Dear Reviewers, I still have some questions

First off a BIG thanks and well done to @SweViver, @mixedrealityTV and @VoodooDE for your in-depth analysis of both HMDs, help in making them better, and making us feel like we were there with you in Berlin! We appreciate you!

But it seems that there is a big problem in your reviews that’s still making it difficult for folks to decide between the 8k and 5k+, namely your reviews seem to be focusing on what you can do with each right now with your current hardware. While that is helpful for sure, I think many people still want to know which is the better HMD regardless of current GPU limitations, to get an idea of what to expect from each longer term when the foveated rendering add-on comes out, or 7nm GPUs come out for example.

EDIT: I asked Sebastian about this in his live AMA last night, you can hear his response here.

From the reviews it seems to me we are talking about 3 different clarity factors (outside of SDE which we know is slightly better on the 8k) which are:

  1. Blurriness/sharpness (possible distortion from the upscaler)
  2. Distance clarity (resolution)
  3. Text readability

But the problem here is that these 3 things are going to be affected by supersampling with the 8k’s upscaler in play, it makes it more difficult than ever having to take it into consideration!

And as if that isn’t already problematic on it’s own, we now have this weirdness in SweViver’s video that makes it unclear what the ‘Rendering Quality’ slider actually does. Maybe it is some new magic that I’m unfamiliar with, but it seems to me it would just be another way to adjust supersampling which would just stack the same way Oculus Tray Tools + Steam VR SS + in-game SS does now. But if that’s the case, from that video it is not just starting at 0 for the 8k, which if that’s the case is really muddying the waters here even more! Sebastian says all of his review data is from 1.0 SS, but is it really? And what weird SS was Martin comparing with the way he was playing with the sliders there?

We know that both HMDs have the same input resolution, and while we expect the 8k to need more GPU because it needs to SS the image to offset the upscaler, that should NOT be something the ‘Rendering Quality’ does automatically without being clear to the user about it!

So while it’s obvious that you can barely run games at the native Pimax resolution with your 1080ti’s now, and that you might be able to with a 2080ti, you still won’t be able to supersample much, if at all. But some of us want to know what the HMDs themselves are capable of in the future without GPU limitations. For example, what if you used 2x SS on both HMDs, which will look better then? What really is the limitation of the 8k scaler vs. native 5k+, if any? What is the max SS for each that still gives visual gains before diminishing returns?

Obviously you can’t expect to run any games to test this, but certainly it could be tested to just take some screenshots comparing them in EQUAL supersampling values, 1.2x, 1.5x, 2.0x for examples. And to even do that, we all need to be confident of what the values are regarding the ‘Rendering Quality’ slider.

Please help clarify which HMD is better without the GPU being the limiting factor, and help us understand this magic ‘Rendering Quality’ slider. It would be much appreciated!

I hate to even bring up how the pixel arrangement differences between both, the FOV setting, and the lack of timewarp might come into play in all of this. Yikes!

Also Sebastian said he would share some screenshots of the Oculus Go vs. the Pimax HMDs, would really love to see those too!


As a user of the Oculus Go I’m also interested.


People simply want to know if the 8k can outperform the 5k in every way if given enough GPU.

Good questions. This will inform us on how futureproof the headsets are. 5k+ might be better now, but i want to get a feel for how the 8k will perform with foveated rendering built into the 2080ti and the headset itself.

7nm gpus are gonna be quite far down the line though aren’t they? I know amd is talking about the navi sometime next year but seems like they’ll aim mid range. You think Nvidia is gonna kick out a 7nm before end of next year?

The main thing though, is if foveated rendering is introduced next year, then surely everyone is going to dive on the 8K-X right? Cos FR will drop requirements massively (apparently?). Just seems to me the stuff you mention here would be fairly pointless once we can power 8K-X compared to an M2. I like the idea of a 5K+ stopgap that has no issues NOW, and then wait for the awesome mix of foveated plus native 4k whenever it comes :smiley: Seems like the 8K is kind of flogging a dead horse (to me).

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SweViver just said in his live AMA that the problem is that Pimax is very secretive about how their rendering pipeline works. I’ll try to link to it when it’s over.

Maybe @deletedpimaxrep1 can chime in on all of this? People are going to want to understand what resolutions they are sending to their HMDs.

It relates to sensitive information, cannot disclose right away.


I think the gap between HMDs (whatever you see now) will always be the same gap as both HMD’s gain benefits from hardware / GPU driver and engine improvements, they rise together.

Foveated rendering will shine on native or above resolutions though. But that is application specific (currently) so do not hold your breath on that solving global performance issues in the next year or two. Pimax HMD’s will probably allow developers to really test foveated rendering out though so it will gain faster traction at least, especially if the eye-tracker is solid.

As to 7nm, well it will be the first time that AMD can compete with NVidia at the high end. NVidia who is lagging in manufacturing yield behind AMD will just make the Link Bridge support native and transparent SLI (not just the new memory pooling) so multi-GPU has to make advances, which we all need by the way. AMD can also do that with their infinity fabric whatnot but time will tell how successful it is. This has to be done as simply more GPU brute force can not match high def panel advancements or VR which doubles that. MVR will also help in this area. Just my opinion of course.

It is possible that a refresh in 2019 comes along that improves the 8K hardware, upscaler, panels etc to make the gap between the 8K and the 5K+ more obvious as at the moment it will hamper sales with user indecision.

Why is the resolution a “sensitive” subject? Unless you partner is doing some trickery to fake something then it should just be a public statistic.


Sorry, edited in the original post. cannot disclose the tech details.

@deletedpimaxrep1 Could you at least explain in which relation is the “Rendering Quality” setting in PiTool to SteamVR supersampling setting? I believe it could save a lot of effort (and wrong configurations) for people. From @SweViver video I understood even he did not know, and had to use some trial and error approach to find the sweet spot.

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@deletedpimaxrep1 I think people want to know if the Pitool quality slider does exactly the same thing as the SteamVR SS slider? Is one or the other obsolete?

I think it’s safe to say yes/no without comprising your company secrets.

It cannot do “the same thing” because only once in the rendering pipeline someone must run this famous pre-lens warp transformation. This may happen either in SteamVR or in PiTool, but not in both. And whoever does it uses the supersampling for this transformation, the other one does not, and uses supersampling just for “regular” antialiasing. Depending how you set it and who does what, you get differently pre-warped and anti-aliased image.

Watch this epic moment when SweViver figures out that the rendering on the 5k+ and 8k are different even though they have the same input resolution: LIVE: Ask Me Anything about Pimax 8K & 5K+ And My Pimax Review! - YouTube

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Yeah i had to rewind during the livestream when this happened. I’d wondered why Sebastien’s test images had different resolutions for the 5k and 8k, and it looks like this is why.

I wonder if this could be interfering with the upscaling process?

Well I would certainly think it would interfere with the comparisons of the two HMDs.

You mean this.



Interesting! One would imagine that’s an unintended difference. I expect that will probably be corrected shortly!

@Sweviver, I think this may be OK. The 5K+ has a higher DPI (than the 8K), so it needs more pixels to cover the same area.

Waow !! This is just…waow?!
Indeed its an epic moment i missed.

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