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What effect does the hardware used have on how ACC is perceived?

Discussion in 'ACC General Discussions' started by Luis Branco, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Luis Branco

    Luis Branco Hardcore Simmer

    Recently, I changed the pedals and, although I was expecting a better response from the hardware in terms of precision and general use, I wasn’t expecting that it would influence the way I felt the car in the simworld or changes in communication between the virtual and real world.
    For me, a new set of pedals wold be just that, a new set of hardware as a solution for an hardware issue I had, but would not influence my perception of how the car drives nor would change my inputs in the real world.

    However, I’m amazed how the hardware has changed my perception of what the car is doing and, in general, how it transformed the way I communicate with the virtual world.

    Suddenly it seems the distance between me and the virtual is closer, as if before my actions were more a matter of a stream of reactions instead of a flow of steady inputs.
    An even if before it didn’t seemed so, now, by comparison, it does, to the point that the car behaviour seems changed, more settled, more consistent, better timed, more planted, more controllable.
    Without any change whatsoever other than using a different set of pedals, from the first moment it seems as if I have a new sim, more communicative, more reliable, more predictable, more drivable than before.

    I had a systematic exit oversteer on the last chicane of Spa that is now gone, but I'm turning the steering and pressing the accelerator pedal as before.
    The braking for Les Combes had a bit of gamble between turn in understeer and following the intended line but now the car follows the steering input with more precision and reliability, but again, I’m braking at the same place and turning with the same steering angle.
    Brands Hatch Clark turn was a bit hit and miss on brake and turn in, while keeping the line for early acceleration and trying to minimise any oversteering, but now the braking and turn in is much controlled and the early acceleration goes without oversteering issues.

    If the sim didn’t changed in anyway, nor the driver, can the hardware have such an effect that changes the perception of how the sim works, what it communicates and how the driver react to it?

    Is the perception directly influenced by the hardware used, or is the hardware irrelevant in the relation between the simracer, present in the real world, and the car present in the virtual world?

    Do the simracers have the same experience and same feedback of the virtual world, regardless of the hardware used, or does the hardware have a greater impact of how the simracer is taken to the virtual world, to the point that modifies the understanding of car reactions and, consequently, how his inputs are controlled in the real world?

    In my view, after what I noticed just due to a hardware change, I’m inclined to say that yes, it does.
    I do think the hardware used can be s determinant factor of how a sim is perceived in the real world to the point that has a direct effect in the driver reactions and car control, while, at the same time, influence the perception of what's happening in the virtual world, closing the gap that exists between virtual and real.

    Rather than asking if the hardware makes a drivers faster or more consistent, I prefer to ask if does the hardware changes the way a sim is felt by the simracer and if it is also determinant in changing the perception of driving in the virtual world by influencing how and what to do by the driver in the real world?
     
    Salvatore Amato and GroteBakkes like this.

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  3. Chriss

    Chriss Racer

  4. Default

    Default Racer

    It's called the placebo effect.
     
    Redoxs likes this.
  5. jaxx_za

    jaxx_za Hardcore Simmer

    I would agree - switched from g27 pedals to CSP v1's around March this year, and in my opinion these changes has brought me closer to feeling the vehicle in ACC. The ability to modulate the brake more precisely has made the handling of vehicles in ACC feel more detailed / realistic (like having actual mass and momentum), and gave me the feeling of being in control of something that was subject to the laws of physics.

    With the g27 pedals, I felt somewhat disconnected from the car, which I would have never put down to the pedals, had I not upgraded.
     
  6. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    I'll tell you this...
    Some steering wheels, offer a different feel when connected to different USB ports of the same PC...
    Even Oculus if I'm not wrong, specifically says in the manual that some cables have to go to USB 3 and others to USB 2, or something like that (not a big expert on that), otherwise you get stutters and bad performance.
    So yeah, welcome to the realization of our world... PCs are great, but boy do we fight with ghosts everytime...
     
  7. Gevatter

    Gevatter Alien

    I can tell you that when I switched from a G25 to the Fanatec CSL Elite I gained about 1 second per lap with the RSS Formula 2 around Red Bull Ring, and I thought it was because I could feel the car better in slow corners. But then I realized I did a lot of driving with this combo over time, so maybe I just got quicker by myself and only really realized the time gain because the new wheel triggered me to check it more thoroughly. Additionaly, now that I've switched from The CSL Elite to an Accuforce DD-wheel some months ago, my times with the same combo stayed the same, although I subjectively have an even better feeling for the car, so make of that what you will.

