Best Sim Racing Setup Under $5000
When it comes to building a sim rig, $5000 is a fantastic budget, and it should ensure you get an extremely high-performing sim racing setup.
However, there is a lot of choice within this price range. Your $5000 sim racing setup could utilise a range of different high-end racing wheels, steering wheels and pedals. In fact, some steering wheels such as the Fanatec BMW M4 GT3 can cost up to $1500 just for the steering wheel alone.
In this $5000 sim rig build guide, I’ll run through our recommendations for maximising the performance you can get from this healthy budget.
I’ll look at putting together an entire sim racing setup for under $5000 including a top-tier gaming monitor. This high-end sim racing setup will include everything you need to go sim racing.
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The sim racing products that make up this rig build
For this $5000 sim racing setup, I’ve chosen a combination of extremely high-performance sim racing products along with some mid to high-end products.
The reason I haven’t opted for extremely high-performance gear for every category is that $5000 quite simply isn’t enough to do this.
From the wheel base to the pedals and cockpit, you can easily spend over $1000 in each individual category. For the absolute best sim racing gear, we’ll quickly exceed our $5000 budget.
This combination of sim racing products allows us to really experience the very best force feedback from our wheel base. This is combined with excellent performance from all other parts of this sim rig build.
|Where To Buy
|Asetek Invicta 27Nm Wheel base
|Asetek Invicta Quick Release
|Cube Controls GT Sport Steering Wheel
|Asetek Forte Pedals
|Sim-Lab GT1 Pro Cockpit
|Sparco Sprint seat
|Samsung G9 Monitor
|Sim-Lab Monitor Mount
Why choose this $5000 racing simulator build?
This sim racing build for a $5000 budget allows us to really handpick some of the very best sim racing products. If you don’t have a $5000 budget, or if you already own some sim racing gear, you can always pick and choose some products from this rig build.
This $5000 sim racing build does include a gaming monitor and monitor mount which alone costs over $1300 combined. Removing these elements will reduce the cost of this build to under $4000.
The main bulk of our budget will be spent on the wheel base, as this is one part of a sim racing setup where you’ll immediately feel the increased performance. And high powered direct drive racing wheels offer the highest level of performance for the best sim racing setup.
I’ve opted for the mighty 27Nm Asetek Invicta wheel base. This is one of the very best direct drive wheel bases available, and it has very few direct competitors.
The benefit of this wheel base is that you have up to 27Nm of peak torque available at your disposal. But you can reduce it down to any level depending on the car you’re driving.
With lower-cost wheel bases, you may be locked into lower peak torque figures which can limit the maximum performance available.
The rest of this sim racing setup has been put together to support the extreme power of the Invicta wheel base. The cockpit is sturdy-enough to handle the power, and the steering wheel and pedals can both compete in terms of design, build quality and performance.
Overall, this is an extremely well-rounded sim racing setup that you won’t need to update for a very long time.
Asetek Invicta 27Nm direct drive wheel base
The Asetek Invicta direct drive wheel base is one of the very best around. And it offers incredible performance at a great price point. This allows it to fit in perfectly to our $5000 sim rig build.
Why choose the Asetek Invicta wheel base?
The reason I chose the Asetek Invicta wheel base is simple. It offers incredible force feedback performance at a great price point, which is unrivalled by other sim racing brands.
Asetek have really pulled out all of the stops with this relatively new wheel base. The force feedback performance is incredibly smooth while hitting incredible levels of power.
I rarely run my the Invicta wheel base anywhere close to its peak torque. Instead, I opt for between 15-20Nm depending on the sim racing title. But even when you turn everything up to 11, the force feedback remains smooth and incredibly detailed.
Competitors and other options
As mentioned earlier, there is very little competition from other brands at this extreme end of high-performance wheel bases.
One of the most popular sim racing brands, Fanatec, peaks at 25Nm of torque with their DD2. While Simucube really does compete with their Ultimate wheel base which is capable of a whopping 32Nm of peak torque.
Why not a Simucube or Fanatec DD2 wheel base?
The reason I didn’t choose either the Fanatec DD2 or Simucube 2 Ultimate is different for both products. The Asetek Invicta, in my opinion, is a more well-rounded wheel base capable of better force feedback than the Fanatec DD2.
And the reason I didn’t choose the Simucube 2 Ultimate is due to the price. The Ultimate costs an extra $1000 compared to the Asetek Invicta at over $2700.
While the Simucube 2 Ultimate offers the absolute best of the best in terms of performance, the Invicate is really not too different. When you factor in the $1000 price different, the Asetek Invicta wheel base is a no-brainer.
Asetek Invicta Compatibility
The main downside of the Asetek product range as a whole is its limited compatibility with console. The Asetek Invicta wheel base is only PC compatible. However, it is widely compatible with a whole range of other sim racing brands thanks to the Invicta quick release.
The quick release
Asetek Invicta quick release
Talking of the quick release, Asetek revealed their own quick release to allow their wheel bases to be used with steering wheels from other brands. This addition to the Asetek lineup really expands their wheel bases use.
With only one steering wheel currently available, not everyone will want to use an Asetek steering wheel. And if you already have a collection of steering wheels from other brands, you may have previously ruled out an Asetek wheel base.
The quick release changes all of this, now allowing you to use any steering wheel with its wheel bases. You can now attach wheel rims from Cube Controls, Fanatec, Thrustmaster, GSI and more.
