Do you want to try your luck at Sim racing? Fortunately, you’re not alone! 

During the lockdowns, when most forms of global motorsport were almost gone, online racing simulation lit up the gaming arena, and Sim racing emerged as the "eSports powerhouse." This game is a perfect combination of realistic graphics, cutting edge technology, and lifelike surroundings, allowing gaming enthusiasts to experience the rush of real racing from the comfort of their racing chair. 

It is normally suggested that you must have racing wheels and trigs for high-level gaming, but at the core of any Sim racing setup lies an efficient gaming PC. And this is the most important thing that matters here! 

You cannot play Sim racing on an inefficient PC. You may also have to lower the graphics settings while compromising on the overall look of the game. A slow clock speed and overheating issues can also hinder your gameplay. That’s why you should have a solid Sim racing PC.  

There are two options: build your PC setup from scratch or consider a pre-built alternative. If you are a hardcore gamer and want more flexibility to customise the PC to your needs while saving money, the first option is for you. However, for most newcomers, a pre-built option may be more convenient and accessible. 

This guide covered everything! From knowledge and expertise in building your Sim racing gaming PC to walking you through the selection of pre-built best PCs for Sim racing in 2023. 

So, let’s get started! 

What is Sim Racing, exactly?

The concept that "Sim racing is a mixture of all the racing games" is not true. Sim racing, or simulation racing, is actually a major branch of racing games that brings together real eSports racers worldwide and sets a battlefield, delivering a lifelike racing experience.  

Unlike traditional arcade racing games, Sim racing provides a huge platform for its racers in circuits and leagues to race for the championship just like in real-time racing. It comes in different forms, catering to the needs and preferences of racers of every type. 

The two major types of Sim racing stimulators include: 

Arcade Stimulators 

Arcade games are designed to provide more accessibility and ease for beginners. These games deliver a relaxed and comfortable gaming experience featuring easy-to-understand physics and a ray of tracks and cars to choose from, providing ease to the newcomers to get the basic levels of Sim racing without any complexity. Arcade Stimulators include games like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo. 

Hardcore Stimulators 

On the other hand, hardcore gamers prioritise a high level of realism and authenticity in their games. These games come with industry-leading physics, LiDAR-scanned tracks to capture every detail in the surface, day and night cycles, and modeling weather effects.  

In these games, you get a wide range of cars and tracks with high-quality graphics, making you feel like you are sitting in a real car and driving on the actual tracks with real driving physics. The following games are included in hardcore stimulators: 

Assetto Corsa – Assetto Corsa features a real-like racing simulation with advanced physics engines and detailed car engines. With various roads and cars, this game offers detailed physics and tyre simulation on the tracks. 

iRacing – iRacing is a highly competitive subscription-based Sim racing league that offers a diverse range of real-world circuits and cars for racing. This platform also has a huge and competitive online racing community, allowing participants to compete in thrilling virtual races with others. 

Project Cars – Project Cars, on the other hand, also comes with life-like digital racing gameplay, a number of tracks and cars, and also a range of game settings such as time trials, endurance races, and many more. 

Minimum Specs Requirements for a Sim Racing Gaming PC 

Below are the minimum requirements to include in your gaming PC for mid-range graphics performance and processing speed. 

Category 

Minimum Requirements 

Graphics 

2GB VRAM / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 

Or AMD equivalent 

Processor 

Dual-core at 2.4 GHz or AMD equivalent 

RAM 

8 GB 

Storage 

512 GB SSD 

Cooling  

Air cooling 

Connectivity  

3+ USB ports + Multiple HDMI or DisplayPorts 

Sound 

DirectX compatible 

DirectX 

9.0c 

Operating System 

Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / 11 

High-end Specs Requirements for a Sim Racing Gaming PC

Contrary to minimum requirements, the high-end category is the way to go to run Sim racing at the highest quality. 

Category 

High-end Requirements 

Graphics 

GeForce GTX 750 4GB or AMD Radeon RX 460 4 GB 

Processor 

Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD FX-8120 

RAM 

16+ GB 

Storage 

1 TB SSD 

Cooling  

Ideally, liquid cooling 

Connectivity  

USB ports, Thunderbolt, HDMI, DisplayPort, microSD card 

Sound 

Integrated cards 

DirectX 

Version 11 

Operating System 

Windows 10 x64 20H2 (October 2020 Update) or Windows 11 

Network 

Broadband Internet connection 

Graphics Card 

A graphic card is an integral component of a PC setup, and it determines how well your PC performs in gaming. Undoubtedly, simulation racing games are not resource-intensive, but they still need many capabilities to bring the visuals to life. All you need are dedicated graphics from renowned brands like Nvidia or AMD. 

