Is the 5k+ or 8K+ best for sim racing?

Looking for some advice on which is best to buy?

My only previous experience of VR is a Samsung Odyssey+. I wasn’t keen on the Odyssey+ due to the low FOV and the lack of being able to see some fine details such as dash numbers and braking marker points in the distance. I also want to ensure I can run the headset at 100hz or more as the smoothness is important for me in racing situations. Mostly I just do iracing and my graphics card is a 1080ti.

Is there any point in spending the extra on the 8K+? I’ve heard that the upscaling actually makes the image worse compared to native resolution of the 5K+?

Also, apart from the obvious increase in FOV, how much of a step up is the 5K+ compared to the Odyssey+ in terms of image quality. If it’s roughly the same, then maybe I need to consider the 8K+ instead to get the step up in resolution that I desire.


I think it really depends on your personal preferences. Answer to me personally, yes, there’s nothing better than Pimax headsets for the sim racing. Seeing all three mirrors at once is irreplaceable, with Pimax you have FOV that is nearly as wide as that of the FIA helmet. I can see opponents exactly the same way as I see surrounding traffic IRL.

But that is my point of view, and low FOV was my number one issue with VR from the day one.

But there are few areas where Pimax is surpassed by other headsets. I’d say there are 3 main issues: stereo imaging, it is a bit strange with Pimax, I have no other way of explaining it, maybe someone will clarify it better. There are some issues with casing, it cracks, although headset is still usable. Lastly, I’d say HMD is big and not the most comfortable, so if you are looking for a universal headset, it might disappoint.

But me personally, won’t trade my Pimax 5K XR for anything out there (maybe will go for Pimax 8KX eventually, but worried about night racing quality with non-OLED panels), and my main usage is racing. My response might sound confusing, but I am simply trying to be objective and warn that there are some caveats, Pimax is not for everyone and is not without flaws.

A bit of a note on clarity. I owned CV1, Odyssey, 5K+ and 5K XR. Clarity in 5K is much better than CV1/Odyssey. One very cool thing is huge sweet spot compared to first two headsets. Lastly, I really like Pimax software, compared to Oculus for example. I also had good experience with Pimax support, they always treated me well.

Lastly, I posted a more detailed review of 5K+ on this forum with sim racing perspective, I would still stand for my words today, you could check it out if you want.

EDIT: forgot to mention, first not so good thing I noticed going from CV1 to 5K+ was washed out colors and lack of black color. That is because it has LCD panels. I eventually went for 5K XR, that is OLED, but that has drawbacks too. However, after owning 5K+ for more than a year, better red, green, yellow and black colors of OLED displays often put a smile on my face :slight_smile:


The various Pimax headsets are more alike than different, imo. I’m going to list my opinions on more models than you mentioned, so that others might find this discussion more useful.

They all have wide FOV and all but the 5KXR have LCD panels (so the blacks aren’t great). Some people have face-shapes and/or eye-positions which make the Pimax unsuitable (due to distortions or an IPD outside of the 59 to 72 mm range). The max framerates do vary, but personally, I’m not sure I could tell the difference between 90 and 100 Hz.

I would not recommend the 5KXR for sims, since the SDE would make it hard to read the dashboard instruments. If you find SDE particularly bothersome, you should definitely consider the 8K+, which is also a good choice for watching movies (as is the 8KX). The best model for sims, imo, is the 8KX, for the higher resolution, but the 75 Hz refresh rules it out for you.

If at all possible, I’d recommend trying any Pimax model before buying whichever model you find most appealing, so that you can determine if you can wear it comfortably and do not see distortions, which bother some people.

You might want to consider the Artisan. It’s a bit cheaper and seems to have better visuals that the 5K+. If you can’t try out a headset, this is model I would recommend, since the pixel density is higher, SDE is reduced over the 5K+, and it’s a better value. I also think it would be easier to resell, if you don’t like it.

