Thanks to its IPS panel with wide viewing angles, vibrant colors, and quick response time, the MSI MAG251RX is the perfect monitor for those who are as serious about gaming as they are about work (or just good image quality).
Plus, you get plenty of additional features such as certified G-SYNC compatibility, Motion Blur Reduction, a height-adjustable stand, and rich connectivity options.
The MSI MAG251RX is a 24.5″ 1080p 240Hz gaming monitor based on an IPS panel with vibrant colors, wide viewing angles, quick pixel response time, and plenty of additional useful gaming features!
It’s the perfect monitor for those who enjoy competitive fast-paced games but also want gorgeous colors for content creation and/or more immersive picture quality.
The MSI MAG251RX is based on an IPS (AHVA) panel by AU Optronics with 178° wide viewing angles, a 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, ~100% sRGB color gamut, 1080p resolution, and 10-bit color depth support.
These specifications can be found in more affordable IPS displays as well, but what makes the MSI MAG251RX monitor stand out is the high 240Hz refresh rate and rapid 1ms pixel response time.
So, not only do you get vibrant, accurate, and consistent colors, you also get incredible motion clarity in fast-paced video games with next-to-none ghosting or motion blur.
The wide viewing angles will also make sure that the picture stays perfect regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.
While the 1920×1080 resolution may look somewhat outdated next to the other specs, it will provide you with a decent pixel density on the 24.5″ viewable screen of the MSI MAG251RX.
With roughly 90 pixels per inch, you get a decent amount of screen real estate while text and details are reasonably sharp and clear.
More importantly, such ‘low’ resolution will allow you to maintain high frame rates in the competitive titles, which will ensure buttery smooth performance with low input lag and fluid motion.
The monitor has minimal IPS glow and excellent calibration out of the box, though these things can vary across different units of the display.
Lastly, the MSI MAG251RX supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and carries VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification, which is essentially meaningless.
Since the monitor lacks wide color gamut and local dimming, among other things, HDR content won’t look any better. In other words, you can ignore its ‘HDR support’ as it doesn’t improve the picture quality, nor does it increase the display’s price; the monitor just has the ability to accept the HDR10 signal.
The input lag of the MSI MAG251RX is just below 3ms, so you won’t be able to see or feel any delays.
MSI specifies a pixel response time speed of 1ms GtG, which is a bit exaggerated, but all monitor manufacturers do this.
Even the fastest TN panels with sub-1ms GtG response time don’t really have an average pixel response time of 1ms GtG.
Either way, the actual response time of the MSI MAG251RX is fast enough to remove most trailing behind fast-moving objects.
There are three response time overdrive options (Normal, Fast, Fastest), which you will have to change according to your in-game FPS (Frames Per Second).
In games where you can maintain constant 200-240FPS+, use the Fastest option for minimal ghosting.
When playing more demanding games and your FPS sits around ~100-180FPS, the ‘Fast’ preset will work better as there will be less pixel overshoot.
Finally, the MSI MAG251RX uses a flicker-free backlight, and it has an integrated low-blue light filter, so you can game for hours without straining your eyes.
Thanks to the AMD FreeSync technology and NVIDIA-certified G-SYNC compatibility, you can enjoy completely tear-free gameplay with both AMD and NVIDIA compatible graphics cards.
FreeSync/G-SYNC allows the monitor to change its refresh rate dynamically to match GPU’s frame rates. As a result, screen tearing and stuttering are eliminated without significant input lag penalty.
The MSI MAG251RX FreeSync range is 48-240Hz, meaning that LFC is supported as well.
Alternatively, you can use the Anti Motion Blur technology which can strobe the backlight of the monitor at up to 240Hz to further eliminate the perceived motion blur in fast-paced games.
However, while Anti Motion Blur is active, the screen’s maximum brightness is reduced, and you cannot use it at the same time as FreeSync/G-SYNC.
Other gaming features include Night Vision (improves visibility of objects in shadows by altering the gamma curvature), Screen Assistance (custom crosshairs), a refresh rate tracker, and pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, etc.).
While you get the standard picture adjustment tools such as contrast, brightness, sharpness, and color temperature, there are no gamma presets nor 6-axis hue/saturation adjustments.
Using MSI’s Gaming OSD App, you can adjust most of the OSD (On-Screen Display) settings in a desktop application, though the 5-way joystick at the back of the monitor is very quick and easy to use too.
At the back of the monitor, there’s also an RGB LED strip with customizable lighting colors and patterns which can be synced with the rest of the MSI Mystic Light compatible peripherals.
Design & Connectivity
You can elevate the screen of the monitor up to 130mm and tilt it by -5°/20°, but you cannot swivel or pivot the screen. Alternatively, you can mount the screen via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.
The monitor has a matte anti-glare coating, which eliminates reflections and ultra-thin bezels ideal for multi-monitor setups.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C (with DP 1.2 Alt Mode and 15W Power Delivery, but no data transmission), a headphone jack and four USB 3.0 ports (1 upstream + 3 downstream ports at the left side of the monitor).
Note that power delivery is only supported when the monitor’s brightness is set to 90 or less.
FreeSync works up to 240Hz over both HDMI and DisplayPort.
Price & Similar Monitors
The MSI MAG251RX goes for ~$350.
We recommend the ViewSonic XG2431 instead as it has a much better implemented backlight strobing technology for the same price.
If you’re not interested in MBR, you can save up to $100 by going with the Dell S2522HG.
Visit our best FPS gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals currently available.
While the MSI MAG251RX offers an enjoyable fast-paced gaming experience, there are better 240Hz models available at this price range.
|Resolution||1920×1080 (Full HD)|
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Response Time (GtG)||1ms (GtG)|
|Response Time (Anti Motion Blur)||1ms (MPRT)|
|Adaptive Sync||FreeSync (48Hz-240Hz)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, USB-C|
|Other Ports||3x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 (static)|
|Colors||1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)|
- Vibrant and accurate colors
- Wide viewing angles
- Quick response time
- FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz
- Height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options
- Design lacks swivel and pivot options
- IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)