Jump to content


Photo

If I wanted to start from new - now - what are the best options.


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 sandy

sandy
  • Member

  • 1,064 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:49

If I wanted to start now with a motor sports sim - what would be the best way to go?

I am a complete novice at sims.

I want to drive/race as realistically as possible.

Money is not an issue.

Am prepared to buy new a PC if that is the way to go, but what about Playstations etc., - are they better? If I bought a PC what specs should I ask for?

There is a Logitech wheel c/w 3 pedals, about $500 Aust., is that the best available?

If Grand Prix racing or similar is the best in terms of reality, then I would go that route, but is the Gran Turismo type of sim better, if that is the word.

Would appreciate advice.

Advertisement

#2 BorderReiver

BorderReiver
  • Member

  • 9,953 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:22

Firstly go PC, the console route, whilst engaging, doesn't really have a decent sim on any format (they've got cracking "psuedo-sims" which are alot of fun, but if you're after as real as you can get, forget it it, there's no competition).

As for recommended titles, you must get hold of GTR2 (which is a hardcore sim of sports car racing) and, if you like Touring Cars, Race '07 (with the GTR Evolution Add-On) is well worth a punt too. These sims are from SimBin racing who've in many ways taken over from Papyrus as the current kings of PC motorsport, you can learn more about their stuff here.

Also worth a plug is Rfactor which is more of a sim racing system than a complete package. What is excellent about it is that the wider sim-racing community have got together to make many, many, many modifications, all pretty much free, and some that are truely incredible. The F1 1979 Mod is a work of art, utterly incredible and insanely detailed. It's also very challenging, here's an embarrassing video of me trying to hustle an Ensign round Kyalami in it (on the most realistic settings) fast enough to qualify for the real 1979 Grand Prix. And to think . . . people let me near real racing cars . . .

Of course, the grandaddy of all the modern real sims is Grand Prix Legends, which I still play alot, it's excellent modding community has kept it up to date in terms of graphics and physics. For visceral raw thrills it's still the best sim out there I think, and you can pick it up for a fiver off eBay. And let's face it 60s F1 cars are way cool . . .;)

If ovals (specifically NASCAR) is your thing then the only option is NASCAR Racing 2003 from Papyrus (a legendary Sim-House). It's still the best out and out sim of racing on a super-speedway that exists, and once again the Modding community is very active, so updating it to 2009 is no problem at all. There's also an excellent on-line racing community for this Sim and Championships are rewarding and regular.

I'm going to plug Dirt Track Racing 2 here aswell. Nobody's ever heard of it (it's made by a now defunct Australian publishing house "Ratbag") and is a sim of saloon and modified racing on Dirt Ovals. It's fantastic, has low systems requirements, and I can play for hours on it. I'm mainly attracted to it because my real-life racing has usually revolved around 1/4 and 1/2 mile ovals on dirt and for side-by side, gritted teeth, racing it's (in my humble opinion) the best there is.

And finally there's the new behemoth that is iRacing which is a subscription based online sim where you'll race others from around the world in various classes and vehicles. It's a phenomenal acheivement and there's always going to be someone around to race against (Including a number of professional drivers you'll probably have heard of). It's currently the new leader in terms of race sims and it's very, very, very well done. I've driven a Legend in real life and the experience corresponds pretty much exactly (aside from the obvious, unsimmable, factors) with iRacing's version of it. It's stunning, but the subscription, plus extra costs for add on cars and tracks, can soon add up if you're not playing it regularly. But then again I'm Scottish and mean, so that might just be genetic ;).

Anyway, I hope that's been of help :).

#3 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,877 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:30

Start at the top and get iRacing. It is seriously difficult and realistic, and it's where you can find lots of pros. You will get your ass kicked, and you will struggle for a long time, but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Everything else is arcade.

(Your mileage may vary)

#4 wrighty

wrighty
  • Member

  • 3,630 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:15

Originally posted by BorderReiver
Also worth a plug is Rfactor which is more of a sim racing system than a complete package. What is excellent about it is that the wider sim-racing community have got together to make many, many, many modifications, all pretty much free, and some that are truely incredible.

..........I'm going to plug Dirt Track Racing 2 here aswell. Nobody's ever heard of it (it's made by a now defunct Australian publishing house "Ratbag") and is a sim of saloon and modified racing on Dirt Ovals. It's fantastic, has low systems requirements, and I can play for hours on it. I'm mainly attracted to it because my real-life racing has usually revolved around 1/4 and 1/2 mile ovals on dirt and for side-by side, gritted teeth, racing it's (in my humble opinion) the best there is.


