If you are looking for a new direct drive wheel base for your sim racing setup, you will not go wrong by choosing either of Fanatec’s Podium DD options. These are some truly well-designed direct drive wheel bases, and it might be hard for you to make a decision between them both.
The 4 main differences between the Fanatec DD1 and DD2 wheel bases are:
- The outer cover plates
- Kill switch and remote power button
- Their maximum torque
- The price
These differences are not going to be enough for you to sway between the products on their own, as some are truly minor differences indeed. However, when you take them all into account you will have a bit of a decision on your hands when choosing between the DD1 and the DD2!
What The Fanatec DD1 & DD2 Have In Common
Before we look at the differences in more detail, it is worth considering what the DD1 and the DD2 have in common first. Both of them are brilliant direct drive wheel bases and they are great options for intermediate to advanced sim racers that want to upgrade their sim racing setup. However, they are both just wheel bases, and neither comes with a wheel rim.
Note: There are some bundles available that do come with wheel rims, notably the Podium Formula bundle
Two Great Direct Drive Options
Both wheel bases are direct drive of course, and this means they can provide some very immersive driving experiences. The power of each is slightly different, but they are both much more powerful than your standard belt-driven wheel or even some of the other direct drive options available on the market.
Both are compatible with Fanatec’s range of steering wheel rims, and so you can pick one that you like and be able to use it on both of these wheel bases. Their weights are identical, both coming in at 7.42 kg (16.36 lbs). The dimensions are also identical, and so if you are wondering whether or not one will fit into your racing rig better than the other, it will only be affected by which rim you choose.
Other details that are common to each wheel base include the handy 2.7” OLED screen. This allows you to see some vital information about the wheel base itself and how it is performing, and it also makes it very easy to customize some of the settings of your chosen wheel. This is a nice addition that you won’t see on a lot of direct drive wheel bases.
Neither Work With PlayStation
Both of these devices are compatible with both PC and Xbox. This means that if you have an Xbox sim racing rig, you will be able to get as much use out of it as if you had a PC rig. However, neither are compatible with PlayStation. If you are a PS4 or PS5 sim racer, we’ll outline a direct drive solution for you at the end of this article.
Finally, both are also compatible with equipment from other sim racing manufacturers as well. You can connect various components to the wheel base via USB, and both have the ability to connect to a set of pedals and two external shifters/handbrakes.
There are other minor things that the DD1 and the DD2 have in common, but let’s now go over the differences between them in a little more detail. First, let’s look at the physical construction.
4 Main Differences Between Fanatec DD1 & DD2
1. The Outer Cover Plates
This difference is by no means the most important one between the DD1 and the DD2, but it will probably be the first one that you notice when comparing the two. It is also one of the only physical differences, at least on the outside, that you will be able to see, and it lies in the cover plating on the sides of the direct drive wheel base.
Aluminum vs Carbon Fiber
On the DD1, you have a full brushed aluminum outer casing. This makes it look very symmetrical, and it feels solid to the touch. However, on the DD2 you will notice that there are carbon fiber plates on the outside. These look excellent, and carbon fiber is one of the most popular materials to use in real race cars. This means it really does look like a piece of machinery that belongs on the track.
Not only does the carbon fiber casing look and feel great, but it also means that the casing is lighter than that of the DD1. This means the internal components can add a bit more weight without increasing the total weight, and we will talk more about the internals in a moment. Carbon fiber is also much stronger than aluminum, which is always a bonus as well, although both are very durable.
2. Kill Switch And Remote Power Button
This is another fairly small difference between the two, but it is one that serves both an aesthetic and a practical purpose as well. The DD2 comes with two things that the DD1 does not, and these are a kill switch and a remote power button. They are both integrated into the one component, but nonetheless they are both very handy features to have.
An Easy Way To Turn It On/Off
Starting with the remote power button, it is a very welcome addition to the Podium direct drive wheel base line. This is because the power button for the DD1 and the DD2 is located on the back of the wheel base. Even Fanatec admits that this can be a bit of a bother to press, never mind find, especially with some more advanced racing rig configurations.
