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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.

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This was one of my most difficult comparisons yet, but the CSL DD takes the podium

Technical Specs

ROTATION RANGEUnlimited1080°
DRIVE SYSTEMDirect driveBelt-driven
PEDALSNot includedNot included
MATERIALSAluminium, carbon compositeMetal with suede grips

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


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