Cable Options - or the lack of decent ones more to the point

It seems Pimax are more interested in creating state of the art HMDs over reliable cables, whilst not as sexy it doesn’t help convert your existing user base into repeat buyers.

Looking at the shop reviews I am not confident in a replacement cable for my 5K+ so does anyone have any success over compatible “other” brands as Pimax isn’t known for their high-level QA standards.

Would a Valve Index cable work for example? Is there a working Virtual link out there?

I remember Sweviver mentioning that most problems were not HMD related but cable-related (I got sparkles and a split-screen from day 1) and whilst my headset has given me a lot of joy the fact that quality cables aren’t an option leaves a bitter taste in my mouth (invest in stock on Amazon UK please!)


It uses a proprietary cable. So not sure where you would find 3rdparty compatible cables.

That said still on my first cable.

Virtual link iirc died.


Cable problems are actually the Achilles heel of the Valve Index. So before you get too upset with Pimax for having received a defective cable, you should know that Pimax is not alone in cable struggles. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Index suffers from it worse than Pimax does. Cable failures on the Index are very common, and I’m pretty sure they are the most common way that the Index breaks (2nd most common being stick drift). My Index cables were lasting about 6 months each (admittedly with heavy use). Nearly everyone I know suffers cable failures on a regular basis. Valve is good about RMA’ing them, but it takes time. And it’s good that they RMA because those cables are $130 each.

HP has had big problems with their cables on the Reverb headsets, too. Supposedly that’s something they improved/fixed with their recent refresh of the G2.

The technical requirements for VR tether cables are inherently extremely difficult, and this is why we see so many problems across most of the products on the market. Most of these are custom cables which are thick because they contain many individual wires which are each unusually thin in order to make the whole cable not be even thicker. They are also very long cables. And they are constantly moving in operation (versus say a regular monitor cable that normally stays in a static position for years), being stepped on, and getting kinked. And on top of all that, these cables have to run unusually high bitrates and frequencies. All of that is a very tall order for a cable to stand up to.

So it really isn’t “Cables are so simple and have been a solved problem for decades. How could Pimax possibly screw that up?!” It really is a difficult engineering problem and an area of cutting edge development and research.

Like virtually every other VR headset on the market, Pimax uses custom cables. But unusually, they have a second option with their fiberoptic cable. I would recommend you either RMA your standard cable or upgrade to the fiberoptic cable.

I haven’t had a Pimax long enough to know, but I expect the fiberoptic cable to have much better longevity just based on its design. Just looking around on forums, I see a lot of reports of standard cable failures similar to what I’ve seen with the Index which isn’t surprising. It’s the same kind of cable with the same challenges. But theoretically the fiberoptic cable should be more durable and reliable. And the cable routing on Pimax headsets is much better than the cable routing on the Index.

I’m curious how Pimax’s fiberoptic cables have held up over time for customers that have had them longer? I haven’t been seeing complaints of fiberoptic cable failures like I have for standard cables.


I have had the fiber optic cable, my first one lasted about two years until the usb portion of the cable started to fail. I’ve been very happy with them, they’re lighter and thinner than the stock cable. To add I haven’t heard of anyone else having a fiber optic cable fail


My fiber optic cable works great for over more then a year and no problems :ok_hand:t2:

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Did they say whether the current Fiber Optic Cable would be compatible with the 12K?


Not that I heard. But @pimaxusa did day somewhere that Optic cable is standard iirc. But imagine it will likely have it’s own proprietary cable. As if not mistaken I think it can use 1 or 2 dp cables?

Thanks for the feedback much appreciated.

The takeaway from my post is really that if this is a common issue maybe it wouldn’t hurt to push the envelope on the cable side rather than look around and use the excuse “well they are poor everywhere else” and shrug your shoulders (unless that’s part of your spares/sales model). The difference is I suspect the supply and return of items to other brands is somewhat easier.

I also struggle to believe a company that is constantly pushing the boundaries of VR and heading for something as ambitious as the 12K couldn’t offer a better solution.

What exactly makes it propriety exactly given I have read other users using off the shelf solutions with success (the issue is finding the right combination and the damn things being in stock).

There’s also a trend in Pimax posts for the post to be derailed like it’s trying to be buried when it’s slightly critical. For example, the mention of the optical cable here and resulting comments have nothing to do with my OP and in fact as far as I’m aware you can’t use a fibre cable with a 5K+ only a 5k super? This happened the last time I posted.

It’s not about cost as I’d rather pay a premium for something that lasted, I just don’t want to invest in cables like I’m buying printer ink.

I’ve had 2 cables fail for my 8kx within 3 months. 1 was DOA, the other lasted a few months, so instead of rma only for another 1 to fail I just thought f*ck it and bought a fiber optic cable.


Yeah that’s the QA concern I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s not about making the cheapest cable.

The fiberoptic cable is Pimax pushing the envelope on the cable side and developing a solution to the problem. Which, by the way, is not something Valve has done for the same problems on the Index.

Did you open a ticket with Pimax support with your day 1 sparkles problem?

