Review, not that easy, tacheles comparison (8k, 5k, OD+)

review

#1

I was struggling if I should do a review at all.
Not because I do not like to write stuff, I really do, but because I do not like to cook the same soup like everyone else all over again, just served on a different plate. It bores the hell outta me, most likely you as well. So I’ll try to emphasize the less stated pro and cons.

Had a Rift, Go and currently own a Vive, Odyssey+, Pimax 8k.
I also had the opportunity to play with the 5k for a couple of days, just FYI to make sure that I’m not one of those “yeahy it’s my first HMD and I use it without tracking. Pimax is awesome. I have obviously no clue what I’m talking about but I write anyway” kinda guys. Insult intended :slight_smile:

I also need to point out right away that one of Pimax’s strong suits
is the incredible forum with an overwhelmingly skilled and fun community.
Even in “bad times” (leaks, delays, etc.)the community managed to contribute priceless progress.
So if you buy a Pimax you can be sure to have awesome discussions with helpful people all over the world.

Construction:
For EU standards the “feel” of construction must be more polished as the gaps of the different parts of the housing do not align as perfectly as experienced with other products and established VR brands. I also had a sort of glue residue between the gaps.
This may be more of a cosmetic issue but may introduce concerns of overall durability for potential future costumers.
Having in mind that indeed some of the housings were faulty from certain batches Pimax would do some good to really make the transition of the parts smooth and perfect in order to get rid of the past, people not fearing to run into cracks due to the not polished allignments even if this may have been sorted out by now.

Wearing experience:
The wearing of the HMD with the included strap, for me at least, is a no-go because of many reasons.
Fortunately, I have a DAS and was able to attach it via 3d print adapters provided by the really helpful forum community.
Btw. in their defense though, ANY HMD needs comfort modding (eg 3rd party face pads) so I am confident that the Pimax take on DAS will solve a lot of problems.

The advertised “sweet spot” is certainly a matter of discussion.
Coming from other HMDS the sweet spot is usually the spot where you can see the clearest (in the middle). The thing with Pimax though is that this sweet spot is not enough and must be examined way further in order to align the whole FOV due to distortions and fish eye effects, which proved to be quite a hit and miss procedure. It’s not that other headsets do not require tinkering but you definitely need stronger nerves and much more patience with a Pimax since they provide very little official guidelines to minimize those efforts.

Visual Quality (most import IMHO)
Here is a list of things that can’t be changed and are set in stone for the most part. I’ll leave out tracking, comfort, software etc. as they, as a matter of fact, can be changed!

SDE
The Odyssey+ is hands down the best HMD in terms of SDE.
I was VERY disappointed with the SDE of the 5k+ but the SDE of the 8k is good enough to finally not bother about it anymore. I know…it’s a matter of personal perception but if I’d say OD+ is 10 (as of yet) and Vive 1, 5k+ gets 3 and 8k 7.

Resolution
Fun fact about resolution:
The more resolution a picture got, the less it seems pixelated. WRONG!
I would say that SDE and resolution play together, even more so in VR. So what is a higher resolution good for if we have more pixels but due to SDE the picture still looks pixelated?
So I think that the 8k nails a pretty good balance between resolution and SDE. Not so the 5k+. Yet again the OD+, at least at close distance OBJECTS (not text), actually does not provide the feeling of having a lower resolution.

Performance impact
The Pimax HMDs need (much) more horsepower than other HMDs, period! But this not bad thing, as I remember going from full HD to 4k 2d gaming. Come on, new stuff needs more news stuff, simple as that.
The 8k surely needs even more performance than the 5k, but it’s worth it, even when some (not many) games may not be playable with enough SS to really shine for now. As those games struggle with the 5k as well, the performance differences between 5k and 8k are neglectable! I don’t get the reviews sometimes… “Oh on that game the 8k brings 15 fps, but the 5k 30 fps which is double. Wow!!! and they both look…unplayable”

It’s important to state though that for reasons beyond my control Pimax works surprisingly well with lower/lowerish fps. Even ~60 fps got me nauseated on Vive, Rift, WMR. As long as not hitting below 40/45 fps (even without smart smoothing) most games are nicely playable on the Pimax.

