Pop culture has always led us to believe that driving should be about more than simply getting from A to B. It's most often portrayed as a source of freedom, setting off on an unknown voyage in your trusty four-wheeled steed, or thrills – feeling the need for speed. When we're stuck in traffic on the way to work, however, it's easy to feel a little misled. Thankfully, this is where video games come in. Us would-be petrol heads can live out our automotive fantasies from the comfort of our own homes, without facing the reality of speed limits, road works and traffic congestion.
When you're settled into your racing rig, going up through the gears, you need a monitor that provides enough detail to hit every apex, whichever track you're on. Say you're taking on the final chicane at Monaco on F1 2017 – this is it, the difference between podium and standing on the sidelines, listening to the corks pop – you need to be confident; see every contour of the bend and understand that when you hit it, you'll hit it perfectly. Most importantly – you need to see that finish line blast into view.
The 35", UltraWide QHD3, 1800R3 curved screen will bring it home. Supporting resolutions of up to 3440 x 1440, with a refresh rate of 200Hz, and with an awesomely cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, the Predator Z35 means you won't miss a single second of the action – just make sure you remember to blink. Now add in the Nvidia ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) and G-Sync, and you can be sure the view is as smooth as your driving.
For some, racing sims are all about customisation. In GT Sport, for instance, there's joy to be had in hitting the road with the classic Corvette Stingray, but it’s even more fun tailoring your vehicles to match your driving style. Ask yourself: road, drift or dirt? Do you need softer or harder suspension, and do you need to tinker with the brake bias to get the control that will help you to win? And it's really all about that: control. You need to know that you’re in tune with what you're driving, and when it is, you know that you're ready to compete.
Now, picture this: you're deep into Project CARS 2's career mode. You've proven you're not just a hotshot upstart; you've paid your dues, spending hour upon hour tearing up the tracks in the lower racing categories, and it's your time. You've ascended. You're ready to hit the big time, and your shot has come: GT3 Pirelli World.
You're in your rig, revving your engine as you wait for the race to start – and this is where it counts. You need to hear that sound; the engine's crescendo, the squeal of tires on the asphalt, the roar of the crowd – this is no time for volume control. The Z35's DTS Sound & TrueHarmony 32 x 9W Speakers bring it to life – providing the most realistic sound reproduction possible. No distortion, no loss of clarity – just the sound of rubber on the ground and the other racers around you, as clear as daylight.
So, you've got your visuals sorted. The track stretches ahead of you, with Project CARS 2's amazing weather options offering up different challenges at each turn. Rain is bouncing off the track, drying on the hot asphalt, with cars churning up the puddles as they go. Or, say you're racing in a colder climate: the snow is falling, and performance and control are paramount if you're to master what's ahead of you. Any split second lapse in performance – a dip here, a stutter there – could compromise your control and cost you time. Thankfully, performance isn't an issue with the Predator G6 desktop.
With Forza Horizon 4 seemingly just over the horizon, there's no better time to jump back into this ace, open-world racer. And when you do, you want to practically hear the wind whipping around you as you speed over the terrain in your Subaru WRX STi – something the G6's SoundBlaster X-Fi MB5 can deliver, immersing you in its glorious audio and amplifying everything. You can almost sense the local wildlife scarpering away from the deafening rumble of your engine.
Of course, driving down under can get pretty hot – so it's just as well that the G6 comes equipped with the IceTunnel cooling system, with multiple air intake zones on the front and left side of the machine making sure that your desktop keeps cool, even if your race is heating up.
And for those eager to test their wits against fellow racers online, the Predator G6 offers Killer DoubleShot Pro technology, letting you split your internet requirements over wired and wireless connections simultaneously so that you can decide what takes up your bandwidth. So, if you're revving up Project CARS 2 and ready to hit some online races, you can be sure that the only thing lagging, will be your opponents in your rear-view mirror.
This year looks to be a good one for racing fans. Forza Horizon 4 may be just around the corner, F1 2018 should be on its way and The Crew 2 will be making its bow soon. With all this high-octane action hurtling towards us, there's no better time to get your rig in the right shape, for the ride of your life.