Thrustmaster Ferrari F1 Wheel T500 Review

👤by Thomas Koflach Comments 📅23-12-11
Testing
Firing the wheel up for the first time, something became immediately obvious Ė the drive system is a lot, lot quieter and smoother than that inside the G25. Itís far less intrusive, and was unnoticeable in-game (unlike the G25, which often can be). However, due to all the power going through the Thrustmasters drive system, things do get hot. A fan activates after a while, which isnít the quietest fan Iíve ever heard. It brings the noise level of the wheel up quite considerably, and would certainly cause annoyance if you were trying to game quietly/late at night.

To start off with, all the forces were left at their default setting and the power of the wheel was mightily impressive. Piling into the wall on Race07 nearly took my thumb off Ė clearly something needed to be adjusted. After a few hours of tweaking and playing around, I found some that I got on with and began testing.

It didnít take me long to get to grips with the feel of the wheel, and in no time I was setting times close to what I had achieved with my G25. After a few more hours, I was fully adjusted to the feel of the wheel and boy was I impressed. As expected, the overall effect of the force feedback is the same, but itís in the smaller details that the Thrustmaster really shines.

Smaller forces with the G25 arenít particularly great Ė the geared nature of the internal drive makes it a little rattily, reducing the immersion and feel you get from the smaller motions, such as going over a curb. With the Thrustmaster, everything is handled perfectly, massively increasing immersion and making it so much more rewarding when you hook up a corner, feeling the slight bump of the curb beneath.

The power of the unit is also beneficial. You can really fight the car/force feedback. Donít get me wrong, the G25 is still pretty powerful, but going back to it having used the Thrustmaster, makes it feel a bit like a kiddies toy. The weight and feel of the steering forces just isnít there.

Thereís also all the buttons and F1 style layout of the Thrustmaster that really lend it to F1 games. I canít tell you how nice it was to have so many controls at my disposal. Using KERS and DRS in F1 2011 and Ferrari Virtual Academy was so simple and easy. I managed to bind every single control I needed in the test games to a button on the wheel Ė with buttons to spare. It doesnít just have a lot of buttons; it has a lot of usable buttons, making it a real joy to use. The wheel is incredibly comfortable and easy to grip Ė even after a few hours of use I had no problems whatsoever.

Pedals



To begin with I used the pedals without the realistic brake mod installed. The movement of the pedals is incredibly smooth, and theyíre all firmly held in place, with no movement side to side to cause annoyance.

In games, Iíd put the pedals on par with stock G25 pedals in terms of precision, but slightly behind the Leo Bodnar modded G25 set I was comparing too. The difference is fairly minimal, but with the Leo Bodnar set I just felt there was a little more precision.

Having tried the pedals without the realistic brake mod for a while, I thought it was about time I installed it and gave it a go. In terms of feel, itís almost identical to the Nixim brake mod I had installed on the G25 Pedal Set. Considering how bulky the pedal set is, it probably comes as no surprise that they handled the extra load being put through them without a fuss Ė no squeaks or strain-related noises were omitted.

The pedals were incredibly comfortable, with the spacing between them working well for me (although they can also be adjusted). I have large feet (size 11), but again, the pedals were pretty much spot on height wise for me.




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