One of the standout features you should look for in a GPU card is the frame rate it delivers. The frame rate can be measured by the clock speed and VRAM. The suggested minimum clock speed is 1400 MHz, and the recommended minimum VRAM size is 2GB.  

However, if you want smoother gameplay, better resolutions, and more realistic images, that are responsible for rendering lifelike visuals and smooth frame rates in your Sim racing games, go for GeForce GTX 750 4GB or AMD Radeon RX 460 4 GB graphics that also support DirectX 12.  

In terms of frame rates, your gaming PC must be capable of delivering 60 frames per second, and for VR, you will definitely need closer to 90 fps. The last but most critical thing is that your Sim racing gaming PC must support multi-monitor setup and resolutions of 1920 x 1080 (1080p). 

Important: You must also keep in mind that increasing the clock speed of your system without updating the VRAM may result in a drop in frames per second (fps) in the middle of an iRacing session. 

Processor 

A CPU, or central processing unit, is responsible for powering non-graphics-related operations, including game logic, physics, and AI calculations. You can calculate the gaming performance using the CPU's clock speed and core count. When it comes to choosing a processor for Sim racing, look for at least 4 cores, and 8 will be preferable, and a clock speed of 3.5 GHz–4 GHz to get enhanced processing performance. 

If you are building your PC setup from scratch, find an Intel i3 8100 or a Ryzen 3 1200. The decision between AMD or Intel is easy, as both bands offer equal value. You can simply choose between the Intel Core i5-4460 and the AMD FX-8120 as per your personal preference. 

RAM 

RAM is another crucial factor to consider when evaluating a PC. Random-access memory is essential for storing and quickly retrieving data. In a gaming PC, it plays a vital role in improving device responsiveness, boosting frame rates, and reducing load times. The amount of RAM needed for a gaming PC varies based on the type of games and applications you plan to run.For Sim racing gaming, a minimum of 8 GB of RAM is required, and if you want to run power-intensive applications such as video editing, content creation, or multitasking along with playing games, consider 16 GB of RAM or more. 

Storage 

If you are building an optimal Sim racing gaming PC, then you must have ample storage capacity at your disposal. Thanks to the lack of moving parts in SSDs, they deliver faster boot times and are more durable than traditional hard disc drives. Whether you opt for an HDD or SSD, a minimum of 512 GB or one terabyte (TB) of storage, preferably two, is recommended for enjoying Sim racing at optimal speed. 

If you choose both storage devices, we strongly recommend you use an SSD for internal storage. However, because HDDs are less expensive, they can still be used for external storage. Keep in mind that external hard drives are more prone to damage than SSDs, which have no moving parts. 

Cooling system 

One important thing that we often ignore while building a gaming PC is the cooling system. An efficient cooling solution will keep your system cool and smooth while dissipating excessive heat generated during extended gaming sessions. If there is no cooling system present and heat generated from the CPU, GPU, and other hardware components begins to accumulate within the system, it will completely damage your entire gaming setup. 

For gaming, there are two types of cooling systems: liquid cooling and air cooling. A high-quality liquid cooling system is recommended for maximum airflow and heat dissipation. 

Connectivity Options 

To get the most out of your Sim racing gaming PC, you need to make sure that it has a number of USB 3.0 ports to link external peripherals, such as the mouse, keyboard, steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifter, with your PC. You’ll also need an HDMI port to connect a monitor; however, if you intend to attach three monitors, there should be a combination of HDMI and VGA connectors. 

Budget 

While configuring your Sim racing setup, budget is also the most important consideration. You cannot simply spend all of your savings on a single component. We suggest you find and compare multiple webstores and retailers to get the best rates and quality. To get a PC that will last for years to come and is compatible with all of your favourite Sim racing games, you shouldn’t worry about the money.  

Following the thumb rule: with more money comes more functionality! you should consider high-end GPUs and powerful processors, as these are the most essential components. Don’t spend that kind of money on the rest of your setup instead. For instance, would you benefit more from a £700 graphics card or a disc drive wheel? Carefully consider these things while making your decision. 

Top 3 Best PCs for Sim Racing in 2023

Whether you are an avid gamer or someone who doesn’t want to get into the hassles of building a Sim racing gaming PC by yourself, worry not! There are so many pre-built Sim racing gaming PCs available on the market. But how can you find and choose the best one? By considering all the features and specifications mentioned in this article, we have selected the top 3 best PCs for Sim racing in 2023. 

