the NDA is finally over!
Of course I also uploaded a review video on my channel. As my channel is german, my comments will be in german, but I made complete english subtitles, so you just have to activate them on YouTube, here is the link to the video:
VoodooDE Pimax video review
However I also want to write a text review, so here we go:
Design / Comfort / Weight
Everybody feels different about the design of course, but for me it’s the most beautiful headset with the cool blue “V” in the front. The plastics have the disadvantage that you see the fingerprints over time.
The headset is (although its very big) very light with only 560g including head strap. It sits very good on the head and there is not much light coming in. This is not the final version, because Pimax will also send a Deluxe Audio Strap later to the backers.
Pimax 8K M2 and Pimax 5K+ look exactly the same.
Installation / Setup
We need the “PiTool” for the Pimax, so we need to install it first. Pimax didn’t buy any licenses from Microsoft, so you will be confronted with messages that tell you, PiTool might harm your PC. Also the tool tells us to deactivate our virus-scanner… Not a good thing, they have to fix that!
You can do room setup, rendering quality settings, change FOV size, deactivate basestations (for gyroscope tracking), connect controllers, start SteamVR, update firmware.
It’s a pretty good software that everybody should be able to work with.
What I like is that fact that you can start Oculus games without ReVive! Great work!
Display - Text-Reading
Most people will think it’s much better to read small text with the Pimax headsets as the have a lot smaller SDE. That’s right, BUT you have to notice that you need a REALLY high resolution to do so and this is gonna be a problem for now as the graphics cards won’t have this performance on most games. On a medium resolution ( I mean rendering quality on 1.0 and SteamVR override to 100% for example) you will see it on the 5K+ as good as on the Vive Pro. It’s also very important that the Pimax 8K will need an even much higher resolution than the 5K+ to see small text clear. So in this case the Pimax 8K will be for future graphics cards only. That doesn’t mean the games are unplayable with the 8K, it just means you have to lower the ingame settings and resolution so it’s not really a big difference in small text readability than with the Vive Pro.
Display - Colours
I made some color tests with games and the VR FOV test tool. To be honest I don’t see much (or even no) difference here. Even though the Vive Pro has OLED, I can’t see a big difference to the Pimax LCDs here. So you shouldn’t worry about that. No difference between 5K+ and 8K.
Display - Black Values
As you may already have expected, this is the biggest disadvantage of the Pimax headsets. Areas that should be deep black are more grey/white on the Pimax LCDs and that doesn’t look very good on dark games like horror games or something like Elite Dangerous. You can play the games of course, but it kills the immersion a little bit. This is much better on the Vive Pro with its OLED displays.
However Pimax wants to implement an option to lower the display brightness, so perhaps this will get better than.
Display - Screen Door Effect
A huge difference to the old headsets! On the 5K+ you will still see the SDE when you play games or watching movies. On the 8K you really have to concentrate on it to see the SDE.
Both headsets are doing this MUCH (!) better than any older headset, so don’t worry about the SDE, its great on both headsets. Please keep in mind, that you need a very high resolution and a future graphics card to really take advantage of the small SDE.
It’s still much more fun than on old headsets.
Display - Hz-Value
The Pimax 5K+ has 90 Hz and the Pimax 8K has 80 Hz. I tried to see a difference, but there is none. People on the Berlin meetup also didn’t see any difference, so just dont worry about this.
Lenses - Field of View
This is the biggest advantage of the Pimax headsets and this really KILLS every other disadvantage mentioned here. It’s a total blast! Its so MUCH MORE immersive than any other headset, even with lower resolution and ingame settings. They made a very good work here and you will never won’t to go back to another headset, when you experienced the
Lenses - Glare / Godrays
GodRays or glare effects are as good as not visible, a really great work by Pimax. Much better than with Oculus Rift or Vive (Pro!). I tested this with the FOV test tool. No need to worry about that! Only very small Godrays visible!
Lenses - Distortion
The problem here is, that everybody feels different about the distortion, I noticed that at the Berlin meetup. Some people didn’t love it and other people didn’t even notice any distortion.
So, I got the Pimax now for several month and I can tell you that I got totally used to it, so that I dont notice it anymore, even with big FOV settings!
Yes, it’s there, and if you really concentrate on that, you will notice it, but if you just play your game, you will forget about it in seconds, because the distortion only takes place at the very outer edges of the lenses. If you choose normal FOV, its nearly totally gone. Distortion is more noticeable in games where you turn and move fast like Pavlov, Onward and Skyrim. In games where you sit and don’t look to the side very much like racing simulation, you will not even notice the distortion. Also no difference between 5K+ and 8K for me. That’s because they have the same lenses.
