Reasonable upgrade from G25 to ?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Ulli Haus, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Ulli Haus

    Ulli Haus

    Hi guys,
    back in 2008 - 2010, I did iRacing and raced GTL and Race07 Events and leagues here at RD.
    My Setup was a custom built steel racing rig, a stock Logitech G25, a 50 Inch Plasma TV and track IR and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

    However, I had to resign from this wonderful Hobby due to lack of time but still kept all my stuff.

    Two weeks ago, I tested am awsome Setup at the vr-Lounge in vienna consisting of
    a fanatec weel, a thrustmaster shifter and I don't know what kind of pedals in combination with a Motion seat and the oculus rift dk2.

    Well, it had me hooked right away. The resolution of the OR Dk2 was insufficient so I was unable to make out the track up ahead but I was told that the final Version should have that issue resolved.

    Now here I am, thinking about getting back in the "game" and would really appreciate it, if you guys could help me out with some questions I have (especially bc I don't know what's happened in the last couple of years hardware-wise).

    The main idea would be to get the best reasonable immersion possible without spending thousands of euros.

    1) Wheel:
    I have the G25. Will other wheels add a big change to the Immersion and improvement of lap times as they allow me to feel more and hence make the required adjustments? If so, which ones can you recommend? (CSR V1, CSR V2, Thrustmaster ....)

    2) Pedals:
    same as 1): other products? Or will mods do the trick as well for much less Investment?

    3) Shifter:
    I love to use the H-pattern shifter in combination with heel-to downshifts. GT-Legends supported all that due to its old cars lol. Is this technique still used or do people nowadays only drive cars in leagues that use sequential gear boxes and thus render htdshifts obsolete as I'd be way too slow to compete?

    4) I want to feel the grip of the car as good as possible --> especially when my rear-end is about to pass me ;)
    --> what are some additional Gimmicks that make sense?

    5) Which of the componets above whould have the biggest effect? (just in case I'd have to upgrade step by step)

    6) Currently, there's a guy selling his fanatec CSR V1.5 with an M3 rim, and the V2 Pedals and the trustmaster shifter and the wheelstand for 1.000 Euros.

    I am willing to spend money up the point what a fanatec Setup would cost.

    However, if sb tells me that a simxperience accuforce wheel in combination with the rest of my Setup would do much more, then I'd be willing to consider this idea as well.

    On the other Hand, if the difference from the g25 wheel to the CSR wheel is not that big and a simple mod for 50 bucks will upgrade my pedals to a something fanatec-like, I don't see why to spend that much money.

    In short: I'm willing to spend more money if it gives me sth. in return that I cannot get for less.

    Thanks a lot guys :)
  2. asteroulis


    Relax and enjoy.
    It's a great time to be a sim racer! Immersion is here. Should you want a one time expense or a step by step upgrade is a different approach.
    Building a comfortable rig, having the correct display or even better a VR headset , having the best available feedback through a good wheel (the latest -amazing- trend is the OSW) and tactile units (Simvibe) are all factors that help with immersion.
    It's not a cheap hobby , especially if you start chasing immersion. I was with a G25 myself last year and now with 2dof...
    I recently tried the dk2 and the positional tracking and sense of space and speed through the right POV was amazing. The resolution of course was there to leave promises for the future. But right now you need at least 1000€ just for the capable pc of using the VR in gaming.
    So , if you want immersion get ready to spend big bucks. Find a dedicated corner and start building. My approach would be one step at a time. Keep the wheel for now.It's decent enough. Get a rig - a rigid one that will have you seated comfortably. Start reading and following the technology that you will invest to. Many things have changed since 2010. Get a good PC and a decent monitor until VR tech is there and tested and accessible.

    There is no straight answer , you see.
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  3. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Its a big question/(s) and you will see many differing views.
    A stream of consciousness follows.

