Best PCs For Sim Racing – Ultimate PC Build Guide 2022

Here are our best recommendations for a gaming PC for sim racing. This guide includes tech specs to look for when building a PC and a selection of pre-built sim racing PCs.

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Best gaming PC for sim racing
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are our affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission from any sales used via these links. Buying after clicking one of our links will never affect the price you pay.

At Sim Racing Setups, we often recommend sim racing products such as racing wheels and rigs. But at the heart of any sim racing setup is the PC or console. And this decision really does matter!

An underpowered PC can really hinder your sim racing experience. You may have to end up running your graphic settings lower compromising the overall look of your racing game of choice. Or you may struggle to achieve high enough FPS (frames per second), resulting in a stuttering experience.

In this guide, I’m going to look at the key components that make up a solid sim racing PC. I’ll also recommend a selection of pre-built gaming PCs for sim racing, across a variety of budgets.

Our top picks for the best sim racing PC in 2022

TL;DR – If you don’t have enough time to read our detailed guide on gaming PCs for sim racing, no problem! Here are our top picks for the best prebuilt gaming PCs for sim racing. I’ve also included three sample custom gaming PC builds if you fancy building your own sim racing PC.

Best pre-built gaming PCs for sim racing

The three pre-built gaming PCs below are among the best for sim racing in 2022.

Best AMD Sim Racing PC

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition

Best Intel Sim Racing PC

CyberPowerPC Infinity

Best Budget Sim Racing PC

Alienware Aurora R12

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition
CyberPowerPC Infinity Gaming Pc Sim Racing
Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming PC

CPU

AMD® Ryzen™ 9 5900

CPU

Intel®Core™ i9-12900KF

CPU

Intel® Core™ i7-11700KF

GPU

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

GPU

MSI GeForce® RTX 3080

GPU

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

MEMORY

32GB DDR4

MEMORY

32GB DDR4

MEMORY

16GB DDR4

STORAGE

1TB SSD

STORAGE

1TB SSD

STORAGE

512GB SSD

Best specs for a custom-built gaming PC

Below are three configurations for custom-built gaming PCs for sim racing. These parts are interchangeable, but these configurations give a good idea of parts that work well together within a set budget.

Budget PC

Run most racing sims at low-medium graphics settings

Mid-Level PC

Achieve consistant 60FPS at high graphics settings

Ultimate Racing PC

Achieve high FPS at max graphics settings

CPU

CPU

CPU

GPU

GPU

GPU

MEMORY

MEMORY

MEMORY

STORAGE

STORAGE

STORAGE

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

No

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

Yes - 1080p

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

Yes - 1440p

GUIDE PRICE

£/$1000

GUIDE PRICE

£/$1800

GUIDE PRICE

£/$3200


What to look for in a sim racing PC

Whether you’re looking for a pre-built gaming PC for sim racing or looking to build your own custom gaming PC, there are certain parts that you should really consider.

While a PC is made up of hundreds of components, these parts are the ones that will decide whether you can run iRacing on maximum graphics settings with a high FPS or not.

Does a gaming PC require a better CPU or GPU?

Two of the most important parts are the processor (CPU) and your graphics card (GPU). These will also be two of the most expensive parts in your PC. So ensuring you purchase the right CPU and GPU is very important, as upgrading, later on, will cost a considerable sum.

But which is more important when it comes to gaming? A CPU or GPU?

Gaming PC CPU

The answer is that both parts will contribute significantly to your gaming experience. However, the GPU is the most vital part if you crave high FPS and a great looking game.

The CPU is responsible for the computational aspects of a sim racing game, such as the physics calculations. Generally, a CPU with at least 6 cores will be more than capable of running all of the current sim racing titles.

The GPU is the part of your gaming PC that is responsible for ensuring your game looks great and runs at a high FPS. A more powerful graphics card will allow you to run your game at higher resolutions of 1440p and above. And your GPU will directly affect the graphics settings you can choose along with the FPS you can achieve.

GPU

As mentioned above, the GPU is quite possibly the most important part of any sim racing PC build. That is why they are often the most expensive parts to purchase.