The Steering Wheel
Cube Controls GT Sport Steering Wheel
Now that we have the ability to combine any steering wheel with the Asetek Invicta wheel base thanks to the quick release. We can really open up our search for the best steering wheel pairing.
I have opted for the Cube Controls GT Sport Steering Wheel. This is a very versatile steering wheel that can be used for a wide range of racing disciplines.
The Cube Controls GT Sport steering wheel features a range of different inputs which you can assign in any sim racing title. There is a selection of push buttons along with 2 front encoders, 2 thumb encoders and magnetic shifters.
The outer rim of the steering wheel is finished in a soft suede material and the hand grips are moulded for a comfortable grip. The wheel also comes in 2 forms, either wired or wireless. And both are compatible with the Asetek quick release.
Overall, this steering wheel feels extremely premium and is fantastic to sim race with. It’s a perfect partner for the Asetek Invicta wheel base.
If you do race formula-style sim racing title more, Cube Controls also sell a formula-style wheel, the F-core for around $100 less than this GT Sport wheel. This is a great alternative if you’d rather have a formula wheel.
Asetek Forte pedals
In addition to the Asetek Invicta wheel base, I have included a set of Asetek Forte pedals into this $5000 sim racing setup. This is a 2-pedal set that is built to an extremely high quality. There is an additional clutch available to buy separately, but I haven’t priced that into this sim rig build.
The reason for choosing the Asetek Forte pedals over the Heusinkveld Sprint pedals was due to price. Both pedals perform incredibly well, but the Forte pedals came in a bit cheaper.
The Forte pedals are Asetek’s mid-range pedal offering, with the budget not quite stretching to the Invicta pedals. However, the Forte pedals are incredible. They offer a 2-stage load cell activation utilising a 180kg load cell.
This 2-stage activation replicates how a real brake pedal reacts with the pistons moving the brake pads and then the pressure of the pads on the discs.
Sim-Lab GT1 Pro Cockpit
In our $2000 sim racing setup, I recommended the Sim-Lab GT1 Evo, which is a great sim rig. Recently, however, Sim-Lab has updated the GT1 and released the GT1 Pro.
This evolution provides a refreshed design of this aluminium profile sim rig, along with extra reinforcement to make it even more rigid. And this is quite possibly one of the better choices for the best racing simulator setup.
The GT1 Pro does cost a bit more than the older GT1 Evo, but the price difference is justified by the updated design. The new design removes corner brackets which not only makes the installation and set-up a little easier, it also strengthens the overall design.
Both the wheel deck and pedal plate have also been redesigned. The wheel plate now mounts directly to the upright pieces of aluminium profile which further increases rigidity. And both mounting plates feature a wide range of pre-drilled holes making mounting sim racing gear incredibly easy.
Sparco Sprint seat
I previously recommended the Sparco Sprint seat in our $2000 sim rig build. And I’m recommending it again in this $5000 build due to its great build quality and low price tag.
It is an all-in-one bucket seat that can be mounted to most sim rigs, including the Sim-Lab GT1 Pro. It’s even FIA-approved meaning you can bolt it into your race car as well!
While being comfy across long race sessions, this seat is a little on the narrow side, so some may not feel as comfy. It is worth noting that right away.
But other than this the seat features nice padding and a great wrap-around design. This seat is suitable for a wide variety of sim rigs and different setups and works brilliantly in our $5000 sim setup build.
Samsung Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor
A budget of $5000 is really good, so I with this sim racing setup I really wanted to incorporate a gaming monitor. That truly makes this build complete by providing everything that you need to go sim racing other than a PC or console.
There is a huge debate over single-screen monitors to a triple-screen setup. However, I’m firmly in the single-screen monitor camp. While triple-screen monitors do provide maximum immersion, there are too many negatives involved.
Whit a triple-screen setup you need extra mounting capabilities, and extra space available and then you need to by a bezel-free kit to remove the annoying bezels between monitors.
With a single-screen monitor, you simply mount it using a much smaller and more compact monitor mount, and away you go. No bezels, fewer cables, and it is generally easier on your GPU as well.
Much like the wheel base, I have chosen one of the very best gaming monitors around, the Samsung Odyssey G9. This monitor is almost perfect. It has a 1440p QLED display, 240Hz refresh rate and is Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync compatible.
Mounted to the Sim-Lab monitor mount which is connected to the GT1 Pro sim rig, this monitor looks incredibly sleek and impressive.
How well does this $5000 sim racing setup perform?
In combination, this sim racing setup is an absolute monster. The combination of a 27Nm direct drive Asetek wheel base and any Cube Controls wheel feels incredible.
The premium steering wheel dances in your hands due to the incredible detail on offer from the wheel base. And if you fancy really testing your limits, you have the headroom to crank up the wheel base to 27Nm of peak torque.
The Sim-Lab sim rig more than keeps up with its improved rigidity over the older GT1 Evo. The Pro cockpit results in almost zero flex, even when turning up the Invicta wheel base.
For maximum immersion, you can use the Sim-Lab monitor mount to position the G9 monitor hanging right over the Asetek wheel base. This puts you closer to the monitor and closer to the action.
The Forte pedals can be interchanged with a set of Heusinkveld Sprint pedals, although at a slight price increase. Both the Sprints and the Forte pedals are incredible and offer a platform to improve your braking performance and consistency over time.
Sitting in your office, studio or gaming room, this $5000 sim racing setup looks incredible. And for this price range, including a monitor, I don’t think you could beat this for the best racing simulator setup.