Lenses - Sweet Spot
Also very great work here! You put the headset on and you already have the sweet spot, because its very big. That’s much better than with most other headsets. Of course you have to put the right IPD value first, but then if you tighten the straps, its perfect.
As we got support for Lighthouse 1 and 2, the tracking is the same as with the Vive, so it’s nearly perfect with 2 basestations. However when you have a bad performance and los fps, it will have an impact on the tracking, so make sure you have good fps.
The Pimax has a range of 59 to 72 and that pretty ok for most people. I have 60 myself and it’s no problem for me. When you use the IPD screw, the current value of IPD is displayed in the headset, that’s very good!
Performance - Settings
On the one hand this is a disadvantage, because its much handicraft work and every game need its own settings. So you have to play around with the PiTool Rendering scale and FOV (Large or normal) and with the SteamVR resolution override.
For example PiTool set to 1.0 and SteamVR to 100% runs great with Pavlov, but is impossible to play with Hellblade VR. Best thing is, you try around for yourself and write down the best settings for your games so that you don’t have to find out every time you start the game.
On the other hand its an advantage, because there are so many settings that prepare the Pimax for the future! Just try to set Skyrim VR to PiTool 2.0 and SteamVR 150%. It stutters like hell with about 10 fps, but it looks AWESOME! So in severals years with new graphics cards the real potential of the Pimax headsets will come out!
Performance - 5K+ vs 8K Benchmark
When you choose the exact same game-settings and same resolution for the Pimax 5K+ and the 8K, there is absolutely no performance difference, they have the exact same FPS in the games.
However you really have to notice that the Pimax 8K needs higher resolution for the games to look as good as a lower resolution on the 5K+! That’s why I would recommend for people that dont want to buy a 2080 Ti to switch to the 5K+.
Performance - Benchmarks
I made several Benchmarks with the fpsVR tool.
With every game there are 3 benchmarks: One with a very high resolution (Pimax), one with a normal resolution (Pimax) that you should choose and one with the suggested settings of the Vive Pro to compare it to the Pimax headsets.
My testing-system is a GTX 1080 Ti, 32GB Ram, 8700K, Windows 10 x64.
So here are the average FPS values of the benchmarks, for most games here I used medium ingame settings, you can of course lower them to get more FPS:
Arizona Sunshine 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 38 FPS (average)
Arizona Sunshine 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 72 FPS (average)
Arizona Sunshine Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 74 FPS (average)
(works pretty good on normal FOV with Pimax)
Assetto Corsa 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 48 FPS (average)
Assetto Corsa 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 75 FPS (average)
Assetto Corsa Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 77 FPS (average)
(works very good on normal FOV with Pimax)
CyubeVR 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 50 FPS (average)
CyubeVR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 69 FPS (average)
CyubeVR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 63 FPS (average)
(Is unplayable on the Pimax, because strange display errors occur)
Digital Combat Simulator 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 31 FPS (average)
Digital Combat Simulator 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 46 FPS (average)
Digital Combat Simulator Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = Tool error (locked to 45 FPS)
(needs much performance, but this game is also playable with only 45 FPS)
Elite Dangerous 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 31 FPS (average)
Elite Dangerous 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 51 FPS (average)
Elite Dangerous Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = Tool error (locked to 45 FPS)
(needs much performance, doesn’t run very good, you have to lower ingame settings)
Fallout 4 VR 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 29 FPS (average)
Fallout 4 VR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 61 FPS (average)
Fallout 4 VR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = Tool error (locked to 45 FPS)
(bad engine, runs bad on nearly every headset, not much fun)
Hellblade VR 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = Unreal Engine error
Hellblade VR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 38 FPS (average)
Hellblade VR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 84 FPS (average)
(needs to much performance for Pimax headsets, nearly unplayable)
Lone Echo 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 45 FPS (average)
Lone Echo 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 55 FPS (average)
Lone Echo Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 67 FPS (average)
(works pretty good on normal FOV and medium settings on Pimax and even without having to installed ReVive! Great Work!)
Onward 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 72 FPS (average)
Onward 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 78 FPS (average)
Onward Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 90 FPS (average)
(works perfect on Pimax, even with high resolutions and large FOV!)
