Review: pimax 5k+ with a 980ti

review: pimax 5k+ with a 980ti

1. VR and me

2. PC specs

3. 5k+ vs other hmds

4. unboxing and installation

5 comfort

6. SDE

7. FOV and disortion / warping

8. Contrast / Brightness / colours

9. playing without LH?

10. Games

10.1 Racket NX

10.2 Race the Sun

10.3 Space Pirates and Zombies 2

10.4 Climbey

10.5 The Talos Principle VR

11. final word and recommendation

1. VR and me.

Before VR i was playing games in 3D at my Monitor and TV and no matter what games i played be it Minecraft, Diablo 3 or beautiful games like Guild Wars 2 or Black Desert Online i was always impressed about the 3D effect and the depth of the games. i was very sceptical about VR because of the low resolution with the FOV compared to 3D FHD monitor gaming. It’s been 2-3 years since i tested VR for the first time and i still remember how impressive it was, even with SDE, godrays and so on, i felt like i was in the game and was totally immersed. VR can be used in many ways: with room scale you set up a play area and can move freely in it, racing games with a steering wheel, flying with a joystick or just lie on the couch and watch a movie… .3 years of VR and a lot of joy but VR gaming has still a long way ahead.

2. PC specs

Windows 10

GPU: Inno3D GeForce GTX 980 Ti iChill X4 Ultra

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600

RAM: DDR4-3200 MHz 16GB ( 2x8GB)

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB

HDD: Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB, SATA 6Gb/s

3. 5k+ vs other hmds

5k+ is the best VR experience i ever tried and i start enjoying VR again.

i tested PSVR, Vive PRO and i own vive, samsung odyseed + and Pimax 5k+. looking at all the gaming and experience that i did with all this headset, the 5k+ is the best for overall VR gaming

4. unboxing and installation

for me setup was easyer than with windows mixed reality.

the unboxing is simple:

  1. HMD

  2. Caple (already connected with HMD)

  3. Head strap

  4. manual

as someone who has the Lighthouse already installed and used it with the vive the bigest problem with the pimax 5k+ was connecting the head strap with the HMD. that was a real pain. before connecting the HMD i updated GPU driver, Steam VR and installed Pitool.

  1. closed Steam

  2. started Pitool

  3. plugged in the power for the Ligh House

  4. connected the Pimax 5k+ with power and the PC

  5. started the wands

it can happen that your Pitool is installing a new firmware to the HMD and if that happens let it finish. now you have connect the wands with the Pimax with Pitool (pair controller) and all you have to do is follow the instructions.

5. comfort

Surprisingly good and better than vive.

the pimax 5k+ is with his head strap nothing special but it still is much more comfortable than the vive thanks to the low weight of the pimax. the pimax has a open area around the nose that lets light in. while at first this looks bad, it is not bad and here is why: it is easyer to add something to block the light instead of removing a piece of plastic from the Pimax if the nose doesn’t fit or you can make the room dark. thanks to the open area the face gets a bit cooled. the vive was heavyer and the temperature while wearing the vive was bigger and becouse of that i could maximum play 1 hour before i got headache. with the pimax even after 2hours i have no problem. the comfort compared to the samsung odysee + is different becouse of that its easy to like one more than the other and it comes all down to your personal liking for example 2 out of my 3 friends who tried it liked the comfort of the OD+ more than the 5k+ while the third one didn’t liked the OD+ at all and we couldn’t make it comfort for him.

6. SDE

Resolution and SDE is not as good as a FHD Monitor but better than most other HMD and it is definitely enough to enjoy VR. 5k+ Text readability is very good.

the Screen door effect is the black distance between the end of a pixel and the beginning of the next pixel. for example a checkered notebook paper and the SDE are the black lines between the white field and the white field are the pixels. now matter how small the SDE is if the resolution is bad you will still see the pixels as long they don’t have all the same colour but who looks at picture that is made only out of 1 colour?. the Pimax 5k+ uses a full RGB display that means that every pixel divided into 3 sub pixel Red,Green and Blue. a lot of other VR headset don’t use this technology and you should always try to find out what displays are used or even find trough the lense pictures/videos. the Pixels of the 5k+ are arranged like looking from left to the right. called full RGB displays. while most others are looking from left bottom to the right top. called pentile displays.

only EXAMPLE picture of pentile vs full RGB:

you have to try it yourself to find out what you like more. i for myself i love the SDE and pixel pattern of the 5k+

7. FOV and disortion / warping

the Pimax FOV is impressive and can be a game changer depending on the game.

Pimax has 3 FOV settings and even the smallest setting is already a bit more FOV than all the others. the big FOV is hardly playable with a 980ti becouse it needs a lot more performance than small and medium. in small or normal FOV i have no problems with disortion or warping. in big FOV i see them easyer but only if i looked for them but i did not play much in big FOV.