Your GPU is directly responsible for all of the graphics and visual output of your racing game. It will directly affect the FPS you can achieve, along with the graphics settings you can enable in-game.

Gaming PC GPU

If you are looking at running a triple screen setup, your graphics card will be responsible for three times the visual output. Ensure your GPU is capable of outputting on three screens at your desired resolution before looking at triple screen monitors.

CPU

While maxing out your GPU within your budget is generally the best way to go to future-proof your build, your CPU choice isn’t quite as straightforward. There are so many more CPU options across multiple brands such as Intel and AMD. Finding the right one can be tricky.

The decision between Intel and AMD has become much less important in recent years. As both manufacturers have been creating some truly fantastic processors. This will often come down to personal preference.

Ultimately, you should be looking at a few key stats. The overall number of cores is one crucial spec to look at. Generally, a minimum of 6 is required for most sim racing games, with 8 and above even better. If you are looking to multi-task, stream or video edit, you should try to maximise the number of cores in your CPU.

Also check for the clock speed of your CPU, as these can have a rather big impact on your overall performance. A clock speed of around 3.5 and upwards is ideal to maximise overall performance.

RAM

Your RAM (Random-access memory) is important for multi-tasking and ensuring your PC remains speedy when asking it to do multiple things. Your RAM will essentially cache certain aspects of your game allowing them to be used again quickly in the future.

You should aim for a minimum of 16GB for a gaming PC build. 16GB of RAM will allow you to race any game quite comfortably. If you’re looking at streaming and video editing on your sim racing gaming PC, you should look to increase your maximum RAM to 32GB of higher.

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Storage

Storage is important within any PC build, but more so with a gaming PC. Your storage is where you will be installing your games and running them. Ensure you have enough storage space to store games, and also manage other daily PC tasks with some free space in reserve.

Your PC will often cache files to your hard drive or SSD which can take up storage space. So keeping some free space is vital to ensuring your PC doesn’t grind to a halt.

To enable the fastest game loads, and quick transitions through games, you should look for a fast SSD as your main storage. Many gamers will also have a backup HDD for storing game captures and other files.

Cooling

An often overlooked part of any PC is cooling. However, it is crucial to have enough cooling to stop your gaming PC from running too hot.

Liquid cooling PC

As you ask for more performance from your CPU, GPU and other components, each component will heat up. If this isn’t kept below a maximum range, your PC will shut off to avoid damaging components.

A good cooling system such as a liquid cooler can maintain lower temperatures throughout your gaming PC case. And some look really cool as well, adding RGB lighting and a bit of interest to your build.

Budget

Your budget is crucially important when it comes to configuring your sim racing PC. You don’t want to spend all of your budget on a certain part, to then be left short when buying other components.

It is often good to use online configuration tools such as PC part picker to help you budget your PC build. Failing that, pre-built PCs are an easy way at keeping under your budget without any nasty surprises.

Gaming PC builds can get very expensive, but as a recommendation follow these price points when choosing the style of PC to build or buy;

  • Entry level gaming PC – $/£1000
  • Mid-level gaming PC – Up to $/£2000
  • High-end gaming PC – $/£2000 upwards

Recommended PC builds for sim racing

Below are three PC builds that can achieve varying results when sim racing. Each of these has been configured for a different budget level.

Budget PC

Run most racing sims at low-medium graphics settings

Mid-Level PC

Achieve consistant 60FPS at high graphics settings

Ultimate Racing PC

Achieve high FPS at max graphics settings

CPU

CPU

CPU

GPU

GPU

GPU

MEMORY

MEMORY

MEMORY

STORAGE

STORAGE

STORAGE

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

No

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

Yes - 1080p

TRIPLE SCREEN COMPATIBLE

Yes - 1440p

GUIDE PRICE

£/$1000

GUIDE PRICE

£/$1800

GUIDE PRICE

£/$3200

Budget configuration

The budget PC will allow you to run most sim racing games at medium or low settings. You should be able to easily hit 30FPS consistently at 1080p with this gaming PC build. If you fine-tune your in-game settings well you will be able to improve your FPS to 60 and higher.