    IMO there are two very separate but interconnected issues: Speed and Immersion.
    Your search for one won't always yield the other.
    Sometimes it will.
    Immersion is a great thing, I did a 12 hour race recently where using TCS and ABS and turning off HDR would have made me faster. I didnt do it. I wanted to sweat and enjoy the drive, to have it feel real.
    For example I come across very, very fast drivers including race winning drivers in FSR World Championship races who still run the G25/G27. Yes its got plastic gears and not belts. You have to use FFB smoothing so they don't rattle too much. No one anywhere lusts after a G25 but they are a fast tool. So speed yes, immersion - no.
    Personally I went for a Fanatec CSR wheel. Was very happy for 3 years, but I wanted a Formula rim. It was an immersion thing. Back when I got the CSR, a formula rim entailed sending lots of money to people in foreign countries with names starting with Z that I coudn't pronounce, hoping it would arrive and then bolting it to a G27.
    So when Fanatec made a quality formula rim for the CSW I started saving. I sold the CSR for a good price and took delivery of a CSWV2/Formula Rim 13 months ago. The feel and enjoyment were huge. I drove a lot, I improved a little. I got beaten by blokes with G25/27 and blokes with the CSR.
    I loved that wheel. I think I started crashing less due to more feel of the car. The FFB seemed more accurate, more immersive. But, it was much stronger, I started hitting kerbs less (slower) to avoid the jolts. That needed work.
    Now I have sold that CSW V2 for a good price and will receive this week an OSSW (Open Source Sim Wheel) kit. A direct drive servo wheel. I love the idea of doing the project, the industrial grade of the hardware and it will have triple the torque of my CSW V2.
    I expect it to be fantastic fun to drive. I will want to drive it a lot. I dont know if it will make me faster. Not sure if any of my upgrades have or will. I do know that my wheel evolution will stop at this wheel as there is nothing better this side of £3000.
    It will cost the same (incl a wheel) as an Accuforce Pro ( direct drive but stepper not servo) @ circa £1.228 .

    In between the G25 and the OSSW are other many other options like Thrustmaster (eg the t300 appr 6nm) which IMO offer the best bang for the buck in a belt drive servo wheel (Fanatec pricing went up a lot).

    First conclusions:
    To question 1; Will other wheels add a big change to the Immersion and improvement of lap times.
    Immersion yes, lap times a big maybe or possibly a "depends".
    You can spend a lot on a wheel.
    You most likely will really enjoy it.
    It may or may not impact your lap times but driving more most likely will. Enhanced feel will be very nice if not faster. It might help you get faster.
    If spending £1200 on a wheel OSSW beats Accuforce Pro (provided you are happy to assemble it.)
    1 year ago there was a big gap in the market between high end belt driven wheels (say £800) and direct drive wheels (say £3000). The Accuforce filled that nicely. Today its under threat, they may upgrade to servo.
    Fanatec gear holds it's price quite well but I would not spend €1000 on a CSR. IMO used its a €200 wheel.

    Question 2: Pedals.
    I modded a basic CSR pedal and very happy.
    Question 3: Shifter:
    Straight immersion vs speed trade - off. Its your call.
    Question 4: Car feel.
    Thisis where a better FFB comes in. But also I love the real head motion plugin for RF2. Def helps me control the car.

    Seating: Instead of a playseat I bought an FIA approved race seat for £125.

    Each time you add a component I would recommend getting quality. It will last longer, work better and if you ever want to change, you will get more of your money back.

    There is no one answer, go for what makes sense to you and enjoy.
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  4. Emery


    Brake pedal and wheel offer the most opportunities for control and immersement. As David says, you can still be beaten by someone hanging onto their G25 or even something with no FFB driving from their couch (ha! that reminds me you didn't even ask about mounting or seats!).

    The budget upgrade from G25 is T300 and probably worthwhile due to those infernal rattling gears of the G25. I believe it's possible to get just the T300 base and use the Bodnar cables for the G25 pedals & shifter (I'm still using my modded G25 pedals & shifter with a Fanatec CSWv2 wheel thanks to the Bodnar cables).

    Note: if you get a wheel covered with alcantara, wear some gloves so the fuzzy stuff doesn't coat your sweaty hands. Being forewarned is worthwhile!