Ahh Mister B, nice to see you're still skulking the board sir ;). Not sure if you're into Betas, but you might enjoy the attached ;)

Best wishes, hope the 'grassings going well :) ........ wrighty

http://ftooz.1.forum...e=post&id=55905

#5 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 9,865 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 28 February 2009 - 13:22

If money is not a problem at all and you like oval racing and north-american racing classes, pick iRacing. If you don't want to be limited to a small bunch of cars, and if you don't mind spending some time configuring stuff and understanding how to get the mods to work, pick rFactor (it's not hard at all really, but needs a little more hassle). And if you just want to open up your computer and have some realistic fun against good AI with touring cars or sport cars, go GTR Evolution.

As for PC specs, the thing that you should invest in the most is in a good graphics card, and also a good CPU (processor). Those should be the top 2 priorities, then RAM memory.

And then of course there's the steering wheel. The best is the Logitech G25. If you don't want to pay a shitload of money just for a wheel, pick a mid-range Logitech. I've heard it's worth it to go for the G25, though.

#6 nugat

nugat
  • Member

  • 102 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 28 February 2009 - 16:39

Yep as others have said the PC is the only way to go if you want to get into sim racing.

Hardware wise, for the current crop of sims a decent dual core processor, 2GB of RAM and something like an nvidia 8800gt or an ATI 4850 is good enough to run everything at a decent pace. But if you can afford better then go for it :)

For the wheel and pedals, the Logitech G25 seems to be the most popular. But there are others, depending on how much money you want to spend. I reckon the new range of Fanatec wheels/pedals are definitely worth a look. I think it wont be long before I give in to temptation and buy the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Wheel :)

http://www.fanatec.com

I spend most of my time on rFactor, but I do play GTR2 also and have recently picked up Richard Burns Rally which is a blast (although very difficult!).

#7 vandem

vandem
  • Member

  • 54 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:03

You mentioned $ Aust, so I'll assume you're from Oz ... I'm a Kiwi, and been sim racing for the lst 5+ years, mostly with GPL and rF. I haven't tried serious console racing, so can only comment on PC race sims.

First comment is that I get enjoyment from race sims for two reasons:
- "driving" realistic (often historic) cars around realistic circuits, and
- racing on-line against fellow race simmers (I do this with www.kiwisimracing.net.nz/forum/)

So why do you want to start motor sports simming?

For an Oz race sim community, try www.asrg.org. There are also forums there to give you good advice on hardware. You should be able to get a reasonable sim racing PC for $1200 - 1500, say 200-300 for CPU, 150 for mobo, 200-300 for video card, then balance for monitor + HD + speakers etc. Of course you can pay 4-5k for a top end gaming PC. Suggest you by from a PC shop, not a hardware store, then you can mix and match components. They can build for you if you can't do yourself. Check out a couple of local PC mags (or their websites, e.g. www.pcworld.idg.com.au/) for buyer guides. You can check www.tomshardware.com for a specs before your final purchase. IMHO 2 choices for wheel, Logitech G25 best value for serious sim racer (with 6 spd shifter for realism), but new mid-price Logitech GT5 Racing is also good value (yes, it does work on a PC). There are also racing frames (e.g. www.obutto.com) if you want to get more immersion.

One plus for rF is the many user-built mods, including 69 GTHO / Monaro mod, and Oz V8 Supercar mod. One minus for rF is the many user-built mods, quality can be variable !

There is no "best" for reality, simming is really only a game. But in an on-line league you will meet other simmers who take it seriously.

HTH

#8 sandy

sandy
  • Member

  • 1,064 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:52

Thanks for all of your help - my son and I are now working our way through all of the options suggested. Great stuff. Thanks again.

#9 The Kanisteri

The Kanisteri
  • Member

  • 10,568 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:56

I am opposite, I won't touch new racing games for PC even with a stick.

No one guarantee your shiny PC game now will work in next year, because that specific display card, windows service packs, equivalent drivers are not suitable just for your computer or for game. If you keep with it, you fall into hell of upgrading your piece of shit computer all the time. And it's unavoidable Microsoft with their (gaming os) monopoly pushes new operatings system and makes sure your so good Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista etc game won't work anymore.

Grand Prix Legend is good, it even works with XP and Vista but who really knows if it will work with nex Evil Corporation system? Only medicin on threat is you keep your computer in shape, have maintenance since you are not going to find spareparts from even museums...

