Opinion from a prospective customer

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    I am a long time Nvidia 3D Vision user who never switched to VR headsets because, up until recently, VR headsets got bad reviews from 3D Vision users (screen-door effect, etc). Not long ago, Nvidia announced they will discontinue support for 3D Vision and so here I am, considering the alternatives.

    I looked at vorpx.com a few years ago, and it appears, since that time, many more games were added to the compatibility list. Well done!

    Right now, I am considering buying a VR headset, but on vorpx.com there is little information about headsets. Almost no information at all.

    For example, I discovered the Pimax VR headset from the link at the top of this forum. And a few minutes before I typed this comment, I discovered the HP Reverb from a thread on this forum.

    It appears that 2019 could be “break-out” year for VR headsets.
    I beg you to please add more information/reviews about VR headsets either on
    your main site or on the forum.

    Ideally, it would be nice to have a complete list of all available VR headsets,
    and with reviews/information about each one. Links to reviews and info is fine.
    No need to make your own reviews.

    Which headsets are recommended and not recommended for use with Vorpx?
    Or should I just buy a headset and hope everything turns out fine?


    vorpX runs with any headset that supports SteamVR (true for pretty much all consumer headsets) or the Oculus runtime, so as far as vorpX is concerned directly there isn’t really much to say when comparing the various available options.

    Windows Mixed Reality and Pimax headsets both introduce an extra software layer between their hardware and SteamVR, making them a bit less convenient to use, but that’s a general thing, not something vorpX specific.


    My take on VR headsets in 2019:

    Original Vive: Better avoid, just like you mention, terrible SDE and low res, you really don’t want to play in VR or 3D with this at this point.

    Original Oculus: Similar issues to Vive, plus it’s now discontinued by Oculus, so better avoid.

    Oculus Rift S: Best value per dollar. Way better image quality than Oculus CV1, very cheap for a full VR kit, very easy to set up, works fine with Vorpx. It has a few problems though, track loss in some angles, need a well lighted room, not as high quality plastic as CV1, below average included audio (you can still use headphones though), and walled garden market by Facebook, but you can still use Steam games and apps.

    Vive Pro: Nice option and currently can be found used at decent prices. Very good image quality and best tracking system in the market with lighthouses. HTC has awful support and warranty though.

    HP Reverb: A Windows Mixed Reality device, and by far the best image quality with basically no sde and the best device for simulators / 180 movies / Vorpx / 3d playing. Still it has some issues that have to be ironed out like blinking image and other stuff, so check https://www.reddit.com/r/WindowsMR/ and do some research if interested. As a VR device it’s servicable, it has the worst tracking system of them all, it’s usable but not much more, and below par controllers. Since it has such a high resolution panels, it requires a more powerful computer than average.

    Valve Index: Not yet released, but the safest option for a great upgrade with barely any compromises. Better screen than almost anything else but Pimax and Reverb, barely any sde, better fov than average, best tracking system on the market, the best controllers with full hand tracking, really comfortable, amazing audio and 120h/144hz mode for extra immersion. Also as a steamVR device Vorpx support is almost granted, the big con is price: $1000 for the full package, and it’s sold out until september.

    Samsung Oddysey Plus: A good balance between quality and price. The screen has a special filter than almost removes all SDE, but it makes the image slightly blurry, still most people say it looks great. All the quirks of WMR device, but it has none of the issues of the Reverb like blinking image, and price is pretty good. Solid entry device for a full VR kit for the user than wants to play 3D, simulators, video playing and Vorpx over a high quality VR experience, which again is OK but not great.

    Pimax: Two models, the 5k’ has amazing image clarity similar to Valve Index in terms of SDE and image quality, and also it adds huge FOV that greatly increases immersion. 8K model has a bit less clarity but improved screen door, so it’s the better option for Vorpx and 3d gaming. I have it and SDE is nearly imperceptable, and as the greatest SDE hater alive, it has become a non issue for me. The cons are price, since they are expensive, availability, high performance requirements so better have a good rig, and since Pimax is a chinese company, support could be better, but they are actually doing a decent job with it.

    Suggested links:

    Video channels:
    MRTV and sweviver have fantastic reviews of almst all devices, so check them out for very in depth info about all the devices.


    Thanks moarveer for such a long,detailed reply.

    I will check out MRTV and sweviver.

