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Fanatec CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Ultimate Comparison

Note: This article was previously a comparison of the CSL Elite and Thrustmaster TX. 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 Thrustmaster TX is a great sim racing wheel that comes in two varieties: the Ferrari 458 Italia Edition and the Leather Edition. However, we think the Fanatec CSL DD is even better, although it doesn’t come with pedals despite its high cost.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL DD Boost Kit Fanatec CSL DD Boost Kit
One of the most hyped sim racing releases ever, it should be no surprise that the CSL DD is our top choice

We’re going to go into further detail below and explore which of these wheels takes the pole position.

Technical Specs

CSL DDTX
Rotation rangeUnlimited1080°
Drive SystemDirect driveDual-belt driven
PedalsNot includedTwo or three
MaterialsAluminium, carbon compositePlastic, metal, leather
Rim diameterN/A28cm

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Build Quality

The base model TX is well-built in terms of internals and will likely stand the test of time as Thrustmaster’s products have been known to do.  However, the CSL DD’s premium construction and smooth operation take the edge here. That includes both the wheel bases externals and internals, which should wear slower thanks to the use of direct drive technology.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Design

The Thrustmaster TX is a good-looking wheel, and the Ferrari styling gives it a distinctly premium look.  The CSL DD is somewhat strange looking as a wheel base: it’s like a compressed version of Fanatec’s direct drive Podium bases. However, once you attach your own wheel rim, it should look how you want it to. I’ll leave this one up to the reader.

Winner – Draw

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Force Feedback

Thrustmaster has a long history in this business, and their feedback motors are always among the best; the TX does not disappoint in this regard.  Fanatec has taken the industry by storm in recent years, and their feedback motors are second-to-none.  While we don’t have anything bad to say about the TX in this category, it simply doesn’t meet the standard set by the CSL DD, which is ultra smooth and powerful.

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Pedals

With the CSL DD, pedals are not included. On the Thrustmaster front, the TX does include pedals – but it’s a two pedal set that can’t be converted, and will need to be replaced with an entirely new set if you want to have a clutch.  The Leather Edition does include a great three-pedal set, but at increased cost.

Winner – TX

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Noise

Fanatec and Thrustmaster have both done a great job of designing powerful motors that are relatively quiet and won’t be heard over your games.  Some users have reported that the fan inside the TX’s wheel base can get a little loud at times, but most don’t seem to have an issue with it. Interestingly, the CSL DD uses no fans whatsoever, keeping noise to a minimum!

Winner – CSL DD

CSL DD vs Thrustmaster TX: Other Considerations

Both of these wheels have a lot of features and tend to be on-par with each other in most of the ways in which it really counts.  One especially important thing to consider is console compatibility.  The CSL DD is fully compatible with PC and Xbox right out of the box. The same goes for the TX.

Conclusion

While the TX is a great product at great price, it doesn’t quite have what it takes to run with the big boys in sim racing.  The CSL DD offers direct drive and improved build quality that justify the more expensive purchase.

Last Updated on July 2, 2021