Thrustmaster T500 RS Racing Wheel + Ferrari F1 Wheel Attachment PS3/PC Review
Peter Donnell / 8 years ago
For testing the GT setup, it seemed on fair that I hook this wheel up to the Playstation 3 and play some Gran Turismo 5 to get us started. Even though this wheel is quite bulky, setup wasn’t too much of a fuss as everything comes ready to plug in and play out of the box, with no major assembly required other than the provided desk clamp. In game setup was quick and easy too, everything was made a whole lot easier thanks to the built in PS Home button, d-pad and playstation branded buttons on the wheel.
Performance in Gran Turismo 5 was nothing short of spectacular, the force feedback response is easily one of the finest I’ve seen, this is mostly due to the frictionless magnet technology used to apply forces to the wheel, which means surface transitions, the shifting of the cars weight and loss of traction all feel fluid. It doesn’t feel like a motor inside the base of the wheel is just going mental for the sake of it, something that is fairly common in a lot of budget wheels.
Hooking the wheel up to my PC gave even better results than the Playstation, installation was quick and painless thanks to the official drivers that I downloaded from Thrustmasters homepage, but on the PC I was able to tweak and calibrate so many aspects of the wheels forces to my liking. With all the settings dialled up to 100% I found that anything more that a few minuets on Shift 2 (pc) left my exhausted and the whole experience was just over the top, the power and forces this wheel can output are staggering. I found thinks to be much more balanced around 70%, just knocking that 30% off made the whole experience feel much more realistic and I was soon able to put in some good lap times.
The F1 attachment is what’s really special about this setup, it immediately has a different feel over the GT wheel, it’s much smaller, favours a fixed hand position and sports a lot of extra buttons. I found it to work best with the steering lock set to 360 degrees, making the steering pin sharp, perfect for some F1 action. Now while the wheel does offer support for adjusting all kinds of features in titles like F1 2011, I’m not really an F1 fan nor do I have much understanding of the uses for these buttons, but fans of F1 simulations are going to love them, being able to tweak those extra few settings to save a faction of a second of a lap is what its all about.
When using the F1 attachment in games like Shift 2 and Grid is still a lot of fun too, with all the extra buttons still being fully configurable for features such as camera changes, handbrake, view point etc.