Fanatec CSL DD: Is The Boost Kit Worth Buying?
Fanatec provides sim racers with a modular way to upgrade their wheel base in the form of the Boost Kit 180. In this guide, I'll look at what this upgrade is, how much it costs, and whether it's worth buying.
With Fanatec’s latest wheel bases, the small direct drive CSL DD and GT DD Pro, you have the option of two different variations. There is the base CSL DD and GT DD Pro models which create 5Nm of torque. Or you can opt to upgrade to the 8Nm versions of these wheels.
The only difference between the 5Nm and 8Nm wheels is that the upgraded versions include the Boost Kit 180. The Boost Kit is essentially a larger power supply that unlocks the additional performance of the CSL DD and GT DD Pro wheel bases. The wheel bases themselves are the same, whichever strength option you choose.
This approach allows sim racers to upgrade their racing wheels down the line by adding a Boost Kit. In this guide, I’ll look at how the Boost Kit 180 works, what it costs, the extra performance on offer and whether it is ultimately worth buying.
What is the Boost Kit 180?
As mentioned, the Boost Kit 180 is a stand-alone power supply that can be used with either the CSL DD or the GT DD Pro wheel base. The Boost Kit 180 supplies each wheel base with more power, which in turn allows the wheel base to produce force feedback at an increased strength.
- The standard power supply produces 90W, allowing for 5Nm of peak torque.
- The Boost Kit 180 produces 180W, allowing for 8Nm of peak torque.
What wheels are compatible with the Boost Kit 180?
The Boost Kit 180 was specifically designed for the CSL DD wheel base, giving sim racers the option of two different price points. The Boost Kit has also been used with the GT DD Pro, which is essentially the same wheel base as the CSL DD, but with added compatibility with PlayStation.
Currently, at the time of writing this, you cannot buy the GT DD Pro as a stand-alone wheel base in its 5Nm form. It is only available in its upgraded 8Nm form which includes the Boost Kit 180. You can, however, buy the CSL DD either with or without the Boost Kit 180.
There are also bundles that include the GT DD Pro wheel base without the Boost Kit. If you choose to buy one of these bundles, you can then buy the Boost Kit 180 to increase the strength of the GT DD Pro up to 8Nm of peak torque.
How much does the Boost Kit 180 cost?
It is safe to say that the Boost Kit 180 isn’t a cheap upgrade, costing $149.95. However, when you consider how much of an upgrade this upgraded power supply provides, you can argue that it is worth the cost.
- The Boost Kit 180 costs $149.95
- Without the Boost Kit 180, the CSL DD produces 5Nm of torque, and costs $349.95
- With the Boost Kit 180, the CSL DD produces 8Nm of torque, and costs $499.95
Is it worth buying the Boost Kit for a CSL DD or GT DD Pro?
With all of the costs and compatibility looked at, now we come to the question, is the Boost Kit 180 worth buying? In a nutshell, yes, it is a great upgrade to either the CSL DD or the GT DD Pro.
In their base 5Nm forms, these wheel bases produce very detailed force feedback with a decent amount of strength. Being able to buy a direct drive wheel base for under $350 is fantastic.
However, by adding the Boost Kit 180, and boosting the peak torque up to 8Nm really brings these wheel bases to life.
It allows them to produce significantly stronger force feedback, and with that increase in power, you will feel an increased range of force feedback. Within this extended range are finer details which can be missed when using either wheel base at 5Nm.
I always say that the perfect torque levels for a direct drive wheel base range from 10Nm up to 16Nm. Anything above this range is almost considered too strong to enjoy for longer race distances in my opinion.
With the Boost Kit 180, it brings both the CSL DD and GT DD Pro up close to that perfect power range, making it one of the best racing wheels around. And for many sim racers, these wheel bases with the Boost Kit 180, will make for the perfect wheel base that will perform at a high level and last for years.
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