I’ve ordered an 8KX, because I have an 8K, which I like very much, but it has a couple of annoyances. I find it comfortable and can wear it for over 5 hours (without any breaks) and I don’t see any distortions. The higher res of the 8KX will make reading dashboard gauges a lot easier and I really am looking forward to the reduction of SDE. Those last 2 issues are the only things which bother me about my 8K, so the 8KX is the obvious choice for me. It’s also the best headset for Virtual Desktop, which is very appealing.


I probably have over 200hours+ of Assetto Corsa on my 5k+ Can’t complain. Runs a locked 90fps with most settings maxed (9900k/2080ti) and I never have trouble judging an distance or hitting my marks. The large fov makes it very nice to judge cars in close proximity.

Avoid post processing filters which will eat up FPS. Previously I had a rift and an OD+ for reference.


I have both a 5k+ and an 8k+, similar to the comments above for racing the wider FOV is much better for racing than other headsets. The performance of both headsets are the same as the input resolution is the same, the 8k is upscaled.

The pro’s for the 8k+ are almost impossible to see SDE which results in 1080p monitor like view and the comfort kit is much better. The cons are the highest refresh rate is 90hz at the moment, although a 110 hz mode is on the way.

I’m so happy with my 8k+ right now.


Thanks guys, all those replies have been very helpful indeed.

So basically the 5k+ and the 8k+ both have the same input resolution. The difference is just that the 8k+ upscales it to the larger 3840*2160 resolution. The effect of the upscaling is a much reduced screen door effect. I guess it comes down to is it worth paying an extra 40% for that.

The 8KX also sounds very good but probably above my budget and also would require an upgrade of my CPU/GPU to run it well.

You actually need less GPU power to run the 8KX cause you don’t need to super sample as much and it runs at 75hz.

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Hi LukeBrown -

I just thought I’d add a bit. The 8K+ has a lot of improvements over the 5k+:

Upgraded main housing, upgraded audio circuit, 2 audio jacks, improved electronics, the comfort kit (which also prevents light leakage via a nose guard), very low SDE, better baseline contrast (newer model lcd panel), 90Hz now and 110Hz in the near future, higher panel utilization so more pixel data. It also has a number of improvements to durability.


The 8K+ is not worth the higher price difference.

8K+ have a soft, a bit blurry image and 5K+ have a sharp image.
Colors are brighter and shine, pop more on 5K+.
8K+ have almost no screen door effect while the 5K+ has some but not that much either.
8K+ have of course a nice plastidip rubber paint layer on it that should avoid prevent your case from cracking.
5K+ have higher refresh rate.

If ever you dont like the standard foam face cushion, you can always buy the comfort kit later as a separate part.

Myself I have keep my older 5K+ instead and it is an incredible headset for simracing with a 2080ti.
( Assetto Corsa with sol weather + shader patch - 120HZ - Pitool 1.0 rendering - Steam VR 140%-150% supersampling - Contrast + 2 and Brightness -1 )
You will also need to change the max recommended resolution into a steamVR config file that is set by default value to 4096 and you change that number for 8192 or 16384 to be able to extract the best out of the pimax with larger FOV.

I ordered last night a Pimax Artisan because there is a possibility it has all the advantage of the 5K+ but with a bit less screen door effect . Also because the native panels resolution is lower, it could be even more easier for the GPU to better drive games and even push further the supersampling value.


Honestly, it was above my budget too, but I decided that a few other things were less important to me. The CPU/GPU isn’t really a factor, since (as others have said) the 8KX doesn’t need as much super sampling to look good. It can also run in a scaled mode, which should look just like the 8K+, except that the refresh rate is 120 Hz. I like that added flexibility for fast-paced games.

What I like best about the 8KX is that it won’t be obsolete as quickly as the other models. Once I upgrade my 2080, hopefully next year to a 3080 Ti (or whatever), the 8KX should really shine.

