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Episode 97: Thrustmaster T500RS Reviewed

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Hey Darin,

Another great review, you guys are the best…..

It was a tossup between the T500RS and the Fanatec GT2 with clubsport pedals (I do have an Xbox).

The thought of ordering from Fanatec made me a little uncomfortable. Waiting once I make the plunge is a bit too painful.

So today when I got the auto notify from Newegg that they had T500RS’s in stock I placed my order.

$600.00 is a big chunk of money to throw down in the hopes of a good purchasing experience; I’ve used Newegg for many years and never had a problem. Bill Me Later made the purchase much less of a direct hit on my pocket book thanks Newegg’s 6 months to pay no interest option. Their free shipping didn’t hurt either.

I figure if the wheel is that good there will be a load cell break mod in the works sooner than later.

As for a shift, I guess I’ll wait and see what Thrustmaster comes up with.

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Great review, guys! I'm gonna have to add my name to the list of people concerned with the fixed paddle situation. It was evident that Darin haf a little problem with shifting while turning, and it would be interesting to hear from the engineers as to why rey went with a fixed paddle design.

Also, another question: how would you guys rate the resolution of the pedals? Is it comparable to the G25/7 pedals with the Bodnar cable? They went with 16-bit resolution on the wheel, so it would be a little disappointing if they had a measly 256 steps like the Logitech's.

Julio,

That was the first time I had ever driven the wheel from my unboxing video.. I have since mastered them and shift just fine with them..

Yes the resolution of the pedals is the same as the bodners or Clubsports. 1024 steps

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The shabami should maybe take into account prices vary in different regions. Fanatec in particular give USA a better value price than say UK/Europe. The show is international.

For instance already in UK/Europe the T500RS can be purchased cheaper than the GT2 with CSP.

Depends if you really want to be playing Forza as very few other racing games appear on X360 that are not multiplatform these days.

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The shabami should maybe take into account prices vary in different regions. Fanatec in particular give USA a better value price than say UK/Europe. The show is international.

For instance already in UK/Europe the T500RS can be purchased cheaper than the GT2 with CSP.

Depends if you really want to be playing Forza as very few other racing games appear on X360 that are not multiplatform these days.

Not sure how this would work, as the price itself does not reflect the "cost" for a particular region, as you would have to calculate how much you have to work to actually buy the wheel, so the relation between the income and price. I think ISR cannot evaluate this. In some regions the wheel might cost more, but may be actually cheaper to buy as average income may be higher IMHO.

Can you give some links where you see T500RS cheaper than the GT2 + CSP? The cheapest I found is 378 pounds excluding shipping, and the gt2 + CSP from Fanatec site costs 390 punds. Not much of a difference. And if someone would consider the t500 rs without xbox, then they could as well get the gt3rs with csp for 329 pounds.

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I know what your saying about incomes varying in different regions.

However regardless of that you can still compare the wheels to each others prices.

ISR of course don't have to go into detail on this but just be aware that when reviewing items like the T500RS and saying that it is more expensive well it isn't always accurate and that could effect the value for money and general rating.

Fanatec do not offer free shipping charging I believe 22 euro/dollar/pounds for the wheel/pedals. T500RS can be got with free shipping or picked up in a store.

Compare each wheels cost to each other in USA. Big difference.

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I know what your saying about incomes varying in different regions.

However regardless of that you can still compare the wheels to each others prices.

ISR of course don't have to go into detail on this but just be aware that when reviewing items like the T500RS and saying that it is more expensive well it isn't always accurate and that could effect the value for money and general rating.

Fanatec do not offer free shipping charging I believe 22 euro/dollar/pounds for the wheel/pedals. T500RS can be got with free shipping or picked up in a store.

Compare each wheels cost to each other in USA. Big difference.

You are right. But then ISR would have to go through various regions and do some research. For you shipping of the T500 is free, and it makes the prices comparable. For me its a bit different. I have the gt3 shipped in for 22 euro just like you, but to get the t500 for the lowest price I will need to pay 32 pounds for shipping, which is 50% more than in case of gt3. Taking the whole price in consideration its only a drop in the sea, but for some it may be a decisive point. If I were to get the t500 locally, I have to pay around 2200 PLN, and the gt3rs with CSP and shipping comes out 1600PLN, that is 30% less !! I know of people here in europe who buy the t500 in USA (then it comes out cheaper than the gt3rs kit) and have it shipped by friends / relatives.