    My main use for VR is sitting at a desk with keyboard/mouse.
    I will probably try some VR games (especially rollercoasters),
    but in general, I intend to play non-VR PC games, new or old, but old is fine.
    Currently, I am playing Enderal (mod for Skyrim) and after, I will play
    Borderland 2 which I bought on steam sale recently. Just giving you an idea of what I play.

    What is your opinion on the importance of field-of-view?

    I was thinking that a very high FOV would be very good for gaming.
    But then your comment on the HP Reverb seems to disagree with that.
    You wrote “and the best device for simulators / 180 movies / Vorpx / 3d playing”
    The specs for the Reverb are 114 deg FOV.
    The specs for the Pimax 5k are 170 deg FOV.

    Is 170 deg FOV better for playing non-VR PC games?
    Or 100-120 is good enough?
    Or is FOV not so important?

    Also, I read about the controversy regarding Pimax 5k vs 8k,
    and it reminded me that pixel quality is more important than pixel quantity.

    The specs say the HP Reverb has a high pixel quantity, but what do we know about
    the pixel quality? What if the image quality on the Reverb is less than other VR sets? How would I know this? I guess I have to read the reviews.

    I am leaning towards the Pimax 5k purely for FOV reasons.
    But if FOV is not so important, then I am open to other VR headsets.
    Do you think a high FOV is a much better gaming experience?


    I have rift cv1, VIVE, pimax4k, and recently pimax8k. I mostly use them for vorpx. While I have come to appreciate the wider fov of 8k (harder now not to notice the binocular-like view when going back to rift), I hesitate to recommend it as an entry point into vorpx, and VR in general.

    Many vorpx games won’t be able to take full advantage of the wide fov and you may see screen borders or culling around edges you aren’t meant to see instead. You can use small fov mode to help this, but it’s not taking advantage of what the pimax is for. Few notable games with unlimited fov (like skein, fallout, and Enters) can though.

    For me, using cinema mode with the screen zoomed up close works better in most cases with the 8k. It works great if you’re seated at a desk (my playstyle anyway), but not the ideal option if you want to use head tracking in game.

    The lenses used to achieve the wide fov are not perfect for everyone, and may take a couple weeks of wearing to find the right ipd, pitch, and how high up your nose to wear it for the clearest view. It may never look perfect in both eyes at the same time once you glance away from the center. Let’s just say you it will require some tinkering and some compromise here and there to get a pimax looking good.

    If you’d rather jump in with minimal friction, I’d start with a rift S perhaps. Simpler lenses, comfortable, easy setup, and better suited for vorpx and directvr. You’d get a good “safer” taste of what 3D VR offers.

    That said, I’ve got my eye on the Reverb as my possible next vorpx setup. Still trying to decide if that resolution bump and light weight is worth trading in for wide fov. Yet to hear anyone report use with vorpx.

    Maybe the only lesson we can give is that there isn’t the be-all headset just yet. They all have strengths and weaknesses. Chances are high that your first headset won’t be your last.

    Anyway, if you have more questions ask. Vorpx VR gaming is a pretty fun hobby to have, I can’t play games the old way anymore, as a 3D gamer I’m sure you can agree.


    * like modable games like skyrim, fallout, and yes enderal (thanks phone)


    Well FOV is extremely important for VR, and really welcomed for any game or app included 180 vids, or Vorpx. It adds a huge layer of immersion, since current 100 FOV headsets feel like looking through a scuba mask. Once you’ve tried Pimax high FOV, it’s really hard to go back.

    However 5k/8k FOV have a few issues. First, they have 3 levels of FOV, low/mid/high. High has a very noticiable distortion on the sides (like a glass border reflection), mid is currently almost invisible but can be noticed, and low is distortion free. The good thing is that low FOV is still much bigger than every other HMD in the market, and it’s completely distortion free, besides it’s actually very easy to adapt to the distortion with time, it like using glasses, the first day you notice the border all the time, in a week you completely forget about it.

    The thing is for your use case, you won’t take much advantage of high FOV, since Vorpx FOV is determined by the games FOV options, which normally don’t have over 90-100 FOV. The second issue is that high FOV has higher requirements, so you’ll need a great computer to make a game work on high FOV with Vorpx. The 3rd issue is that Pimax by itself requires a more powerful computer than average, since it has such high pixel panels and FOV, it needs to push a ton of pixels, so a great computer is required. Add to that the parallel projections feature of Pimax, that has a 30% performance hit since canted screens require a software adjustment, and has to be turned on in almost every game or app.

