USB hubs can be a lifesaver, especially if you have a varied sim racing setup with hardware from multiple manufacturers. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner racer, or a seasoned veteran, it’s useful to check out the best USB hubs for sim racing setups.
The 5 best USB hubs for sim racing are:
- Sabrent HB-PU16
- UGREEN 7 in 1 USB 3.0 Hub
- Anker 10 Port 60W Data Hub
- ORICO Powered USB 3.1 Hub
- Sabrent HB-BU10
All of these USB hubs are powered hubs, ensuring no power delivery failures to any sim racing hardware you have plugged in. Read on below for a more in-depth look at each one and some important information to consider before you buy one for your setup.
Why Would You Need A USB Hub For Sim Racing?
USB hubs can be very helpful for sim racing if you do not have enough USB ports on your motherboard or PC. If you use a varied collection of hardware from different manufacturers, or if you plan to record or stream your gameplay, you’ll likely benefit from having some additional USB ports.
If all of your USB ports are taken up by your sim racing equipment it can be frustrating and tedious to unplug things or swap out peripherals when you decide to switch to a different game or want to simply use a mouse and keyboard alongside your sim racing hardware.
Not Always Needed
USB hubs aren’t always necessary, and if your motherboard has enough USB ports or your sim racing hardware is all mutually compatible you will generally be fine without one.
It may not be ideal in the long run however, as you will usually run out of ports rather quickly when sim racing. Whether they’re being taken up by speakers, mice, keyboards, or USB drives, there are a lot of things that demand a USB port, so it’s best to just get a USB hub sooner rather than later and save yourself the potential hassle!
Buyer’s Tip: If you’re thinking about buying a USB hub, be sure to consider any future upgrades to your rig. If you only need an additional slot for your wheel just now, but you might buy a shifter and handbrake in the future, be sure to get a USB hub that will accommodate these upgrades.
Another reason you might need a USB hub for your sim racing setup is if you plan to record or stream your gameplay. This will usually involve plugging in things like cameras, microphones, and possibly other peripherals that will all require their own connections. In this case, a USB hub can make life much easier.
Do USB Hubs Affect The Performance Of Connected Devices?
Powered USB hubs will generally give you a far more stable connection than that of an unpowered USB hub. An issue you might face regarding the performance of a connected device is power delivery failures when using unpowered USB hubs. This can result in the peripheral repeatedly disconnecting or not even powering on at all.
Powered USB hubs simply don’t have this issue as power is delivered through a standard AC power plug, resulting in consistent delivery of power, putting very little stress on your PC itself. There are situations of course where an unpowered USB hub would make more sense, like if you only plan on using it to connect a mouse, keyboard, or USB drives.
They also take up less space and have fewer cables, being generally cheaper too. Another option that is rarely discussed is installing a PCI-E USB expansion card. This is a cableless option that doesn’t require a separate power supply and ends up being a lot less messy than a USB hub, but how easy and possible it is will vary depending on the specifics of your PC.
KEY POINTS• USB hubs aren’t always necessary for a sim racing setup, but they can be very useful if you have a lot of peripherals
• They’re generally most useful for those using sim racing hardware from multiple manufacturers
• It’s best to opt for a powered USB hub for sim racing over a non-powered on
The 5 Best USB Hubs For Sim Racing
1. Sabrent HB-PU16
USB-A: 16 | USB-C: 0 | Other: N/A
This powered USB hub could arguably be labeled as overkill, but for sim racing this is one of the best options on the market, offering a huge number of USB 3.0 ports with individual switches to turn them on or off, and a very durable aluminum housing that also dissipates heat.
There are 16 USB ports, each with a blue light that indicates whether power is being delivered to them or not. It also features over-voltage, over-heating, over-current, and short circuit protection, important features to have when so many devices are plugged into one device. A downside that can’t be ignored is the high price.
If you need all 16 USB slots, want to future-proof your sim racing setup, or simply want the most convenient option, I highly recommend this USB hub from Sabrent.
