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Has the time to reconsider VR finally arrived with Pimax 8KX ?


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My initial experiments with VR were very very disappointing. Reaction time lag, horrible resolution, terrible FOV, grid lines in the image, blurred small characters, you name it.

I play on a 43" 4K screen with a 2080ti video card so I am a little spoiled in terms of image quality.

 

In this forum I read many times that once you have played VR you cannot come back. It seems a drug addiction type effect. Up to now image quality has been for me a VR killer.

 

Technology evolves so recently I decided to do a serious refresh on VR headsets, and saw multiple Pimax 8Kx reviews (see links below) on youtube, with through the lens comparisons of different VR head-sets. I know that image through the lens and looking directly through the lens is not the same thing but the visual comparison is just astounding. Here we have 4K per eye wow!

For the first time I see images that look like monitor screen images, with crisp characters and instrument readings and also colors, lighting seem all as it should be.

If you add 200° FOV and good enough frame rate, for me this means 60fps per image then it is fine. But it means to generate a 120 FPS frame rate on a simple image. My missions oscillate between 80 to 110 FPS. That could be a problem.

 

I am not sure my 2080ti can handle this beast, but probably the coming Nvidia Ampère 3080ti should be able to handle it. Maybe the CPU will then bog down, but again new CPUs are on the way.

 

Has anybody in this forum some experience with the Pimax8KX?

Is it worth buying? I know that at 1'900 US$ with all the valve stuff and the top headphones it is the most expensive VR headset by far (but less than buying a real vintage P51 🙂 ). 

Is the VR support of IL2 good enough for this top VR headset ?

 

So I have still some hesitations, and I have not made up my mind yet.

Many questions here. Feel free to comment.

 

Pimax 8Kx review links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwyRdqSJZY

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrnjxY9fTk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMXS5WXb44

 

and the one official from Pimax

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_lChDNO4vw

 

 

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I have Vive Pro with after-market lenses and I really love it. I can't go back to 2D now. It works fine in IL2 with 1080ti GPU.

The only downside is that you have no rear view in VR. Unless you can 360 your neck.

You can check six with TrackIR and in 2D but not with VR.

Still love it tho.

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2 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

I am not sure my 2080ti can handle this beast, but probably the coming Nvidia Ampère 3080ti should be able to handle it. Maybe the CPU will then bog down, but again new CPUs are on the way.


Better VR headset with higher resolution will not load the CPU more than current ones, unless of course you want higher framerates (but honestly 90 Hz is great).

 

2 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

If you add 200° FOV and good enough frame rate, for me this means 60fps per image then it is fine. But it means to generate a 120 FPS frame rate on a simple image. My missions oscillate between 80 to 110 FPS. That could be a problem.

 

 

No it does not work that way. Only the rendering has to be done twice, to some extent, so the FPS is not divided by two when playing on a VR headset.

 

Reaching 80/90 FPS 95% of the time if doable on current VR headset with a top notch overclocked CPU and a good GPU. With a higher resolution, the same CPU and a high-end GPU will do the job.

 

About the rest of your message, polls show that the large majority of players disagree with you about how crappy VR currently is, so you won't find many people to tell you that Pimax 8kx won't be good enough.

 

The VR support in IL2 is very good, there is not much to criticize. The only two problems are the resolution which is still not great on available headsets (but there is not much that 1C can do about it), and the fact that you need an expensive PC to run it.

Edited by haltux
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3 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

My initial experiments with VR were very very disappointing. Reaction time lag, horrible resolution, terrible FOV, grid lines in the image, blurred small characters, you name it.

I play on a 43" 4K screen with a 2080ti video card so I am a little spoiled in terms of image quality.

 

In this forum I read many times that once you have played VR you cannot come back. It seems a drug addiction type effect. Up to now image quality has been for me a VR killer.

 

Technology evolves so recently I decided to do a serious refresh on VR headsets, and saw multiple Pimax 8Kx reviews (see links below) on youtube, with through the lens comparisons of different VR head-sets. I know that image through the lens and looking directly through the lens is not the same thing but the visual comparison is just astounding. Here we have 4K per eye wow!

For the first time I see images that look like monitor screen images, with crisp characters and instrument readings and also colors, lighting seem all as it should be.

If you add 200° FOV and good enough frame rate, for me this means 60fps per image then it is fine. But it means to generate a 120 FPS frame rate on a simple image. My missions oscillate between 80 to 110 FPS. That could be a problem.