    Back in the day with my G25 it sometimes felt weaker than usual, or it felt like the FFB would come through less detailed, and after rebooting the PC or playing again the next day it felt OK again. I always thought I was imagining things, but maybe it was just a difference in power going through the USB at any given time?
     
  8. go.neil

    go.neil Gamer

    If you already have a decent wheel, lik G29 or t300Rs, the next best hardware upgrade should be your GPU. I am already assuming that I'll be making alienating comments here. But believe me, even using 60HZ monitor and running it at 120 FPS, the virtually zero input lag and responsiveness by upgrading your GPU is better than going from G29 to a Fanatec. But if you already have the latest and greatest PC wise, yeah, getting a DD wheel with pedals to match will improve your experience a lot.
     
  9. Atak_Kat

    Atak_Kat Racer

    Well, I do think hardware makes a difference, but the question is really how to define the difference, and different people will have different opinions.

    Over simplified, I believe it's mostly true that upgrading hardware will not make you faster. You're either fast, or not. You either learn quick, or slowly/gradually. I do believe it can help in some situations.

    However, 'how ACC is perceived' (per the title) is definitely impacted by hardware. Running it in 4K, is really beautiful (also AC1 with SOL/shaders patch and a few tweaks). But you need some good hardware to do that. Getting good frame rates with good graphic settings, needs good hardware. If you have a DD wheel and use it for a while, then go back to T300, OK it's fine, but you realize there's something more with the DD. I recently upgraded pedals as well.... it makes a difference. Not so much in my lap times, but in my enjoyment of the game (any driving game). Having all of that, with a solid frame/rig, adds another element to my happiness. Even got a Sparco seat... better lap times? Nope. More enjoyment of the sim (any one, not just ACC). Yes.

    Does it cost. Damn, yes. But that's my choice. And it has nothing to do with lap time.

    (RANT) And I see/hear guys all the time making big purchases just like me. But it drives me absolutely crazy when people get all wound up and vocal about 'whether or not ACC is worth your money.... (35 euros???)' It's a bloody no-brainer. You've got guys spending thousands on PC hardware, and arguing if a game is worth 5 more/less euros. I don't get it.
     
    Cristian Haba and ignission like this.
  10. Luis Branco

    Luis Branco Hardcore Simmer

    I’m not considering any lap time improvements due to hardware changes, but mainly how the driver is able to change their interaction with the sim via the hardware and how that influence the perception of driving.

    The question I raised is about the intrinsic hardware characteristics (for instance, cogs vs belt vs direct drive, potentiometer vs load cell, etc), that can change the interactions of the driver with the sim and if those are relevant enough up to cause a different perception of what is happening and the ability to react.

    I opened this thread because I have a similar experience to @jaxx_za due solely to changing the pedals.
    With the new set I now have a load cell in the accelerator when before had potentiometer, and that changed quite a bit how I accelerate and, by consequence, the car reaction to my pedal input.
    I have also a different brake consistency, mainly because the new set it allows a more precise and timed control of brake use, even if the previous set also had load cell in the brake pedal.

    These two changes allowed me to have a different control of the car than with the older pedals and, at the same time, a different perception of what is happening in sim, how to react and to perceive how the car behaves.

    The accelerator as an example: previously I would judge the acceleration by visual cues and car reaction (oversteer, understeer, sliding, etc.), but the timing of the acceleration was somehow delayed by my own input, with me reacting more than having an actual control of the pedal position.
    I now find that, due to that, I often had to correct my driving more that I thought, with a greater tendency for an erratic car movement and, simultaneously, a greater sense of sliding (either understeer or oversteer), less consistency and smaller reliability.
    Now, instead, I have a better car response to what I do and can use the pedal to effectively tell how much and when to accelerate, rather than reacting to what happened after accelerating and immediately compensate as needed.

    The brake pedal, allows a more precise use, allowing to just feather the pedal and have a tiny brake correction, that doesn’t unbalance the car, when before, even if it was also a load cell pedal, I couldn’t effectively make such minute adjustments, that could be greater, or not enough and, consequently, had to correct with steering wheel input. That would cause the car to seem less planted than I now feel, and I now have a better timing of my inputs according to what is required, instead of before, when I was braking a bit too much, loosen the brakes and applying brakes again, while correcting with the steering.
     
  11. Balles

    Balles Gamer

    Hardware has an influence on me. I'd say no matter the hardware and the price, what is important is to have a good feeling with it.
    For example I used to play with the Fanatec CSPv2 with load cells and 2 years ago it broked. Then I decided to get cheap Fanatec pedals without load cells while I'll repair the CSPv2 or get a CSPv3. But I had a very good feeling with my cheap pedals, better laptimes everywhere, so I kept it, and I'm still using it now, although I can afford much better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  12. ignission

    ignission Racer

    That’s interesting to read that you prefer a potentiometer based brake pedal over a load cell. Is it the fact that you are quicker with them that you’ve kept them or do you actually prefer the feel?

