messing around at all + felt much more natural,
only drawback I found was my neck working on triples 12-13-14-15hrs a day 7 days a week my neck ache terrible,
My G9 is 100% perfect working screen 0 neck ache at all with it now just added a G5 above it again no hassle looking up a little either but I do miss my triples if I had the space I would add G5 at the side of this G9 that be the way to go G5-G9-G5 maybe,
anyways good comment!
97F274BB-F47D-4C0A-BD1C-D9AF9B83DD8B.jpeg
 
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I'll take the visual sacrifices for VR. You can't go back (well I can't) once you've been 'in' the car rather than looking at screen.

If I had a non VR setup I'm still in a room, I still sense it's room. I forget that in VR.
 
I am not convinced about the VR thing. I do get what VR offers don't get me wrong it is awesome, but what are the perks in terms of racing performances ?

For flight sims it is truly better than clicking a button to look around :roflmao:
 
Wow that is one hell of an in depth view. Nice work man!
Thank you, brother! I'm still kinda a beginner on youtube, but it took me lots of time to do and still I messed up the voice :D. But I'm really happy with what I did as I have yet to see a guide or video as in-depth as I did!
 
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VR

Loved it - initially there was something about putting it on and getting "in" the car, being able to look around, see the fuel pumps, roll cage, wiring internally and even to go and gimmicky stick your head out the window and look at the wheels. Visually immersively brilliant.

But actually racing, not for me, i tried Oculus Rift S and tried raceroom and ACC - i knew ACC was bad so i ran on low at 75%, 1.4 and even tho it looked and ran ok the screen resolution itself and the lack of FOV in the peripheral vision i found an issue.

Besides that i had to wear it really tight to get the correct eye setup - this induced a headache after 15-20 mins, I also found it a right faf! using the controllers to navigate to game.

Would like to try a PIMAX 8k with 200fov though.

Triples

Current setup - as it was prior to VR on triple 27s with 1080p.

I would rather be on 4k triples because i think i'm not even visually seeing ACC at anywhere near its full potential in 1080 but to realistically run triple 4k it could be a 3070 minimum and and a CPU upgrade this may even be next year.

Alternatively i'd also like to try larger screens in either 32" or 40" triples but still in 1080 mode just for more in car visibility.

However to try 4k realistically a 49" ultrawide seems a really good option.

The other thing i need to look at is a higher hz rating, i'm only using standard 27s which are 60hz so i'm hoping to see a big difference come upgrade time going to 144hz plus.


Ultrawides

I've not got one, but a defining factor for me would be the cabling and how "clean" an ultrawide rig looks. Bear in mind my rig has tactile, wind, 4th monitor, x2 button boxes, keyboard, and a 5th panel for motec - you can imagine the x6 cables on top of all other hardware it takes for sim racing and triples, it all takes a fair bit of "hiding".


Triples for me in any form basic or high end.

What i really want to see - is somebody running triple G9's !!!!!
 
I am not convinced about the VR thing. I do get what VR offers don't get me wrong it is awesome, but what are the perks in terms of racing performances ?

For flight sims it is truly better than clicking a button to look around :roflmao:

One thing I found immediately rewarding for performance about VR is having the ability to look "through" corners.

I feel so much more confident on entry into tighter corners in VR, and confidence under braking is usually where I lose most of my lap time.
 
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WIth VR one cannot have access to the custom dashboard of, for example, SimHub, on another smaller screen, so the professionals might want triple screen or ultrawide. Also if one need something like button box, using VR can create some difficulties.
But the best solution is always buying them all and use whatever one wants:sneaky:
 
Constantly in and out of game doing physics modding, no space for triples, so... the 21:9 it is! Great solution in my situation, anyway. Any/all are good.
 
VR for me, but I'd like a superwide for when friends come over, just don't have the funds for it at the moment. I find I learn new tracks an awful lot quicker in VR, but overall I don't think I'm significantly faster if I switch back to normal widescreen flat. I use VoiceAttack as an alternative to a button box and it seems to work quite well for me.

One huge plus for me with VR is that I don't have to look at my ghetto rig! :D
 
Oh sheet, I don't have the chance to be known or at least I had to crush all those who knew me lol, I had published about the same subject with less success^^.

 
It's all good and well making these new VR headsets but you'll need a decent GPU to run them on, there aren't any.

What sim games are on the horizon? AM2 looks great in VR(game is let down by a few issues) ACC isn't worth the effort, AC still looks great, project cars look ok, dirt rally 2.0 runs ok, force feedback sucks though.

I want a bloody F1 game in VR. Give me some new games. We have new Direct drives and pedals and wheels and chocolate cake, but no new games.
 
VR is to clunky & uncomfortable & I just dont like the bezels & 3 sided effect of triple monitors.
I have a 49" ultrawide & it suits my purposes because I dont drive open wheel cars so it is almost like looking through a windscreen.
 
24" single monitor. Have been rocking that for years and years.

Tried a multi-screen setup (three wide, one top), and VR. While I like it. When I look at cost vs added fun I've decided to keep my single monitor :)
 

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