The Cooler Master GA241 is an excellent budget monitor thanks to its 100Hz refresh rate, which provides noticeable improvement to 60-75Hz displays at no additional cost. It also offers a high contrast ratio and plenty of features.
For competitive fast-paced gaming, however, we recommend investing in a faster IPS display.
The GA241 is Cooler Master’s most affordable monitor available. Even at around the $100 price range, it offers a moderately high 100Hz refresh rate for significantly smoother motion compared to the standard 60Hz/75Hz displays!
The Cooler Master GA241 is based on a 23.8″ 1080p 100Hz flat-screen VA panel with a 4,000:1 contrast ratio, a 250-nit peak brightness, true 8-bit color depth support and 95% sRGB color gamut coverage specified.
First, we’ll check out how the monitor performs out of the box with its default settings and if there are any changes we can make to improve it.
For our testing, calibration and profiling, we’re using the Datacolor SpyderX Pro paired with DisplayCAL. The testing was done after the monitor had warmed up and we disabled all eco/power-saving features.
The Cooler Master GA271 has 7 picture presets: User, Standard, Web, Text, Action, FPS and RTS.
These presets have basically identical settings with different brightness, contrast and/or Black Stabilization adjustments set as default.
Making any adjustments in a picture preset other than User will just put you back in the User mode, which also has the most accurate image out of the box, so we recommend sticking with it.
We measured an average Delta E of 2.18 (target is ≤ 1.5) and a maximum of 4.25 (target is ≤ 3), which is decent for a gaming and everyday use monitor. The color temperature is 6766K, which has a tad of a blue/cold tint to whitepoint, but it is negligible.
Gamma, on the other hand, is too low (the average is 2.04 instead of 2.2), meaning that light gray shades will be lighter than intended.
The default gamma option is Gamma 2.2, with two more options available: Gamma 1.8 and Gamma 2.4; the former makes everything even lighter, while Gamma 2.4 is too high (2.31 average) and causes dark gray shades to be too dark.
Lowering Black Stabilization to 4, 3 or 2 will improve the light grays (from 25% to 100%), but dark grays will be too dark. So, we recommend using the Gamma 2.2 mode and trying out our ICC profile linked below.
The factory calibration is overall decent for a budget monitor as there aren’t any major errors. For a full calibration, we used the User color temperature preset with reduced red gain to 46, green at default 50 and blue reduced to 39 for 6497K.
The average Delta E is reduced to 0.41 and the maximum down to 1.33, while gamma properly tracks the sRGB tone curve. You can download our ICC profile here.
Next, we measured a peak brightness of 312-nits, while the minimum was 35-nits. At 200-nits, we measured a contrast ratio of 2885:1.
The Cooler Master GA241 covers 98.7% of the sRGB color space with minor extension beyond the sRGB gamut, mainly in reds, with a 107.2% volume. As a result, you get vivid colors without noticeable over-saturation.
Unlike the 27″ sized version, the GA241 doesn’t have a dedicated Color Space option, but it’s also not necessary.
While VA panel displays have 178° specified viewing angles just like IPS technology, there are some minor gamma/saturation shifts when looking at the screen at certain angles. However, unless you plan on doing professional color-critical work, this won’t be an issue as it’s not noticeable during everyday use.
There’s no excessive VA glow or backlight bleeding and no pixel inversion, image retention or other defects. We found one dead pixel in the upper right part of the screen.
When it comes to image uniformity, the bottom part of the screen is slightly darker than the center (up to 16%), but we didn’t find this to be visible during real-world use.
The 1920×1080 Full HD resolution results in a decent pixel density on 23.8″ sized screens with 92.56 PPI (pixels per inch). Overall, you get a fair amount of screen space with reasonably sharp details and text. More importantly, the resolution isn’t as demanding on the GPU as 1440p or 4K UHD, allowing you to maintain high frame rates with a decent mid-range GPU/CPU.
As you can see, 100Hz provides a noticeable boost in motion clarity as opposed to 60Hz and 75Hz displays. We find that the difference between 100Hz and 60-75Hz is more noticeable than the difference between 100Hz and around 144Hz.
Naturally, gaming monitors with mid-range 144Hz – 180Hz refresh rates are still noticeably faster, but a lot of gamers will be perfectly fine with the 100Hz of the GA241, especially given its price.
For pixel response time speed and input lag testing, we’re using OSRTT. We’re also using Blur Buster’s UFO ghosting test with 960 Pixels Per Sec, shutter speed set to 1/4 of the refresh rate with fixed focus, ISO and color temperature (6500K). Before the tests, the monitor was calibrated and warmed up.
The Cooler Master GA241 has three response time overdrive modes: Off, Normal and Advanced.
