If you are looking for a new direct drive wheelbase for your sim racing setup, you will not go wrong by choosing either of Fanatic’s Podium DD options. These are some truly well-designed direct drive wheelbases, and it might be hard for you to make a decision between them both.
The 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 They 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 wheelbases and are great options for intermediate to advanced sim racers that want to upgrade their sim racing setup. However, they are both just wheelbases, and neither comes with a rim (wheel) included.
Two Great Direct Drive Options
Both of the wheelbases 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 highly compatible with Fanatic’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 wheelbases. Their weights are identical, both coming in at 7.42kg. 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 wheelbase include the handy 2.7” OLED screen. This allows you to see some vital information about the wheelbase itself and how it is performing, and it also makes it very easy to customize some of the settings of the wheel itself. This is a nice addition that you won’t see on a lot of direct drive wheelbases.
Neither Work With PS4
Both of these devices are compatible with both PC and Xbox One. This means that if you have an Xbox One 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 sim racer, be sure to read all the way to the end, as we will outline a direct drive solution for you as well.
Finally, both are also very compatible with other equipment like your sim racing peripherals. You can connect various components to the wheelbase via USB, and both have the ability to connect to a set of pedals and two external shifters. This means you can have both a sequential shifter and an H-pattern shifter connected at the same time.
There are other minor things that the DD1 and the DD2 have in common but let us now go over the differences between them in a little more detail. First, let’s look at the physical construction.
The Outer Cover Plates
This difference is by no means the most important one between the DD1 and the DD2, however 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 wheelbase.
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 race cars. This means it really does look like a piece of machinery that belongs in a race car.
Not only does the carbon fiber casing look great, 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.
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 wheelbase line. This is because the power button for the DD1 and the DD2 is located on the back of the wheelbase. Fanatec admits themselves 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 a very useful thing to have. 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 wheelbase 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 for the user to instantly cut the power to the wheelbase. For beginners, this might seem pointless, 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.
This brings us on to the main difference that more advanced sim racers might look at – the power difference. The DD1 offers players a peak torque of 20 Nm, with the power never dipping below 15 Nm. This is very impressive, both for a sim racing wheel in general and a direct drive wheel in particular. 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, then you might want to go for the DD2. It offers a 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 are not careful, and that is where the additional kill switch can be a very useful thing to have.
As always, the price should never be the sole driving force behind any of your sim racing purchasing decisions. This is because we believe you should always go for the highest quality component – be it a wheelbase, a set of pedals, or a monitor – that you can afford. With that being said, there is a substantial price difference between the DD1 and the DD2.
A Few Hundred
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 then they may very well justify the price.
The Podium F1 Racing Wheel
The Fanatec Podium DD1 and DD2 are brilliant pieces of hardware, but neither is compatible with the PS4. This is not exclusive to Fanatec, as there are no real options for PS4 direct drive on the market. That is where the Podium F1 racing wheel comes in, as the very first direct drive racing wheel to be compatible with the PlayStation 4.
An Option For PS4 Sim Racers
The Podium F1 has all of the usual features of the Podium lineup and has the same torque of 20 Nm as the DD1. The important thing here though, aside from the obvious compatibility with the PS4, is the fact that the wheelbase also comes with a racing wheel. And the wheel it does come with is a highly functional, F1-style racing wheel.
It comes with plenty of buttons and toggles, and features some very well-designed aesthetics that make it look straight out of an F1 car. This is the option to go for if you are a PS4 sim racer, but it can be used with PC and Xbox One as well. Due to the inclusion of the wheel rim it is a bit more expensive. The price is reasonable for what is included and its compatibility.
So, when it comes to choosing between the Fanatec Podium DD1 and DD2, you might find it difficult to make a decision. There are not a whole lot of differences between the two 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 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 wheels, and it is good to know that there is an option for PS4 players now too with the addition of the F1 Podium wheel. Regardless of which one you go for, with Fanatec you can be sure that you are in for a truly immersive sim racing experience anyway.