Colors and Blacks
Many people had no issues with the colors and blacks of the Oculus go, but I did, a lot. LCD is a big sacrifice for me.
I deeply disliked the colors and blacks on the 5k and yet again the 8k somehow manages to limit the problem to a surprisingly reasonable level. Still not close to OLED but closer. I’d apply the same scoring as I did with SDE.

Clarity
Clarity is an issue with the OD+. You can see a light haze, text is readable but not well, distant objects blur. This is where the 5k really shines as it is not facing any of those issues. The 8k does not offer the clarity of the 5k to that extent but it is still clear enough.

FOV
The FOV of the Pimax HDMS is a truly amazing experience.
There are games that are really much more fun with bigger FOV
as I also enjoy many games more on my 21:9 monitor.
(Premiere and Cubase as well btw.)
If you’re eg. a simmer or fan of free locomotion games you gonna have a blast.
“Once you played big FOV you can’t go back” is…not true though, at least for me.
It does even bring little to none wow moments in half the experiences.

skip to here if you do not wanna read through the whole stuff :slight_smile:

verdict and concluding thoughts

The Pimax 8k is an amazing headset!
Make no mistake, choosing a Pimax headset is also choosing a path of many compromises though, which does not necessarily needs to be a bad thing.
Even some of my best friends hate me for being overly realistic since I tend to philosophize on pragmatism a lot.
If things sound harsh, I do so in order to up the contrast and make people look into the aspects that I find to be most important.

it’s worth to **consider **
IF
-You predominantly play games that benefit from big FOV like
Sims, games with surrounding where you constantly act into every direction, especially with free locomotion.
-You play all kind of games and own a 2nd headset
-You have a DECENT Pc, even my 1080ti struggled with the 5k
-You have spare cash to pay quadruple for the whole setup compared to eg. OD+

The compromises are ridiculous and plain stupid (it is what it is)
IF
-You play predominately games like (ok, bit extreme example) beat sabor, where you act and look in the same direction.
Not every game is depending on the peripheral vision to get immersed. Even less those that use teleporting.
It’s definitely something to consider If you have issues with free locomotion anyway.
-You do not plan to get a 2nd HMD in order to cover a broader range of game-genres
-You want to enjoy movies since SDE, color and blacks are MOST important and bigger FOV does add ZERO benefits.
-You do own a PC below a 1080ti configuration
-Your funds are limited to throw at VR or the feeling to love new tech and bitch about it

Again if you mostly play games like beat sabor, angry birds, wave shooters, boxing games and movies, the bigger FOV is not worth the hustle. Sure you can play them, but only because the often stated “it works” it does not mean it makes sense either.
You simply do not want to sacrifice the most critical criteria for not relevant ones and pay quite a penny for that. Otherwise, you better get prepared that low performance will neglect all won benefits instantly.

I for once play all a broad range of genres.
Funnily I often play plain simple games for a fun quickie
(Gun Club VR) that really do not need bigger FOV.
The longer the session games where you really move through fields, spaces, etc. are the where you really get immersed though. This is where the 8k amazes!

If you are looking for that
“Wow, that’s Skyrim at a new level of experience.”
“Thank God for more zombies in the peripheral vision in Arizona Sunshine”
“I used to have a 3 monitor setup in order to cover that much space in a racing game”
“What?? I can upgrade that SOB piece of amazing futuristic hardware with insane cool stuff in the future as no one did before without to pay for an entire new HMD eg. to include eye tracking??”

Then I’d say…hell yeah, totally go for it :slight_smile: It’s no good/bad decision though, it’s not that simple.
It has been quite a ride since the KS campaign and there still lay many miles ahead of us.
I’m glad I took the ride and take the opportunity to thank
Pimax and the forum community @Heliosurge until now.

@Leon.Wang

Cheers


noro (hope u don’t mind that the picture was not that shocking after all)


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