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Does better sim racing equipment equal better lap times?

Discussion in 'Automobilista - General Discussion' started by Sando75, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Sando75

    Sando75 New Member

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    Just wanted to say this time trial challenge is an absolute blast. It's a great concept and brings the community together. Well done Reiza, you've done a great job:)

    I'm just a casual racer, but was wondering if better sim equipment = better lap times? I have a Logitech G25, in a Pagnian Import steel race cockpit, with a single flat screen TV. I am using some of the setups the top guys are getting, but am still about 3 full seconds off the top times on the Velo Park track.

    Now I 100% know that I have a lot to learn, and I'm just an amateur driver, but if I were to have a better wheel/pedal combo, will this help me drive noticeably better?
     
  2. Kostis Vigos

    Kostis Vigos Member

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  3. Gringo

    Gringo Active Member

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    I agree with Kostis. Your controller and computer hardware is a part of your lap time for sure. That said the returns diminish very quickly regarding really expensive gear. Building a comfortable, stable cockpit that puts you in a good position to your wheel, peddles and display is just as important as good quality controllers.
     
  4. Dean Ogurek

    Dean Ogurek Active Member

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    In general and for the average player, better gear can help you to be a bit faster but, the gains may be minimal. Where it can really make the bigger difference tends to be in overall consistency - especially with load-cell / pressure-based braking and Direct-drive steering systems.

    If lap-times are what matters most, then the mid-range hardware is probably going to do a good job of offering good performance / immersion at it's price point.

    For maximum immersion, the high-end gear yields big benefits but, comes at much higher cost.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Ethan Dean

    Ethan Dean Hotlap Masochist

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    I believe the only hardware which can tangibly help your laptimes would be a decent brake pedal. Grab a load cell mod or progressive spring for your G25 pedals, as braking by pressure rather than position is much more intuitive and you can ride the edge of lockup a lot easier.

    In my opinion, that's all though. Four-figure wheels, hydraulic pedals, boutique shifters, etc are good in terms of realism and immersion - these are simulations, so if you run IndyCars and want actual levels of steering resistance, knock yourself out (literally) - but they won't bring you speed on a plate. As long as it's operating smoothly and in full working order, you can be fast with basically anything.

    All that said, the brake pedal can indeed help but only so much. It's about practice and bloody hard work more than anything else. A beginning guitarist will not suddenly rip solos like Joe Bonamassa just because you hand him a 1959 Les Paul.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  6. Kostis Vigos

    Kostis Vigos Member

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    That ^^
    and Ethan...
    HOW DID YOU DO THIS TIME IN TIME TRIAL???? hehe!
    Can you upload your lap from the cockpit on Youtube? I'd like to study the lines and breaking points of yours. Pretty please? :cool:
     
  7. Eduardo Mennocchi

    Eduardo Mennocchi Member

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    Yes, better equipment will provide you a better laptime. Yet, in your case, the equipment impact is definitely the smallest part of this 3s gap you're facing.;)
     
  8. Dean Ogurek

    Dean Ogurek Active Member

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    Just curious - which DD-systems have you used?

    I'm not suggesting that they get you massive gains but, there aren't many using DD that don't see near-immediate improvements in personal bests and the iRacing forums have a very large DD user base to base that on. Certainly, there are more cost effective ways to improve lap-times starting with the basics but, to discount advantages of having higher dynamic range FFB for grip-loss detection and catching those "moments" one has when balanced on the edge is simply denying reality IMO.

    Alien racers will be fast on anything they use - that's just how it is; for some of us average racers (yes, me), we need all the help we can get - just to be average on a good day. :D
     
  9. Ethan Dean

    Ethan Dean Hotlap Masochist

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    Perhaps towards the end of the week if it stands, times are sure to improve as the event goes on though.

    None. It would be interesting, the smoothness looks to die for, but I highly doubt I would outright gain any speed from it.

    I think you have a great point in your final paragraph though. Aliens have found and know the limit already, so Greger Huttu can top leaderboards everywhere he goes no matter what wheel he uses; a buddy of mine was ranked one of the top iRacing oval drivers in all of Canada using a Logitech Driving Force he found behind his buddy's couch, no lie. Not even a GT or even a Pro, just the original Driving Force with the blue grips. Original pedals too, in fact I think his brake was cracked. Mental.

