8KX impressions

I’ve had my 8kx for about 2 weeks now and have gotten it dialed in to the point that I can give some thoughts on my experience. I have previously had an HTC Vive, Rift CV1, Samsung Odyssey, Pimax 5k+ and Valve Index for reference. Currently I have a 7700K and 1080ti. (spoiler alert - I really need a GPU upgrade!)

My initial setup process brought me back to my initial 5k+ experience. Getting the headset to register tracking took a few experiments with different USB ports and unplugging/replugging the headset. Eventually I got everything to register but it definitely took a lot more effort than my Index did. Not sure what it is about Pimax headsets but the USB connection can be really picky. Even now I sometimes still have to do the unplug/replug routine with the USB3 cable to get it to register tracking. Not a deal breaker but I do wish the connection process was more reliable.

Seeing the picture for the first time reminded me of my 5k+ but with a higher resolution. It was nice to have the wide FOV back and the edge distortion was minor in Pimax Experience. I also experienced the issue that has been talked about in the forums regarding not having a clear view in both eyes. I could turn my head slightly in either direction and get a much clearer image so it was a bit frustrating to not be able to see that same clarity when looking straight ahead. Thankfully I was able to solve the problem after reading a post on here that suggested lowering the mechanical IPD down a few points from your measured IPD and then using software offset to get back to your measured IPD. My IPD is 71.1 so I set the mechanical IPD at 68.1 then added +3 in software offset. I immediately noticed a great improvement and found that I could look directly ahead and the clarity was super close to what it was when I previously had to turn my head to the side. It may not be 100% of that clarity but it is close enough to it that it doesn’t bother me. I also found that this setting reduced the edge distortion to the point that I really have to look for it in order to notice it in games now. In some games I can’t see it at all even when looking for it. With the clarity issue sorted I was able to really appreciate the improved resolution that the headset can offer. That lead me to my previous spoiler alert revelation that I need a GPU upgrade! The 1080ti just can’t drive this headset enough to really utilize that added resolution. The picture quality is outstanding when you have Pitool at 1 and SteamVR at 100% and the internal game scaling at 100% or more, but I found that in a lot of the games I play that I have to turn those settings down to get a good framerate experience. It still looks good with the reduced settings but it looses that WOW impact that a high resolution and wide FOV can provide. I really hope the 3080s get back in regular stock soon. Also thinking of jumping back over to AMD with their new ryzen cpu lineup. Haven’t used an AMD cpu since the athlon days.

I also experienced tracking wobble when I first got the headset going. Especially when looking at the Pimax Experience screen. I would notice a slight wobbling and the screen would zoom slightly in and out when I looked around. I also noticed that I would momentarily loose tracking when looking too far down. It was very noticeable when I played American Truck Simulator. I never experienced these kind of tracking issues in my Index so it was a bit disappointing. This was when I was in my seated position at my computer. I noticed that the ceiling mounted base station near my computer was pretty much mounted directly above my seated position. This had never been a problem with my Index or 5k+. As an experiment I decided to move my base station further back so that it was maybe 3’-0" in front of my seated position. I then redid room setup in Pitool and found that most of my tracking issues went away. There was still the slight wobble when first starting Pimax Experience but it seems to settle down after a few seconds. I no longer lost tracking when looking down which brought my American Truck Simulator experience back on par with what I was used to in my Index. (At least for tracking…I’ve had to turn the resolution down to get playable framerates though so it doesn’t look as sharp now as it did with my index…did I mention that I really need a new GPU!!!)

I haven’t been able to see any SDE in the headset but I do notice some mura as has been reported in the forum elsewhere. It is very slight for me and I can easily ignore it but I can see it if I look for it. My eyesight is not perfect so not being able to see any SDE doesn’t surprise me since people with good eyesight have reported having to really strain to see it.

I have found the colors to be really good for me. I definitely don’t feel that I’m missing anything from what I had in my Index in this area. Black levels are typical for what I’ve had in other LCD headsets.

The SMAS comfort has been okay so far but I did get the metal hinges so can’t get the head rest to go down as low as it should. Even so, my head shape seems well suited for it because it is still comfortable enough and I don’t have any light leak issues around the sides that some have complained of. I did order the counterweights from Studioform so that should help even more. I also requested the plastic hinges from Pimax. The sound from the SMAS has been okay also. I adjusted the settings in Windows as recommended and also installed Boom3D. These all made the sound okay for me but I still miss the incredible sound that I had from my Index so I look forward to the DMAS release.

So far I can say that I am quite happy with the headset. Just really can’t fully enjoy it until I get a better GPU in my system.

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