8. Contrast / Brightness / colours

not as good as OLED but very easy to forget about it and get fast used to it.

the pimax 5k+ uses a LCD display but most VR HMD use oled. I have no problem with the colours or Brightness, i could even turn it a bit darker. comparing the 5k+ with vive and OD+ shows that oled display have better dark and are colourful but i get super fast used to the 5k+ and the dark is realy good in for example racket NX and a minute in it and i don’t miss oled anymore. in the end it comes down how sensitive you are and what games you mostly play. In games where the black areas are not fully designed as black can look at oled fully black but will on the pimax 5k+ look more grayish compared to oled (example Elite Dangerous). so if you are not to sensitive about brightness and colours the LCD can have more detail information in black / dark areas compared to oled. with Pitool you can adjust contrast and brightness.

friends of mine who are not used to VR sayed that the dark is no problem and its totally fine.

9. playing without LH and moduls

Pimax can be used without Lighthouse or any other Tracking add-on. it has a build in 3 DOF sensor (The 3 axis are roll, yaw and pitch) and the few testings that i did worked pretty good. It is said that pimax can work with only 1 Light house tracker, unfortently i didn’t got the time to test it. it is also said that Pimax will be modular, at this point only beta testing and promises are known.

10. Games

race the sun, space pirates and zombies 2 and the talos principle are orignaly designed for no VR gaming.

my standart settings for VR are:

Parallel Projection: ON

Hidden MasK: ON

Pitool Supersampling: 1.0

Smart Smothing: OFF

Steam Supersampling: 40%

Game Supersampling: 100%

10.1 Racket NX

i got Racket NX becouse its a sport game where you have to hit a ball with a racket in hit this way your targets around you but i stayed for the gaming part. if you have no trouble getting sweaty this game is amazing. the colours are very good with the pimax. the first time playing Racket NX with the 5k+ and its bigger FOV felt like i played it for the first time and seeing the racket hitting the ball was wonderful becouse with low FOV this disappointing.

10.2 Race the Sun

is a simple speed racing game against the time. it doesn’t look like much but it is a game that you just enjoy every than and now. the game world changes every 24 hours and beating your own best score can be really time consuming. i play race the sun up to 2 hours a week and that since almost 2 years. totally worth it. race the sun is a seated game played with a controller which can be played without lighthouse tracking.

10.3 Space Pirates and Zombies 2

its a fully PC game that got good VR support that looks amazing seeing the space battles in 3D. this game is about building your own space ship, getting your own territory in the universe, building bases, staying alive vs zombies and space pirates and much more. it is not a game that you just play 20hours and you are finished, it is a game that can be played a long time. thanks to the 5k+ the text is wonderful readable and the fights look amazing. SPAZ2 is a seated game can be played with a controller which can be played without lighthouse tracking. i did not test how good the normal controller support is but with vive wands its nice.

10.4 Climbey

it is a simple looking game about climbing where you can make your own worlds. at first it doesnt look that the 5k+ brings much for climbey but i felt much more immersed.

10.5 The Talos Principle VR

this games looks soo good and amazing with the 5k+. that’s a game where i wish i could use more super sampling just to see how much more amazing looking it can be. it is a some kind of physic puzzle game and the story has a philosophical touch. it is a challenging and still relaxing game.

11. final word and recommendation

the Pimax 5k+ is a awesome headset, i am happy and i can see me enjoying it at least 2 years.

i am a pimax 8k backer who switched to 5k+ and i am happy about the HMD. i never imagined that i can play my VR games with 5k+ and a 980ti and enjoy it.

I never tried the 8k and i don’t know what is better so for the following recommendation you have to remember i will only talk about 5k+.

to recommend the Pimax 5k+ it all comes down to what you like, what you have and how much money you will spend for VR.

If you have a Vive and want to upgrade i recommend the 5k+.

If you don’t need LH and wands for the games you want to play than i can recommend the 5k+ but remember 3DOF tracking is not as good and immersive as 6DOF tracking and you will be very limited with the games you can play.

If you own a vive pro i can only recommend upgrading if FOV is important to you.

If you have oculus or windows mixed reality headset and want to switch to Pimax remember you have to spend money for the headset AND on top of that comes the light house system with wands.

If you are new to VR and don’t own a headset you should try it first and find out if VR is something for you that is worth spending money into and if the answer is yes than i can recommend Pimax 5k+ or start with a windows mixed reality headset.

@anon66707699 big thanks to the whole Pimax team for this awesome VR HMD
@Heliosurge thanks for all the work you do in the Forum
@SweViver @VoodooDE @mixedrealityTV thank for all the testing you guys did


Great review :+1:

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