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lurch9494

Valve Index... 1st week of use review after CV1

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After looking and asking questions here on this forum (special thanks to Chilli) I took the plunge and ordered my Valve index as a replacement for my Oculus CV1. This is my first impressions after a week of use in IL2 and other games...

 

Firstly, this is not a cheap headset, coming from the CV1 I opted for the full kit (Headset, 2x light houses and 2x controllers) for £919 GBP.  Quality wise, this is a big leap from the CV1, it oozes quality and the finish is superb as are the details and little touches. Is it worth the big price... depends, to me yes, but if $1000 is a big stretch the Rift S is a hard bargain to beat. I will start with the overall pluses and standouts

 

1) Visuals

Coming from a CV1 the improvement in clarity is pretty darn big, not earth shattering, but impressive enough and left me pretty happy. But there is more than just resolution etc. The sweet spot is pretty big and the distortion outside of it is also not bad at all and is a good upgrade form the rift. FOV is a decent improvement (especially if you dial it in all the way) but even rolled out a little its pretty good. You notice the vertical FOV more than the horizontal and it certainly reduces the toilet roll feel lol! Refresh rate, 80/90/120/144 Hz, the higher rates are smoother, but it is not a deal beaker either way in IL2, I actually run in 80 Hz so I can run higher settings, but in other games in can be a big improvement.  Blacks are fine (don't get suckered into the hype over this) they are not as 'pitch black' as some headsets, but I don't notice it (and people who say its gray need to get their eyes checked lol). Godrays, yup its got them, they are better than the CV1 but unless you play games with black backgrounds and lots of bright white text throughout the game, you wont really care, they are not EVER visible in games except for the odd menu...

 

Does it get hot?? My unit does not get hot (maybe Valve did something on later units like mine?) slightly warm, infact about the same as the rift, but never so you notice. I will keep an eye out for temps, but having done a couple of 3+ Hour stints I never noticed it.

 

2) Audio

This was an eye opener, the sound is really quite special, being off ear it is sooooo comfy, but more noticeable is it sounds better as the sound feels like it is coming from the room itself rather than a headset. It lends itself very well to VR and adds to the immersion and realism in quite a positive way. The actual quality of the sound itself is very good also, very impressive! 

 

3) Tracking

This was great, after the CV1 it was sooo simple, no USB connection for the light houses, just connect the little power  brick to a wall socket and you are done! No incompatible USB 3 ports etc etc. Tracking is sublime, very, very accurate and totally stable. Of couse, inside out tracking is way easier to move to other rooms etc, but this system is less fussy about sensor placement than the CV1 (and I used a 3 sensor setup on the CV1) but its really fast to setup and so accurate and reliable. The light houses shut down and go into sleep mode when you close Steam VR too :)

 

4) Comfort

This is easy, its very comfy once you have spent a fair bit of time setting it up, at first I was not too impressed, but you have it dialled in it is very good and also repeatable if you take it on / off quickly.

 

5) Controllers

I am not going to put a lot here about the controllers, but lets just say they are the real stand out feature of this set, way better than anything else out there, but no use in IL2 so I wont say more unless people ask :)

 

6) Quality

Simple answer is very high quality (as I would bloody well expect for best part of a grand lol) From the metal speaker grills to the microfibre cloth on the head band/face gasket to the materials and overall finish, this thing reeks of quality. Anbody who says otherwise has a funny idea of what quality is. I own a small company making high end racing simulation peripherals for real world race teams and gamers who want to spend money on top hardware, so I have an idea about such things as quality lol

 

7) Extras

There are some very nice design features in the index, the 'face gasket' is held in with magnets, so simple and so nice and so easy to remove / refit... others could learn from this. The headset has a function button on the left-hand underside (so useful rather than groping for a mouse etc) The cameras have a great mode (I call it matrix mode lol) where with a double click on the menu button it will show an outline of your real world surroundings in game (pretty clever if you don't want to leave the game but start to loose you position in the real world/room). The 'Frunct' front expansion slot, I can see a lot of goodies being possible with this... but nothing yet

 

😎 Downsides

Firstly, COST, cost, the fact it is quite expensive and did I mention the cost? Secondly, cost... In reality, you get what you pay for, you can see why it costs this much and that quality and features this pricing bring are why I love it, but the price does hurt!

Lack of dedicated games to make full use of the controllers... This is something that Valve should begin to sort soon with some AAA quality games to be announced soon (plus the awesome Boneworks release is this year)

God Rays, not really a big deal as I mentioned earlier, but they are there.

