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

The Fanatec CSL Elite and Thrustmaster TS-PC are a pair of great wheels that offer similar features and specs, upgradability paths and stellar build quality. Either is a great buy for serious sim racers, but we think the Fanatec CSL Elite takes the cup here.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite
This was one of our most difficult comparisons yet, and which wheel you choose might just come down to which rim you prefer!

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Technical Specs

CSL EliteTS-PC
ROTATION RANGE1080°1080°
DRIVE SYSTEMSingle gear toothed beltBrushless servomotor
PEDALSNot includedNot included
MATERIALSLeather, suedeSuede
DIAMETER OF WHEEL30cm28cm

CSL Elite 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 we give the edge to Fanatec for the addition of leather hand grips.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TS-PC Design

The CSL Elite features classic, subtle styling that fits-in just about anywhere, and the available upgraded CSL Elite F1 Set adds an open-wheel rim if you prefer a speedier look.  The TS-PC takes the opposite approach, with open-wheel style out-of-the-box and offering a closed wheel with it’s limited 488 Challenge Edition.  All four wheels look great, so we’re leaving this one up to personal preference.

Winner – Draw

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Force Feedback

Both of these wheels feature class-leading power in their force feedback motors, and they do an amazing job of emulating the feel of steering a high-performance vehicle.  We’re giving the edge to Fanatec here due to the toothed-belt system that makes the feedback response just a bit snappier than does the Thrustmaster offering.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Pedals

Neither of these products include pedals, so no one gets a win in this department.  Do note however that Thrustmaster and Fanatec offer a handful (footfull?) of pedal options, and we especially recommend you splurge for the CSL Elite Loadcell Kit should you choose to go with the CSL Elite!

Winner – Draw

CSL Elite 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 Elite is not an exception here.  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 Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TS-PC: Other Considerations

These are both great products that hardcore racing sim fans will love for years to come, and the wheel rim options on offer as well as array of compatible pedals could makes this a tough decision.  However, the TS-PCs’ loud fans and considerably higher entry fee make it hard to recommend over the CSL Elite to anyone who isn’t already invested in the Thrustmaster accessories ecosystem.

Conclusion

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

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite
This was one of our most difficult comparisons yet, and which wheel you choose might just come down to which rim you prefer!

Last Updated on April 16, 2021