When assembling a racing sim setup, pay close attention to everything from the steering wheel and pedals to the monitor, with ultrawide curved being the best choice
If you take your simulation racing very seriously, then you’ve probably pondered putting together an actual racing setup at home. By racing setup, we mean something that nearly resembles VR but without the goofy headsets. More like a screen, wheel, pedals, seat, and audio. Kind of like the arcade machines of the past, but capable of running modern racing simulators. This setup may revolve around a console or PC, but in the interest of honesty we have to recommend a capable PC. The latter will support custom resolutions and have far more power than even the latest consoles. Additionally, peripherals such as driving wheels and pedal sets in general have much better compatibility with PC than consoles.
While at BenQ we don’t make racing peripherals, we sure do produce an excellent ultrawide gaming monitor for sim racing setups, so we thought a quick overview of what goes into such a setup was in order.
Or sim racing setup, the terms are entirely interchangeable. Anyway, the first and possibly most important thing is the steering wheel you choose. Because without a wheel you might as well use a regular controller or keyboard and mouse, and then what’s the point of setting up a sim racing environment? Racing wheels from Logitech, Fanatec, and Thrustmaster are considered the best around, and have different varieties.
The original ones used plain old gears, but have been replaced by belt driven wheels for entry and mid-range models. These use a belt to generate movement and force feedback. They’re fine for most people, but direct drive wheels offer greater accuracy and mimic real car steering wheels almost to a tee. Naturally, direct drive wheels are pricier than belt drive wheels because they mount a powerful motor right next to the steering wheel, but the investment may be worthwhile if you crave the most authentic experience.
Next are pedals, with most sets offering the expected clutch, brake, and gas pedals. Here what matters most is grip, followed by feel and feedback. Note some cheaper models may only have brakes and gas. The cheaper ones are also made of plastic, while premium peripherals go with metal and rubberized surfaces, like real cars. Some manufactures make combo sets that put the wheel, pedals, and even a driving seat together, but those cost a lot. And don’t laugh, but there are versions that include a parking brake or handbrake. Yes, those are very serious about realism.
Racing chairs have become very closely associated with gaming, and one of those will do if you want to save or already have one. Don’t go with a regular office chair or something really cheap, it won’t be comfortable and will pull you out of the experience. We wholeheartedly advise you to get a sim racing seat, which is entirely different from a racing chair. Sim racing seats have the same low stance of car seats, or even race car seats. They’re angled for driving positions, not typing on a keyboard. For a comprehensive sim racing setup, one of those seats would be great.
For audio, you can add speakers, headphones, or rely on monitor audio. If your monitor’s any good, you’ll have sound enough with that and won’t need dedicated speakers, but we’ll get to this in a second.
Finally, the display. We’ve looked at this in a recent article, and concluded that a single, ultrawide, curved monitor is the best option for immersive sim racing. Luckily, that’s the one thing we at BenQ actually make ourselves!
Talk about checkered flags, the EX3415R laps the competition and then some. You get a 3440 x 1440 resolution which is great because it’s detailed but not too GPU-heavy. The 1900R curve is just right, with a beautiful IPS, 10-bit panel that supports HDR. The EX3415R and its 21:9 aspect ratio offers a 40% wider field of view than regular 16:9 monitors, and thus much more closely recreates the experience of driving. Plus the curve adds a nice and natural depth of field effect to the way you see the screen.
Coupled with a 1ms MPRT response time and 144Hz refresh rate, and you just covered all the bases for the ideal sim racing setup monitor. Better yet, the EX3415R addresses the audio needs we mentioned above. Loaded with powerful treVolo 2.1-channel sound, it’s great for everything from revving engines to cheering crowds and grinding transmissions.
Hopefully we’ve helped put you on the right track to setting up your own home sim racing enclave. As long as you pick the right components, you’ll enjoy realistic and rewarding experiences worthy of many podium finishes.
Based on feedback from competitive gamers and esports pros while leveraging BenQ’s legacy of high performance gaming monitors, we’ve created MOBIUZ. What is MOBIUZ? It’s defying conventional thinking and creating a new generation of gaming monitors that make every pixel count better.
Current MOBIUZ gaming monitors include the EX2710 and EX2510, or 27” and 25” respectively. For view-changing curved displays, look at the EX3415R and EX3501R. With every MOBIUZ screen you get up to 144Hz with 1ms MPRT and FreeSync Premium for super responsive gameplay and sharp visuals. All on IPS panels that let colors come to life from wide angles as you get close to the action and see every detail, helped along by real HDR. To deliver superb gaming audio, MOBIUZ offers the power of treVolo sound with a 2.1-channel, twin speaker and subwoofer design.
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