Thrustmaster has been in the game for a long time and they’ve made wheels for every game console in recent memory. As for their Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S offerings, the choice comes down to the TX and TMX wheel sets. While the TMX is a solid offering for casual racing fans or those on a tight budget, we think the TX’s better build quality and smoother operation justify the higher asking price.
Thrustmaster TX vs TMX: Summary
|DRIVE SYSTEM||Dual-belt brushless||Mixed belt-pulley and gears|
|UNIQUE PEDAL POSITIONS||3||3|
|MATERIALS||Metal, rubber and plastic||Metal, rubber and plastic|
|DIAMETER OF WHEEL||28cm||28cm|
Thrustmaster TX vs TMX: Motor
Thrustmaster has a way with technobabble that is second-to-none, and their marketing copy can read like a sci-fi novel – once fully translated and contextualized, it becomes clear that they do make great products despite the fluffy language that tends to belie actual technical expertise in most other cases. That said, the heart and soul of a racing wheel is the motor at the heart of the wheel base – and the motors on offer are quite different between these models.
The TX has a dual-belt brushless motor that is smooth and power-efficient, with a contactless 16-bit sensor – making this among the best Xbox wheels on the market in terms of force feedback strength and input resolution. The TMX used a brushed motor with a mixed belt-pulley and gears setup that is less powerful and efficient, but nonetheless relatively quiet and smooth – impressive given the budget price point, but not in the same league as the TX.
Winner – TX
Thrustmaster TX vs TMX: Rim
Both wheels feature rims that have a metal core with grips that are primarily plastic with textured rubber. Whereas the center of the TX wheel is covered in plastic, the TMX core’s metal frame serves as its face as well. The TMX wheel looks cleaner and more professional as a result, but neither wheel feels especially weighty or realistic when at a standstill – but neither wheel rim will be much of a concern once you start playing and get immersed in your racing sim of choice.
At the end of the day, neither rim is especially impressive or troublesome, but the fact that the TX rim is swappable with a number of great rims available from Thrustmaster means that its situation can improve whereas TMX owners are stuck with the stock offering. It’s also worth noting that there is a special Leather Edition of the TX that features (you guessed it) a leather-wrapped wheel – although it is considerably more expensive than the base model, and rather hard to find online.
Winner – Draw
Thrustmaster TX vs TMX: Pedals
Both of these wheel sets include a pair of pedals, the faces of which can be adjusted in three configurations. While the body and most components of the pedals are plastic, the TX has a pair of metal plates that add a bit of heft and a slightly more premium feel. The only other major difference is also in favor of the TX – a wider, more stable brake pedal.
To be frank, both of these pedal sets are serviceable at best. Thankfully, Thrustmaster has robust array of improved pedal sets that are better-constructed and include clutch pedals for dramatically more immersive experiences (such as the T3PA and T3PA Pro) and we strongly recommend that serious racing fans snag one of those sets (and possibly even a shifter, such as the TH8A) with their new wheel.
The aforementioned TX Leather Edition includes the T3PA pedal set in the box, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind our readers that this particular wheel has become rare and expensive.
Winner – TX
Thrustmaster TX vs TMX: Mounting
Perhaps the starkest difference between these two wheels lies in the mounting options – TX is, as are most sim racing wheels, designed to be mounted wherever you so choose; TMX includes a table clamp for mounting on tables. This dichotomy tells you more about the intended audience for these two products more than anything else.
Whereas the TX is built for hardcore racing enthusiasts and is therefore ready to install on a wheel base mount, specialized racing chair, table or wherever else you might like – the TMX is intended for casual users who wouldn’t buy other dedicated hardware for sims and would simply mount their new wheel on a table. There’s nothing particularly wrong about this approach, but it’s very important to know what you’re getting-into when you decide to take a plunge on a new racing wheel!
Winner – TX
The Thrustmaster TMX is a solid entry-level wheel set for Xbox gamers who occasionally play racing games and don’t want to spend a ton of money on dedicated hardware. The TX is a wheel for more serious sim racing fans who have a bigger budget or who simply want a better product. We can’t ignore the fact that the TMX is almost half the price, but the TX is definitely worth the extra money as it is more versatile, better-built and more powerful.
Last Updated on March 1, 2021