I think there are too many variables, like region, where you are from and where you get it shipped, the source you get it from etc. I would be more inclined to take the pricing off the shibami and get a clean score of the quality and precision of the wheel, so someone can then do some investigation themselves and see the prices locally and think if its worth for example to pay an extra few bucks for a wheel that got a score 3-4 points higher.

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Darin........Is the T500's FFB stronger when using GT5 on the PC than it is on the PS3? Trying to decide which set up to get. Thanks

GT5 doesn't exist on the PC.

The T500 FFB on the PC is insanely strong. It's also very strong on the PS3 with GT5

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Great episode on the T500 guys. Mine arrived 2 days ago. Playing GT5 with a controller was fun, using a quality wheel is an believable experience. I've shaved off several seconds from my best laps with the T500. I have used many different wheels over the years, remember the old Mad Katz with Sega Rally. :)

I am now pondering getting into Iracing, this site is so rich with resources and a lot of good people willing to share information.

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Hi Darin,

I bought the T500RS after seeing your review! Very pleased with the wheel, one doubt however, the realistic brake mod(metal piece) set in long run position rubber+spring on the deeper side seems to reduce braking by half, what am I doing wrong here? I looked at your un-boxing video and the T500rs manual, not sure whats wrong. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Thomas

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Hi Darin,

I bought the T500RS after seeing your review! Very pleased with the wheel, one doubt however, the realistic brake mod(metal piece) set in long run position rubber+spring on the deeper side seems to reduce braking by half, what am I doing wrong here? I looked at your un-boxing video and the T500rs manual, not sure whats wrong. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Thomas

Hi Thomas,

Here's what you should do: Unplug the T500 from your computer. Restart for good measure. Make sure the pedals are plugged into the Wheel and Plug the T500 back in. Then push each pedal to its maximum and release and you should get a good calibration. Check by opening the Thrustmaster Driver properties and watching the bar graphs.

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First Time Poster here. I just unboxed, my T500, I guess after watching this review, I dont deserve to own this wheel because I can not get it to work on my PS3. It will not Auto calibrate and none of the buttons work.

The wheel turns about a 1/4 of a turn left and right constantly. I have plugged the USB in with the PS3 on and off.

If I need to update firmware, I am not sure how I can manage that since the only Computer I own is a MacBook (without Parallels).

Any help or direction in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time,

Scott Edwards

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I went to a friends house to use his PC. Firmware was version 32. Updated to 35. Went to control panel on PC. Wheel reacted the same way as it did on PS3.

Only turned about 1/4 turn left and right. None of the buttons, or pedals worked when pressed.

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I can now get the wheel to function, but I have to manually spin the wheel fast to the left and the right. Then it returns to center and the force feed back, buttons and pedals will start to function.

If it wont return to center on its own, no functions work...

-Scott

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The way I connect is plug the USB into the PS3 while it is turned off. The power to the T500 is unplugged. I turn on the PS3 then plug the T500 power supply in, immediately it goes into the full calibration. I also keep the FF turned off in GT5. Did you go into the Thrustmaster options in GT5? Not sure if anything in the menu will help you but it's worth a try. Can you actually race with your wheel?

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I got mine 2 weeks ago

I was very used to use the shifter paddles of my G25 which i have for years now, so I decided to try my own rotating shifter paddles mod to get close to the same feel i had with the logitech..

saw a video of a guy who made a similar mod but the cable was hanging loose..

to get the cables leading inside the wheel i had to rip the whole thing into pieces :)

A small vid of the result u can find here:

Greetz

edit: i opened a topic here, including description:

viewtopic.php?f=151&t=4043

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With the driver 2014_TTRS_3 it seems like the brake pedal bug is gone. I noticed it today when had my wheel plugged in and my standalone pedals and then I decided to use the original t500 one's. I plugged them in and the brake calibrated wright. Amazing that it is finally possible to plug the pedals in the wheel after you plugged the wheel in the pc.

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