#10 Exar Kun

Exar Kun
  • Member

  • 1,169 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 05 March 2009 - 07:08

Sandy - re: the G25 (the Logitech with three pedals) - it's definitely the way to go and you can get them online in Australia from as little as $250. No point spending twice as much at Harvey Norman or Dick Smith etc.

#11 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 9,865 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 05 March 2009 - 13:54

Originally posted by The Kanisteri
I am opposite, I won't touch new racing games for PC even with a stick.

No one guarantee your shiny PC game now will work in next year, because that specific display card, windows service packs, equivalent drivers are not suitable just for your computer or for game. If you keep with it, you fall into hell of upgrading your piece of shit computer all the time. And it's unavoidable Microsoft with their (gaming os) monopoly pushes new operatings system and makes sure your so good Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista etc game won't work anymore.

Grand Prix Legend is good, it even works with XP and Vista but who really knows if it will work with nex Evil Corporation system? Only medicin on threat is you keep your computer in shape, have maintenance since you are not going to find spareparts from even museums...


You don't need to upgrade your computer all the time unless you want to play new games/use new programs all the time.

If you buy a PC for rFactor I think it's 99% guaranteed it will still work as a PC for rFactor 5 years from now. Just might not work for rFactor 2 or rFactor 3.

#12 nugat

nugat
  • Member

  • 102 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 05 March 2009 - 15:31

Originally posted by paranoik0


You don't need to upgrade your computer all the time unless you want to play new games/use new programs all the time.

If you buy a PC for rFactor I think it's 99% guaranteed it will still work as a PC for rFactor 5 years from now. Just might not work for rFactor 2 or rFactor 3.


Also new machines nowadays are so powerful that they should easily have enough headroom to keep up with new games for the next couple of years at least. My PC is over a year old now, and it wasn't top of the range when I built it. But it still handles all the latest games with ease. Driving sims don't tend to change that often either, rFactor is getting on 4 years old. I expect rFactor 2 will be maintained for a similar period of time.

It was different back in the days of Grand Prix 2 etc. When it was released I don't think there was a PC in the land that could run Monaco at full detail :)

Consoles are a good cheap way to get into driving games like Gran Turismo or Forza, but neither of those have the realism that PC games can offer. Having said that Simbin (of GTR fame) have recently released 'Race Pro' for the Xbox which looks good, although I've heard people complaining about the frame rate. I'd probably buy it myself only neither my steering wheel or pedals will work with my Xbox, another problem with console driving games.

By the way anybody wanting a go at iRacing can sign up for a free months trial here...

http://www.radicalsp.../virtual-racing

I was sceptical at first as to whether it would be worth the subscription cost, but having played it (unfortunately for my wallet) I think I'm going to have to subscribe.

#13 orges

orges
  • Member

  • 72 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 18 March 2009 - 15:22

Buy a decent computer to run rFactor on full everything. Or wait for ISI to release rFactor 2 :)

G25 is best steering wheel you can get if money aint problem

just dont get Thrustmaster Gt2-in1 RUmble force I got. It sucks its worse out there. its to sensitive.

#14 Pablomin

Pablomin
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:08

As everyone has stated, PC is the way to go - so many add-ons with cars, liveries, tracks and online championships - you won't get these with console.

Must haves:

G25 - Great wheel - 900deg turning, dual motors, clutch, seperate gear gate
GTR2 0r GTR Evolution - Great circuit racing games
Richard Burns Rally - Best Rally sim and probably the ultimate simulator around.
GT Legends - Awesome 60's 70's GT circuit racing game - highly realistic.
Race BTTC - awesome online modern Touring.


www.nogripracing.com for the best track add-ons, car add-on, forums, help etc.

And you are set.

#15 Lewis

Lewis
  • Member

  • 672 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 04 August 2009 - 23:08

Forza3 on the 360. :cool:

#16 Frank Verplanken

Frank Verplanken
  • Member

  • 343 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:55

GTL is nice yeah, but get rFactor which has a superb conversion of it plus several other well done mods. It also depends which cars have your interest. If you're into modern cars I guess iRacing has to be your choice - if you don't mind spec-racing only, dubious choice of cars, ugly skins, dumb online system and money-hungry stuff :) . But realistic physics it has I reckon.

If you're into classic cars GPL still is the best sim. rFactor has some nice historic mods too, but nowhere near as great as GPL as far as pleasure of driving is concerned.

#17 Jambo

Jambo
  • Member

  • 2,073 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 05 August 2009 - 15:22

Forza3 on the 360. :cool:


Haha

#18 lasercutter

lasercutter
  • New Member

  • 14 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 05 August 2009 - 16:37

iRacing might be thought by most to be the most realistic, but what powers the Red Bull F1 simulator (and 3 other F1 teams)


it's rfactor.