 

I am not sure my 2080ti can handle this beast, but probably the coming Nvidia Ampère 3080ti should be able to handle it. Maybe the CPU will then bog down, but again new CPUs are on the way.

 

Has anybody in this forum some experience with the Pimax8KX?

Is it worth buying? I know that at 1'900 US$ with all the valve stuff and the top headphones it is the most expensive VR headset by far (but less than buying a real vintage P51 🙂 ). 

Is the VR support of IL2 good enough for this top VR headset ?

 

So I have still some hesitations, and I have not made up my mind yet.

Many questions here. Feel free to comment.

 

Pimax 8Kx review links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwyRdqSJZY

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrnjxY9fTk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMXS5WXb44

 

and the one official from Pimax

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_lChDNO4vw

 

 

Unless you are playing on an OG Rift or Vive, the statement that the resolution is horrible just isn't true nowadays.  I own a Rift S and on my 8700k/1080ti rig the resolution and clarity is really damn good.  Is it as good as a 4k monitor...no...but its damn good and the feeling of being in the virtual cockpit is something that NO monitor can mimic.

 

I'm also interested in the 8kx..but considering the $$$ needed to go to that from my Rift S..I'm not sure the resolution bump is worth it for the coin.  I may stay with the Rift S until the "next next" headset comes along.  But that may change as more Pimax 8kx reviews come out.

 

Since you are coming in fresh..you may want to jump on board the Pimax 8kx.  I'd probably wait until the 3000 series Nvidia cards and the AMD high end card debut this summer if I were you and grab those to pair with it.

 

But all that being said..you should join the VR world regardless as pancake flying just can't cut it once you go VR.

Edited by AuburnAlumni
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1 hour ago, AuburnAlumni said:

Unless you are playing on an OG Rift or Vive, the statement that the resolution is horrible just isn't true nowadays.  I own a Rift S and on my 8700k/1080ti rig the resolution and clarity is really damn good.  Is it as good as a 4k monitor...no...but its damn good and the feeling of being in the virtual cockpit is something that NO monitor can mimic.

 

I'm also interested in the 8kx..but considering the $$$ needed to go to that from my Rift S..I'm not sure the resolution bump is worth it for the coin.  I may stay with the Rift S until the "next next" headset comes along.  But that may change as more Pimax 8kx reviews come out.

 

Since you are coming in fresh..you may want to jump on board the Pimax 8kx.  I'd probably wait until the 3000 series Nvidia cards and the AMD high end card debut this summer if I were you and grab those to pair with it.

 

But all that being said..you should join the VR world regardless as pancake flying just can't cut it once you go VR.

To be honest I did not really play games in VR but tested them in certain occasions on fairs or so. But it was many years ago. I mmust admit Pimax8Kx has stirred my interest. I am in no hurry to buy, it is no small change, and anyway will want to wait and see if the new Nvidia cards will really bring more power. Ray Tracing is not a topic here, so I hope Ampere is not all just improving Ray Tracing but there is more power for Classical Tracing 🙂 .

I am much Nvidia but may switch to AMD if they really become better. The problem with AMD have always been the drivers quality and performance at least sometime ago.

 

2 hours ago, haltux said:


Better VR headset with higher resolution will not load the CPU more than current ones, unless of course you want higher framerates (but honestly 90 Hz is great).

 

 

No it does not work that way. Only the rendering has to be done twice, to some extent, so the FPS is not divided by two when playing on a VR headset.

 

Reaching 80/90 FPS 95% of the time if doable on current VR headset with a top notch overclocked CPU and a good GPU. With a higher resolution, the same CPU and a high-end GPU will do the job.

 

About the rest of your message, polls show that the large majority of players disagree with you about how crappy VR currently is, so you won't find many people to tell you that Pimax 8kx won't be good enough.

 

The VR support in IL2 is very good, there is not much to criticize. The only two problems are the resolution which is still not great on available headsets (but there is not much that 1C can do about it), and the fact that you need an expensive PC to run it.

Thank you for your comment, and it is good news, as I thought you just divide the framerate by two. In fact on light missions I can go 190 FPS on a map like Kuban. The 80-110 FPS is for really heavy missions, where the .MISSION file is about 9MB and the .msbn file is 1.3 MB. The problem is that here CPU who slows the whole thing.