At 100Hz, we recommend using the Advanced mode for the best performance with an 11.99ms average GtG pixel response time speed, low 2.8% overshoot error and decent 63.33% refresh rate compliance. The Advanced mode is also best in case you’re using the monitor at a fixed 60Hz.
Now, the Cooler Master GA241 supports variable refresh rate, but since it lacks a DisplayPort input, you won’t be able to use G-SYNC Compatible on NVIDIA cards – only AMD FreeSync over HDMI.
FreeSync works with a 48-100Hz range, meaning that LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is supported and even when your FPS drops below 48, the refresh rate gets multiplied (47FPS – 94Hz) to prevent screen tearing.
The overall VRR performance is smooth (unless you’re constantly hovering around 48FPS and triggering LFC on/off) and there’s no brightness flickering.
Sadly, once you enable VRR, you cannot change the overdrive mode. The option becomes locked to Normal, but with a worse performance than that of the Normal mode with VRR disabled as you get a very slow 21.79ms GtG average.
We detected the same issue with the 27″ version, the Cooler Master GA271, though you can change the overdrive on the 27″ model when using VRR with NVIDIA GPUs over DP.
Overall, we find that the amount of ghosting from having VRR on is more noticeable than screen tearing at 100Hz with VRR off, so we recommend disabling VRR unless you don’t mind slower response times.
Here’s how the ghosting looks in Blur Busters’ UFO ghosting test.
The Cooler Master GA241 also supports Motion Blur Reduction via its Motion Clearness feature, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of image brightness.
However, it uses too much brightness (limited to 48-nits) and there’s noticeable strobe crosstalk (duplicate image effect).
Lastly, the monitor has a low display lag of only 6.31ms at 100Hz and 12.36ms at 60Hz, meaning that there’s no noticeable delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
At the rear of the monitor on the right side, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD menu.
Besides the standard image settings (brightness, contrast, color temperature, input source, etc.), you’ll also find Advanced DCR, aspect ratio (full or aspect), automatic source detection, OSD settings (timeout, language, background), volume and quick start mode (skips the Cooler Master intro logo when powering on the monitor).
We recommend leaving Advanced DCR disabled – it automatically increases brightness with bright scenes and decreases it with dark scenes.
Gaming features include Black Stabilization (improves visibility in dark scenes by increasing the gamma), three crosshair overlays and a refresh rate tracker.
DDC/CI is also supported – it allows you to use third-party apps such as ClickMonitorDDC to make some monitor adjustments in a desktop app.
Apart from the three gamma modes, you’ll find five color temperature presets:
- Native – 6766K measured
- Warm – 5088K
- User – 7455K
- Bluish – 9989K
- Cool – 8033K
There’s also a low-blue light filter with 80%, 70%, 60% and 50% options, which also lock the brightness setting to 80, 75, 65 and 60, respectively, which might be too bright for dark rooms to some users. As an alternative, you can just use Windows’ Night Light feature or a third-party application, such as f.lux to reduce low-blue light.
The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless Motion Clearness is enabled).
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is tilt-only by -5°/20° and it’s a bit wobbly. However, it doesn’t take up a lot of desk space and the screen is VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm pattern.
Further, the screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without adding too much graininess to the image. The bezels are ultra-thin at the top and at the sides of the screen with a ~3mm black border before the image starts, while the bottom bezel is 15mm thick with a 2mm black border.
In the box, along with the monitor and the stand, you’ll get an external power supply, an HDMI cable, a warranty card and a quick start guide.
Connectivity options include VGA, HDMI 1.4 and a headphone jack.
Price & Similar Monitors
The Cooler Master GA241 goes for £85, but there are no plans to release it in the US at the moment. Overall, it offers good value for the money as it’s not more expensive than the 60-75Hz models yet 100Hz brings noticeable improvement in motion clarity.
If you’re in the US and want a cheap 100Hz display, Acer offers several models – all of which you can check out here.
We also have a list of all 24″ 1080p ~144Hz IPS models, in case you want to check out if any of the monitors are on sale.
Overall, the Cooler Master GA241 is an excellent budget monitor. We’re glad to see 100Hz displays slowly replacing 60-75Hz models without being more expensive.
Since it uses a VA panel with inherently slow response times, it’s not ideal for fast-paced gaming or gamers who are sensitive to ghosting – in this case, you’ll have to invest a bit more in a faster IPS display.
When it comes to everyday use and casual gaming, the GA241 will do just fine thanks to its affordable pricing, high contrast ratio and 100Hz refresh rate.
|1920×1080 (Full HD)
|Response Time (GtG)
|Response Time (Motion Clearness)
|HDMI 1.4, VGA
|16.7 million (true 8-bit)
- High contrast ratio for deep blacks
- Plenty of features, including AMD FreeSync and MBR up to 100Hz
- Tilt-only stand, a bit wobbly
- Minor ghosting in dark scenes
- Overdrive locked with AMD FreeSync