This build consists of an i5 processer with just 4 cores. Ideally, 6 cores or more are recommended for a decent gaming PC build. However, the 4 cores found in this i5 are significant enough to allow you to run all sim racing games. Combined with a GTX 1660 and 16GB of RAM should net you a solid gaming PC.

Mid-level configuration

Our suggested configuration for a mid-level sim racing PC build contains some pretty good hardware. Both the i7-8700K and RTX 3070Ti are very capable and combine to allow you to run your sim racing games at a high FPS at high to ultra graphics settings.

You will be able to game at 1440p with no problem with this build, and run a triple screen setup, most likely at 1080p.

High-end configuration

The high-end gaming PC build above leaves no performance gaps anywhere. The mighty i9-10980XE has a total of 18 cores and 36 threads meaning you will be able to multi-task to your heart’s content. This is ideal for streamers or video editors who often run multiple programs at once.

The RTX 3080Ti is an absolute gaming monster. It will run pretty much all sim racing games at maximum settings, even at higher resolutions such as 1440p. Triple screen sim racing is not a problem with this GPU.


Best pre-built PCs for sim racing

Pre-built gaming PCs are fantastic options for gamers and sim racers who don’t have time to spec and compatibility check an entire PC build. If you’re short on time or have a lack of interest in PC building, a pre-built PC will help you achieve your requirements in minimal time.

Favourite AMD Gaming PC

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition Gaming PC

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition

AMD-based PC builds have become increasingly popular recently. Not only is the performance on offer fantastic, but the price point of these AMD machines is also very competitive.

This is certainly true with the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition. This is a gaming PC that has the power to run almost any game at maximum graphical settings. The mighty Ryzen 9 5900 processor is one of the best around. Combine that with a powerful RTX 3070 and 32GB of RAM and you have the recipe for a smooth sim racing experience.

While there are more powerful (and expensive) graphics cards on the market, this RTX 3070 performs extremely well. And it also helps keep the overall price of this gaming PC down.

The configuration that I have highlighted below comes in at under £/$1700. This represents great value considering you’re buying an Alienware desktop.


Favourite Intel Gaming PC

CyberPowerPC Infinity Gaming Pc Sim Racing

CyberPowerPC Infinity 59

This CyberPowerPC has buckets of performance on offer. It houses one of the best 12th gen Intel Core i9 processors. It has 8 cores and 24 threads making it extremely efficient.

I’ve also opted to configure this Infinity with a powerful RTX 3080 graphics card. This GPU will be able to run all sim racing games at high or maximum graphics settings for years to come.

Rounding out this PC build is 32GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. This will allow for fantastic performance whether you are gaming, streaming, editing videos or all three.

  • CPU – Intel® Core™ 12th Gen i9-12900KF
  • GPU – MSI GeForce® RTX 3080
  • RAM – 32GB DDR4
  • Storage – 1TB SSD
  • Buy CyberPowerPC Infinity

Best Budget Gaming PC

Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming PC

Alienware Aurora R12

When you think of Alienware, you think of premium PCs and laptops. However, if you look through the numerous configurations, you’ll be able to find a high performing Alienware R12 for a discounted price.

With the release of the Alienware Aurora R13, which houses 12th generation Intel processors, you can now find the slightly older R12 with a discount. The spec that I have highlighted below incorporated some pretty powerful hardware. However, it doesn’t max out certain areas, resulting in a more budget-friendly gaming PC for sim racing.

This spec is available on Amazon and directly from Dell, and it includes an 11th gen processor with X cores. You’ll also find an RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6. This combination is more than powerful enough to run iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione without breaking a sweat.

The compromise here is in the physical storage and memory. This gaming PC comes with just 16GB of ram, which will make intensive tasks such as video editing a little trickier. And there is also a small SSD. The good news is that both of these parts can be upgraded pretty cheaply over time.

This particular Aurora R12 provides a great base for a gaming PC for sim racing for years to come, with the ability to upgrade as required.

  • CPU – Intel® Core™ 11th Gen i7-11700KF
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4
  • Storage – 512GB SSD
  • Buy Alienware Aurora R12

How demanding are sim racing games to run?