 

Just to set things straight when I mentioned in my post that my initial experiments with VR where very negative this date to the O Rift a few years ago. And the reason I am looking now is that I do consider the technology has evolved and probably things look better. I think there is also a psychological issue here. The human brain is excellent at correcting things and improve adapt what he gets from its vision system. I mean by that VR being completely different the brain has to adapt to it as for the moment he is completely adapted to flat monitors. I remember well when the first cathode ray flat screen TV appeared, (I am 60 and my first tv was black and white, and the black color was light grey)  my brain which was used to curved screens was compensating and I would see the flat screen in fact this time curved inwards, (real zero curvature minus expected outwards makes inward curvature). With time the brain adapted and then all is fine, he knows know that screens are flat. This to say  if you get used by intense use of VR your brain will adapt and probably the the perceived quality will be finally much better than what is shown in a through the lens comparison displayed on a flat screen.

 

This to say that images taken that way to compare between headsets, may seem not good at all to a person not used to it and not experimenting it with the 3D immersion etc. Moving images will also improve the perceived resolution, so characters may appear better than in these comparative tests. 

In conclusion only the real test with the physical thing can allow me to make a proper evaluation. 

 

I have a small question to all VR enthusiasts. I am using a Hotas Thrustmaster Warthog set. When you play VR you cannot see the switches, buttons etc. How do you manage that aspect. You cannot pull out the headset to see where is the switch on your throttle base. And if you need to hit some keys on the keyboard as you play, how do you do that. 

 

 

Edited by IckyATLAS
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43 minutes ago, IckyATLAS said:

Thank you for your comment, and it is good news, as I thought you just divide the framerate by two. In fact on light missions I can go 190 FPS on a map like Kuban. The 80-110 FPS is for really heavy missions, where the .MISSION file is about 9MB and the .msbn file is 1.3 MB. The problem is that here CPU who slows the whole thing.

 

Just to set things straight when I mentioned in my post that my initial experiments with VR where very negative this date to the O Rift a few years ago. And the reason I am looking now is that I do consider the technology has evolved and probably things look better. I think there is also a psychological issue here. The human brain is excellent at correcting things and improve adapt what he gets from its vision system. I mean by that VR being completely different the brain has to adapt to it as for the moment he is completely adapted to flat monitors. I remember well when the first cathode ray flat screen TV appeared, (I am 60 and my first tv was black and white, and the black color was light grey)  my brain which was used to curved screens was compensating and I would see the flat screen in fact this time curved inwards, (real zero curvature minus expected outwards makes inward curvature). With time the brain adapted and then all is fine, he knows know that screens are flat. This to say  if you get used by intense use of VR your brain will adapt and probably the the perceived quality will be finally much better than what is shown in a through the lens comparison displayed on a flat screen.

 

This to say that images taken that way to compare between headsets, may seem not good at all to a person not used to it and not experimenting it with the 3D immersion etc. Moving images will also improve the perceived resolution, so characters may appear better than in these comparative tests. 

In conclusion only the real test with the physical thing can allow me to make a proper evaluation. 

 

I have a small question to all VR enthusiasts. I am using a Hotas Thrustmaster Warthog set. When you play VR you cannot see the switches, buttons etc. How do you manage that aspect. You cannot pull out the headset to see where is the switch on your throttle base. And if you need to hit some keys on the keyboard as you play, how do you do that. 

 

All you say here is true. I still use the original Rift CV1 and even on that my brain can get used to the low resolution and screen door effect. I know it's not good but it doesn't bother me While flying. But to be honest it's bothering me more and more while reading the news on the newer headsets and I'll replace it at some point if I stay with VR and IL-2.

 

And VR actually has one more aspect your brain has to adapt  -  the life like 3D image in movement tells your brain you are actually moving while your are not. This can be too much for your brain and body at the beginning which can cause nausea. This hits some more than others but basically almost everyone can get through it.

 

Reaching buttons on your hotas should not be an issue. You'll learn to do it with with muscle memory. IL-2 does not have a horrible number of controls. You may not find the less frequently used too easily at the beginning but you'll get used to it. I don't ever have to take off the headset to find a button (except for typing on chat) and never heard anyone mentioning so far that they cannot do this after a while.

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2 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

I have a small question to all VR enthusiasts. I am using a Hotas Thrustmaster Warthog set. When you play VR you cannot see the switches, buttons etc. How do you manage that aspect. You cannot pull out the headset to see where is the switch on your throttle base. And if you need to hit some keys on the keyboard as you play, how do you do that.

