Twack3rs Varjo VR-3 impressions

The VR-3 has been delivered and I took a couple of quick shots to show the unboxing.

I also quickly put on the HMD which is quite hefty (just look at that heatsink!) and the headstrap felt incredibly comfortable; I particularly appreciate the top strap, it lifts the HMD beautifully and provides a pretty good balance to the whole setup.

I do hope I’ll get the time to install the HMD over the weekend and will report my findings.


Awesome!! Really looking forward to your first impressions


from the pictures it looks like it has a extreme depth that might result in some lever force when wearing it and might also impact inertia when moving the head

also - champagne with the headset? seems you really enjoying your new tool


Yes, the HMD is ,chunky‘ but the way Varjo designed the headstrap is unusual and forces you to really have your cranium straddled. This together with the top strap which basically lowers and lifts the lens position while providing lateral stability akin to the studioformcreative strap is a very comfortable and stable solution.

I just completed the initial setup and gathered some first impressions:

  1. I had two monitors connected via an MST splitter as the VR3 requires 2 DP ports on the GPU. This doesn’t work, only one monitor can be connected to run the HMD.
  2. the setup process and the Base Software (think PiTool) is very streamlined and looks professional.
  3. Interaction with SteamVR and base station as well as tracker and controller pairing was a breeze.
  4. the ‚Context Displays‘ are way higher res and nicer than the G2 screens.
  5. the FOV feels smaller than the Index at max FOV but I haven‘t begun any dialing in yet.
  6. eye tracking calibration was seamless and worked instantly, as did the auto IPD.
  7. the 70ppd Focus Displays are insane! This is literal ‚retina resolution‘ and feels as sharp as a high end 4K RGB Display. There are no pixels.

I will test more over the weekend and report here.

Side note: I loaded up an Alyx environment as SteamVR Home and this HMD shows that texture resolution of even this current gen VR title are too low. I believe this HMD can really shine for sims and other titles that were developed for high res monitors in the first place.

And the Champagne is for an employee of mine who just completed his Master summa cum laude :wink:


Good choice, you cannot go wrong with Moët Brut and a pile of Milka sweets! :wink:

For what the 70ppd focus display is worth, I wonder how it works in SteamVR as SteamVR only supports two views (two simultaneous render targets), so I would assume in order to utilize this insane PPD, one has to crank up the resolution for the whole eye.

I did some estimations for the Index FOV size (basically taking Index raw values for FOV, without considering the HAM) and Varjo PPD and it gives the following res:

# Horizontal res (for the left eye)
In [16]: (1.542173+1.054081) / tan(radians(1)) * 70
Out[16]: 10411.750443059398
# Vertical res (for the left eye)
In [17]: (1.415720+1.407222) / tan(radians(1)) * 70
Out[17]: 11320.83672061015

So you are looking at ~ 10412 x 11321 per eye at 70 PPD in the center, for Index size FOV.
Which is just to say that when you run the Alyx environment, you might have been hitting both the texture res limit, but also the render target res limit.


soooooo… Any update on your first impressions, @twack3r?? I keep refreshing the forum this weekend :slight_smile:


i like to know too…


Me too!! …,:+1::+1::+1:


You need to put him out of your minds and move on. He’s gone; Lost in the matrix, forever reading the declaration of contents on a jar of jam. :wink:


@Heliosurge: could you please split this off into its own topic if possible?

Right guys, so I did spend the weekend installing a new seat on my simrig and doing some maintenance so that kinda diminished my time budget to spend on the VR-3.

But I did spend a good 2-3 hours inside the HMD setting up Assetto Corsa (heaviliy modded + ReShade sharpening).

Here are a few more impressions and anecdotes from other people as well as myself trying the headset:

Comfort: The HMD is very very comfortable and can be adapted quickly between users. I had my wife and my best man try it as well; my wife is very small, has a small head and an IPD of 59mm; my best man is also a slender guy and has a freakishly low IPD of 49mm (think cyclops). They had a wide range of other headsets to compare to (OG Vive, VivePro, Quest, Quest 2, G2, Index, Pimax 5K+ and 8KX) and unanimously agreed that the VR3 has the most comfortable fit and by a long shot. I concur with them both and would attribute this to the specific head band construction; there are three points of contact: the facial interface, the lateral top strap and the cranium cradle. The latter two interface with your skin only via a very thin, flexible membrane which is stretched across a frame. This makes the entire setup feel very lightweight and balanced without any noticeable pessure ‘hot spots’.

