MSI Optix MAG241C Review: Curved 144hz 1Ms Gaming Monitor9/10 (Expert Score)
- 23.6″ Curved VA panel (1920 x 1080 Full HD)
- Refresh rate : 144 Hz; Response time : 1ms
- Wide Viewed Angle with 1500R Curvature
- Blue Light Reduction and Anti-Flicker Technology
- Supported by MSI Exclusive monitor configuration software – MSI OSD App
MSI Optix MAG241c Review
The MSI Optix MAG241C curved gaming monitor is, as the name suggests, a curved gaming monitor that has plenty of great features for an affordable price. As a gaming monitor, you can expect higher gaming performance, a 144 Hz refresh rate and a better viewing angle – but how much better, exactly? This MSI Optix MAG241C review should tell you everything you need to know.
What Is the MSI Optix MAG241C?
The MSI Optix MAG241C curved gaming monitor is curved for a reason: a higher viewing angle. The curved gaming monitor design means that you are seeing more of it in your peripheral vision, something that has become fairly popular in more modern gaming monitors due to the extra gameplay immersion and gaming performance it can offer during serious or competitive play. While you might think this contributes to eye strain, it could technically remove some glare from the viewing angles and make sure that you aren’t struggling to read on-screen information. This anti-glare design is great for gaming near windows or light sources.
Why is it curved?
Although the curved-panel type monitors aren’t always easy to adapt to, it can make for some very effective gaming monitors – the curved display has arrived, and it is not going away any time soon. HIs particular curved display has a curvature rate of 1500r, making it suitable for a multi-display setup to get a better overall gameplay experience and manage multiple screens of information at once. This 1500r curvature is roughly exactly where it should be: 1500r is curved enough to feel comfortable without being too flat to offer no benefits at all.
The MSI Optix MAG241C is meant to give you much more of a viewing angle without actually being a bigger monitor, something that a handful of MSI monitors already do.
MSI, or Micro-Star International, is a very popular technology and hardware company. Based in Taiwan, MSI has continued to make excellent-quality computer parts that each have thousands of review articles on the internet, with consistent quality that has made MSI almost a household name at this point. MSI have existed for just under 35 years and are continuing to create new products, with the MSI Optix MAG241C being a recent addition to their product lines.
MSI don’t always sell products directly, and often sell them through other seller companies instead. This means that you will often have to look elsewhere to find MSI products, although you can at least find lists of their official sellers on their site if you look in the right places.
It is difficult to not be familiar with MSI, and your computer may already have some of their products inside it, even if you don’t know it. However, this also means that they are copied often, so watch out for copycat or bootleg MSI Optix MAG241C models being sold for a far lower price on shady sites.
The viewing angle on offer doesn’t interfere with the screen size, frame rates, high refresh rate, or even the amount of input lag you get. Image quality is still the same, and you can reach 1920 x 1080 perfectly fine. The only difference is that the display panel, and the LED panel under it, are curved to provide a unique view angle for the gaming display.
Thanks to the excellent static contrast ratio (3000:1), the picture quality of this gaming monitor is higher than usual, even when dealing with deep black colours. This contrast ratio works well alongside a brightness 300 cd/m2 in terms of luminance, which should generally be suitable for most users. This contrast can cause ghosting issues with darker pixels, but this is an easy fix – the monitor itself is designed to prevent ghosting, even if the contrast isn’t the cause.
This is a static contrast ratio, so it can’t be changed directly, but there are other ways around it with the right pieces of software.
An extended colour gamut allows it to produce a wider range of colours than regular monitors, and these vibrant shades make for a much more immersive gaming experience regardless of what you are playing. This colour gamut covers 90% DCI-P3 and 115% sRGB colour space, meaning that it is very close to 100% DCI-P3 colour.
The monitor has 4:3/16:9 aspect ratio selection features on a VA panel type. As you would expect, the MSI Optix MAG241C is a widescreen monitor – not mentioning that in this review would be a huge mistake. Naturally, you can still adjust the ratio yourself if you need to, but the MSI Optix MAG241C is designed primarily for those two aspect ratios.
At 24 inches in size, a standard 1920 x 1080 resolution means that you are getting a pixel density of around 93.34 pixels per inch, meaning that it is impossible to see the individual pixels from a normal sitting distance. This actually means that FHD high resolution can reach higher framerates than using 1440p, something that not every monitor is capable of. Since you can have the MSI Optix MAG241C run at either 4:3 or 16:9, you get to decide exactly which resolution you want to use on the MSI Optix MAG241C.
The VA panel, combined with the view angle leads to much better quality regardless of viewing settings since the panel works well alongside the motion blur removal options. It serves as a good compromise between TN and IPS panels, which fits nicely with the middling sale price.
The MSI Optix MAG241C is compatible with Full HD, although depending on your high refresh rate and overall frame rates, you may choose to ignore Full HD features. Generally, the gaming monitor will support Full HD as long as you can reach it properly.
At a 144 Hz refresh rate, the monitor has an excellent refresh rate. 144 Hz is usually said to be the best option for competitive gaming, giving you an advantage over 60 Hz players. This 144Hz refresh rate can technically be achieved at a lower frame rate through the FreeSync 1500r features, but it isn’t a true 144Hz refresh rate.