In a racing situation, and just for the sake of ease, having a remote power button is very useful. It allows users to power up their device whenever they like from a comfortable position, and they no longer have to stretch over their sim racing rig just to turn their wheel base on. This leads us on to the kill switch function of the 2-in-1 component.
A Nice Safety Feature
The kill switch is a big red emergency stop button, which allows you to instantly cut the power to the wheel base. For beginners, this might seem like a gimmick, but advanced racers will know that this does indeed have a use. With so much power, it is easy to get hurt when the wheel starts spinning against you. Plus, it is always handy to have an extra safety measure in place.
3. Their Maximum Torque
This brings us on to the main difference between the DD1 and the DD2 – the power difference. The DD1 offers players peak torque of 20 Nm, with the power never dipping below 15 Nm. This is very impressive, even in the realms of direct drive. This is more power than beginners need, and usually enough for more experienced racers as well.
25% More Power
However, if you want even more, you might want to go for the DD2. It offers peak torque of 25 Nm, with the power never going below 20 Nm. This is towards the extreme end of the torque scale and is far more than a beginner would ever require. This high level of torque can be dangerous if you’re not careful, and that is where the additional kill switch can be a very useful thing to have!
4. The Price
As always, the price should never be the sole driving force behind any of your sim racing purchase decisions. This is because we believe you should always go for the highest quality component – be it a wheel base, a set of pedals, or a monitor – that you can afford. With that said, there is a substantial price difference between the DD1 and the DD2.
A Few Hundred Dollars
The DD2 retails at around a few hundred dollars more than the DD1. Although not an obscene price difference, it can seem like a lot to pay for the subtle differences that we have discussed so far. However, if you are a serious sim racer, they may very well justify the higher price.
A Note On The Discontinued Podium F1 Racing Wheel
The Fanatec Podium DD1 and DD2 are brilliant pieces of hardware, but neither is compatible with the PlayStation. This is not exclusive to Fanatec, as there are no real options for PlayStation direct drive on the market. That is where the Podium F1 racing wheel used to come in, as it was the very first direct drive racing wheel to be compatible with the PlayStation.
However, Fanatec sadly discontinued the Podium F1 wheel in 2023, and so the only way to get your hands on it is through resellers if they have it stocked or buying it second hand.
Note: You can still get Fanatec’s DD Pro for PlayStation, which is a lot cheaper than the Podium line. But it doesn’t offer the same Formula 1 wheel rim or the same amount of torque as the Podium wheel base did.
MOZA: A Cheaper Fanatec Alternative
It’s worth mentioning another brand when discussing these Fanatec products: MOZA. Fairly new on the sim racing scene, MOZA have some excellent sim racing wheels and wheel bases to cater to sim racers of all experience levels. In the context of the DD1 and the DD2, it’s worth considering their R21 wheel base.
This base is capable of 21 Nm of peak torque, and the force feedback delivered by this product is exceptional. You can customize aspects of the feedback via an app on your phone, and the build quality is superb. The wheel base, like all of MOZA’s wheel bases, also comes with an excellent quick release system, making for a slick and highly compatible option for those that don’t fancy the DD1 or DD2.
Simucube: A Premium DD1/DD2 Alternative
Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning some other alternatives to the DD1 and DD2 (for PC racers anyway). These come in the form of Simucube’s excellent wheel bases, the Sport, Pro and Ultimate. The Sport is the cheapest option, offering 17 Nm of peak torque, while the Pro offers the same as the DD2 at 25 Nm. The Ultimate offers a massive 32 Nm of peak torque!
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These are premium wheel bases, with the Ultimate costing much more than the DD1 and the DD2. However, the Sport is competitively priced at around the same as the DD1, and the Pro is similarly priced to the DD2. Simucube are renowned for producing some of the highest-quality sim racing products, and their force feedback is some of the best in the business.
There are not a whole lot of differences between the DD1 and DD2 in terms of physical construction, but the DD2 definitely looks a bit better with the carbon fiber panels. It is also a chunk more powerful, and so it might suit more advanced racers well.
The addition of the kill switch is nice too, but for a few hundred dollars less, you will not go far wrong with the DD1 instead. Both are great wheel bases, but if you want a great Fanatec alternative, consider the MOZA R21 wheel base.
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