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Fanatec CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Ultimate Comparison

Note: This article was previously a comparison of the CSL Elite and T-GT. However, since Fanatec has now replaced the CSL Elite with the CSL DD, we’ve updated the article to feature the new wheel base.

Today, I’ve pitted the Fanatec CSL DD against the Thrustmaster T-GT to see which wheel comes out on top.  This is a great pair of wheels that offer a very similar feature set and value proposition.  Both wheels put in a strong performance, but I think that the CSL DD (preferably with the boost kit) has to be my first choice thanks to the realism that direct drive offers.

Technical Specs

CSL DDT-GT
ROTATION RANGEUnlimited1080°
DRIVE SYSTEMDirect driveDual belt drive
PEDALSNot included3x metal
MATERIALSAluminium, carbon compositeMetal with leather rim
DIAMETER OF WHEELN/A28cm

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Build Quality

Both wheels are made of great, hefty materials and are built for the long haul.  One noteworthy concern for some will be that the T-GT’s wheel rim is fully-wrapped in leather, whereas the CSL DD does not come with a wheel rim. In terms of the internals, a big plus for the CSL DD is the direct drive system, which should wear slower than the belts used in the T-GT.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Design

The CSL DD is… unique looking. It looks like the boxy direct drive wheel bases we’re used to seeing from Fanatec (namely the Podium DD1 and DD2), but the fact it’s been shortened so much makes it look quite quirky. The T-GT is going to be a more familiar aesthetic for most but there’s not a lot in it.

Winner – Draw

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Force Feedback

Both wheels have strong, highly-responsive feedback systems that are among the best in the business. However, the CSL DD really is set to be the best at this price range, because it uses a direct drive system. This provides smoothness like no other type of drive system.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Pedals

The T-GT could be given a victory here by virtue of simply including a full set of pedals in the box, but we’re not letting Thrustmaster off the hook so easily!  Whereas the CSL DD doesn’t come with pedals, you can add a great set of Fantec’s pedals. Nevertheless, the T-GT has to win this category.

Winner – T-GT

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Noise

The Fanatec CSL DD is a near-silent wheel and base that is just about as unobtrusive as these things can be.  The Thrustmaster T-GT is a relatively quiet wheel, but some owners complain of “clicky” fan noises or whirring power supplies – issues that not every user is likely to experience, but should be aware of.  Additionally, many buyers find the T-GT’s included pedal set to be overly loud and bothersome.

Winner – CSL DD

Conclusion

While the T-GT is a solid product that many will find appealing (especially PlayStation owners who intend to play a lot of Gran Turismo games), the CSL DD wins the battle by offering direct drive.

Last Updated on July 2, 2021