Pimax’s top of the line offering, the “8K” X headset, originally shipped with a max refresh rate of 75Hz for its native resolution mode. Today the company is releasing a beta update which pushes that up to 90Hz. The company says it worked with NVIDIA to overcome prior “bandwidth limitations” to enable the higher refresh rate on most GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs.

The Pimax “8K” X is the company’s flagship headset, and the only one capable of natively displaying full resolution frames on its dual 3,840 × 2,160 displays. However, when running the headset in this so-called ‘native mode’, the headset can only do so at 75Hz. Alternatively, users can switch to an ‘upscale mode’ which accepts a pair of frames at 2,560 × 1,440, and upscales them to the headset’s full resolution—this means the image isn’t quite as sharp but you can it run at 90Hz.

Today Pimax exclusively revealed to Road to VR that the company is releasing a beta firmware update for the “8K” X which will bump the headset’s refresh rate up to 90Hz even in the ‘native mode’, giving users both max resolution and max framerate.

For now this is only possible when using the headset with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090 GPUs paired with the right GPU driver version. Pimax “8K” X owners can download the beta firmware update here and see which GPU drivers are required.

Image courtesy Pimax

While the “8K” X beta firmware currently only supports native mode at 90Hz on the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090, Pimax notes, “our team is still testing and hopefully the refresh rate upgrade can be extended for the “8K” X on additional GPUs in the future.”

Whether that might include the RTX 3060, or some of the higher-end 20-series GPUs, isn’t clear at this time.

Pimax says that it worked directly with Nvidia to break through prior “bandwidth limitations” which prevented the headset from running at 90Hz in native mode. Indeed, the difference in pixel throughput between upscale mode at 90Hz and native mode at 90Hz is more than double (664 MP/s vs. 1,493 MP/s), making it clear that bandwidth becomes a challenge.

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Faster refresh rates in VR make for a smoother and lower latency view of the virtual world which benefits both comfort and immersion. High refresh rates are especially important for ultra-wide field of view headsets like Pimax’ because human peripheral vision is more sensitive to display flicker than the central part of our vision.


Note: We put the “8K” in quotes because Pimax isn’t referring to the same 8K that is often used to describe TVs and monitors. The headset’s total horizontal resolution is the width of an 8K TV display, but this is split across each eye. Additionally, the resolution height is just half the height of an 8K TV display. When referring to the headset’s name, we put “8K” in quotes to help our readers understand that it’s being used differently than they might expect.

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  • George Moonman

    Does anyone care?
    An update for a headset that only works for people with massive heads and really wide IPD, on a GPU no one can buy.

    I’m sure all 3 of their customers will be happy though.

    • I care.

    • Dee

      I care too. “You” and editors of this “website” should grow up.

      • asdf

        haha

      • Zantetsu

        Feel free to “leave”. You won’t be “missed”.

    • ChristrutHisalvation

      It works terrific on my 1080 ti. Wonder why its only on 3000 series.

      • Ardra Diva

        because they want you to buy a new card

    • 2080Ti and 65.3 IPD here, and I feel great with my Pimax 8KX

    • “A rising tide lifts all ships”

      I don’t own a Pimax, or plan to purchase a Pimax. I’d like to try a Pimax if the opportunity arose.

      But I care about Pimax because there is strength in numbers, increased choices for PCVR enthusiasts can only be a good thing.

      And Pimax are pushing the boundaries with their ultra wides, which is also a good thing.

    • Kev

      My ipd is rather low and it works fine for me so your post is just not true.

  • Jesusaves

    I got a 1080 ti but also a 8kx. Would like the 90hz too.

  • g-man

    Glad I got you to add a disclaimer about the double quotes you mistakenly add to Pimax’s product names.

    It’s not a good look, “Road” to VR.

    • Zantetsu

      How “astute” of you. You must feel very “important”.

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    • Adrian Meredith

      It does feel very petty. The article does make it clear it’s a dual 4k headset.

      • Thud

        And everyone knows it.

  • Ragbone

    What has this got to do with pancakes?

  • mellott124

    Tried the 8K X when it was on Amazon. Returned in 2 days. They’re very close but there are just too many issues to choose Pimax.

    • Ragbone

      What were the issues please?

    • You simply cannot learn to use a Pimax 8KX in two days. Once mastered, it’s great, but one mistake in fitting and the experience is severely penalized.

      • JAVI LIP

        I aggree with you, 8kx owner.

        • mellott124

          I had a 5k for nearly a year. Things still look about the same. Don’t get me wrong. Resolution and FOV is great but not worth the other hassles and tradeoffs.

          • JAVI LIP

            Right now, with pimax experience and one click, is all configured. At the beginning was more difficult. I would recomend to buy it from amazon and never from pimax. Pimax=delays

      • mellott124

        Yeah, I understand that. This wasn’t my first Pimax HMD.

    • Kev

      My 8KX works just fine and it’s my daily driver. I upgraded from an Index and it’s dramatically better even before 90Hz was available on the 8KX.
      Takes some time to get the settings right but the new pimax experience software makes a very big difference.

      • Mulsanne917

        Because you say it’s your “daily driver,” I’ll hazard a guess you might use it primarily for sim-racing…yes?

        • Kev

          Heh that’s funny. I do have some sims (driving and space) but I’d say I’m more of a casual gamer.

  • ChristrutHisalvation

    My 1080 ti has more fps than a 3060. A 3060 is suppose to cost $329 but its going for $1000 on ebay. Wonder if these 3000 will be available for the suggested price ?

    • Jistuce

      In fairness, that 1080 Ti is ALSO going for a thousand dollars on eBay.
      I cannot wait until the buttcoin market collapses again and the miners stop hoovering up all the stock.

      • Jesustilloves

        I got a good bargain on the used gigabyte 1080ti turbo. On FB marketplace and drove a hour to meet up. I got it for 275. It would be cool to find a actual 3060 for around 500, not 1000. I have a used 8kx bought from adorama for 950 and it shipped and arrived next day. Also I have upscale option to use 114 hz, better than 90hz.

  • Ardra Diva

    is this the driver that gimps or permits Etherium mining? Asking for a friend. :P

  • My Thoughts

    Good old “Shitmax” put this garbage where it belongs in the trash.

  • Jesus saved me from me !

    I have a quest 2 and a 8kx. Most expensive and the least expensive vr. In actuality, the quest 2 is not that different than the 8kx. I play mostly gta5 with the lukeross vr mod and the http://www.grandtheftvr.com mod by Bo. Together too, giving motion control to the game. The sharp clarity with the quest 2 and it’s optional pcvr with standalone…makes it more of a 700 valued vr than 300. Pimax needs separate base stations and motion controllers, making it burdensome and pricey. But you get the highest resolution and no sde with the 8kx. But you too get really no sde on the quest 2. You only get a small fov and very large fov on the 8kx. The illumination and sharp crisp brightness and clarity in color is much bigger and better on the 8kx. But the experience on the quest 2 is also next gen.

    • Kev

      The Quest 2 can’t track your controllers below your waist, anywhere behind you or if you get the controllers too close to the hmd. I think you waaay underestimate the value of SteamVR. SteamVR also is vastly more accurate.