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#1
manthony121

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It seems that the 2020 racing season is going to be on sims only, so I'm going to take all the money I would have spent on gas, tires, entry fees, hotel rooms, etc, and put together a computer worthy of a high realism level racing simulator.  And, the first big choice for me is, triple monitors or Oculus?

 

I have not (yet) started to scour the forums for the "best" hardware setup.  I will probably start with an i5 or i7 CPU, gobs of RAM, and about $800 to $1200 worth of video card.  Anyone have any advice on where to go from there?  What specs is YOUR rig???


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#2
Tom Eaton

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I've been through many levels of hardware in sim racing and have had both triple 27" monitors and both the Rift CV1 and the Rift S.  The big question for VR is if you're prone to motion sickness.  If you are, it's pretty much a non-starter and you should get tripes or a large ultrawide monitor.  If you can tolerate VR, then it's definitely the way to go.  The Rift S is fantastic and inexpensive.  I bought it thinking I would return it and get a Valve Index, but it's plenty good and I like that there are no base stations to deal with.

 

My overall recommendation for sim hardware is this:  if you don't have experience and want to try it on a budget, buy some inexpensive stuff like a Logitech G27 and clamp it to your desk.  The mid-grade stuff is definitely a step up and much better, but the upper end hardware is so much better that I'd advise to go straight to it if you think you will use it and can afford it.  The most important piece, IMO, is the chassis.  You want rigidity, and many of the budget options have far too much flex in them.  I strongly recommend 80/20 aluminum.  It's expensive, but not compared to cars, and it's a buy once, cry once situation. 

 

For a wheel, nothing beats a direct drive wheel.  So many of my spins in the early days for me were just due to not having enough detail in the wheel feedback.  Of course, there are plenty of very fast racers using budget hardware, but my goal with the sim is to...simulate real life.  So the better the information coming out, the better that practice transfers to the real car.

 

Pedals are another very important but often overlooked piece of sim racing kit.  You want something with a load cell in the brake.  Realize the pedals will never feel like real pedals, unfortunately, but buying quality here makes a big difference.

 

Eventually I added 4 transducer speakers to each corner of the rig, which simulate vibrations from each wheel.  It makes a big difference in immersion.  The one thing we don't have the ability to do is simulate g forces, unfortunately.  Even motion rigs don't really do it justice, so I've just added everything I can on a medium sized budget to make it as close as I can.

 

My specs are:

 

PC:

i7 Skylake (a couple generations old)

32gb RAM

GeForce GTX 1080

1TB SSD

 

Sim Rig:

4Play HD black 8020 chassis

Corbeau LG1 seat

SimuCUBE small mige

SRM Wheel Base side Fanatec conversion kit

Fanatec Clubsport steering wheel

Fanatec Clubsport shifter

Fanatec V3 Inverted pedals

2x Dayton Audio BSA-200 amp

4x Aura Pro bass shakers

 

7Q58Gcn.jpg



#3
manthony121

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I've been through many levels of hardware in sim racing...

 

very useful info, Tom.  Thank you!

 

I started to "dabble" in sim racing a few years ago, so I already have a Logitech G28 wheel/shifter/pedals.  I replaced the brake pedal sensor with a pressure transducer for more realistic brake "feel".  I built my own chassis out of PVC pipe and MDF.  What I need is a computer system to attach it to.  Trying to simulate diving into Turn 5 at Summit Point with a single monitor, when you can only see straight ahead, just doesn't work.

 

I have started digging into some hardware specs.  I am considering 27" FHD monitors with a 144Hz refresh, vs 2K monitors with a 75 Hz refresh for about the same price.  However, considering that I will need 3 of them, a $400 Oculus HMD looks more attractive.  I don't get motion sickness, and I've heard that modern VR sets have pretty much solved that problem, anyway.  Driving all this will be a RTX 2070 Super graphics card.

 

The rest will be pricing out an i5 or i7 CPU, 32 GB of RAM, Power supply, etc.  I'll be posting updates here if anyone else is interested.


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#4
Tom Eaton

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You could also look into a TrackIR as a super cheap upgrade. VR is better for sure, but TrackIR adds head tracking to a regular monitor. I've had it as well and it's a good option to improve a budget setup.

#5
Tom Hampton

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You could also look into a TrackIR as a super cheap upgrade. VR is better for sure, but TrackIR adds head tracking to a regular monitor. I've had it as well and it's a good option to improve a budget setup.


I had track ir for a long time. Both for flight sim and sim racing. I thought it worked much better for flightsim than racing. It's ok... Maybe better than nothing.... But, it trains some wrong instincts that I don't like.

Yeah you turn your head, but you have to look with your eyes back at the monitor. So, look left with your head and back right eith your eyes.

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#6
Steve Scheifler

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I had track ir for a long time. Both for flight sim and sim racing. I thought it worked much better for flightsim than racing. It's ok... Maybe better than nothing.... But, it trains some wrong instincts that I don't like.

Yeah you turn your head, but you have to look with your eyes back at the monitor. So, look left with your head and back right eith your eyes.

That does sound messed up. My only real reservation about VR is that you have to look to the side by turning your head than you really would, but at least everything stays in sync. Add really good eye tracking and fast enough refresh, you’d have something. Any of the VR have eye-tracking? Mine’s the original Oculus Rift.