While I haven’t had a chance to try one, I think it’s likely to be one of the most popular Pimax models (along with the 8KX). I’d probably buy one instead of an 5K+, if my budget was tight.


I have 5k + and 8k + and use it only for iracing.
My 5k + is currently in the box. lol


Dont get the 8kplus,the image is softer…

Also you will need to get used to the colors,they dont pop as much and its not that bright!

Maybe try the artisan,but if you can stand a little less field off view i would get the valve index if i where you…Way better colors and pop and brightness

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8k+ is much better than the 5k+ in my opinion! I see no reason why someone would buy a 5k+ anymore. Get 8k+ or artison


Here is Cas and Chary’s opinion about sharpness 8k+ vs th 5k+
Can get my 8k+ really sharp too, but it can be soft if you don’t have some settings right with supersampling and ipd.


Thanks again everybody, but so many different opinions! Some of you say the 8k+ is way better than the 5k+ but then others say don’t get it because it has a softer image and colours are not so good! I’m really not sure who to believe, haha! Unfortunately I can’t try one before buying, I’m in Australia and don’t know anybody that has one. Also Valve index is not available in Australia either otherwise I’d also consider that.

I love the sound of the 8KX but my concern is that at 80hz max in native mode it won’t be so good for sim racing, and if I’m running it in upscale mode to get 120hz then the extra cost is somewhat wasted I might as well just get the 8K+.

I also looked at Artisan, but the cost of the bundle is only $50 less than the 5K+ bundle. Surely between the two the 5K+ would be much better with the much higher screen resolution? or am I missing something?

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Most people run in Normal FOV. The Artisan (reduced) Wide FOV is roughly the same as Normal (on the other Pimax headsets), but the pixel density is higher. That means you actually see more (smaller) pixels in the Artisan than the 5K+, assuming you’d run Normal on the 5K+. That also means less SDE.

The 8K+ is in a weird market position. The only reason to buy one, imo, is if you hate SDE and you can’t afford an 8KX.

If that’s the case, I’d still recommend the 8KX, but delay buying it until you have saved up enough to afford it. Otherwise, you’re probably better off getting a 5K+ or Artisan and using the savings to buy something else.

I’ve played Assetto Corsa on my 8K at 80 Hz and found it to be quite playable. I’ve played countless hours of Elite D at 80 Hz and found it to be enjoyable.

The nice thing about the 8KX is that it offers options. Play at high res or play with a high framerate. Either way, there’s almost no SDE. If you can tolerate the lower framerate, the crisp details of 4K native mode will allow you to easily read the dashboard instruments and tiny distant objects should be easier to discern.


Thanks, very clear reply, really appreciated. I just need to decide what my priorities are, but at least now I understand what the options are.


There is another reason to buy the 8k+ Neal, far from not being able to afford an 8KX I have in my hands an 8K+ and have been using it for weeks now. If the 8KX is better I will get one and move the 8K+ on.

I am worried about the refresh rate on the 8KX though, 75hz is not enough for competitive Sim Racing.

Have you actually tried an 8K+?

The comments about softness here are really strange, the real world isn’t pixel sharp and we do all sorts of things with processing, AA, SS AF which cause the image to soften. If you play with your settings you will find a very favourable balance.


Just received my 5K XR but now I’m considered whether to sell it and go for a 5k+ or 8k+. Anyone have experience with these in a flight sim? DCS?

I’m confused. What is the other reason?

Good point. I was thinking of playing as a game, not competitive racing. The 8KX is supposed to use 120 Hz for upscaled mode, which is even better than the 8K+.

Unfortunately not. I’ve decided it’s worth the risk to buy an 8KX, since I value clarity and reduced SDE, over framerate, for the types of games I play (mostly Elite D and racing sims, but not competitively). I am considering buying a pair of Index controllers, since HL: Alyx is very appealing, but I really don’t have space for room-scale VR.