 

Basically you need to feel the controls. Put things on logical switches, and protect critical ones (like eject and engine start/stop). Move unused stuff off the HOTAS, or just keystroke combinations to get enough buttons. You can't use the keyboard in VR, there's no point. My set up is a Virpil T50 stick, T50 throttle, and a Saitek throttle quadrant (that last one is an easy way to add 3 axes and 12 buttons for cheap).

 

As to your initial question, I think a Pimax 8KX would pair well with the 2080ti, but be aware that CPU is a massive factor for IL2 in VR. The nice thing about the Pimax is that if today the video card and CPU can't quite drive it to full potential, you can reduce your settings a bit and get good performance today with good resolution and no SDE, then increase the settings as PC hardware improves or the software optimizations improve. So maybe today you're running 'Normal' FOV and a slight under-sample to maintain frame rates, but if fixed foveated rendering becomes usable or if IL2 has a VR optimization pass added, you can then crank up the sampling or increase to 'Wide' FOV.

 

Of course, investing in a Pimax is a gamble. It's the best on the market today, in terms of raw specifications, but a major player could announce something as good or better at some point in the future. And you could argue that 8KX is charging a high premium for those 4K screens. But as with all PC tech, the longer you wait the better the thing you can buy. But if you bought a Pimax you'd likely get at least 6 months usage out of it where it was absolutely head and shoulders better than any other headset you can buy. (Notwithstanding the other Pimax issues -- ordering delays, variable customer support, inconsistently reliable software, etc.)

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9 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

My initial experiments with VR were very very disappointing. Reaction time lag, horrible resolution, terrible FOV, grid lines in the image, blurred small characters, you name it.

I play on a 43" 4K screen with a 2080ti video card so I am a little spoiled in terms of image quality.

 

In this forum I read many times that once you have played VR you cannot come back. It seems a drug addiction type effect. Up to now image quality has been for me a VR killer.

 

Technology evolves so recently I decided to do a serious refresh on VR headsets, and saw multiple Pimax 8Kx reviews (see links below) on youtube, with through the lens comparisons of different VR head-sets. I know that image through the lens and looking directly through the lens is not the same thing but the visual comparison is just astounding. Here we have 4K per eye wow!

For the first time I see images that look like monitor screen images, with crisp characters and instrument readings and also colors, lighting seem all as it should be.

If you add 200° FOV and good enough frame rate, for me this means 60fps per image then it is fine. But it means to generate a 120 FPS frame rate on a simple image. My missions oscillate between 80 to 110 FPS. That could be a problem.

 

I am not sure my 2080ti can handle this beast, but probably the coming Nvidia Ampère 3080ti should be able to handle it. Maybe the CPU will then bog down, but again new CPUs are on the way.

 

Has anybody in this forum some experience with the Pimax8KX?

Is it worth buying? I know that at 1'900 US$ with all the valve stuff and the top headphones it is the most expensive VR headset by far (but less than buying a real vintage P51 🙂 ). 

Is the VR support of IL2 good enough for this top VR headset ?

 

So I have still some hesitations, and I have not made up my mind yet.

Many questions here. Feel free to comment.

 

Pimax 8Kx review links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwyRdqSJZY

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrnjxY9fTk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMXS5WXb44

 

and the one official from Pimax

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_lChDNO4vw

 

 

I think that your "initial experiments" with VR were problematic. Over the past several years I've been thru a CV-1, both versions of Odyssey and am now using an Index. I cannot imagine spending money on a large 4k monitor and 2080Ti just to fly flight sims on a flatscreen. Unless my 1440p monitor dies I cannot see myself buying another for flight sim use. I do not see the Pimax as an especially drool worthy piece of kit. Glad I took the VR plunge when I did. Best wishes with the Pimax!

Edited by Dagwoodyt
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1 hour ago, E69_Qpassa_VR said:

Nobody has spoken about the HP reverb in this thread. For me it is the price-quality sweet spot.

Well, there are several things about the Reverb that caused me to choose the Index. These were the lack of Reverb hardware  IPD adjustment, quality assurance concerns and its use of WMR. To me hardware IPD suggests that the manufacturer has gone the extra mile to help assure best user experience. Also WMR is finicky and many times requires physical gyrations before going into full 3D. With the Index I purchased just one base station, but that functions well and consistently in BoX, so there is no need to buy the full kit. Index headphones are also first rate. Index packaging is first rate, reminiscent  of the CV-1. No regrets.