Edited by lasercutter, 05 August 2009 - 17:23.


#19 BorderReiver

BorderReiver
  • Member

  • 9,953 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 06 August 2009 - 18:19

iRacing might be thought by most to be the most realistic, but what powers the Red Bull F1 simulator (and 3 other F1 teams)


it's rfactor.


I think that's got vastly more to do with licensing rather than the respective quality of the physics model. Certain iRacing is, for me, the current king of the heap in terms of feel. I've driven a real Legend and an iRacing one, and iRacing's recreation is absolutely spot on.

Advertisement

#20 rolf123

rolf123
  • Member

  • 2,332 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 07 August 2009 - 23:11

For anyone into sims, this free online magazine is essential reading:

http://www.autosimsport.net/


#21 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,877 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 13 August 2009 - 08:20

I think rFactor is far more flexible for modding, so you can take the basic platform and tweak it to do a high end simulation. Apart from the out-of-the-box graphics, the Red Bull version of rFactor is very different. But they're also taking the cheap option where Ferrari/McLaren/etc are doing proper inhouse simulation.

#22 Rob

Rob
  • Member

  • 8,273 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:26

I think that's got vastly more to do with licensing rather than the respective quality of the physics model. Certain iRacing is, for me, the current king of the heap in terms of feel. I've driven a real Legend and an iRacing one, and iRacing's recreation is absolutely spot on.


I know people who've driven the Spec Racer in real life and they say that the rFactor version is much more realistic.


#23 pingu666

pingu666
  • Member

  • 8,881 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 14 August 2009 - 22:07

theres www.insidesimracing.tv aswell :)

and tbh, you can pick up nearly all the racing games dirt cheap if you hunt around, only exceptions being nascar 2003 and iracing i think

i just purchased richard burns rally for 4 quid thanks to this thread :o

#24 Kucki

Kucki
  • Member

  • 1,245 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 15 August 2009 - 23:10

Cant go wrong with iRacing

#25 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,877 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:52

iRacing takes a lot of commitment and investment though, I wouldn't recommend it as a starter unless you are hardcore.

On a related note, I had a go on NetKar Pro last week and was very impressed. That said I was driving an F1 version in a fully moving simulator so I may have been more impacted by being thrown around to the point of wanting to vomit rather than the handling.

#26 christoff

christoff
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:45

Kids have a PS2 and i enjoy playing GT4, what is the what forward for me, too busy to get a really complex sim, shame on me, is it PS3 or X Box360?

Yes I know I'm a bit of a pleb and I'm sorry!

Edited by christoff, 27 October 2009 - 08:45.


#27 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 9,865 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 27 October 2009 - 20:28

Not sure if it's for the Xbox or the PS3 but your best bet is probably the Simbin game they released a couple months ago, Race "something" (Race Pro I believe?).

For something mid sim mid arcade, Forza 3 which just got released has got good reviews.

#28 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 9,865 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 27 October 2009 - 20:32

Btw I just re-read the thread and found this funny:

Start at the top and get iRacing. It is seriously difficult and realistic, and it's where you can find lots of pros. You will get your ass kicked, and you will struggle for a long time, but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Everything else is arcade.


iRacing takes a lot of commitment and investment though, I wouldn't recommend it as a starter unless you are hardcore.


:D

#29 -Jesse-

-Jesse-
  • Member

  • 59 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:43

I must say I'm very surprised no one has mentioned Power & Glory

Way better than the rFactor HistoriX mod, but that's just my opinion :D

#30 PassWind

PassWind
  • Member

  • 5,031 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 28 October 2009 - 15:38

Money no object/

Any decent gaming machine from any puter shop. (Get the ATI HD 5870/6 when it comes out to run eyefinity without dinky adapters)

Headset - Many out there, try some read some reviews (AUD100-800)

Monitors - 1 mimimum but get 3, Dell U2410's IPS panels (AUD2000) some might say there will be too much input lag if so and that concerns you go the cheaper panel but the U2410 comes with display ports as standard for your video card no need for adapters.

Cockpit, might look at Hypersimulators in Australia but I have found them uncomfortable, I am thinking the Fanatec from Germany looks quite promising and with the gear you need guess around (AUD2500) if you can get it into Australia.

Wheel the G27 with BRD/FANATEC/FREX pedals FANATEC pedals are reasonable.

