Fanatec CSL DD vs GT DD Pro – Which Wheel Should You Buy?
Now you can buy the GT DD Pro as an individual wheel base, there is the question of which wheel base should you buy? The Fanatec CSL DD or the GT DD Pro? Head to head comparison.
Which is better, Fanatec CSL DD or GT DD Pro?
Both the Fanatec CSL DD and the GT DD Pro share a lot of the same architecture and inner workings. Yet they are both priced very differently and offer a different set of pros and cons. This head to head comparison guide finds out which wheel base you should buy in 2022.
Introducing the Fanatec CSL DD vs GT DD Pro
Both the Fanatec CSL DD and the GT DD Pro, or Gran Turismo DD Pro to give it its full name, are designed to bring direct drive to all sim racers at a reduced price. They’re both small but mighty wheel bases that deliver just under half the direct drive performance of the more powerful Podium wheel bases, at well under half the cost.
This new generation of direct drive wheel base has been incredibly popular with sim racers, with both models selling out when they launched.
The CSL DD was the first of the two wheel bases to be released back in 2021. It came in two formats, a lower-priced 5Nm wheel base, and a slightly more expensive 8Nm version. Both versions delivered direct drive performance compatible with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles as well with PC.
Then, late in 2021, Fanatec launched the GT DD Pro alongside the release of Gran Turismo 7. The GT DD Pro was developed in collaboration with the developers of Gran Turismo 7, and launched as a bundle. The bundle included the wheel base, which differed from the CSL DD in design but delivered the same performance. It also included the CSL pedals, and a Gran Turismo branded steering wheel.
This bundle cost a lot more than the CSL DD did individually as it included a wheel and pedals. But recently Fanatec has started selling the GT DD Pro as a standalone wheel base, much like the CSL DD.
So that then creates the question. Which wheel base should you buy, the Fanatec CSL DD or the GT DD Pro?
Let’s start this head to head comparison by looking at the CSL DD. I’ll then take a closer look at the GT DD Pro and how that differs. And finally, I’ll compare both products side by side, and bring you a definitive answer as to which wheel base you should buy in 2022.
Fanatec CSL DD Overview
When Fanatec released the CSL DD, it was a real game-changing product. Nobody within the sim racing sector had ever released a direct drive wheel base as cheap as the CSL DD was priced at.
It also provided incredible ease of use, with plug and play compatibility with the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. Yes, the Podium DD1 and DD2 both also work with Xbox consoles, but they cost well over double the price of the CSL DD.
One of the great selling points of the CSL DD at launch, was that you could purchase it in two different formats. There is a lower-powered 5Nm version of the CSL DD which retails for €349.95. And then there was the same wheel base, that came with an upgrade kit to output 8Nm of torque. This upgraded version costs €479.95.
This allowed sim racers with different budgets to buy into the Fanatec ecosystem. Sim racers with lower budgets could purchase the same product as those opting for the 8Nm version. And they would have the option to upgrade to the 8Nm at a later date.
This was down to the upgraded version coming with a separate power supply that enabled the more powerful 8Nm output. So if you purchased the cheaper 5Nm CSL DD, you could always upgrade to 8Nm by simply buying the additional power supply.
When the CSL DD launched, it sold out before a single unit was even shipped to a customer. It went on backorder for a long time, with pre-orders stretching back to early 2022 in some cases. This was a sign that Fanatec was on to a winning formula with the small and mighty direct drive wheel base.
Wheel Base – Fanatec CSL DD
Compatibility – Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Wheel Base Price – From €349.95 (€479.95 with Boost Kit 180)
Where to buy – Buy from Fanatec
Fanatec GT DD Pro Overview
Fanatec knew that if the Xbox compatible CSL DD was as popular as it was, then releasing a PlayStation compatible version should be a no brainer. And this is exactly what Fanatec did.
They worked with developers Polyphony Digital, the development team behind Gran Turismo. Just before Gran Turismo 7 launched, Fanatec revealed and launched the GT DD Pro (Gran Turismo DD Pro), named after the game itself.
Originally, the GT DD Pro was released as a bundle, coming with a steering wheel and pedals included. However, this meant the price of the GT DD Pro bundle was much higher than that of the CSL DD.
In early 2022, Fanatec started selling the GT DD Pro wheel base as an individual item. As standard, it comes in its 8Nm form and isn’t available at the lower 5Nm strength.
The price for the Fanatec GT DD Pro is higher than that of the comparable CSL DD, partly thanks to its extra compatibility. The GT DD Pro is compatible with PS5 and PS4 consoles, but it is also Xbox compatible if you attach an Xbox compatible steering wheel.
This allows the GT DD Pro to be compatible with all consoles, making it the only direct drive wheel base within this price range that can do just that.
Wheel Base – Fanatec GT DD Pro
Compatibility – PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Wheel Base Price – €599.95
Where to buy – Buy from Fanatec
With both wheel bases using essentially the same internal architecture, the main point of difference is the added compatibility that the GT DD Pro has. When it comes to deciding which wheel base to buy between the CSL DD vs GT DD Pro, this will be your biggest decision.
The CSL DD is only compatible with Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. The GT DD Pro is compatible with PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.
If you own both Xbox and PlayStation consoles and like to race Gran Turismo 7 on your PS5, then switch to Forza on your Xbox, it may be beneficial to have just one wheel base. This will avoid you having to constantly change which wheel base is mounted to your sim rig, and it will save you from having to store two wheel bases.
If you only sim race on Xbox or PlayStation consoles exclusively and you don’t have any upcoming desire to purchase the other console, then you can safely opt for whichever wheel base is compatible with your console.
The price is the second major consideration. The GT DD Pro does cost around €110 more than the 8Nm CSL DD. This is a large chunk of money to spend on a product that delivers the same quality force feedback.
However, if you do sim race on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles, €110 is a lot cheaper than the cost of having to purchase two individual wheel bases.
Should you buy a Fanatec CSL DD vs GT DD Pro?
With everything compared, the decision to purchase either the CSL DD or the GT DD Pro is a relatively simple one. And which wheel base you decide to choose will be determined by which of the following categories you fall into.
- I race only on Xbox or PC – Fanatec CSL DD
- I race only on PS5 or PS4 – Fanatec GT DD Pro
- I race on both Xbox and PS5 / PS4 – Fanatec GT DD Pro
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