msi mag251rx monitor

Bottom Line

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. Plus, you get plenty of additional features such as certified G-SYNC compatibility, Motion Blur Reduction, a height-adjustable stand, and rich connectivity options.

Design:
(4)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(5)
4.7

Introduction

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.

Image Quality

The MSI MAG251RX is based on a new 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 remains 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While the 1920×1080 resolution may look somewhat outdated next to the other specs, it will provide you with a decent pixel density on the 24.5″ viewable screen of the MSI MAG251RX.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.

Performance

The input lag of the MSI MAG251RX is just below 3ms, so you won’t be able to see or feel any delays.

Now:

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 eliminate most of trailing behind fast-moving objects.

It’s not quite as fast as some TN models such as the Acer XF252Q, so there is some minor trailing and overshoot at 240Hz.

However, it occurs rarely and you won’t even notice it unless you’re really looking for it.

So, if you’re a professional FPS gamer, a TN panel display such as the XF252Q will provide you with a better performance where every pixel and millisecond counts.

In case you’re more of a casual or semi-serious gamer, the MSI MAG251RX is for you.

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) rate.

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.

Features

msi optix mag251rx osd menu

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 in order to match GPU’s frame rates. As a result, screen tearing and stuttering is 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 in order 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

msi mag251rx back

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 headphones 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 price ranges from ~$340 to $360. It’s the most affordable 240Hz IPS gaming monitor available at the time of this writing.

Another popular 240Hz model is the ViewSonic XG270 which has premium features such as sighting shields, a more ergonomic design, and more gaming utilities such as the adjustable MBR technology.

It offers a better backlight strobing implementation with CRT-like motion clarity, but due to its 27″ sized screen, 1080p resolution results in a more pixelated picture quality.

It’s also a bit more expensive at ~$450.

Overall, both the MAG251RX and the ViewSonic XG270 are exceptional gaming monitors, so pick according to your budget and personal preference.

If you don’t care for image quality and just want the fastest 240Hz display you can get, make sure to visit our Acer XF252Q review.

Conclusion

The IPS panel of the MSI MAG251RX display provides both an exceptional pixel response time performance and gorgeous colors. So, if you’ve been looking for a monitor that you can use for both work and serious gaming, your wait is over.

MSI MAG251RX Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Response Time (Anti Motion Blur)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-240Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, USB-C
Other Ports3x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Vibrant and accurate colors
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Quick response time
  • FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel and pivot options

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