Final Opinions and Suggestions
Ok, so I think you have figured out by now that I really like the TrackIR 3-Pro. That is pretty obvious to all. I also have read that the TrackIR3 is significantly better than the TrackIR1. As I said, I will take their word for it. Their recommendations state that it is absolutely worth the cost to upgrade from at TrackIR1 to the TrackIR3. I will also take their word for it. I never have used the first version of the device so I have no frame of reference concerning it.
As for the TrackIR2 vs. the TrackIR 3-Pro, the decision to upgrade probably should be based upon which simulation you fly and how exacting you want the precision. Overall the TrackIR 3-Pro is an improvement over the TrackIR2 in every category. Now whether this translates into a need to upgrade is up to each individual. Just like the HOTAS Cougar is an improvement over the FLCS series, the TrackIR3 is better than the TrackIR2. That doesn’t mean though that there is anything wrong with an older FLCS and that also means there isn’t anything wrong with the TrackIR2.
I think the TrackIR 3-Pro is much more precise, smoother and overall better with LOMAC. As such I think that fliers of the simulation might want to consider an upgrade. It isn’t life critical, the TrackIR2 works fine with some tweaking in the game. Still, jet sims move at a much quicker pace so the ability to pan smoothly and precisely is much more important in these games. This need may be the reason as to why the game appears much smoother and more precise than in prop sims.
I really can’t recommend an upgrade for current TrackIR2 users if you are a prop sim flier in games like IL2FB or WW2OL. There is improvement but the overall improvement, at least to me, isn’t worth the outlay of cash. Most TrackIR2 users have bought the device five or six months ago. I would probably wait until the next version of the TrackIR comes out and then make a decision.
Is this a putdown on the TrackIR 3-Pro? Not at all; the device is fantastic. If you regularly fly games like IL2FB or WW2OL, or heck even Aces High II then the device is, IMHO, a must have. If you have a choice between a high priced joystick upgrade or the TrackIR 3-Pro go for the TrackIR3. This game eliminates the need for a second hat switch (for those up and side views) along with any extra buttons needed for padlock keys. In other words, unless you want to map all those LOMAC buttons stick with your sidewinder and get a TrackIR 3-Pro, you will get more use out of it.
Since the TrackIR3 comes in the base model and the Pro, I am sure the next question will be the value of an upgrade. I haven’t tried the base model but from the specs it appears to be essentially similar to the TrackIR2 in it’s performance. The Pro’s price ($30 more) is not that much more than the standard version. If you are going to buy one I personally think the increased cost is well worth the improvement.
The TrackIR series continues to improve with the latest version of the device. If you haven’t considered a TrackIR before then there isn’t a better time to consider than now. The rebate for LOMAC buyers is still in effect for the TrackIR3 although I don’t know how long the company will continue this.
As simulations have gotten more and more realistic and complicated the need for hardware improvements has become more important. The TrackIR series continues this improvement. I consider this a must own item. So do most people who have bought one.
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Test System Specs
- Dell Dimension 4600
- Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz (HT)
- 1GB 400MHz DDR RAM
- 80 GB Ultra ATA 100 HD
- ATi Radeon 9800 Pro video card
- Creative Audigy 2 sound card
- USB 2.0 (for TrackIR3 interface)