Oh, did I mention the cost?

 

 

Conclusions:

 

IF, IF you can stomach the price, this is probably the most complete and polished headset out there, especially  if you play other games as well (the controllers are ace)

Firstly, you have many other options out there, Pimax with its awesome FOV, Rift S with a great screen and SUCH GOOD VALUE!!!!! Reverb with its stunning High Resolution etc etc, but for me, after all the research and asking of questions, I decided the Index was the best fit for me and punchline is that it did not disappoint... The bad news is I now have to stump up even more dosh for a RTX 2080 Ti as my old GTX1080 is now at 100% and the bottleneck as the overclocked i9 9900k is mincing it! 😮

Edited by lurch9494
speeeling mishtake :)
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I got my Index a couple days ago. Also upgrading from CV1. Absolutely love it. And agree with your assessment; the only downside is its price. 

 

And yes, I also agree my 1080GTX is now not doing it justice.

 

I'm unsure what approach to go with for IL2 settings. Reduce visuals and have an 120% SS, 80hz, turn off MS and Reprojection "true" 80fps experience..... or crank it all up and have a 120hz interpolated into constant motion smoothed 60fps one. More fiddling required.

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Very good summary of the Valve Index OP, thank you. I got mine only yesterday. I got only one light house for it and no controllers to keep the initial cost down. I'll add those later on. It seems to be fine with just one light house but it is early days of course. I have a GTX 2070 and it seems to be OK with that. I agree with all you have written. I really like how I can move my eyes around to see things rather than having to move my head, if that makes sense. I've just finished a 40 minute flight in a P-38 Lighting and it is just wonderful to feel like you are actually in the cockpit and see those two big engines to the sides. I'm still playing around with settings but from the get-go the Valve Index has been a wonderful experience. It oozes quality. I'm a happy camper.

 

Thanks for pointing out the function button. I had not discovered that as yet.

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2 hours ago, Mewt said:

I got my Index a couple days ago. Also upgrading from CV1. Absolutely love it. And agree with your assessment; the only downside is its price. 

 

And yes, I also agree my 1080GTX is now not doing it justice.

 

I'm unsure what approach to go with for IL2 settings. Reduce visuals and have an 120% SS, 80hz, turn off MS and Reprojection "true" 80fps experience..... or crank it all up and have a 120hz interpolated into constant motion smoothed 60fps one. More fiddling required.

 

I will try and post my settings later if that helps, but I opted for 80Hz without reprojection etc, and 120% ss I get solid 80 fps 99% of the time now, butter smooth and looks really nice. My O/Clocked i9 9900k @ 5GHz is handling it very well with good headroom, but the poor old GTX1080 is now permanently @ 100% usage and 82 degrees temp 😆 Time for an upgrade, but a 2080Ti is the only worthwhile upgrade... is it going to do it, or should I wait for the new Ampere cards to come out???

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13 minutes ago, lurch9494 said:

 

I will try and post my settings later if that helps, but I opted for 80Hz without reprojection etc, and 120% ss I get solid 80 fps 99% of the time now, butter smooth and looks really nice. My O/Clocked i9 9900k @ 5GHz is handling it very well with good headroom, but the poor old GTX1080 is now permanently @ 100% usage and 82 degrees temp 😆 Time for an upgrade, but a 2080Ti is the only worthwhile upgrade... is it going to do it, or should I wait for the new Ampere cards to come out???


I’ve got a 8700K at 4.9.


Are you using fpsVR to measure performance?

 

What nvidia drivers are you using?

 

As for graphics cards... I tend to skip a generation every time I buy. So unsure what I’ll do.  

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15 minutes ago, Mewt said:


I’ve got a 8700K at 4.9.


Are you using fpsVR to measure performance?

 

What nvidia drivers are you using?

 

As for graphics cards... I tend to skip a generation every time I buy. So unsure what I’ll do.  

 

Yes, I am using fpsVR, it is really handy and showed me instantly that my GPU is now firmly the bottleneck (thats a first for me in IL2 using VR lol)

Im using the nvidia latest drivers...

 

Yeah, I would normally agree with skipping a generation on GPU's but its a bit of a quandary this time, thing is, I dont want to hang out £1200 on a 2080 ti and find the increase minimal... 

