So far, high-resolution, high-refresh games have been a pipe dream, but since a few 4K 144Hz monitors will come out at the end of 2021, this dream game monitor feature set seems to finally exist.
Optix MPG321UR is one of MSI’s new flagship displays, based on a long list of high-end specifications, it looks like an impressive product. It is a bit more expensive than Asus’ TUF gaming monitor VG28UQL1A or Eve Spectrum, but it is also larger, brighter and has a more impressive color gamut, which to a large extent justifies the price increase.
MSI Optix MPG321UR specifications
Panel size: 32 inches
Panel technology: IPS
Original resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
aspect ratio: 16:9
Refresh rate: 144 Hz
Response time: 1 ms GtG
High dynamic range: Visa HDR 600
colour: 97% DCI-P3
brightness: 600 cd/m2
Video input: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.1 x2, USB-C 2.0 x1
other: Nvidia G-Sync compatible
Suggested retail price: $ 999 | AUD 1,599
Optix MPG321UR is 32 inches and has a huge volume, so there will be no problems when displaying two or even three windows side by side. The resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels is sufficient to prevent any pixelation on this large screen, making it easy to work and providing excellent clarity during gaming.
This is the largest 16:9 monitor you’ve really considered putting on your desk, but the extra size means that if you like to play armchair games, it’s a viable device for your living room. In addition, if you have a next-generation game console, the HDMI 2.1 input will allow you to run current game console games at a peak 4K 120Hz output setting without having to buy a new TV.
In addition to being able to run this monitor at the full 144Hz refresh rate via DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.1 input, PC gamers will also get the benefit of G-Sync compatibility to eliminate screen tearing and other unnecessary needs for anyone using Nvidia GPU Artifacts.
Although expensive, this monitor does not have a physical G-Sync chip, but uses adaptive synchronization to achieve G-Sync compatibility. This means it will miss the variable overload technology designed to prevent ghosting and trailing of fast-moving objects. There is also no effort to build any custom variable overload functions, so you must expect that you will get these artifacts on fast-moving objects.
MSI does not seem to bother to obtain any AMD FreeSync feature certification on this monitor, which is a disappointing result for those who wish to use it with AMD GPUs.
The monitor does provide a professional-grade, gray-to-gray (GTG) response rate of less than 1 millisecond, combined with a high-resolution screen, making the game feel agile and responsive without losing ultra-high-resolution images. GTG may be a benchmark test that is easier to implement than some tests, but this level is still the fastest possible response speed of a gaming monitor, so this screen is sufficient for most elite equipment.
Optics MPG321UR obtains Vesa HDR 600 certification by providing a screen with a 600nit peak brightness, raising the screen brightness to a new level. Although this is not the 1000nit minimum required to obtain HDR certification on a TV, it does make it a beautiful choice when you sit on the sofa, and it is brighter than most monitors. Combine this with the 97% DCI-P3 color reproduction capability, and you will have an amazingly vibrant screen that is almost sufficient for professional color grading purposes.
It is mentioned here that some game viewing presets (especially racing mode) are not well calibrated and it is important to make the colors look more cartoonish than they need. There is also no mode for accurately viewing DCI-P3 or sRGB. Considering how much effort is required to obtain 97% DCI-P3 and 143% sRGB color coverage, this is a truly peculiar decision. Those who have the motivation and expertise to customize the color settings can at least calibrate it to see what they want. Only the super-saturated display room color mode is installed at the factory, which is a bit disappointing.
Although it has some screen game enhancements, including crosshairs and range filters, it is a bit lighter than some of the rival monitors in the department. As mentioned earlier, it does not have really useful gaming technologies, such as variable overload or motion blur synchronization. On the contrary, Optix MPG321UR chooses technologies such as “smart brightness”, which is just another name for adaptive brightness, but it needs to include a dedicated network Camera-the light sensor at the bottom of the screen.
MSI recommends this feature to prevent you from blinding yourself when you turn on the monitor in a dark room, and certainly some people might find this useful, but this feature can also be counterproductive due to unnecessary changes to the screen brightness-gaming .
I will take stupid brightness, thank you.
Sound Tune seems to be a rewarding “game intelligence” feature. It is said that it uses AI-trained software to eliminate unwanted background noise in incoming and outgoing communications. If you can’t avoid background noise, or you want to dull the blue switch that other people hate, this feature can be very useful.
Another rad feature of Optix MPG321UR for any advanced user is the inclusion of four KVM USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to plug in multiple computers or consoles and control them with a single controller or peripheral device. If you want to seamlessly switch between the PC, the console, and all the peripherals connected to them with a single button, this KVM compatibility will save a lot of time.
What is refreshing is that MSI is able to provide an advanced gaming device that looks softer than the usual full-throttle red gaming console. There is an RGB light strip on the back of the monitor to ensure that you can still show others that you are a gamer when you need it, but overall the MSI is almost over-corrected to the point that you will lose this light trap in a business monitor.
Considering the market it is aimed at, I don’t necessarily think that Optix MPG321UR does not include speakers as a failure, but I do want to know why, when nothing else, why not just add a pair of functional 2W drivers are working.
The only other limitation is that the huge square base is not particularly stylish at the front edge, or even too stable. It will not fall on its own or anything, but do not put it in any place where it can easily be bumped from behind.
Unfortunately, the high price and imperfect gameplay and color presets prevent it from reaching its full potential. Nonetheless, MSI’s Optix is a generous combination of high-resolution, fast gaming, and will surely provide impressive improvements to most people’s settings.
It is a bit difficult to make a broad statement of value because it varies greatly from region to region. At the time of writing, we do not have UK pricing, but in the US, the MSI Optix MPG321UR is priced at $999, which is only a few hundred dollars (20%) higher than Asus’ TUF gaming monitor VG28UQL1A. However, in Australia, the suggested retail price is A$1599, which is A$634 (40%) higher than its TUF competitor. So basically, its value in the states is okay, but it might be worth reconsidering for anyone.