OrbusVR 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 39 FPS (average)
OrbusVR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 44 FPS (average)
OrbusVR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 71 FPS (average)
(works bad on Pimax, needs much performance, you have to set low quality ingame)
Paranormal Activity 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 48 FPS (average)
Paranormal Activity 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 77 FPS (average)
Paranormal Activity Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 81 FPS (average)
(works good on Pimax with normal resolution and normal fov)
Pavlov VR 5K/8K, Resolution 5443x2418 = 74 FPS (average)
Pavlov VR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 79 FPS (average)
Pavlov VR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 89 FPS (average)
(this game works absolutely perfect on Pimax with even high resolutions, maximum in game settings and large fov!)
Project Cars 1 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 29 FPS (average)
Project Cars 1 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 42 FPS (average)
Project Cars 1 Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = Tool error (locked to 45 FPS)
(needs much performance, doesn’t work very good on Pimax, lower the ingame settings!)
Skyrim VR 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 55 FPS (average)
Skyrim VR 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 70 FPS (average)
Skyrim VR Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 88 FPS (average)
(works very good on Pimax with normal resolution and normal fov)
VorpX Kingdome Come 5K/8K Resolution 5443x2418 = 40 FPS (average)
VorpX Kingdome Come 5K/8K Resolution 2668x2418 = 45 FPS (average)
VorpX Kingdome Come Vive Pro Resolution 2351x2612 = 88 FPS (average)
(VorpX games are totally unplayable, because they need to much performance on the Pimax, this is for future use only I think)
For now it’s a big problem with glasses, because the lenses will touch the glasses in most cases. However Pimax will ship a special glasses face cushion, so that will be fixed in the future.
With the fact that your eyes are nearly touching the lenses, everything will heat up pretty much under the headset. I tried some really exhausting Beat Saber and Audioshield sessions and I really sweated very much and the sweat even ran down the lenses.
The Pimax headsets are very good to clean! You can remove the whole face inset and clean it under flowing water and then dry it! Good work!
The face foam and the complete face inset can be completely removed.
Cable-Length and extension
Cable is 5M and can at least be extended to 7m.
You got two USB-C slots, one audio jack and the slot for the headset cable.
Bow- and arrow games
As the Pimax headsets are very big, it will happen, that you hit your headset with the controllers or hands in games where you grab behind your back, for example in Bow- and arrow games. However you can train it and get used to it.
Vive Tracker Support
Vive Tracker can be connected without a problem and are shown in SteamVR as intended. However every full body tracking game crashed at the start. Seems this has to be fixed by the game developers themselves.
The hand tracking module, that is attached under the Pimax headset, works like a charm and feels very good! I really hope there will be some games coming out that support the hand tracking, because for now there are only demos.
There was no difference for me between Vive Pro, Oculus Rift and Pimax with motion sickness. When you get motion sick with other headsets, you will also get with Pimax and when motion sickness is no problem for you, it won’t be on the Pimax either.
Packaging is nothing special, blue/black design, but everything is protected very well!
Sound and microphone
For now I can’t tell you much about the sound, because you need your own headphones until the Pimax deluxe audio strap will arrive.
However I tested the integrated microphone and its one of the best ever in the VR headsets!
Should you change to 5K+?
If your REALLY (!) hate to see any SDE, if that is the most important thing for you, then you should keep the Pimax 8K.
For everybody else I would switch to the Pimax 5K+, because you need a lower resolution to look equal than with the 8K and so have more performance for the games. I don’t see any big difference in color, distortion, black values or other things between the 5K+ and the 8K.
If you really want to keep the 8K, please keep in mind that your really need a high-end-pc and should definitely preorder the 2080 Ti in my opinion!
All in all I want to say, that Pimax did a very good job! The big FOV is the absolute blast and kills every other consumer headset on the market (We don’t talk about the ultra expensive StarVR one or XTAL here). The Vive Pro is totally killed in my opinion, nobody needs it anymore!
Even with the bad black values and the need for a high-end-pc, its so much more immersive and just feels great! If you played with the Pimax for some hours, you will never ever want to go back to an older headset, it’s so bad to see this very ugly small fov again.
If the Pimax 8K will have the same price than Vive Pro or perhaps some more dollars only, it will be absolutely worth it! Pimax 5K+ should be 100 to 150 dollars cheaper than the Vive Pro, than it would be perfect!
It is even prepared for the future. In two or three graphics card generations it will even look much better, so you can even see more Pimax Power in the future.
Absolutely great work by Pimax all in all, but it was also the work of us testers that Pimax could release such a good headset, I hope you will appreciate it!
For me the Pimax 5K+ and 8K are VR 2.0, next gen!
I’d love to hear what you think about my review and you should also watch my video as there are manual created and very good english subtitles. I also would appreciate a thumbs up here and on my video review as well as a sub