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53 minutes ago, lurch9494 said:

 

Yes, I am using fpsVR, it is really handy and showed me instantly that my GPU is now firmly the bottleneck (thats a first for me in IL2 using VR lol)

Im using the nvidia latest drivers...

 

Yeah, I would normally agree with skipping a generation on GPU's but its a bit of a quandary this time, thing is, I dont want to hang out £1200 on a 2080 ti and find the increase minimal... 

 

Just tried fpsVR. Yeah the CPU is working absolutely fine.. But the GPU is getting shagged hard. Which is the reverse of what I've been used to in IL2 lol.

 

Tried 120 into 60 with MS. Its just not as nice an experience as true 70-80.

 

As for drivers...I'm using 436.48s. But I feel like 425.30 were much more lightweight. Going to test.

Edited by Mewt
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35 minutes ago, Mewt said:

 

Just tried fpsVR. Yeah the CPU is working absolutely fine.. But the GPU is getting shagged hard. Which is the reverse of what I've been used to in IL2 lol.

 

Tried 120 into 60 with MS. Its just not as nice an experience as true 70-80.

 

As for drivers...I'm using 436.48s. But I feel like 425.30 were much more lightweight. Going to test.

 

Let me know if the drivers have any impact, im trying to stop myself hitting the buy button on a 2080ti kingpin... Stupid price, but would O/C well and give me the best possible performance.. I need my head testing lol This game is costing me a fortune LMAO :)

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50 minutes ago, lurch9494 said:

 

Let me know if the drivers have any impact, im trying to stop myself hitting the buy button on a 2080ti kingpin... Stupid price, but would O/C well and give me the best possible performance.. I need my head testing lol This game is costing me a fortune LMAO :)

 

Yeah I'm not spending 1200 on a graphics card. 

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I am glad you liked the Index, it is a very good option, not the best in every point (resolution, FOV, price) but good overall.

 

Regarding performance I found the Index as the best. There is not other layers of software, just SteamVR.

 

I still need to check the image quality improvement for SS above 100%, since 100% is already doing a big internal supersampling. So if GPU is bottleneck reduce SS.

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1 hour ago, chiliwili69 said:

I am glad you liked the Index, it is a very good option, not the best in every point (resolution, FOV, price) but good overall.

 

Regarding performance I found the Index as the best. There is not other layers of software, just SteamVR.

 

I still need to check the image quality improvement for SS above 100%, since 100% is already doing a big internal supersampling. So if GPU is bottleneck reduce SS.

Hey Chili.  
 

Your great write up on the Index is one of the reasons I bought it. :)
 

I’ve been playing with SS all day. The problem I have is that I can REALLY tell the difference between 100% and 120% SS. And 120% is much preferred by me. Everything is clearer / menus / maps / gauges / enemy etc. 
 

So I’m trying to ‘frame’ all my settings / in game settings around that 120%. Which is proving challenging for a my 1080 GTX. Trying to stay ‘green’ is taking some fiddling / compromises. 

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14 hours ago, lurch9494 said:

 

I will try and post my settings later if that helps, but I opted for 80Hz without reprojection etc, and 120% ss I get solid 80 fps 99% of the time now, butter smooth and looks really nice.

I would welcome seeing your settings. Thanks.

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On 10/10/2019 at 6:17 PM, lurch9494 said:

After looking and asking questions here on this forum (special thanks to Chilli) I took the plunge and ordered my Valve index as a replacement for my Oculus CV1. This is my first impressions after a week of use in IL2 and other games...

 

Firstly, this is not a cheap headset, coming from the CV1 I opted for the full kit (Headset, 2x light houses and 2x controllers) for £919 GBP.  Quality wise, this is a big leap from the CV1, it oozes quality and the finish is superb as are the details and little touches. Is it worth the big price... depends, to me yes, but if $1000 is a big stretch the Rift S is a hard bargain to beat. I will start with the overall pluses and standouts

 

1) Visuals

Coming from a CV1 the improvement in clarity is pretty darn big, not earth shattering, but impressive enough and left me pretty happy. But there is more than just resolution etc. The sweet spot is pretty big and the distortion outside of it is also not bad at all and is a good upgrade form the rift. FOV is a decent improvement (especially if you dial it in all the way) but even rolled out a little its pretty good. You notice the vertical FOV more than the horizontal and it certainly reduces the toilet roll feel lol! Refresh rate, 80/90/120/144 Hz, the higher rates are smoother, but it is not a deal beaker either way in IL2, I actually run in 80 Hz so I can run higher settings, but in other games in can be a big improvement.  Blacks are fine (don't get suckered into the hype over this) they are not as 'pitch black' as some headsets, but I don't notice it (and people who say its gray need to get their eyes checked lol). Godrays, yup its got them, they are better than the CV1 but unless you play games with black backgrounds and lots of bright white text throughout the game, you wont really care, they are not EVER visible in games except for the odd menu...