Response time can be the point of failure for many gaming monitor designs, but not the MSI Optix MAG241C. It averages around 4ms or 1ms with MPRT.
The 1ms MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) technology allows it to insert a black frame between every actual frame through backlight strobing with an LED panel, essentially cutting motion blur in half at the cost of some brightness adjustment options. It is an optional feature (that you need to be set at 75Hz to activate), so if you don’t need the extra response time, monitor settings can be adjusted to turn it off.
Like most good gaming monitors, the MSI Optix MAG241C has very low input lag.
Alongside the prevention of eye strain through the curved screen, you also have a less-blue-light filter and a flicker-free design that prevents unexpected brightness changes. Expect a constant brightness 300 cd/m2 with no sudden flickers or rapid adjustments beyond your control.
The MSI Optix MAG241C goes for around £160-£220 depending on where you buy it from, although some sites will price the MSI Optix MAG241C lower or higher depending on where they are based and what extra fees might be involved in shipping it. This price isn’t so bad for a gaming monitor, and it can be a far lower price than many other designs that don’t offer the same features.
Key Features & Specs
AMD FreeSync-compatible AMD graphics cards can activate the AMD FreeSync adaptive sync feature to eliminate screen tearing and other refresh rate issues, although it has a set maximum refresh rate: 144HZ. This cannot be used at the same time as 1ms MPRT. AMD FreeSync can be turned on or off as you please. If you dip below your normal FPS levels, 144Hz refresh rate is artificially created to try and make everything run smoothly.
The design has multiple connection options: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 1 .4 ports, 1 x headphone jack and 2 x USB ports as part of a USB 2 .0 hub system. All of the display connectors can support the FreeSync feature as long as it is available. The HDMI 1. 4 ports are still compatible with HDMI 2.0 connections.
The display port is becoming increasingly popular, so it is nice to see it here too, but the USB 2 .0 helps a lot too. The 1 x headphone jack means that you don’t need to plug your headphones into the PC tower, something that not many monitors do.
The On-Screen Display (OSD) feature of the gaming monitor lets you tweak your settings, either using your normal keyboard and mouse, the Android MSI Optix software, or an OSD joystick on the back of the MSI Optix MAG241C. This menu allows you to tweak your MSI Optix MAG241C to various presets for maximum gaming performance across multiple genres, and you can even alter the response time: response time settings vary from Normal to Fastest (with Fastest turning on 1ms MPRT automatically).
This OSD joystick opens up multiple shortcuts. Moving it up activates the Game Menu, down gives you six gaming crosshairs to choose from, left sets an alarm clock and right opens up an input source tool.
Pros and Cons
Like all monitors, the MSI Optix MAG241C has good points and bad points. The main pros include:
- Wide colour gamut with excellent contrast features.
- Perfect for viewing content or playing games without ghosting or motion blur.
- Multiple USB ports.
- Uses a curved monitor design that is relatively easy to adapt to.
- Fairly good price for a monitor like this.
However, some of the most notable cons include:
- Tilt-only monitor adjustment.
- Ghosting can still happen around darker pixels, even for the monitor price that you paid to try and lessen it.
- The price can be higher than some other monitor options.
- No sRGB preset option.
What About Review Info?
Reviews and comments about the monitor may differ since everybody has their own opinion on the monitor and whether it was worth the price. Some reviews say that the ghosting remained a common problem, while other reviews are all positive and say that there were no issues at all. Whether or not you believe either side of the reviews is your own choice – feel free to start looking at the reviews yourself if you want more first-hand accounts and opinions, since there are many customer reviews for the monitor all across the internet.
The MSI Optix MAG241C is a unique monitor with high image quality and a fairly affordable sale price, making it a suitable choice for people who are getting back into gaming and need something far stronger to improve their experience. The contrast differences between this and other monitors of a similar price are something you can’t easily ignore, while, and it is easy to see why a lot of the review posts about the MSI Optix MAG241C are positive all the way through.
Does it have problems? Technically, you could get something better in terms of size and overall performance for the same price, but the unique features on the MSI Optix MAG241C make it an amazing choice for dealing with various fast-paced games. Combine that with the curved design, something that the MSI Optix MAG241C does perfectly, and the price is well worth it for a monitor like this.
Where to Buy It
You can’t buy the MSI Optix MAG241C from the MSI site directly and have to go through other sellers. This can make it harder to find the MSI Optix MAG241C than you might expect, but for the purposes of this review, keep in mind that the MSI Optix MAG241C can be priced differently depending on the seller. Other details, like the cookies used by the sites, will also change.
MSI Optix MAG241C Review: Curved 144hz 1Ms Gaming Monitor Prices
|Price history for MSI Optix MAG241C Curved Gaming Monitor 23.6 Inch, Full HD, VA, 144 Hz, 1ms, 1920 x 1080, 1500R, DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 2x USB, AMD FreeSync|
Specification: MSI Optix MAG241C Review: Curved 144hz 1Ms Gaming Monitor