Video Intro and Initial Pimax 8KX Setup - 5k+ Transition - iRacing

I use a Pimax 5K+ with iRacing now and recently received my 8KX. Here is a rig workshop stream going through the software and hardware setup.

My 5K+ has been running on a really old PiTool version 144, so I first wanted to go through updating the Nvidia GeForce drivers and PiTool to the current versions making sure at each step that the 5K+ was still working okay.

Then we transition to the 8KX and initial impressions.

If you are actually interested, it may be best to open the video on the YouTube website to see the direct links to each section in the video description.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6_igUHaGck

0:00:10 Starting with new Nvidia GeForce Driver v456.38
0:04:30 Testing those new drivers in iRacing - looks good
0:07:36 1st look 8KX in the box!
0:08:15 Concerns about the head strap hinge limited angle/range of motion
0:10:50 Update PiTool software to v263 - big jump from v144
0:13:28 Save test pattern cross hatch image for IPD/alignment adjustments
0:28:45 Sensor detection abnormal on 5K+ with v263
0:32:58 Firmware update on 5K+ - needed to disconnect USB while PiTool was running
0:36:15 All is well with the 5K+ on v263 with the new firmware - PiTool options setup
0:45:45 Test in iRacing with 5K+ on new GeForce drivers and PiTool. Seems good
0:51:05 Check screenshots to compare resolutions - they are different 4268x2784 (old) vs 3412x2228 (new)
0:56:00 Test again in iRacing with similar resolution: 4264x2780 as close as it gets. Still good
0:59:13 Long distance (40ft+) cable run woes
1:00:57 First time 8KX startup
1:06:05 SDE? Not really
1:08:56 Test pattern startup image replacement and IPD/vertical adjustment overview
1:12:30 8KX in iRacing for the first time - resolution still set at 158% form 5K+
1:16:23 OMG moment
1:19:45 Crazy resolution zoom out 6268x4172
1:21:20 Try at SteamVR “recommended” resolution - pretty low - 3820x2544
1:28:30 Try at SteamVR 100% - 5020x3340
1:32:05 First notice of eye comfort concerns

8 Likes

Here is a second session looking more closely at the 5K+ vs 8KX and optical focus issues I am experiencing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPSsOsd8tBE

0:05 - Starting with a screenshot from the 5K+. Goal is to compare the same car/track/conditions.
3:20 - 8KX connected. Set SteamVR resolution to be consistent with what we were using on the 5K+.
8:01 - Initial focus observations with the 8KX. Ever so slightly out of focus in right eye unless I shift the HMD.
8:43 - Grab initial 8KX screenshot.
11:57 - Realization that distant objects are not rendering the same on the 8KX - iRacing LOD system.
17:05 - Changing iRacing LOD option to not drop out world stuff. Was set to 75Hz, so a little unexpected that it would look different than on the 5K+.
23:43 - Screenshot comparison 5K+ on left, 8KX on right - both at nearly identical resolutions. The pixels being rendered appear identical, which is good and what we expect if SteamVR and iRacing think they are rendering the same resolution.
27:55 - IPD adjustments. Cranked all the way down, its not quite in focus for either eye. Moving the HMD slightly to the left makes the right eye pop into focus, and vise versa.

6 Likes

Nice one (actually watched some of it earlier after searching for “pimax 8kx” on YouTube)… :wink:

I’m trying to gather info on working extension cables here:

It seems we have to go fiber optic on the DP cable :wink:

As someone who has a 5k+ and considering an 8kx I found it very interesting :thinking:

I genuinley like your methodical approach - one change at a time and retesting after each other :+1:

The hinge on the rigid strap not working properly is just dumb by Pimax, but hopefully they will fix that. More worrying is people with low ipd that worked fine on the 5k+ becomes blurry on the 8kx (others in the forum have mentioned the same problem).

2 Likes

My next step will be to swap the comfort kit on the 8KX for the older style facial interface on the 5K+. I suspect there is something different about the geometry of the way the HMD sits that is part of the issue.

2 Likes

Here’s my third video in the series. Using the older style facial interface, I do believe my focus/clarity is better with the 8KX. But the shortcomings in terms of 75Hz and color fidelity as well as general sense of presence make me prefer the 5K+ for iRacing. May be different for different content and this is all just my subjective opinion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLujXNKay_A
Click SHOW MORE to see the whole timeline.
0:01:18 - Start with test pattern replacement for default Pimax image
0:02:17 - My approach for vertical offset adjustment
0:02:51 - Already clear focus is better with the old style facial interface - not the comfort kit
0:05:24 - Start at zero for vertical and IPD adjustments
0:06:30 - Adjusting right eye vertical position
0:09:05 - Adjust left eye vertical position
0:09:59 - IPD adjustment
0:11:11 - Values do seem to be different headset to headset
0:12:46 - Set resolution in SteamVR for evaluation, start off with 100% 5008x3160 : higher than what I run on the 5K+. Should be able to afford it at 75Hz?
0:16:10 - Load into iRacing to test - Imola in the Radical
0:16:46 - With the old facial interface, focus is indeed better
0:18:25 - Notice we are not making 75Hz at this resolution
0:21:20 - Back to SteamVR resolution - 78% 4420x2788 : comparable to what we run on the 5K+
0:23:00 - Load back into iRacing - making framerate now
0:27:08 - Initial impressions, best so far. Still some shortcomings. Framerate and color.
0:33:40 - Additional IPD tweaks - 0 still looks correct
0:38:29 - Opinion, and subjective evaluation - best experience so far
0:39:48 - Still feeling conflicted… Try direct 5K+ comparison
0:43:22 - PiTool settings back to appropriate values for 5K+
0:45:10 - SteamVR resolution back to 158% 4288x2800
0:47:40 - Back into iRacing with the 5K+ - better presence?
0:55:15 - Closing thoughts and price/spec comparisons

5 Likes

Have you considered enabling scaler mode? You can get a much higher refresh rate with the higher panel utilization and no sde in that mode.

1 Like

Try to remove the facial cowling and move the headset closer to your eyes (not as practical solution, just a test). The fact that tilting the headset towards one side improves focus for that eye leads me to speculation that just like me, you need to get the lenses closer to eyes.
In my case it is rather prominent as I can see only 1/3 of potato FOV clear while inside, outside and and downward it becomes blurred and distorted.
When I remove the face cowling and press the headset as close as physically possible the image significantly improves to the point that large text like in PE is still somewhat legible at the edge of small.

Thanks for the follow up @Robertsmania. Bit of a disappointing watch tbh. I can’t use the X i have here at the moment due to the misaligned lenses and bad Mura but it looks like even if i could it would be a disappointment. So now I’ll have to go through the pain of dealing with support knowing that even with a corect headset it’ll be no better than the 5k+ :frowning:

Yes, I did try the upscaled mode. The results were not very satisfactory. Do you have a recommendation for the sweet spot resolution for that mode?

On my system, 4264x2780 seems to be very good for the 5K+ and I can make 90Hz at that resolution consistently in iRacing. When I tried the upscaling at that same resolution, my system can not reliably make framerate - why not have a 90Hz option for that mode?

So to get it to work well, I need to run a lower resolution which isn’t helping.

1 Like

Are you launching from inside the Pimax Experience?

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