    However currently Pimax has done a great job improving performance with a feature called Brainwarp that’s similar to ASW on Oculus and similar solutions on Steam and WMR, together with the option to lower refresh rate to 60hz and lower FOV, it’s actually very usable in many cases.

    Also just like 3d vision, to render a game in 3D it hits half the performance of 2d in many cases, and also that for games to look great they need heavy supersampling (I run vorpx vames at 2529×1572 DSR resolution, or 2400p internal Vorpx resolution for them to look good), so add these to the mix, you get a ton of performance hits from every corner.

    In my case (intel i5 4670k, 1080ti) with a Pimax 8k, at low FOV, 60hz and Brainwarp on, I can play many games in fullVR mode and real 3D (called geometry 3d or geo3d in Vorpx), but most of them are old. Games that work well in terms of performance for me are for example Bioshock 1/2, Dark Messiah, Half Life 2, Borderlands 1 GOT enhanced, Amnesia, Bulletstorm, Duke Nukem Forever, Firewatch, Metro 2033 Redux, Fallout New Vegas, The Stanley Parable to name a few. Still several games, even old, have mid-low performance like Dishonored, TESO or Shadow Warrior 1. Still those that work are absolutely incredible and really feel like you’re inside the game.

    However Vorpx has a home theater mode, that it basically creates a floating virtual screen, and in that case performance is way less important. In full VR mode, low fps will hit your brain hard, since any slow down can make you sick, but in virtual theater mode or floating screen mode, you can play at lower fps just fine, like it was a real monitor or projector. Another thing to have into account is that if you don’t have good VR legs (have your brain trained to detach virtual movement from real movement), you can get really sick with Vorpx when your brain tries to understand why it’s moving (virtual reality) but you’re actually not moving in the real world. It get’s time to get used to it, and it’s even harder with Vorpx since real games move you at very high speeds that your brain takes time to get used to.

    So for example, games like Witcher 3 or Batman Arkham Knight are perfectly playable in Vorpx theater mode at 30-40 fps in full real 3D, both reasonably demanding games, however games like TESO can melt your brain in FullVR since they have a hard time hitting 60 fps in real 3d, so head movement and game movement aren’t completely in sync.

    Also since Pimax has such a huge FOV, the pixels need to fill a much higher screen size, so even having two 2k screens (5k) or two 4k screens (8k) doesn’t mean it looks a lot better than normal HMDs, and they are comparable to Index in the case of 5k, and close to Reverb in the case of 8K afaik in terms of image quality/SDE.

    That’s why I said that for your use case, probably Rift S, Reverb or Odyssey Plus are the best devices. Only VR games really take advantage of the huge FOV of Pimax, but you’re not interested in VR gaming that much as far as I can see.

    So for me, I’d put it like this:
    1) Rift S for a really good rounded device both for VR and 3d/vorpx/video at a good price, but Facebook walled garden market.
    2) Vive Pro for a slightly better, more expensive experience compared to Rift S.
    3) Reverb for a extremely good 3d/Vorpx/video experience, average VR experience at a high price, but hardware issues.
    4) Pimax for the ultimate VR experience, but very high price, very high requirements, it’s not sold with either controllers and tracking LHs, so you need to get them from elsewhere.
    5) Samsung Galaxy Plus: Best entry device that can be found for 300-400 for the full VR kit, very similar image quality to Rift S ( http://360rumors.com/samsung-odyssey-plus-vs-oculus-rift-s-299-399-budget-high-resolution-vr-headsets/ ), average VR experience. The good thing is that it has high availability, and Samsung has a great return policy, so if you don’t like it, they’ll take it back, no question asked in almost all cases.
    6) Index: The best case overall VR experience without any compromises, but high price, low availabilty.


    6) Index: The best case overall VR experience without any compromises, but high price, low availabilty.

    After learning more about headsets, I am reaching the same conclusion.

    Initially, I heard the Index costs $1000 and so I ignored it, but then I found out, the headset costs $500 and controllers are optional but at least one “base station” is required, which could be a new $150 Valve “base station” or an older/used base station.

    The Index seems to have overall better hardware/software than all other headsets, except the Pimax 5k/8k has more FOV. I’m not interested in buying multiple VR headsets. I just want one really good headset that I will use for many years, until something much better is available.

    Some positive reviews of the Index.

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