Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

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Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

Postby Edam » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:43 am

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Looking around all the different manufacturers have their own hype, and thrustmaster are bragging about magnets and stuff, it's hard to know what's best.

I'm flexible on price, so long as I'm getting value for money, although anything over £200.00 is probably a bit silly I think.

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Re: Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

Postby NG » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:50 am

Logitech G27 ... 448&sr=8-1

I've seen only good comments about the LG27 whenever people talk about steering wheels.

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Re: Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

Postby Papa Lazarou » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:07 pm

Sadly there is no competition around that price point. There are some Thrustmasters and Logitechs below £100, and for that you should definitely go for the Logitech DFGT. It has significantly better feedback and is well supported in all PC sims (and it's a great PS3 wheel too). I have the DFP on which it is based, still use it regularly in sims - has lasted amazingly well, I'm sure I've had it at least 6 years. The pedals are junk (they didn't improve them for the DFGT), and I've had to do some light maintenance on them a couple of times. The potentiometers are not particularly accurate but somehow still work. It should also be noted that the DFGT has more buttons on the wheel, including a d-pad, which is very handy for PS3 use, and you can assign so many more functions on PC sims to the wheel compared to the G27. The sequential shifter on the DFGT is awful, making a cheap, loud, clicky noise... but it's actually very handy if you assign it as a handbrake for rally games. They removed the sequential spring from the G25 when they made the G27's shifter, so it's less practical as a handbrake.

The G25 and G27 are great, a significant step up in build quality, particularly in the pedals. If you want to drive sims realistically, then the biggest difference here is the clutch. The shifter feels like a toy, but you have to spend over £100 on the shifter alone if you want something that doesn't. The mechanism in the G27 wheel is significantly quieter and smoother than the DFGT, which helps with realism (oversteer correction on strong FFB settings requires very quick and forceful fighting against the motor, which results in some sharp, high-pitched whine).

Beyond that are the belt-driven wheels, which have superior damping and smoothness compared to the geared Logitechs, and are quieter still. The Thrustmaster T500RS is one such wheel, but closer to £400 (£500 with the shifter). Then you get into the realms of the Fanatecs. There are some cheaper and second hand Fanatecs about, but I've heard so many bad reports of failures and poor customer service I'd never risk buying a used one, and I'd think twice about getting a new one. Their pedals are particularly appealing, as I would love to try the load cell technology. They work separately, so if you find that you really want to get into it, you can buy their pedals later and use them with your existing wheel.

Really the DFGT and G27 are your best bets. Is the G27 £100-£130 more wheel than the DFGT? Depends what you want. In materials/build quality, absolutely. It's also the cheapest way to get a clutch and shifter. But in terms of FFB, you're getting the same experience. Both have strong(ish) motors, so in terms of output from sims you'd be getting essentially the same feedback, albeit smoother and quieter on the G27. In terms of input, you'll feel more involved with a G27. Both are accurate enough to be competitive, if you're considering joining an online racing community.

Hope that helps! :)

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Re: Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

Postby Papa Lazarou » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:00 pm

And so I continue. I'm just typing/thinking out loud, as I'm considering some options too - the amount of time I put into sims these days warrants something a bit better than my DFP.

I decided to check out Fanatec's recent progress, and was surprised at how much their lower-end wheels have come down in price. The GT3 RS V2 + CSR Elite pedals bundle works out at £227, which is not all that far away from a typical Logitech G27 price (£170 - £220), and is significantly better hardware in terms of being belt-driven, and having a load cell on the brake pedal. The difference here is that Logitech stuff is sold everywhere, and the G27 has gone as low as £150 in the past, whereas you can only buy directly from Fanatec, so you'll never get a random deal from a retailer, and they're rarely sold on eBay. Plus, I'm not at all confident of buying brand new from them, let alone second hand. And also, you still have to add a shifter, which takes it to £251 if you buy their cheap ones (which seem worse than the G27's), or £284 if you buy their metal ones, neither of which are anywhere near as good as the TH8 shifter, which would make it more like £327.

G27 - old tech, mostly quiet, but can make horrible clicking sounds.
GT3RS - belt driven but also old tech.
T500RS - massive step up, considered the next best thing to an ECCI in terms of FFB.
CSR Elite - comparable to T500RS, looks more high-end.
CSW - same internals as CSR Elite, but with interchangeable rims - option for real BMW GT wheel.

G27 stock - crappy
T500RS stock - better, but equally as crappy compared to the amazing wheel
Fanatec Elite - great, same load cell as the much more expensive CSV2
Fanatec CSV2 - best materials, more adjustable.

So here's my handy list of prices:

G27 = £170
GT3RS + Elite pedals = £227
GT3RS + Elite pedals + cheap shift = £251
G27 + TH8 = £272
GT3RS + Elite pedals + shift = £287
G27 + Elite pedals = £305
T500RS = £312
GT3RS + Elite pedals + TH8 = £327
GT3RS + CSV2 pedals + cheap shift = £388
T500RS + TH8 = £414
T500RS + Elite pedals + TH8 = £549
CSR Elite + Elite pedals + shift = £601
T500RS + CSV2 pedals + TH8 = £630
CSR Elite + CSV2 pedals + shift = £681
CSR Elite + CSV2 pedals + TH8 = £721
CSW + BMW rim + CSV2 pedals + shift = £836
CSW + BMW rim + CSV2 pedals + TH8 = £885

lol. Annoying, because the T500RS is up there with the CSR Elite and CSW so it's fantastic value as a starter at £312 (it was that price at Overclockers a couple of days ago), because the simple addition of Fanatec's Elite or CSV2 pedals (or even a load cell mod for the stock pedals) and the TH8 shifter gives you pretty much the best hardware outside of ECCI, for as little as £549. I'd bet the difference in enjoyment between the ones I've bolded is extremely small.

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Re: Decent Force Feedback Steering Wheel +Pedals?

Postby Edam » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:00 am

Wow that's...thorough! Thanks for the rundown Pap, gives me plenty to think about for when I finally do buy a set.

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