They have. The fiberoptic cable exists. And it works. And it’s going to be standard on the 12K.

You might be confusing this with cable extensions. It is possible to use standard cable extensions with Pimax VR headsets. These extend the standard non-proprietary side of the connections. They can not, however, be used in place of the proprietary cable.

I don’t think people on this forum are shy in the least about piling on complaints about Pimax. I actually think it goes a little too far sometimes, and Pimax gets heat that isn’t really deserved.

Its not my intent to excuse Pimax for having cable problems. Some companies have done much better on that front. It’s just that the tone of your posts suggests that you weren’t aware of how difficult the underlying engineering problem actually is.

My apologies. It hadn’t occurred to me that the fiberoptic cable can’t be used with your headset. That’s a very good point.

Hmmm. In your case then all there is for you is to either RMA or buy a new standard cable or upgrade to a newer headset that can use the fiberoptic cable.

You can expect the lifespan of the standard cable to not be great, and that stinks. I have bought several cables for my Indexes as they wore out and failed within months. At least the Pimax standard cables are half as expensive. It’s unfortunately a cost of doing business.

It’s also one of the reasons there has been a push toward wireless VR.


ah, sorry I missed the 5k+ part, so I’ve had this discussion with other people before technically the connector on the Pimax, index, and rift s iirc are all the same, the issue comes in that they run at different voltages, although I think the 5k+ matches. Now I seem to recall someone having gotten a pimax working with a rift s cable but I’m not sure

The snow issue is related to the shielding on the cable being absolutely terrible (at least it was in my case). I noticed it gets way worse if the usb part of the cable is near any other cables (which is quite hard to avoid when plugging into the back panel of a pc). I’m sure that’s where a vast majority of complaints about the cable come from, and it definitely explains why lots of people have the issue day one.

See how I’ve connected the usb lead from the Pimax cable in such a way that it’s not crossing any other cables too closely? That was the fix for the snow issue for me. Try playing around with it a bit while in vr and see how just moving the cables around impacts the intensity of the snow effect- I wouldn’t be surprised if the fix is just to add extra shielding around the Pimax cables (both usb and DisplayPort separately) where they connect to the pc.


Nice tip. Thanks Brian. :beers::sunglasses::vulcan_salute::sparkles:

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Im on fiber and im happy with it.bought a second one assuming it would break and take time to arrive. But despite my children twisting the crap out of it…still works.


Also it gives an extra meter of length, which all my expensive attempts to lengthen failed. Active DP1.4a everything. active 2.0. 3ft 6ft…waste of money…cannot lentghen and get 90hz with older model 8kx. Wont even recognize it.

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DisplayPort performs training when the connection is established to determine what power level the GPU needs to use for sending signals to the monitor cleanly. In a defective or damaged cable, the signal strength is attenuated to the point where it’s not getting above this threshold even with maximum power. It’s a digital signal, and it should be strong enough that the shielding of the cable isn’t a significant factor.

In your case, it would seem to be just barely above the threshold such that RF noise from other cables is enough to make or break it. Like the straw that broke the camel’s back. But I don’t think this will normally be the case.

Valve added a configuration option for the Index last year that lets you override the training and instead drive the DisplayPort at higher power always. This fixes or at least reduces the bit errors in some marginal cables if the GPU’s training didn’t do a good enough job deciding what power level to run automatically.


For this, you need a active repeater, like the lindy.


Once again many thanks for the feedback/input.

Please don’t take my constant questioning in the vein of an angst teenager wanting to “win” on the forums I just want a healthy debate and better understanding of the issue (I mention that only because sometimes tone/context can be misinterpreted).


Nice one! Thank you. I’m probably barking up the wrong tree but I’ve recently bought some of these for an audio project and I wonder if they will help in the slightest

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Thank you

RMA Point

Raised a support ticket ASAP and to their credit, Pimax jumped right on it and logged in remotely to re-flash the bios which fixed the issues for about a week (might have corresponded to another firmware release re-breaking the display). At this point of waiting so long for the headset I had a far too relaxed attitude of it will probably be fixed “soon” lol. That and VR was all new and shiney:P

Some great comments but I don’t accept that just because something is engineeringly difficult that short component life and/or poor QAQC is justifiable. Imagine someone returning their $100 000 car to a dealer day one only for them to state “yeah but it’s like REALLY hard to make”

Err say what?!


Conversely, I wouldn’t expect the cables to last through years of VR gymnastics. Or for that matter a single heavy twisted session

Slight tangent, I have a USB power cable that has a rotary magnetic connection, how cool would that connection type be to prevent twisting!


As a fellow 5K+ owner and KS backer, I will offer this. I had an RMA in the early days of my 5K+ and the cable which was designed with a slight bend.I presume to angle around a corner. It failed in about 6 months. The subsequent replace was thicker and had no bend. It has been great ever since (a couple of years at least).
Given the cable has a mind of it’s own and has taken every opportunity to find a way under my feet, I would say it’s quality is just fine. This would assume you have the same cable they supplied me.