- 16 USB slots
- Durable, heat-dissipating aluminum construction
- Individual on/off switches
- A bit overkill for many
2. UGREEN 7 In 1 USB 3.0 Hub
USB-A: 2 | USB-C: 1 | Other: 1 x HDMI / 1 x SD / 1 x Micro SD / 1 x Ethernet
This USB hub from UGREEN comes in at a much more affordable price compared to the Sabrent HB-PU16, but the result is fewer ports, with only 3 USB ports. However, this may make more sense for most people, as a need for 16 additional USB ports is a fairly niche situation to find yourself in!
3 USB ports should be more than enough to support most (if not all) of your sim racing peripherals, as well as maybe an external hard drive or mouse and keyboard. This is again a powered USB hub, ensuring a consistent flow of power and great performance out of your sim racing peripherals. You also get extra ports like HDMI and SD, which makes this a very practical and multipurpose option.
This USB hub features the same safety measures as the previous Sabrent USB hub but it’s far more compact, making it less likely to add clutter to your sim racing setup, and it will blend in nicely with its neutral gray color. Overall, this is a great, cheaper alternative to the expensive Sabrent HB-PU16 for those who only need a few extra USB ports.
- Fairly cheap
- Lots of useful ports
- Only 3 USB ports
3. Anker 10 Port 60W Data Hub
USB-A: 10 | USB-C: 0 | Other: N/A
This USB hub from Anker is very compact, being able to sit nicely tucked away on your desk. It is a 60 W powered USB hub with 3 PowerIQ charging ports, ideal for charging devices or powering external hard drives. A 12V/5A AC power adapter is also included.
The main appeal of this USB hub is how compact it is, easily being accommodated by most sim racing setups. One downside however is its lack of individual on/off switches, and for the relatively high price point, it’s a shame it doesn’t feature these switches. If space is a worry but you need a good number of USB ports, this is a great option.
- Very compact 60 W design
- Ideal number of USB ports for most setups
- 3 specially designed charging ports for fast charging
- No individual on/off switches
4. ORICO Powered USB 3.1 Hub
USB-A: 4 | USB-C: 0 | Other: N/A
This powered USB hub from ORICO is the most compact USB hub on our list, but with only 4 USB ports, it’s important that you’re sure that’s all you need for your sim racing setup, taking into account any potential upgrades to things like handbrakes or shifters. Instead of the usual neutral color scheme of the other USB hubs on our list, ORICO went for a gray and orange theme, which looks great.
It’s made from aluminum, which is great for heat dissipation as well as durability. While it is a powered USB hub, you may want to ensure that its 12V/2.5A power adapter can power each of your sim racing peripherals. Its compact design and comparatively cheap price point make it an enticing option for someone who only needs a few extra ports without the extra clutter.
- Fairly cheap
- Most compact hub on our list
- Aluminum construction
- Only 4 USB ports
- Orange color may not blend in with the rest of your setup
5. Sabrent HB-BU10
USB-A: 10 | USB-C: 0 | Other: N/A
This USB hub from Sabrent is a 60 W powered USB hub featuring 10 USB ports – plenty for most sim racing setups. Like most Sabrent USB hubs, this hub features individual on/off switches so that you can turn off devices easily without the need to fully unplug them.
The blue indicator that tells you if a port is receiving power or not is far more visible than on their more expensive Sabrent HB-PU16. The price point that this sells at is somewhere in the middle of our list, but the actual quality of the product is largely the same as the higher-end HB-PU16.
However, it should be noted that the HB-BU10 is made from a plastic material instead of the more durable aluminum casing found on their more expensive USB hubs.
- 10 USB ports
- Individual on/off switches
- Lightweight and compact
- Plastic construction
- A bit expensive for a plastic USB hub
The Sabrent HB-PU16 is the most versatile USB hub for sim racing, offering lots of power in a durable casing, making ideal for most sim racing setups. The UGREEN 7 in 1 USB 3.0 Hub is a very compelling option at its low price point, and it offers practicality outside of sim racing too.