ACER Predator Orion 5000 PO5-640 (RFB-DG.E2UEK.003)ACER Predator Orion 5000 PO5-640 Gaming PC

  • Intel Core i7 Processor 
  • 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, and 2 TB HDD 
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU 
  • Windows 11 Home 
  • Connectivity: USB 3.1 
  • Colour: Black 
  • 1 Year Warranty 

Acer Predator Orion 5000 is a powerful gaming station that is designed with massive customisation features, providing you with the ease of high-performance components at a low cost. Following the PC requirements for playing Sim racing, this desktop PC comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor featuring 10 cores and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU powered by the Ampere architecture. 

This desktop PC runs simulation racing titles with life-like visuals and tracks. Whether you want VR on a single screen or an ultrawide multimonitor setup, the Predator Orion 5000 PO5-640 can take the gameplay to the next level with smooth graphics and high frame rates. What also makes it compatible for Sim racing is that it's fairly compact, packing multiple connectivity ports, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of SSD, and 2 TB of HDD. 

MSI MPG Trident (9S6-B92691)MSI MPG Trident A 11TC-2065UK Gaming Desktop PC

  • Intel Core i5 Processor 
  • 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD 
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU 
  • Windows 11 
  • Model: MPG Trident A 11TC 
  • HDMI, USB 3, DisplayPort, and Wi-Fi 
  • CPU Cooling: Air-Cooled 

MSI offers the MSI MPG Trident as the best option, specifically tailored for Simulation Racing. The desktop PC is meticulously assembled with high-end hardware such as the Intel Core i5 Processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU for lightning-fast and exceptional performance in racing titles. 

Easy to customise and upgrade, the MPG Trident comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB scalable SSD that'll sit you somewhere between the minimum and ultra requirements for Assetto Corsa and Project Cars. With the RGB lighting and synchronisation, you can personalise each expression of the game. 

The 9S6-B92691 is also combined with the latest PCIe Gen 4.0 bandwidth, which is 2X faster than PCIe Gen 3.0, offering faster speeds and boot times. 

Lenovo ThinkStation P358 Tower PC (30GL003YUK)Lenovo ThinkStation P358 Tower PC

  • AMD Ryzen 7 Processor 
  • 32 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD 
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 GPU 
  • Windows 10 Pro 
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB 3.2 

The Lenovo ThinkStation P358 is an absolute powerhouse, featuring all the components you need to play any kind of racing simulator. From Project Cars to iRacing, this desktop PC provides an immersive experience in every game with the processing power of the AMD Ryzen 7 processor and the graphics capability of the NVIDIA RTX A2000 GPU. 

In terms of speed and storage, the laptop includes 32 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD, and the convenience of Windows 10 Pro. When all of these features are combined, you will have no issue playing any of your favourite racing games at the highest graphics settings. Also, there is ample storage available to store your games, multimedia, and other important files. 

If we see the port selection, the desktop comes with 2 USB 3 ports, an HDMI port, and DisplayPort, allowing you to connect speakers, microphones, monitors, projectors, pedals, wheels, and everything else you need to keep up with your Sim racing set-up. 

Final Thoughts

A gaming PC primarily used for Sim racing doesn’t need to be highly efficient and demands a lot of effort to build. In this article, we have covered all the information you need to build a Sim racing PC or buy a pre-built PC. By considering the minimum to maximum Sim racing requirements and our recommendations of the best pre-built PCs, we hope that you can easily build your own gaming PC or get a compatible one. All of the recommended desktop models mentioned in this article are available at Laptop Outlet, offering competitive price tags and quality assurance. 

FAQS

What graphics card is needed for Sim racing?

To get a more immersive and smooth Sim racing experience, your PC's graphics card must be equipped with enough VRAM, a cooling system, a graphics processor, and a memory interface. We recommend an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM to play Sim racing at minimal settings. For the next level of gaming, consider a GeForce GTX 750 4GB or an AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB. 

Gaming laptop or desktop: Which is ideal for Sim racing?

Undoubtedly, gaming laptops are equipped with high-end hardware, but they can’t compete with the power of a desktop PC. If you want to enjoy Sim racing with vibrant visuals, upgradability, and customisation features, consider the best desktop PCs. The best desktop PCs are preloaded with powerful processors, dedicated graphics, efficient RAM, ample storage, and all other components required to play Simulation Racing genres at a high pace. 

What are the recommended specs for a Sim racing gaming PC?

For building a Sim racing gaming PC according to the recommended requirements, you’ll need an Intel Core i5 or i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, or AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT or RX 6800 GPU, 16 GB or more of RAM, 512 GB or more of SSD or HDD, Windows 10 or a compatible operating system, a liquid cooling system, and multiple connectivity options such as USB C, Thunderbolt, HDMI, DisplayPort, and a microSD card, etc.