Pimax 5K+ on GTX 1080 Review -By Yongkykun

My Pimax 5K+ with all the accessories I have installed

 

Greetings from Bali, Indonesia

Let me start off by saying that ever since I received this HMD, I have not touched my Vive at all and hopefully I should never have to.

This is the HMD that is so forward thinking that even to this day, no other manufacturers, not even HTC, Samsung, Valve, Oculus, HP, have come close to rivaling Pimax with its 200° FOV. Those that come close (or exceed) are mostly way too expensive for consumers and have been in development for so long they may never see the light of day. And also, this is the only Kickstarter campaign I backed up throughout the years that actually delivers.

On with the review!

π DesignAnyone who have seen Battlestar Galactica would notice how similar the headset looks to Cylons. Though questionable but at the end of the day, Pimax’s decision to give their headset the infamous light stip at the front was a brilliant one. Everyone who is interested in VR technology could recognise the headset from a mile away.

As mentioned many times in the forum, the build quality is relatively poor. The plastic casing is prone to damage (it’s horrific to see images after images of cracked HMDs in the forum) and there is no 3rd party case manufacturer that produce a shell for the headset, at least not yet. But it really does beg for one. I have to be extra careful handling the headset and always clean up the lenses, the face cushion and the outer shell after every single use. Now that may sound like the ideal way to care for any of your posessions but I do miss the days I had my Vive where I could just plop my HMD down wherever and only clean when I need to because I know that it can take it and even to this day, my Vive is scratch free, no crack, no scuffs and the lenses are just as pristine as the day I bought it, though for the last bit, I do have prescription lenses installed thanks to the good people at VR Lens Lab which doubles somewhat as screen protectors for the Vive.

As for the wearing experience, I find it a bit tedious. I always have to push the cushion onto my face and adjust until I can see everything in focus, then I put on the strap, which is HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap in my case. After the initial hurdle, I can play for hours on end without any fatique. Now, imagine my surprise finding out that this is not the experience many of our forum members experience with theirs. Understandably, this will always be the case with fresnel lenses. I’m not going to even touch the sensitive issue that is IPD apart from reporting that I have no issue with the IPD slider at all.

π Wearing ExperienceI mainly play Beat Saber lately to keep up with my mom’s (she and my dad recently retired and moved in with me) constant flow of unhealthy food and beverage to keep myself from bloating to the size of a giant wombat (I’m of Chinese descent, Chinese moms are known to stuff their offspring with food. To them, big belly is an indication of success apparently). So admittedly I have not tried many other games though I did try out SkyrimVR after some members of the forum kindly gave me pointers on how to enjoy the game properly since the game is not intended to be played by a shorty like me apparently and the experience was very immersive in my honest opinion. I had to actually grab my chair and sat myself down during the cart/wagon scene at the start of the game due to the bumpy road which actually tricked my brain into thinking that I’m actually there in the game to the point where I lost my balance. I exclaimed out “that is HUGE” when I saw Alduin up close and ducked under him on the way to the dungeon.

I also tried out Titanic VR. Poor attempt on the developer, couldn’t immerse myself in the game due to the poor animation but the scaling and the models look fantastic. Having tried the game before using Vive, it felt like looking through a keyhole compared to what I experienced using Pimax 5K+.

Surprisingly enough, Jurassic World: Blue from Oculus Store gave me the best experience so far with the headset. Everyone who has received their Pimax product, be it 8K or 5K and their iterations, should give this title a try. The visual and image quality is mind blowing. Plus the added benefit of actually using it as a benchmark for your PiTool settings.

π PROS

  • Large FOV
  • SDE hardly noticable
  • Software is constantly being improved
  • Company actually listens to their customer

π CONS

  • Build quality is questionable, reports of breakage comes in almost daily (I consider myself lucky)
  • Poor QC on some batches; reports of uncalibrated screens and subsequently different tones and brightness levels between left and righ screens (not on mine, mind)
  • Comfort level needs improving (headstrap and face cushion will be delivered at some point but currently the HMD comes with a basic strap and a foam padding)
  • No profile saving function in PiTool (yet)
  • Cable that comes with the HMD is not long enough for some

π PerformanceTo put it simply, I feel the need to upgrade to RTX 2080Ti (on my list to buy for the near future) though I’m still waiting for news from Nvidia in case they announce new products in the next couple of months. Not saying that I get poor performance with my GTX 1080, but I can’t enjoy the HMD in its entirety with it. Meaning that I can only play games at resolutions that, to my eyes, descent enough without sacrificing performance and with GTX 1080 that is very limited. The way PiTool is at the moment, I’m actually very happy with it since it is very customisable and I can tweak my settings and also try out options to push my GPU to its limit. But performance using GTX 1080 is not shoddy at all. I’m confident that I have found the best setting for it and I can play most of my games without issue.

π My PC specifications is as follows:

  • Intel Core i7-6700
  • 16GB DDR4
  • GTX 1080
  • Windows 10 x64 Pro
  • 512GB SSD
  • 4TB HDD

π ConclusionThis is the one HMD I would definitely recommend to my friends and family once they start popping out in retail. Hands down the best HMD I’ve tried so far and I have tried plenty even though I only own Vive prior to this.

The one aspect that I love about the whole experience is the support from Pimax itself. Some people aren’t appreciative of the blood sweat and tears that go into making this Kickstarter project a reality (wink wink…) and whinge about the long shipping time and the PiTool settings and what not. But I do believe that Pimax as a company, once they are done delivering all the products to their backers and pre-orderers, need to work on PR and marketing. Not one article published recently about VR mentioned Pimax and this is saddening given the potential this company and their line of products have.

Love the forum and the people in it no matter how rude or kind, you guys make me feel like I’m part of an extended family. Cheers!

π Special thanks@Dr.Cube for the DAS adapter design@g-coded for his DAS adapter design@Sallwitz for the SkyrimVR tip@Davobkk for the Apache strap, amazing product, helps a lot with comfort@Heliosurge for tagging my username in forum with country and owned HMD info@SweViver for your review of Pimax 5K+, I backed 8K but thanks to you I decided on 5K+ and am grateful for helping me make the decision

And whoever you are who actually read this long winded review. I’m writing this at 6am, sorry for any misspells and my limited English (my 3rd language).

Leave comments below if you have any question and/or suggestion. Thank you! Now I’m off to bed!