If you want to get motion go the FREX gear, not very clean in the engineering department for me, has a mad scientists look/

Edited by PassWind, 28 October 2009 - 15:39.


#31 Shiftin

Shiftin
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 28 October 2009 - 16:40

I am not going to argue with those who say PC sims are the best. They are probably right. I haven't played them in a long time. Ido play a lot of PS3 racing games though. With the the steering wheel etc. And I like it better. I'll explain and I think you must consider this.

First of all you are racing on a much larger screen. Todays 40 - 50 inch LCD TV's are very sharp. But most of all, it's more easy to create a good racing setup. I mean, I have more room in front of my TV than I have in front of the PC. But I must say I am a social racer. I like to race with a friend or two. So the setup in front of the TV with the chairs and tables behind are hard to match with a PC.

And what kani said. I do love GT, Shift, Dirt on the PS3. Enough of a sim for me. As long as it feels good..

But that's me :wave:

Guess I am much to impatient for GPL and things.... :lol:

#32 Cenotaph

Cenotaph
  • Member

  • 2,317 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 28 October 2009 - 20:20

Well, to each its own.

As far as a good sim for newbies, i dont think that you should start from the top. Its probably better to start from those that keep it simple. I started late, i dont go back to the days of GPL, GTR, GTL, but i started playing GTR2 and got completely hooked, because while it is an hardcore simulator of the Fia GT championship it was pretty good when it comes to that plug and play attitude that newbies will appreciate, its was a great game and sim mix. Since then I've bought rFactor and the whole Race07 collection (I own Race07, GTR Evo, STCC and Race on) and while i love both for what they are, i think its clear that Race07 and expansions is a much better starting point and the best for some quick online racing.

Im quite curious about iracing, but im not willing to pay just to try it.

#33 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 9,865 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 28 October 2009 - 20:33

This trial thing of iRacing is still available, I signed up two weeks ago:

By the way anybody wanting a go at iRacing can sign up for a free months trial here...

http://www.radicalsp.../virtual-racing

I was sceptical at first as to whether it would be worth the subscription cost, but having played it (unfortunately for my wallet) I think I'm going to have to subscribe.



#34 Cenotaph

Cenotaph
  • Member

  • 2,317 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 28 October 2009 - 21:15

oh cool, gonna give it a shot.

#35 Villes Gilleneuve

Villes Gilleneuve
  • Member

  • 2,248 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 07 December 2009 - 19:10

I am opposite, I won't touch new racing games for PC even with a stick.

No one guarantee your shiny PC game now will work in next year, because that specific display card, windows service packs, equivalent drivers are not suitable just for your computer or for game. If you keep with it, you fall into hell of upgrading your piece of shit computer all the time. And it's unavoidable Microsoft with their (gaming os) monopoly pushes new operatings system and makes sure your so good Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista etc game won't work anymore.

Grand Prix Legend is good, it even works with XP and Vista but who really knows if it will work with nex Evil Corporation system? Only medicin on threat is you keep your computer in shape, have maintenance since you are not going to find spareparts from even museums...


What a bizarre argument, "GPL has only been working for 12 years, who knows how much longer".

Name one game that no longer works on a new MS OS.

There are no racing sims on the consoles, there never will be as long at the target demographics is 12-18 year old American kids.

#36 jaisli

jaisli
  • Member

  • 1,215 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 08 December 2009 - 10:10

From USA Today.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Contrary to a popular stereotype, the average video game player is not a teenage skateboarder but a more mature fun-seeker old enough to be his dad, according to a survey released Wednesday.
A survey compiled by the Entertainment Software Association and released at E3, the video game industry's major trade show in Los Angeles, found that a slight majority of video game players are now over 18 years of age.

In fact, the average age of game players was 29 and the average age of buyers was 36, with men making up 59% of the playing audience.

#37 Tenmantaylor

Tenmantaylor
  • Member

  • 8,361 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 08 December 2009 - 22:59

Driven all the serious sims from Grand Prix Legends, N2003, rFactor and Live for Speed and have just signed up to iracing. Cant recommend it enough. If you want serious online racing sim for serious racing its the best choice. The track and car quality are amazing. Even the performance on lower settings is better than most other sims and if you turn up the eye candy it looks great.

rFactor might have more content and be alot cheaper but the content quality is so variable that it can feel like driving completely different sims.

I prefer Live for Speed to rfactor as an online sim but its lack of real life tracks and content count against it but the online racing can be great if you find good races.

All this said Ill still be getting a PS3 to buy GT5 when it comes out. Still love the real life road car experience.