Pimax 5K Super Eureka Moment

So I started off my VR journey early with the Oculus Rift CV1 on FSX and P3D until support for VR came out in MSFS. It was magical, albeit like looking through a screen door.

In May 2022 I headed back to Australia for a while and had to sell the Rift to a friend who is also a pilot. So for a few months I was without VR as I built a new sim rig and waited to get the Pimax.

Looking at my friend’s 5K Super I was sold, I had been wanting the 8KX but after comparing the pixel matrix as well as the CPU and GPU resources to run the 8KX, I realized the 5KS was the best option.

So the last month I’ve been tweaking to get the most out of the 5K and it’s been a learning process. I chose the 5K over the 8K because the pixel matrix is clearer for reading gauges. I’ll get into how to max out performance shortly, but I’ll cover a few things I’ve learned.

The Pimax 5K is only 140.3 degrees horizontal resolution if parallel projection is off. You can get 160.3 degrees horizontal if you turn parallel projection on, but you’re going to drop a lot of fps and the imagery won’t be as clear.

So my rig is an i9 12900K with 32GB RAM at 3200 via XMP (I had to remove the other 32 GB pair as it crashes windows and I really need to buy a balanced 128GB kit), and a Gigabyte Aorus 2080Ti Xtreme.

So firstly I ran PiTool and under HMD:

  • Refresh Rate - 90Hz (this gives widest FOV)

Under Games [Microsoft Flight Simulator]:

  • Enable Program Setting - On
  • Field of View - Large
  • Render Quality - 1 (any higher chokes steamvr)
  • Fixed Foveated Rendering - Aggressive
  • Compatible with Parallel Projection - Off
  • Turn on Smart Smoothing - Off
  • Compulsive Smooth - Off
  • Hidden Area Mask - On
  • Compatible with Vive Only - Off

In Steam VR Settings General:

  • Refresh Rate 90Hz
  • Motion Smoothing - Off
  • Render Resolution - Custom - 500% (this pushes stuff onto the work onto GPU and gives awesome sharpening) - Resolution Per Eye - 7632x4708

^^^ Note this may seem counter intuitive but it gave me a good 5-10fps extra in sim and way better clarity, I can almost read the DG numbers in the Carenado Mooney now, and I basically can’t see the pixel matrix anymore due to DLSS

  • Dashboard Position - Middle (your choice)
  • Notifications - Off (your choice)
  • SteamVR Always on Top - Off (your choice)

OpenXR Toolkit Settings:

In the main program I chose to use the up down left right arrows to invoke the settings (it does conflict with quickviews but I really don’t use them and should unassign the keys in MSFS controls)

Performance Menu:

  • Overlay - (as needed)
  • Upscaling - CAS (this gives clearest imagery without aliasing and best performance)
  • Foveated Rendering - Preset - Quality & Wide
  • Frame Rate Throttling - Off (seemed stuttery)
  • Record Statistics - NO

Appearance Menu:

  • Post Processing - Off (your choice)
  • World Scale - 100%

Inputs Menu

  • Shaking Reduction - Off
  • Controller Emulation - Off

System Menu:

  • Override Resolution (per eye) - No
  • Field of View - Simple (140.3 degrees)
  • Zoom - 1.0x

Menu Tab: (your choice)

  • Show Expert Settings - No
  • Font Size - 44pt
  • Menu Timeout - None
  • Menu Eye Offset - 0 Pixels
  • Use Legacy Menu - No

In my system in clear skies it gives me 45fps solid about 1000 ft off the ground at Wave Break Island in Australia in the Carenado Mooney. With Storm weather it hangs above 40 fps, in real world weather it drops to about 38 fps. Which is all quite reasonable.

In MSFS’ VR Settings:

Everything is on Ultra and Maxxed out except for:

Trees = Low
Ground Vegetation = Low
Glass Cockpit Refres = Low

Having both grass and tress on low gives a few FPS increase which helps.

What I did notice was when I was running SteamVR at 100% I could get CPU was limiting performance, but with the setting at 500% the CPU was freed up and heavy processing was pushed onto the GPU. Totally counter intuitive that increasing the resolution would boost performance.

Now if I can only figure out if SteamVR or PiTool updated last night that introduced some black dashed vertical lines in MSFS VR I’ll be happy.

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Eureka moment #2

Today I was getting all set up with OG Vive 1.0 base stations and in the midst of getting 12 DOF all set up, I came across the NVIDIA game filters, and decided to turn on the “Sharpening +” filter and to my surprise it brought everything into such clarity that I can finally read my mach speed on the DC Designs F-14’s HUD and also the MFD below. This hadn’t been possible before with all the other settings.

So all of the above post, plus “Sharpening +” NVIDIA GeForce Game Filter (I put the top slider to 100% and the bottom slider I left at default, I can’t seem to pull up the actual setting in the NIVIDA settings at the moment, but this is one setting you’ll want to turn on!

Now if only I can fully resolve the white flashing issues in VR. Seems like it’s a bug in the VR code, as it affects all VR headsets

P.S. I haven’t tried the Varjo Aero but I’m pretty sure this will make the 5K Super just about as good with visual clarity but with 140.3 degrees FOV

About flashing issue… Did you try to turn off Bloom in FS settings? I had white/gray flashing issue an turning off bloom fixed it,

I turned it off which helped a fair bit but not perfectly in high density areas. Could be a vram issue at that point.

Thanks Hollywood for sharing your advice! Could you tell us more about your NVIDIA settings?