    I only ask as you don’t hear that very often.
     
  13. Luca Zari

    Luca Zari Racer

  14. Balles

    Balles Gamer

    Both actually. Let's say I don't want to spend money on another set of pedals, with or without load cell, while I have a good feeling with this one at the risk to have less feeling and less fast too.
    To me the hardware must be like the real deal, as close as possible as IRL, but not to the detriment of my performance wich is a great part of the fun when I play a sim.
    At the end, hardware is a tool, what is important is to use it wisely to achieve a goal. If the goal is riched then no need to change the tool.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  15. anthonylroy

    anthonylroy Simracer

    Hardware makes a big difference to me , Pedals make a big difference , especially if you set them up specifically for yourself. a secure seating position was a big change for me
     
  16. Achokaracho

    Achokaracho Racer

    The biggest impact on my lap times/driving skills/performance,
    1. Switching from g27 pedals to loadcell pedals.
    2. Switching from single monitor to vr.
    3. Playing ACC with CC enabled.

    But number 3 had the most impact on me.
    I can adapt to other Sims and drive as fast as in ACC.
    But the CC feedback was the critical thing that improved my lap times the most
     
  17. ears

    ears Hardcore Simmer

    That's because once you get to 3 sensors and a headset, you have 4 devices that require more bandwidth than a single USB bus can provide.

    So they recommend sticking one of your sensors into a USB2 socket so that it's connected to a different bus.

    They also recommend buying a new PCIe USB bus for the same reason.

    Fortunately with the new onboard tracking methods such nonesense will soon be a thing of the past.
     
    Aristotelis and ignission like this.
  18. ignission

    ignission Racer

    Yeah, I share a similar experience. Pedals are the most important bit of kit in my opinion with regards performance, but you need a rig to get the most out of them.

    I had a desk set up originally, but moving to a simlabs gt1 evo rig changed everything.

    Just climbing into it with everything set up perfectly and zero flex is a great feeling. Particularly with the manual start procedure, it feels so cool to sink into the rig and fire up the car :)
     
    warth0g likes this.
  19. mike reynolds

    mike reynolds Hardcore Simmer

    My recent switch to a DD1 has helped, coming from a CSW 2.5 it wasn’t immediately wow, as the feedback from the csw is pretty good....and I’m no faster over 1 hotlap in optimal conditions, but in a race, when the track, weather and tyres are changing I’m more confident to push and can catch things I couldn’t before, so for me at least, a DD wheel has improved how quickly I get to to the finish line over a number of laps
     
  20. ignission

    ignission Racer

    And consistency is massive in online races. There are plenty of people fast over a single lap in quali that can’t hold it together over the course of a race :D
     
  21. GroteBakkes

    GroteBakkes Racer

    Im still on the lowend/ midtier on the hardware spectrum. I went from a G25 to a G27 to an T300 RS. I liked the G27 a lot, although the gears where clunky and notchy at times, it was rocksolid.
    Upgraded the springs with GT Eye ones as i could not afford a loadcell at the time. It made quite a big difference in consistency. Same from G27 to T300 RS ( Gears to Beltdriven). A lot smoother, again another step in consistency. I went from a desk in my old house to a GT omega wheelStand in my new one, although its quite firm for the size and weight, it flexes too much to my liking so i consider this a small step back.

    The T3PA GT edition standard pedals, while nice was a stepback as well compared to GT Eye modded G27. So i sold them and since not so long
    own an CSL Elite LC. Soo much more connection in braking and feathering.
    The throttle & clutchpedals were not as big a step to the G27 as hoped. Using the heavier clutch for gaspedal made it quite a lot better. As i drive ACC i dont need the clutch anyway, except for driving away from standstill.
    A new AMD PC build in the winter, Vega 56 2ndhand just before 1.0 release and going from single 24 inch to single 34 inch Ultrawide a month ago were big gamechangers as well.
    On the whole, every upgrade was a investment in smoothness, immersion and consistency. Pure pacewise u can nail a lap with q Driving Force GT stock setup and a standard wheelstand for sure, although i feel for me it would be a lucky lap over lots of frusty laps haha.
    Next up is not investing in a new wheel yet, but in a dedicated Sim rig. That flexx is annoying and rigidity of your mountingspot will help so much more in consistency and better FFB translation from rig to me.
    Got my eye on that Simlab GT evo thingie, looks legit and very good value.
     

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