Backer Pimax 5k+ received 25/2 review



Hi all,

TLDR; For my first headset the 5k+ more then fulfilled my needs and although I still have some issues (e.g. sparkles, no base/controllers), they are not bad enough for me to drop it all together.


  1. Arrival: first gen , no cracks for now
  2. Setup and first test: .91, Sparkles problem,
  3. First use Steam VR: Xbox or PS controllers barely work in steamvr,
  4. Sound problem: solved by using other/correct usb port, but why is possible quality only 16 bit?
  5. Playing first game and search for games: EVERSPACE, enemy tags <> location of enemies, Tried War Thunder but didn’t work even with parallel projections.
  6. Taking a break and testing something out: Computer restart needed to change pimax_default.jpg, error in pictures while booting HMD
  7. Restarting search for content for non base station and/or vive controllers: Installing Oculus games not seen in pitool + fix, going Oculus software is xbox controller friendly
  8. Didn’t do yet
  9. Conclusion

I am backer #7106 from Belgium, I received my headset on monday 25/02 (DD/MM for all those American weirdos out there). At the moment of opening the box it was immediately clear that I have a first gen hmd. You can guess that from seeing all the posts about cracks I was afraid I will have to RMA it very soon.

Setup and first test
HMD firmware
Gigabyte Z370 Aorus gaming 7
Intel® Core™ i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz (12 CPUs), ~3.7GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Steam vr SS = 100% manual
FOV = normal

As an IT’er the setup wasn’t that hard. I installed the pitool (.91) and then connected the cables to the video card and a usb port lastly the power. Starting up the HMD without any problems. First time putting on the HMD directly noticed I will have to be watchful since I have glasses and my eyes/glasses are really close to the glasses. Using the straps and putting on the HMD I saw pimax home for the first time.

Enjoying the look I sadly immediately noticed the sparkles. Which are indeed very visible, I will put in a support request for a new cable. Thinking about that from my technical point of view having 1 cable with video & audio & power combined requires very good insulation. I mean the EMI should be pretty high.

First use steamvr
I am a VR noob so you can understand that I do not have any base stations or controllers from Oculus or Vive. And no I do not want to spend the money to buy second-hands. At this point I already started trying to use steam vr and the tutorial which by the way isn’t supported with an xbox or ps controller, even after activating the controllers in big picture mode you barely can use controllers in steam VR.
Sound (problem)
In the tutorial I noticed that I did not have any sound from the HMD. Trying to see what the problems was I started playing around with the settings hearing a few seconds of sound every time I changed the settings. Long story short the problem was with the USB port I used:

I used the red one at first which is a sleep/charge usb port. Switching to a 3.1 usb port (blue) I had correct audio. Fixing that I do have a question what is the use of the audio port if the quality which you can send to it is only 16 bit…? I will change the audio output to my standard headset outputs.

Playing first game and search for games
After getting the audio to work I started looking for things to do… remember: I only have xbox controller or ps4 controller… I had supported a kickstarter game which provides a VR mode EVERSPACE. Tried it with the xbox controller worked fine but I am a ps player so I retried with my ps controller and this doesn’t really work very well right stick seems stuck the way I pushed it last. Anyways it was cool but had to lower the settings of the game to have it run a bit smoother. I did have a problem where I was looking at an enemy ship right in front of me while the ‘lock-on’ was saying it was somewhere else… Anyways failing hard at this game decided to find other stuff to test in VR. At this time I started to try to use the big picture from steam to find and play games in VR. This went on for like half a day in total tried several games like War Thunder which well didn’t work very well since the view was really distorted even with “parallel projections” activated.

Taking a break and testing something out
So I realized that I would have some recording of the sparkles and I also wanted to check out if I had faulty pixels. To do this I replaced the pimax_default.jpg restarting the HMD, pitool did nothing I had to restart my computer to see the different pimax default screen. Doing this for 3 pictures:

  • complete black : identify the sparkles, this was hard maybe we should gather tips on how to record this problem I had the patience for this video
  • complete white: identify broken pixels (not one to be seen luckily)
  • The ipd picture provided on the forum. I sadly don’t know my IPD and can’t really see when it is good How does that even work for people with glasses?

While doing that I noticed that while booting up it takes some time for the pimax to get the picture right for example the ipd picture:

Seconds later:

Even with the white picture I had the same phenomenon (the black line):

Restarting search for content for non base station and/or vive controllers
Seeing that on the forum also Oculus users where playing their games I was interested in trying some oculus software. Installing the Oculus home and the Revive tool I didn’t see the Oculus games showing up in the pitool. Back to the forums I found the solution reinstalling the pitool which fixed it. Trying the same apps I got in SteamVR suddenly I could easily use them with my controller. So I was happy even got to play Lucky’s tale which is cute enough as a tryout game. I will probably play Oculus games till the other items arrive.

Didn’t do yet

  • Change FOV
  • Change SS SteamVR
  • See difference with parallel projections…
  • some other stuff?

I had to take a day off to play around with the HMD, in the end, worth it since I haven’t hadden a chance to boot it up since then. I’m happy that I do not see cracks atm. So coming up I will:

  • Make a support ticket for a new cable.
  • Find some other oculus games
  • Find some real VR movie style stuff which is playable (like the deo vr demo stuff)

Heh this became a bit longer then expected. Anyways I have a cold so nothing will happen anymore tonight. I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes in the language/sentences. I’ve tried to make it a bit readable by partitioning the whole text.

Best regards and good night.

ps. Any errors in the text or questions I will check this post tomorrow.
ps2. I’ll be happy if the forum doesn’t fail to in posting something this big :slight_smile:

@Dallas.Hao : I can’t create an account … any advice?