Hi VR Enthusiasts,
I am one of the luck testers, happy and eager to share my test result of M2 with you. I won’t cover all aspects of M2 as I think SweViver and other testers will do more comprehensive and deeper reviews. I will focus on something I care most: resolution. I mainly play flight simulation in VR, so resolution has been my utmost concern (and complaint) with current VR headsets. I have watched the video of the last Berlin meeting, and I am aware that there are quite some people playing sims as me, and they are uncertain how to choose from 8K and 5K+. I will tried to answer the question with this report. As impressions can be very subjective, I will use the pictures I took through the lens for comparison. And I will give the parameters of these tests as much as possible so that you can reproduce the results at home for comparison with your own headsets.
I have done my comparison tests of 8K and 5K+ through three application: Aerofly FS 2, Project Cars, Virtual Desktop. I use Huawei P20 pro for taking pictures. P20 pro has Leica lens, manual focus, and 3X optical zoom. It’s a handy tool for the job, yet the pics are not true reproduction. The pics have some noises, warps, and colorization that are not present when seeing directly through the lens. You just need to look for the most clear part of the pics for more exact reference. For each scene I took 1X and 3X zoom (Project Cars 1X and 2X). The pictures attached are all unmodified. You can click to watch in its original size.
My PiTool is 0.74C, parallel projections mode enabled, FOV normal, rendering quality 1.75. SteamVR Supersampling for 5K+ is set to 40%, rendering at 3278x2914. 8K SS is set to 42%, rendering at 3164x2899. I don’t understand why 8K renders at lower resolution than 5K+. Is it proof that 5K+ is using more effective pixels than 8K? Anyway, at the above SteamVR SS they both have almost equal framerate on Aerofly FS 2.
Update: I take several shots of 8K at extreme setting: PiTool rendering 2.0, SteamVR Supersampling 500% (12479x11435)
I can’t see any difference from Pitool 1.75/SteamVR SS 42%. Nor is there much difference in framerate. I think there is something extraordinary with this PiTool version (0.74C). In earlier versions this setting will make the computer crawl and unplayable. See the updated pictures below and floor 28.
My computer platform: Intel 4790K@4.2G, 32gb, Nvidia GTX 1080
1. Aerofly FS 2.
Graphic setting: 1920x1080, all maxed out.
Scenery: Orbx Netherland TrueEarth, Amsterdam Intl, runway 06.
Airplane: Cessna 172, default startup state. Both headsets are of equal distance to the instruments.
Framerate: 8K: 36, 5K+: 37
2. Project Cars
Graphic setting: 1920x1080, all maxed out, all special effect such as sun flare, bloom, haze, etc. turned off.
Track: Hockenheim Classic Germany, solo quick race. I set number of opponents to 0 so that the car always starts at the same position.
Vehicle: RWD P30 LMP1, default standby mode.
Framerate: PC does not have in-game framerate counter, nor can I get Steam framerate counter to show in this game. On both headsets the framerates of PR are fairly smooth.
3. Virtual Desktop
Graphics setting: 1920x1080, Virtual Desktop built-in supersampling 3.0, screen size 130 degree, screen distance 7.0, no curve, purple nebular environment.
Sample text: Times New Roman, size 10, Windows Wordpad.
Refresh rate: 8K: 80, 5K+: 91. The fresh rate of 5K+ is a bit strange, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.
8K 1x extreme setting
8K 3x extreme setting
4. Subjective observation
I let out a “Wow” when I opened Virtual Desktop on 5K+. This is the first time I saw clear texts of a complete Windows desktop on any headset, period. This is a moment to remember, and a milestone in VR history. Pimax can’t be praised enough for this achievement alone. I suggest anyone who has a 5K+ should try Virtual Desktop first. I wish you could share my joy. At the Berlin meeting Pimax CEO Robin claimed 5K+ has 9% more effective pixel than 8K, but I feel it’s more than 9%. Just look at the pics.
It’s easy to notice from the other two tests. Look at the letter “E” on the heading indicator of FS2, and the word “Vittorius” on the roadside of Project Cars.
Yet the clarity of 5K+ does not come at no price. You can immediately notice from all the pics that the pixels are bigger and more noticeable on 5K+. How noticeable? There is a small airplane symbol in the center of the heading indicator of FS2. You can clearly count 7 lines of pixels for the wing of the airplane symbol on 5K+, but it’s hard to count them on 8K, whose screen looks smoother and more refined.
Now we come to the answer to the golden question: 8K or 5K+, which one should we choose? I can’t see much difference of FOV between to two. Under the same rendering and supersampling parameter they have almost the same framerate. So effective resolution and pixel size remain the two most cruxial factor. If you are more into simulation games as me, I’d suggest 5K+, as every pixel counts in these games. If you are more into action, adventure, RPG, sports games, etc., which relies more on overall aesthetics, I’d suggest 8K. Or I can put it in another way: if you care more about details and realism, go for 5K+; if you care more about art and beauty, go for 8K.
And finally I must thank Pimax for bringing us a long waited advance in VR!