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Fanatec CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TX: Ultimate Comparison

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 Elite is even better, although it doesn’t come with pedals despite its high cost.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite
This was a close comparison, but we sided with the CSL Elite for its superior build quality and force feedback

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

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TX: Technical Specs

CSL EliteTX
Rotation range1080°1080°
Drive SystemSingle gear toothed beltDual-belt brushless
PedalsNot included3x metal
MaterialsPerforated leather, suedeHand-stitched leather
Rim diameter30cm28cm

CSL Elite 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 Elite’s premium construction and smooth operation take the edge here.

Winner – CSL Elite 

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TX: Design

The Thrustmaster TX is a good-looking wheel, and the Ferrari styling gives it a distinctly premium look.  The CSL Elite has a no-nonsense air to its design that will be especially appealing to hardcore sim racing fans.  Personal preference will play a huge part in determining a winner here – and as neither has a any obvious design flaws, we’ll leave this one up to the reader.

Winner – Draw

CSL Elite 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 Elite.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster TX: Pedals

Unless you buy the CSL Elite F1 Set, you don’t get pedals out-of-the-box – and that set will still require Fanatec’s pricey Loadcell Kit for full functionality.  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 Elite 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.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite 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 Elite is fully compatible with PC, PlayStation 4 & 5 right out of the box, but requires a new wheel rim for use with Xbox consoles.  On the other hand, the TX works with PC and Xbox consoles but not PlayStation systems.

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.  Unless you’re an Xbox gamer on a budget, the CSL Elite offers better aesthetics, force feedback and build quality that justify the more expensive purchase.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite
This was a close comparison, but we sided with the CSL Elite for its superior build quality and force feedback

Last Updated on April 16, 2021