THROUGH THE LENSE: Quest 2 vs Pimax 8KX vs 5K Super [NextGenVR]


@NextGenVR Actually 5k Super is 1440p per eye, Quest 2 is approximately 1080p (1920x832?) per eye, and the 8K-X is 4k per eye. So Pimax has more resolution regardless, it just doesn’t look that way.

I’m sure a couple of people are asking “why does Quest 2 look as good as it does?”

PPD on Quest 2 is higher (because the FOV is smaller) but its also interesting that its clarity seems almost as good as the 8k-X, ( a bit less) despite it being only 1/4 of the resolution per eye.

That’s partially because the Quest 2 has very good back light strobing. Its 80+ or 120 frames are only visible for 0.3 miliseconds. Because of that, its temporal or motion resolution is very very good. Probably one of the best LCD panels ever made.

limitations of Its pixel transition times are mostly hidden in darkness, so its image is clear top to bottom. If you look at blur busters test UFO on a Quest 2, you can see how good it moving picture response time is. In VR low persistence is very important, and can have more impact than raw pixel count.

Those factors together explain why Quest 2 looks so good, even though its resolution is roughly 1/4 of the 8k per eye, and its FOV so small.

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The Quest 2 is 1920x1832. So not actually close to 1080p at all.

This through the lens comparison is a little misleading because it makes it seem like all three have about the same video quality with little difference between them. But that’s just not true, and he even makes a point of saying so in the video. I think his recording method just isn’t detailed enough to really show the differences you can see when actually wearing these headsets.

I have made direct A-B comparisons between these three headsets and also the Index. And the 8KX has substantially better image quality than the others.

The Index and Quest 2 I rate as being very close in overall image quality (ignoring the FOV). The Index punches above its weight in terms of what its PPD would suggest. And the Quest 2, despite how much you’ve talked about the importance of its fast strobe, actually punches below the weight its PPD would suggest.

The Pimax 5K super has video quality a little below the Index and the Quest 2. It has very noticeable SDE in particular. This is predicted by its low PPD. Its resolution is a little underwhelming when stretched across such a wide FOV. But on the other hand, it has wide FOV.

Huh, my mistake good thing I put a question mark on the Quest 2 resolution per eye so that’s almost 1000 lines more resolution than 1080p.

The fact.that the Quest 2 with its decently outdated SOC and sub native rendering ( even when streaming from PC) comes anywhere close to either Pimax or Index highlights how good those panels are, and again how good strobing is.

Also consider that PC VR on Quest is streamed, so has all the issues of bitrate, compression, Etc.

You’re one hundred percent right that the PC VR headsets are better, but bang for buck wise, Quest 2 aint bad.

They’re also 100% right that things like foveated displays, rendering, etc. Is definitely going to be necessary, and companies like varjo have already shown the usefulness of that approach.

My rant about strobing really is more about in the monitor space Oh, but I feel like a thoroughly different type of display would do better, especially since they want to do varifocal now.

The reason Quest 2 looks good in that video is because he has “Link Sharpening” on while he probably isn’t using AMD CAS for the 5KS or 8KX…add AMD CAS sharpening and you’ll see the difference.
@NextGenVR were you using any sharpening in the 8KX/5KS?..definitely makes a difference, especially with an Index, it’s basically an HMD upgrade since it’s so much more clean looking… Quest 2 with Link Sharpening is almost oversharpened, but it makes things very clean.

I’ve always thought the q2 and 8kx had good displays that looked about the same clarity wise (and iirc their ppd values are v similar), i thought the q2 had the best binocular overlap, 3D effect was excellent, i’d seen in a hmd i’d used. I’ve never tried a 5k so can’t comment on it.

I’m not familiar with link sharpening. How do you enable it in Pimax headsets?

For quest 2 I used 1.0 render quality at 90hz but 150% supersampling in steam.

Link Sharpening is probably already enabled in your Oculus debug tool. This has nothing to do with Pimax headsets:

You’re showing non-sharpened images in the Pimax captures vs sharpened in Quest 2 which is why people are saying Quest 2 looks better than expected.

Sharpening via SteamVR can be done in different ways, and some games already have this in their settings (Wanderer for example under FidelityFX). Also, if you load up the Quest2 via SteamVR you’ll be combining the sharpening together, so you should disable CAS when using Quest 2 on SteamVR (or better yet disable Link Sharpening to have the same sharpening effect between all headsets).

I used to use this:

You can toggle it on/off easily using the End key. A quick test would be looking at the ground in the Beat Saber menu and realize how much more detail is has with a little bit of sharpening.

Or the full release in Reshade (here is the page describing the VR release/usage, but this isn’t the latest release):

Latest release of Reshade is here

Not all games will work so I use something from a different dev: Installation | reshade-vrtoolkit for HL:Alyx

You can also just shut off Link Sharpening to compare easier but it’s worth looking into sharpening for SteamVR headsets.

I’m surprised you don’t know about this. Most people say sharpening makes things look worse on flat displays, and I’d agree, but this version of CAS (contrast adaptive sharpening) works amazing for VR without any overly sharpened effects. You have to try it yourself and tweak the values (sometimes I go up to 3.5 in some games with an Index ). Some games already have this built in, like Wanderer (it’s called FidelityFX)

Edit: Adding a great example with Phasmophobia:


2nd might be a bit extreme but looks great in the Index. Seems this user was also adding a bit extra contrast to the image as well.

Basically, your video is showing Quest using an image like #2 while the Pimax capture is showing the game like #1.


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