Optics: The lenses are non-fresnel and do offer an FOV of around 110 degrees; for my wife and best man with their small IPD this was a little lower (around 105-107 degrees), my IPD of 68.5mm offered the full FOV. Yes, it does feel smaller coming from an 8KX but everything else is literally mind-blowing. The auto IPD is a very welcomed feature and worked even for Mr. Cyclops who didn’t report any eye-strain even though his IPD is obviusly not supported. There are no god rays, the edge-to-edge clarity is superb and the resolution is crisp as a 4K monitor. What surprised me the most was not only the 70ppd focus area and how the transition between the two screens was very hard to spot within a game but also the high resolution and clarity of the 30ppd (?) context screens.

Software (Varjo Base): it’s very apparent that this is a professionally developed environment which functionally is very similar to PiTool. I haven’t yet had a chance to really dive into the settings.

I will be using the VR-3 as my daily driver, there is no doubt about it and I’m very much looking forward to testing it for functional use cases; first results with Virtual Desktop were very promising.

Let me know what you guys would like to have tested and I’ll do my best to give it a shot.


Wow that really sounds just awesome!! The colors are as good as you’d expect from OLED I assume? And the lens has full edge to edge clarity? Thanks for your first impressions @twack3r, it makes the waiting harder though, haha. I’m now considering to try to cancel my order at Varjo and see if there’s a reseller who can deliver it immediately

@john2910 are you reading this? I know you want this too :slight_smile:


Yes, the colours are OLED level fantastic; this surprised me quite a bit actually as the focus displays are LCD I think but they look just as great.

Edge to edge clarity is very good but it does take some time getting used to a smaller FOV again.

Beyond optics and just sheer resolution I find the comfort of the lens setup the most impressive; with my 8KX I did manage to dial this in somewhat but going back to the 8KX after the VR-3 made it painfully apparent just how important an automatic IPD functionality will be as a first step to comfortable, wide FOV HMDs in the future.


Yeah I’ve been using the 8k-X lately as my daily driver. Even with all its shortcomings, the wide FoV and high resolution just make it the best headset at the moment imho. Well, maybe better ‘the least bad option’ :slight_smile: I just don’t want to go back to seeing pixels so the choices in headsets are VERY limited then. Really hoping the VR-3 will blow my mind …


It will blow your mind; it has been said too many times that the ‘screendoor effect doesn’t exist anymore’ when in fact it had only been reduced to tolerable levels. The 8KX was the first HMD that offered resolution high enough ofr this to be the case but when explicitly looking for them, it still shows pixels. This is categorically gone with the VR-3.

Where it obviously falls behind in comparison to the 8KX is FOV and as such continues the trend that any HMD comes with a certain compromise.

EDIT: Side note on support: Varjo technicians reply within literally 2-3 hours during business days. I know I’m paying a premium for it but I appreciate such hands on and quick customer service. Also, introducing a paid ‘membership’ is the way Varjo managed to reduce the price for the VR-3 and XR-3 by around 50%. I’m not saying this is best practice for B2C but for B2B this is a good combination.


this sounds all very intresting… oled with no screendoor… wow…


cool !! :heart_eyes:


I only play AC. How’s the performance? Can you run the bench via cm and share your results? G2 I’m at 100% SVR and 110% AC with a 3090 and keeps me locked at 90fps. Csp 1.73, sol 2.1 alpha 24 and natural mod filter.


Good to hear. Hopefully the technology will soon be available in an affordable headset with a better FOV.


Same here, AC is my main sim, same CSP, same sol and funnily enough same ppf.

AC is at 100%, SS is at 56% for the bechmark run to show 90fps.

The benchmark is more forgiving than a real race though so I race at 50% SS together with ReShade sharpening at 1500.

This is with a 3090 at 2Ghz.


Nice! Glad you took one for the team and test this out lol

How’s the visual quality with SS at 50% compare to the G2 at 100/100?

My FE is oc’d to the same as well with a v/f curve.

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