Is D-Box the best motion system for your Sim Rig?

We take a detailed look at the D-Box Gen 5 4 actuation motion system to see if it is worth the high-end price tag.

D-Box Sim Racing Motion System Review Content:

Pros and Cons


  • Smooth and analogue feel
  • High detail with no apparent latency
  • Relatively Quiet operation (other than engine vibration effect)
  • Small Control Module
  • High build quality
  • Works with any game and some movies
  • Simple daily use (software runs in background)


  • Initial software setup is complex
  • Registration required for use
  • Cable management can be tricky
  • Cables aren’t user replaceable if damaged
  • Mounting brackets could be better
  • Large size of actuators
  • Hefty price tag vs. competitors

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Hardware and Build Quality

With a step down in price from previous generations, the D-Box G5 4250i also steps down in build quality.  This is done well, and doesn’t impact the user experience. In some ways, it is more suited to Sim Racers.

E.g. The G3 system we’ve used for 18 months has thick cables which are arguably more robust.  However, the thinner cables are easier to navigate around your cockpit neatly. While they are not as sturdy, they are definitely sturdy enough for sim racing.

This is a consistent theme across the entire build of the units. The G5 give the impression of a product that has been developed specifically for sim racing as opposed to adapted from other commercial products such as cinema installations.

DBOX G5 vs G3 Image
DBOX G5 4250i Installed


Mounting brackets have been provided for simple installation to a 40 series aluminium cockpit. Bolts to attach the brackets to the actuator are provided but you will need to source your own M6 T-Nuts and bolts to secure the brackets to your cockpit.

We would have preferred provision for M8 bolts in the mounting brackets as that would have more strength.  The brackets appear to be plenty strong enough.

Due to the larger size of the G5 actuators compared to the G3, you will need to be conscious of how other accessories on your rig could impact mounting. The Haptic Bridge controller box for the G5 is very compact and easy to tuck away securely on your rig.

DBOX control module
DBOX Actuator Close Up

Software and Configuration

The software installation process is a little complex with multiple files to complete the installation. The initial setup process is a little confusing however good documentation is provided. Once up and running the software is intuitive and simple to use.  Automatic detection ensures the right game profile loads every time you drive, without the need to open the D-Box software.

You must register a free account to use your D-BOX, and will be automatically signed up for a trial of the coded video service.  This gives you access to a library of movies that have had motion coded into them. This gives you the D-BOX motion cinema experience at home.  After your trial expires it will cost US$89 per year.

If you don’t want to continue this subscription, you will still have full access to D-Box Coded Gaming, and Adaptive Gaming. This is everything you need for the full D-Box motion experience on all your games.

For D-Box Sim Racing, all your motion will be taken care of in the Coded Gaming section where telemetry based feedback is generated for a huge range of titles. To add immersion to other games such as first person shooters, you can configure a profile in the Adaptive Gaming tab to map preset effects to controller inputs.  For example, your controller input for jump will trigger a jumping effect on the D-Box system.

You can also use an audio signal to provide haptic feedback through the D-Box actuators.  This option can be quite cool in some situations but there will generally be far better options for setting up your feedback.

DBOX Coded Gaming
DBOX Adaptive Gaming Software

Driving Experience

For anyone who has not driven a 3DOF motion system before, the G5 4250i will blow your mind.  The level of detail in road textures, engine vibrations and the sensation of getting thrown around as you would in real life is very immersive.

While you won’t be experiencing realistic sustained G-Forces, the D-Box Sim Racing motion system gives your body and brain a huge amount of information.  If turned up to maximum levels, it is overwhelming and very difficult to drive.  This is good, as it means there is clearly enough power and speed in the system. The D-Box 4250i gives you a thrilling experience no matter how much you like to be thrown around.

The D-Box system provides excellent levels of detail.  Not just big suspension movements, but a whole array of vibrations, jolts, and other effects. Similar to what you would get from a transducer system like a buttkicker.  So if you are looking at including both 3DOF and Buttkicker feedback to your rig, we would suggest that the buttkicker is unnecessary when running the D-Box.

The D-Box 4250i has a smooth and analog feel, giving you all that wonderful detail without any robotic or erratic behaviour which might take away from the immersion.

The 1.5″ actuators provide plenty of travel to generate the desired effects.  Particularly if you are running fixed screens, you would likely not want any more travel than that.

DBOX G5 Driving Test

Is the D-Box 4250i Gen 5 the best 3DOF Motion System for You?

Whilst still very expensive for something that likely won’t make you faster or more consistent, the immersion is something everyone should experience and the price drop from the G3 is a welcome step. Overall it’s a well-engineered system and the G3 has proven to be reliable in the 18 months we’ve been using it. Hence we can only expect the same from the G5.

Is it worth it? At $7100 USD it’s certainly a huge investment. Given that it’s unlikely to make you a better driver, if you’re on a limited budget then prioritising other aspects such as quality pedals, wheelbase and of course, a solid cockpit (which you’ll need anyway) should be prioritised first. If you have all the other gear you could possibly want and you’re looking to dive into full cockpit motion, you won’t be disappointed with the D-Box G5.

If the D-Box is stretching your budget a little too far, I’d suggest you take a look at our review of the Sigma Integrale DK2 motion system.  This is a very impressive system that provides much of the same experience you will get from the D-Box for a significantly lower price.

If our D-Box Motion Simulator Reviews have helped you, consider supporting Boosted Media at no additional cost. Just follow the affiliate link below and we will earn a small commission from your purchase. 

Please make sure you accept cookies when prompted or we won’t receive the commission.

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