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Fanatec CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Which to Choose

Note: This article was previously a comparison of the CSL DD and TS-PC. However, since Fanatec has now replaced the CSL Elite with the CSL DD, we’ve updated the article to feature the new wheel base.

The Fanatec CSL DD and Thrustmaster TS-PC are both great choices for intermediate sim racing wheels. However, I personally think the Fanatec CSL DD (preferably with the Boost Kit) will be a better choice for most buyers, thanks to its smooth direct drive technology.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL DD Boost Kit Fanatec CSL DD Boost Kit
This was one of my most difficult comparisons yet, but the CSL DD takes the podium

Technical Specs

CSL DDTS-PC
ROTATION RANGEUnlimited1080°
DRIVE SYSTEMDirect driveBelt-driven
PEDALSNot includedNot included
MATERIALSAluminium, carbon compositeMetal with suede grips
DIAMETER OF WHEELN/A28cm

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Build Quality

Both of the wheel bases on offer here are built very well and will likely last well-beyond their warranty periods.  The wheels themselves are also durable and weighty – but I give the edge to Fanatec because they use direct drive technology, which should last longer than a belt driven system.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC Design

The CSL DD is compact and somewhat quirky looking. It’ll definitely fit into your rig but the wheel base itself is not going to be the center of attention: your chosen wheel rim is. The TS-PC’s wheel base is probably what you’re more familiar with with its curved shape, while the included rim is an open one (with a closed rim included in the limited 488 Challenge Edition). All these combinations look great, so I’m leaving this one up to personal preference.

Winner – Draw

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Force Feedback

Both of these wheels deliver class-leading power with their force feedback motors, and they do an amazing job of emulating the feel of steering a high-performance vehicle.  I’m giving the edge to Fanatec here, of course, due to its direct drive system which offers greater smoothness and reliability than a gear or belt driven system ever could.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Pedals

Neither of these products include pedals, so no one gets a win in this department.  Do note however that both Thrustmaster and Fanatec offer a handful (footfull?) of pedal options.

Winner – Draw

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Noise

Fanatec’s enthusiast-grade build philosophy tends to result in wheels that are near-silent in their operation, and the CSL DD is not an exception here with its passive cooling.  Thrustmaster on the other hand, has taken something of a liberty here with the cooling of the TS-PC – internet forums are full of complaints regarding the volume of the base’s fan system, and as such it’s hard to recommend this wheel to anyone with a low tolerance for such sounds.

Winner – CSL DD

Conclusion

The Thrustmaster TS-PC is a great wheel for many, but most will find their money better-spent with the Fanatec CSL DD due to quieter operation and better force feedback.

Last Updated on July 2, 2021