    [and David, ever the gentleman, didn't even mention his CSWv2 that's for sale]
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  5. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    It sold a few days ago.;)
  6. Ulli Haus

    Ulli Haus

    Thank you guys for your answers! Really appreciate it :)

    @ Asteroulis and Emery:
    I've got a rig already - that was the first Thing I did right after buying the G25 --> getting me seated comfortably :)

    I will take a look at the T300 -> thanks (never considered the TM wheels)

    I also still have a PC with a Core2Duo @ 3GHz and a Geforce GTX280 graphics Card, a 27" Monitor.
    Alternatively, I also have a newer Laptop Alienware M17x R3 with a quick ATI 7970 and i7-3610QM.
    Maybe, some of that will still do the trick, at least the PC enabled me to Play all in full HD with nice fps.

    @ David:
    thanks for this detailed response and yeah, not trying to use this opportunity to sell your wheel is indeed very gentlemen-like ;)

    Trying to beat lap times at all costs takes the fun and joy away --> been there, done that hahahaa
    So, I do care much more for Immersion than Speed. I want to be able to just sit down after a Long day at work and enjoy driving a car on the Nordschleife as Close to the real Thing as possible :)

    I do have a head Motion plugin already (track IR) and it did help me to control the car quite a bit back then.

    With regards to Quality, I totally agree as you always buy double if you buy cheap PLUS with some things, Quality simply is the only Option to get you what you want (Immersion in that case).

    I also like the idea of industrial grade Hardware - but as I understood it, OSW is very new and I would assume some steep Price Drops in the current 2016.
    So, is it actually a good idea of backing that horse right now?

    And what's the pro's for the OSW compared to the accuforce wheel?
  7. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    OSW is emergent as a package but it's not really subject to the normal market pricing scenarios of a finished product as its a bunch of industrial generic components that are cobbled together to make a sim wheel.
    So unlike an iphone that gets replaced and gets cheaper (due to planned marketing cycles#) this is the DIY project. So IMO there may be reasons to not "pioneer" in this area but price isn't one.

    I think I explained re Accuforce vs OSW, Same price, one is more powerful and is a higher grade of motor.
    It was late when I wrote that so I'll explain a little better.
    The marketing theory
    A corporation when they launch something (iPhones are a good example). Will charge high prices at launch and gradually lower them as the product goes through its life cycle. They do this to satisfy specific market segments such as the : Innovator, Early adopter, early majority, middle majority, late majority and laggard. Each group has a differing level of knowledge/interst and max price level.
    As the company launches new and unmissable upgrades to the first category, the others start to hear about the earlier one and purchase it.
    So their pricing policy refelcts this. By the time the first 3 segments are satsfied its time to drop the price.
    In the end some companies are jobbing them out at a fraction of the earlier price to get the laggards.

    This OSSW example
    All that theory assumes that the company has a nice fat unit profit and some proprietary functions that they can claim as unique.
    The OSSW project is more like gettting a plan for a BBQ table. You buy some wood and build it. No proprietary functions to speak of. The software is unique but donated to the community.
    So unless wood drops drastically in price the BBQ table project wont get cheaper and its the same for OSSW.
    So its not subject to the product life cycle pricing.

    My choice
    Personally I purchased a kit from a supplier. Partially assembled but its still going to test my non-existent electrical DIY skills to the limit.
    The kit-supplier gets a bulk shipment of every widget and a slightly better price. He takes that saving and also adds a small fee for his efforts. That fee IMO is tiny compared to what it would take me to research and order dozens of items from dozens of suppliers. In my head its say an hour each time I have to find and pay for a widget (cables etc). I do that even 10 times and thats 10 times my hourly rate. In reality it possibly saves me 40+ hours.
    It will all arrive in one box and some connectors wil be connected already significantly lowering my risks.

    There is a great 3 way review of OSSW, Bodner and Accuforce on The Sim Garage.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
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  8. SOLO59


    I've upgraded from a g27 to a thrustmaster tx. I also got the thrustmaster t3pa pro pedal set. To save money and to keep extra buttons, I am using my existing g27 shifter as stand alone with a bodnar adapter. Overall, I'm extremely happy with my upgrade. I also have the leather gte wheel rim from thrustmaster (gte sli pro wheel plate installed as well)

    Thrustmaster is a really good upgrade from g27/g25. It is also customizable almost like the g27/g25. With the tx I finally know what it is like to feel force feedback around the centre. Tx performce is hands down amazing! Still have my g27 tucked away as backup
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