 

Does it get hot?? My unit does not get hot (maybe Valve did something on later units like mine?) slightly warm, infact about the same as the rift, but never so you notice. I will keep an eye out for temps, but having done a couple of 3+ Hour stints I never noticed it.

 

2) Audio

This was an eye opener, the sound is really quite special, being off ear it is sooooo comfy, but more noticeable is it sounds better as the sound feels like it is coming from the room itself rather than a headset. It lends itself very well to VR and adds to the immersion and realism in quite a positive way. The actual quality of the sound itself is very good also, very impressive! 

 

3) Tracking

This was great, after the CV1 it was sooo simple, no USB connection for the light houses, just connect the little power  brick to a wall socket and you are done! No incompatible USB 3 ports etc etc. Tracking is sublime, very, very accurate and totally stable. Of couse, inside out tracking is way easier to move to other rooms etc, but this system is less fussy about sensor placement than the CV1 (and I used a 3 sensor setup on the CV1) but its really fast to setup and so accurate and reliable. The light houses shut down and go into sleep mode when you close Steam VR too :)

 

4) Comfort

This is easy, its very comfy once you have spent a fair bit of time setting it up, at first I was not too impressed, but you have it dialled in it is very good and also repeatable if you take it on / off quickly.

 

5) Controllers

I am not going to put a lot here about the controllers, but lets just say they are the real stand out feature of this set, way better than anything else out there, but no use in IL2 so I wont say more unless people ask :)

 

6) Quality

Simple answer is very high quality (as I would bloody well expect for best part of a grand lol) From the metal speaker grills to the microfibre cloth on the head band/face gasket to the materials and overall finish, this thing reeks of quality. Anbody who says otherwise has a funny idea of what quality is. I own a small company making high end racing simulation peripherals for real world race teams and gamers who want to spend money on top hardware, so I have an idea about such things as quality lol

 

7) Extras

There are some very nice design features in the index, the 'face gasket' is held in with magnets, so simple and so nice and so easy to remove / refit... others could learn from this. The headset has a function button on the left-hand underside (so useful rather than groping for a mouse etc) The cameras have a great mode (I call it matrix mode lol) where with a double click on the menu button it will show an outline of your real world surroundings in game (pretty clever if you don't want to leave the game but start to loose you position in the real world/room). The 'Frunct' front expansion slot, I can see a lot of goodies being possible with this... but nothing yet

 

😎 Downsides

Firstly, COST, cost, the fact it is quite expensive and did I mention the cost? Secondly, cost... In reality, you get what you pay for, you can see why it costs this much and that quality and features this pricing bring are why I love it, but the price does hurt!

Lack of dedicated games to make full use of the controllers... This is something that Valve should begin to sort soon with some AAA quality games to be announced soon (plus the awesome Boneworks release is this year)

God Rays, not really a big deal as I mentioned earlier, but they are there.

Oh, did I mention the cost?

 

 

Conclusions:

 

IF, IF you can stomach the price, this is probably the most complete and polished headset out there, especially  if you play other games as well (the controllers are ace)

Firstly, you have many other options out there, Pimax with its awesome FOV, Rift S with a great screen and SUCH GOOD VALUE!!!!! Reverb with its stunning High Resolution etc etc, but for me, after all the research and asking of questions, I decided the Index was the best fit for me and punchline is that it did not disappoint... The bad news is I now have to stump up even more dosh for a RTX 2080 Ti as my old GTX1080 is now at 100% and the bottleneck as the overclocked i9 9900k is mincing it! 😮

 

Thanks for the review, I have the CV1 and am going to be changing it soon, I am hovering over the buy button for this. I was waiting to see how the Cosmos was going to fare, looks like it's a no go with that one, then in the same week Oculus announce the Quest PC tethering.

I'm waiting for some reviews on that first, it might save me the price of a GFX card as well lol.

 

How are you finding the clarity with  finding ground units and aircraft spotting?

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Anybody using valve had a massive FPS hit after the last update 

specially in MP servers ?

 

my FPS reached 35 !!!

Edited by The-Doctor

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