Italian Sim Racing manufacturer Cube Controls claim that attention to beauty is part of its DNA.  After spending some quality time with the Cube Controls CSX-3 Formula Sim Racing wheel, that seems a fair claim.  This undoubtedly high-end Formula Style wheel has a huge level of functionality, spectacular appearance, and no compromise construction quality that we are used to from other Cube Controls Wheels.  But as that all comes with a significant price tag, we set out to be sure this wheel lives up to the hype!

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Cube Controls CSX-3 Driving Test

Be sure to watch our Detailed Review of the Cube Controls CSX-3 for a close look at the hardware quality, technical specifications and software.

Cube Controls CSX-3 Features

  • 282mm Wheel Diameter
  • 4 Inch 800×400 VoCore Touch Screen
  • Native Simhub Support
  • 5mm thick Carbon Face Plate
  • Die-Cast Aluminium Body
  • QCONN Magnetic Connection
  • 2 x 7 Way Funky Switches
  • 17 x Programmable RGB LED Rev/Flag lights
  • 12 x Momentary Buttons – Programmable Backlights
  • 2 x Toggle Switches
  • 4 x Front Rotary Encoders
  • 4 x Rotary Thumb Encoders

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Is the Cube Controls CSX-3 the ultimate Formula Style Sim Racing Wheel?

Build Quality

From the moment you open the Cube Controls box, you know this is the real deal.  The attention to detail and solid construction have resulted in a wheel that has a very premium feel.  The wheel is rigid and strong, with no creaking, flex or twisting to be found in the rim.  The shifter and analog paddles are both housed in aluminium cages which can be ordered in a black or blue finish. They are sturdy and provide a smooth, solid, and purposeful feel.  The top paddles are a Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer. They have a slightly squishy feel compared to the other paddles but still provide a nice positive click.

Buttons and Encoders

The 4 rotary encoders on the front face of the wheel are NOT multi-position switches.  This means they send a pulse up or down to your sim rather than an exact location.  The pulse width of the encoders can be adjusted easily, so you can be sure the Sim responds to the correct number of inputs.  The aluminium knobs have a nice cool-to-touch metallic feel and a very solid click.  There is just a small amount of play on the knobs, but nothing excessive as you can see in our video.

The thumb encoders are a real highlight of this wheel for me.  Particularly for Formula 1 cars where you want to make on-the-fly adjustments of all sorts of things. These are comfortably positioned and provide a good level of resistance so that you will not accidentally make an adjustment by bumping them.  They can be a little tricky to activate if you have loose-fitting gloves on, but I found them very usable with bare hands and gloves.

The momentary buttons have the same feel as previous cube controls wheels.  They have a very short throw and a nice solid click.  While it is a fairly loud click, it does not resonate throughout the wheel rim, which gives an impression of high quality and solid construction.  They have redesigned the button protectors which promote pressing the buttons straight down rather than on an angle.  This reduces the risk of cracking the button covers or having stickers slide across the button face.  It also makes them harder to accidentally bump, but are still well-positioned to reach with your thumb while driving.

Cube Controls CSX-3 ENCODERS

Integrated Dash Screen

The 4″ 800×480 Touch Screen has vibrant colours with good contrast and a wide enough viewing angle for its purpose. Text is easy to read despite the screen’s relatively small size. The move away from Ultimate Game Tech to a VoCore display opens up endless possibilities when it comes to functionality through software such as Simhub.

Often such huge functionality can result in a complicated setup, but with its native support in SimHub, it really is very quick and easy to get up and running.  You then have the option to spend as much time as you like tweaking and designing your dash (and LEDs) to your exact liking.

I am personally not a big fan of the big bezel around the screen from an aesthetic point of view.  It seems to be blocking a few rows of pixels on the screen, which can look a bit nasty on some dash screens. I would have liked to see a thinner bezel, or an inlay so that the display is not blocked depending on your viewing angle.

Cube Controls CSX-3 Dash

LED Strips and Backlights

The Rev Strip and flag LEDs are plenty bright enough and well isolated with no bleed between segments. They can be fully customised using Simhub or easily set up with default profiles to get you driving asap.

Having programmable backlights on all momentary buttons is a very fun feature.  Using Simhub your creativity is the limit as you can use telemetry data, button presses and more to activate the RGB backlights.  For example, you might like your DRS activation button to flash when you are in a DRS zone, or your PIT Limiter light to come on when you have activated the pit limiter.  Or you can get creative and have buttons change colours as close the gap on your opponent.  There really are endless possibilities with a bit of creativity.

Cube Controls CSX3 Dash Simhub

Overall Driving Experience

The driving experience with the CSX3 is excellent. Considering the amount of tech on board, it feels noticeably lighter than the much larger Gomez Pro Elite wheel. The smaller diameter (282mm) makes it very well suited to driving formula-style cars but is a little small to be a particularly versatile wheel. I find this size to be quite twitchy for GT3 or similar driving styles.  But for F1 and similar, it is great.  The smaller diameter reduces any dampening effect which can be an issue on bigger wheels when paired with a weaker wheelbase.

All in all, I think the Cube Controls CSX-3 Formula Wheel achieves its goals well. We’ve been reviewing cube controls wheels for a long time now and it’s clear to see the improvements they’ve made to both build quality and functionality during this time.  From our experience with the CSX-3, I have no issues at all recommending this wheel if you’re looking for a great wheel for Formula style driving.

If you would like to support our work at Boosted Media at no additional cost to you, follow the affiliate link below for your preferred seller and we will earn a small commission from your purchase. 

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