When your sim racing rig nears completion, you start to look for any possible additions that can lend to a more immersive experience – or anything that can help you shave time off of your laps. Sim racing dashboards are one such addition, so today we’ll be taking a look at some of the top products in this category to help you decide which is best for you.
The Top-Rated Sim Racing Dashboards
Top Pick: Sim Racing CR-4 PC Dashboard
Amazing bang for your buck
The Sim Racing CR-4 PC Dashboard is an amazing product that takes the pole position in terms of performance and value – and does so at a surprising price point. That price tag is so low in fact, that it may seem like a red flag at first glance – but thousands of sales and hundreds of reviews have culminated in glowing praise and a 5-star review score!
What’s so great about this product? It’s highly versatile, usable with most major PC racing sims right out of the box, and easy to mount just about anywhere (custom mounts are available for an additional cost). With a 4″ 800×480 VoCore LED touch screen, 16 RGB rev lights and 2 extra RGB flag lights, there’s virtually no message this little screen can’t convey brightly and efficiently.
That versatility is further emphasized by the fact that this device runs SimHub Dashboard Software, ensuring users can tweak every aspect of the dash to their liking. If you want a great dashboard that does just about everything for a great price, the CR-4 PC dashboard is the way to go!
Budget Pick: SIM Dashboard
The best route for those with an extra mobile device lying around
The SIM Dashboard is our top budget pick by virtue of being literally free, but it’s a great dashboard in its own right. There are of course a couple of caveats to said free status: firstly, SIM Dashboard is an app that must be downloaded onto an iOS or Android device and secondly, the free version does not offer full functionality or customization. If you have a modern mobile device or tablet, you can download this app for free right now and give it a shot!
If you have an extra device, you may well find that this app merits using it as a dedicated sim racing dashboard, and may very well be worth the nominal upgrade fee in order to utilize its full functionality – which includes premade dashboard templates, customizable widgets and more.
One of the best things about SIM Dashboard is that it is compatible with an enormous range of games and sims on PC, as well as Xbox and PlayStation consoles. The app can be used wirelessly which is a nice touch, but serious sim racers will want to use a USB connection instead in order to ensure minimal latency.
Luxury Pick: SimCore DS1 Sim Racing Z1
Ready for anything you can throw at it
The SimCore DS1 Sim Racing Z1 does everything the top pick does, but with more style and grace. The first thing you’ll notice when looking through the features is that you have an abundance of decisions to make, from an optional touch screen to mounting options and even a choice of where you want the cable connector to be positioned.
The SimCore DS1 Sim Racing Z1 comes in your choice of four basic colors, but an option is also present for custom colors. The basic mounts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but SimCore also offers custom mounts for many popular products such as the Fanatec CSL Elite and Simucube 2.
The enclosure of this chic little display is made from a solid aluminum block and a carbon fiber plate – you definitely see and feel the luxury on the surface. As with the top pick, this dash is powered by the intuitive and powerful SimHub software for Windows 10 PC and will work with just about any sim or racing game you can throw at it.
What to Look for in a Sim Racing Dashboard
Sim racing dashboard come in all shapes and sizes, and offer a broad range of potential functions; focus on the following when searching for yours”
While some of the data read and relayed by sim racing dashboards is more-or-less universal, not every dashboard displays the same information. Furthermore, some dashboards are specific to certain wheelbases, platforms (PC, Xbox or PlayStation) and games. Determining the best dashboard for you starts with understanding what your options are – so first make sure you’re only shopping for a product that will work for you.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ve aimed to highlight products that have broad compatibility, so chances are high that at least one of our picks will be a great choice for you.
One you’ve established which products you can choose from, your next goal should be to establish what you expect from your dashboard. Do you want a speedometer and/or tach? How about lap times and tire pressure? Maybe you want all of the things at once, or perhaps simply a customizable display that will let you make regular adjustments?
For the purposes of this article, we’ve focused on display centric dashboards that offer the broadest functionality possibly by allowing for customization and tweaking.
From free apps with basic functionality to actual replica F1 dashboards, this peripheral category hits a broad range of price points that don’t necessarily correlate to functionality or lap time improvement.
While we certainly appreciate that many hobbyists will want to take a more immersive approach, we have today focused on highly versatile dashboards that will serve a broad range of our readership with great value.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common questions users ask when choosing a sim racing dashboard:
Not everyone will have use for a sim racing dashboard, and many others will find that their hobby dollar could go much further in any number of ways. However, if you find yourself wishing you had easier access to telemetrics or other info, you may be well-served by simply downloading a free dashboard app and seeing if its use improves your performance or immersion.
If you have the know-how and the materials, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t build your own. As mentioned above, there are many great apps and programs for iOS, Android and PC that you can use on your own hardware in order to create a great, personalized dashboard.
Last Updated on February 1, 2021