    Anyway, for those who haven't found the limit yet, perhaps better hardware can help them get there and find that limit a bit easier. I would absolutely advocate that you practice hard above all else, though.
     
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  10. Heitor Facuri Cicoti

    Heitor Facuri Cicoti Good Member

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    Also, do not forget about input lag, latency and those shenanigans. Those should be at a minimum if you want to react on time. So no VSync! Screen tearing can be dealt by capping FPS at a prime number.
     
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  11. Big_Mama

    Big_Mama Ben Suttor

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    Yep, and because of this get rid of the TV. TV's usually have a very bad input lag which is a big no-no for everything where reaction time is important
     
  12. Big_Mama

    Big_Mama Ben Suttor

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    Btw, I once tested the importance of input lag with a friend. We played an "Instagib" Unreal Tournament session 1v1. The Instagib mode means one shot = one kill, so reaction time is everything. I played on my normal screen, an he on his TV which he uses as his monitor. I won 50 to 10 kills. After that we changed position, and I played on his PC. The result was again 50:10, but he was the winner. So basically we have about the same skill, but the different input lag changed everything!
     
  13. Ranger

    Ranger New Member

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    I agree with the load cell comments. No question Fanatec CSL Elite pedals have made a huge difference in my laps. I'm talking a full second or more on some tracks. I can count on one hand how many times I've locked the brakes in the last 2 months. I've lost count on lock-ups for my old pedals (which were good with the rubber cone installed - TM T3PA). Pressure muscle memory is so much easier than distance for your legs/feet. On my best tracks I have zero lock-ups now which is remarkable since I'm not that great.

    A wheel is a different animal. I could see NO force feedback being the easiest to control precisely translating into better lap times. So an alien racer can probably pull world class laps without FFB. For us humans, better FFB helps with small nuances relative to grip that you won't feel on a lesser wheel. It helps me keep control bc I'm sloppy, so in essence a better driver doesn't need such feedback since they're more skilled. A better wheel definitely helps with immersion. My progression in wheels from a G27, T500, TX and now TS-PC has been a consistent jump in both precision and subtle forces I never felt with the previous, less capable wheel.
     
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  14. Supa

    Supa Member

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    I use a DD wheel and HE pro pedals and I'm faster for sure. Another important aspect of good wheel and pedals thats not mentioned is the ability to lap fast consistently. Pretty handy during a race. And as Heitor mentioned get rid of the Tv and buy a proper gaming monitor with 1ms responce
     
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  15. Ernie

    Ernie Member

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    Just asking ...... why a prime number? :confused:
     
  16. Gringo

    Gringo Active Member

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    This trick works well... I set the fps limit at 127 and use no vsync... the result is 99% smooth display with practically no screen tearing on a 21:9 60Hz monitor. My video card has the power to deliver this frame rate otherwise I would choose a smaller value. This strategy provides the least input lag with the best visuals.

    If I run with 120fps limit (as I did for a long time) the display will have one or two tearing lines almost constantly... there must be a sound reason for it, but its magic to me.
     
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  17. Dean Ogurek

    Dean Ogurek Active Member

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    Solid lap-times with consistency may seem insignificant when hot-lapping but, can win races. Even if it only helps one stay ahead of the pack, it's a good thing.
     
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  18. Heitor Facuri Cicoti

    Heitor Facuri Cicoti Good Member

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    I didn't do the math, but it makes the tearing appear on different (almost random) places every time, so it's extremely difficult to notice the jagged line.

    I used to have horrible, almost unplayable screen tearing with FPS at 60. Now at 67 it's somewhere near perfect.
     
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  19. Sando75

    Sando75 New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback in this thread, it has been all very informative. I won't be rushing out and buying new hardware just yet, but I was just curious how much impact better hardware had in racing.

    I didn't not even consider the TV being an issue!

    I do appreciate all the responses, thanks guys:)
     
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  20. MarcG

    MarcG Member

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    I can categorically state that VR has made me a better racer (more awareness) as I can "sense" what's going on a lot more than I ever could with a flat screen, looking to Apex for example is just natural and easier, "feeling" the car in a different way around a track - hard to describe if you've not got VR.
    Whether or not I'm faster is hard to tell as I don't have any records from the past to compare with (well I have iRacing but my sub ran out), I feel as though I'm faster so I would bet on it I am.

    It's certainly made more of an improvement than any wheel/pedal combo I've ever had I know that much.
     

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