Edited by Dagwoodyt
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12 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

My initial experiments with VR were very very disappointing. Reaction time lag, horrible resolution, terrible FOV, grid lines in the image, blurred small characters, you name it.

 

If I were you, since resolution and SDE is your main concern, I would go to the Reverb. I think it has better definition in the center than the Pimax8KX, I mean better pixels per degree.

Also it is way cheaper and easier to buy/install (no base station required). But be sure your IPD is OK.

 

So, you can learn and enjoy to play in VR, although FOV is not large. Then, you can sell it after 6 months and go for the Pimax8KX and ampere or any other new device that would arrive.

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I've had, DK2, CV1, O+, and Reverb. I'll be spamming the refresh button to buy a Index on Monday. So far the Reverb is the best in this sim but I'm on the outside edge of the IPD range and my big nose gets in the way of the headset. With that being said I still endure it 2 about hours a day in IL2. Can't go back to a monitor.

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Regarding the problem related to the fact that we do not see our throttle, joystick, keyboard etc to find the buttons, even if this can be somewhat avoided by carefully setting them so that you do not need to take your headset off, there is today the very elegant solution to it. To have two gloves interface with the fingers this would be our hands displayed in the VR environment and make all the buttons and levers in the cockpit active. In this way you do not need anymore physical buttons, you just control your airplane directly from the virtual cockpit. We need the joystick and throttle physical but for the buttons that are not on the throttle and on the joystick, that would be THE solution.

 

I am sure this will come one day. If not IL2, someone will do it maybe Microsoft Flight Simulator. That would be the killer app for flight simulators..

 

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6 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

Regarding the problem related to the fact that we do not see our throttle, joystick, keyboard etc to find the buttons, even if this can be somewhat avoided by carefully setting them so that you do not need to take your headset off, there is today the very elegant solution to it. To have two gloves interface with the fingers this would be our hands displayed in the VR environment and make all the buttons and levers in the cockpit active. In this way you do not need anymore physical buttons, you just control your airplane directly from the virtual cockpit. We need the joystick and throttle physical but for the buttons that are not on the throttle and on the joystick, that would be THE solution.

 

I am sure this will come one day. If not IL2, someone will do it maybe Microsoft Flight Simulator. That would be the killer app for flight simulators..

 

Well, there is another solution to this "problem": use VoiceAttack.

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10 minutes ago, driftaholic said:

I believe some form of hand tracking works with the clickable cockpits in DCS. Unfortunately I can't find a good multiplayer player base for WW2 aircraft in that sim. 

 

VR controller tracking, Touch for Rift / Rift S works quite well.

I am hoping eventually as it matures the hand/finger tracking introduced in Oculus Quest will make it to PC-VR and have support. It has a ways to go in the maturing department though.

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15 minutes ago, driftaholic said:

I believe some form of hand tracking works with the clickable cockpits in DCS. Unfortunately I can't find a good multiplayer player base for WW2 aircraft in that sim. 

There is this https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=218861

I have one but the HMS needs replacing. When set up its great and the US Air Force has adopted it :)

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Consider the HP Reverb. From what I know it has the best resolution of the current VR beides the Pimax.  I had to return the Rift 1 since the resolution was just not good enough. The HP Reverb made me not want to go back to my TrackIr and my 40 inch 4K monitor. 😉 

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On 3/10/2020 at 3:06 PM, 19te.Deafbee said:

Consider the HP Reverb. From what I know it has the best resolution of the current VR beides the Pimax.  I had to return the Rift 1 since the resolution was just not good enough. The HP Reverb made me not want to go back to my TrackIr and my 40 inch 4K monitor. 😉 

Indeed after the Pimax8Kx the HP Reverb seems to be the best image. 

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7 hours ago, driftaholic said:

My index arrives Sunday. I'm thinking there's more to a good VR experience then just the resolution my Reverb offers.

 

True but for me the lack of resolution has been the main issue with VR coming from TrackIr. Let us know why you maybe think the Index should be better for Il2? I am not using my HP Reverb for any other games. 

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Why? I have a few reasons I bought the Index while owning a Reverb. Window's mixed reality requires a bright room, I live in a  big studio and often get time to fly when my girlfriend is sleeping so having ample light isn't always an option. Index should be better for comfort, with hardware adjustable IPD and lens distance. With the Reverb the optimal placement is bearable around 2 hours for me and sweetspot is very usable though slight FOV increase would be welcome. I can only speculate at this moment but I'm waiting for the delivery driver to arrive...

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