Edit: Apparently yes. Anyone try one yet?
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#7
manthony121

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Sounds like some arguments in favor of triple monitors.  In racing, we do a lot of moving eyes only.  If HMDs require you to actually move your head to change the image, that would be a huge down vote.  OTOH, if HMD has a wide enough FOV so that you can move just your eyes, even without eye tracking, that would fix that problem.  My subjective sense is that once I have to look more than about 45 degrees away from straight ahead, I will turn my head.  The Oculus Rift S has a FOV of 115 degrees, according to Wikipedia, so that would cover it.  So the VR headset remains a strong contender...


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#8
Tom Eaton

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I had track ir for a long time. Both for flight sim and sim racing. I thought it worked much better for flightsim than racing. It's ok... Maybe better than nothing.... But, it trains some wrong instincts that I don't like.

Yeah you turn your head, but you have to look with your eyes back at the monitor. So, look left with your head and back right eith your eyes.

 

Yea, agreed that it's definitely not ideal, but I think better than nothing for the extreme budget...but then, in terms of real car dollars, even the best sim racing gear is cheap.



#9
Tom Eaton

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Sounds like some arguments in favor of triple monitors.  In racing, we do a lot of moving eyes only.  If HMDs require you to actually move your head to change the image, that would be a huge down vote.  OTOH, if HMD has a wide enough FOV so that you can move just your eyes, even without eye tracking, that would fix that problem.  My subjective sense is that once I have to look more than about 45 degrees away from straight ahead, I will turn my head.  The Oculus Rift S has a FOV of 115 degrees, according to Wikipedia, so that would cover it.  So the VR headset remains a strong contender...

 

The thing that doesn't get played up enough about VR is that the image is actually stereoscopic, so you can tell how tall curbs are, how steep hills are, etc.  That sense can't be reproduced by triples.  The typical recommendation is VR if you can deal with the motion issues, triples if you can't.


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#10
manthony121

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The thing that doesn't get played up enough about VR is that the image is actually stereoscopic, so you can tell how tall curbs are, how steep hills are, etc.  That sense can't be reproduced by triples.  The typical recommendation is VR if you can deal with the motion issues, triples if you can't.

Good point.  It is also much easier to judge closing distances with stereoscopic vision.


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#11
manthony121

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I just started a new topic about the price of Oculus VR sets.  Prices seem to have nearly doubled of late.  I don't know why, but it is clearly pushing the needle back toward triple monitors.


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#12
Cnj

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Tom Eaton,

 

I’m interested in where you mount the Aura shakers?

 

And by the way, is that an 8 string in the background?

 

cnj


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#13
Tom Eaton

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I’m interested in where you mount the Aura shakers?

 

I mounted them under a piece of plywood and then mounted the seat and pedals to the top respectively.  

Vq56fiQ.jpg

 

WFjYdqm.jpg

 

And by the way, is that an 8 string in the background?

 

Yep.  It's a Weber Bitterroot that hasn't seen much play time recently, but it's a fantastic instrument.  Are you a picker?



#14
Cnj

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Thanks, makes sense where you mounted them - did not initially catch the plywood (got all ADHD and started looking at the instruments).

Yep, been a guitarist since a kid.  It’s what got me into what I do now, lead a engineering group that, amoungst other things, designs large scale sound systems, hence the question about the Aura’s.


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#15
Sphinx

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I got an email from one of the vendors pushing Sparco rigs - And after devolving into numerous google searches, I'm liking their setup, seems solid and not expensive.  Seems reasonable, about $600 if you provide your own seat.  (And in one youtube video, one guy provides a 15% discount code).  Now, if I can convince the wife that we have room for it......



#16
manthony121

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I got an email from one of the vendors pushing Sparco rigs - And after devolving into numerous google searches, I'm liking their setup, seems solid and not expensive.  Seems reasonable, about $600 if you provide your own seat.  (And in one youtube video, one guy provides a 15% discount code).  Now, if I can convince the wife that we have room for it......

One thing that racing has taught me is how to be *very attentive* to my wife's moods and desires.  Point out how much money you WON'T be spending on real racing this year.


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#17
JCOgle

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I got an email from one of the vendors pushing Sparco rigs - And after devolving into numerous google searches, I'm liking their setup, seems solid and not expensive.  Seems reasonable, about $600 if you provide your own seat.  (And in one youtube video, one guy provides a 15% discount code).  Now, if I can convince the wife that we have room for it......

 

Can you provide a link to that particular video? 


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#18
Tom Hampton

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@tom Eaton.... Or anyone with the oculus... Any tips on optomizations for iracing? I received mine tonight, and turned a few laps at VIR. I instantly dropped 1.5s of my previous PR.

Car control, seeing curbs, elevation changes, contours, pitch and roll, ...everything is 1000 times better.

The head tracking is spot on. I can't tell any lag at all, or any calibration drift.

You can see a small amount of window screen, especially at distance.. but it's not noticeable in game, at all. And every important detail like reading braking makers and track textures and solo much easier to discern. It's like... You know... Driving a racecar.

Hell I could even do donuts and control getting out of them,or changing directions. I'm ready for NASCAR now. Yeah... I'm a fan.
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-tch
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#19
LarryKing

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Timmy Hill is my new hero. Beats up on the pros and their 5-figure rigs with a $300 BestBuy wheel clamped to his desk and one flat-screen monitor.


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#20
Tom Hampton

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I drove that way for years before getting my comp license.  I think iRacing said my last login was 2014 before last week.  My wheel was $120, 240 degree POS, with no force-feedback...and I didn't beat up on anyone.  :-/ It's gotta be the wheel.  Still is. 


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