The great news for budding sim racers is that not all sim racing games require a super PC to race. While you will need a decent PC to achieve the highest FPS and maximum graphics settings many games such as iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione can be played on a mid-level PC.


Recommended Requirements for iRacing

Can I Run iRacing? – Recommended iRacing System Specs

iRacing is extremely good at simulating the physics of cars on tracks, and providing a fantastic online sim racing experience. But a category where it isn’t as strong is in the graphics department.

iRacing doesn’t look the best, especially compared to other sim racing games, but this is actually good news for PC sim racers. It means that iRacing is actually rather easy to run on most PCs, even older gaming PCs.

Of course, like all games, the power of a strong gaming PC will improve your experience, and allow you to hit higher FPS numbers. But it’s a sim racing game that isn’t too demanding.

As long as you have a decent CPU with at least 6 cores, and a mid to high spec graphics card such as an RTX 2070, you’ll be OK running iRacing.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1060  or AMD RX 580
  • Storage: 50GB of available space

Recommended Requirements for ACC

ACC Intercontinental Pack DLC

Assetto Corsa Competizione is more intensive to run when compared to iRacing. In fact, is possibly the most GPU dependent racing sim around currently. Don’t be too worried though, as it will run fine on a mid-level gaming PC.

Much like the iRacing PC specs above, I’d recommend at least a 6 core CPU. Although you may want to increase your GPU performance. A GPU like an RTX 2080Ti or RTX 3070Ti will be more than capable of achieving good performance with ACC.

Officially, Kunos only recommend 6GB of RAM for their recommended PC requirements. However, I’d highly suggest having at least 16GB of RAM for good performance.

  • CPU: AMD Six-Core CPU, Intel Quad-Core CPU
  • Memory: 6GB RAM
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon 290x
  • Storage: 30GB of available space

Recommended Requirements for F1 2021

F1 2021 Screenshot

F1 2021 is a great looking game and makes use of ray tracing technology. This does mean you’ll require a ray tracing capable GPU to take full advantage of this title’s graphical prowess.

Much like ACC above, a GPU such as the RTX 2080Ti or 3070Ti are ideal candidates to be able to achieve high graphic settings at 1080p.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-9600K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 590
  • GPU for Ray Tracing: Nvidia RTX 3070 / AMD RX 6800
  • Storage: 80GB of available space

Can you sim race on a gaming laptop?

I have focused this guide solely on desktop gaming PCs. This is because they are much more customisable and generally, work out cheaper to purchase and configure than a gaming laptop.

With a gaming laptop, you are also paying for the screen technology and the premium of it being portable. Both of these add to the overall cost.

Under the hood, almost all of the parts that are used are laptop specific components. These laptop components are generally de-tuned variants of their desktop counterparts, making them slower in general.

With that said, there is a fantastic selection of gaming laptops that allow you to sim race with good performance. In fact, in our studio, we have an ASUS Rog Strix that is capable of running Assetto Corsa Competizione at 4k without a problem.

So you certainly can sim race using a laptop. It just isn’t the most efficient way of taking to the track!


Which gaming monitor is best for sim racing

Choosing a gaming monitor is just as important as your PC configuration. It is the part that will be displaying your game and the part you’ll be looking at for 99% of your time sim racing!

It is also a decision that will directly affect your PC configuration. If you have a 4k gaming monitor or a triple screen monitor setup, you will require more GPU performance.

Read our complete guide on the best gaming monitors for sim racing.


How to choose a sim racing PC that is right for you

Hopefully, the above sim racing PC guide has helped direct you towards some of the better options for a sim racing PC. Ultimately, you will have to juggle your requirements such as desired performance and budget to find the gaming PC that is right for you.

Always consider how you intend to be using your gaming PC. Are you looking to create a triple screen configuration? Do you have a particular goal in terms of graphics quality or FPS?

There are endless options when it comes to a gaming PC. Our suggested builds and pre-built PCs above are some of the best options you can find. Whichever route you take, try to future proof your build, as upgrading every year can become expensive!


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