MSI Optix MAG241C Review: 1080p 144Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

msi mag241c review

Introduction

Want an affordable 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor that doesn’t have a TN panel with poor viewing angles and color quality?

The MSI Optix MAG241C is a 24″ curved display with a high-contrast VA panel, AMD FreeSync, and the 1ms MPRT technology.

Furthermore, it’s got a modern slim design, plenty of exclusive features, and it’s fairly priced!

Image Quality

The MSI MAG241C is based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel which boasts a higher contrast ratio than other panel types (IPS and TN). The contrast ratio is responsible for the relation between the darkest and the brightest shades.

With a 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, the MSI monitor delivers deeper blacks than IPS and TN monitors with a usual contrast ratio of 1,000:1. This also makes details in shadows more vivid.

Moving on, the MSI Optix MAG241C curved gaming monitor offers an extended color gamut covering 90% DCI-P3 and 115% sRGB color space.

While the colors aren’t as accurate and consistent as that of IPS panels, they are vibrant and rich nonetheless which in addition to the high contrast makes for an immersive and captivating picture quality in games and movies.

Since the MSI Optix MAG241C screen is only 24″ in size, 1080p resolution provides a decent pixel density of 93.34 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) which is enough to make pixels individually indistinguishable when looking at the monitor from a normal viewing distance.

Moreover, Full HD resolution is still considered as the standard and it will make reaching high frame rates much easier on your PC than 1440p.

1ms MPRT Technology

msi optix mag241cr

Response time speed is the Achilles’ heel of VA panel monitors. Because the panel produces such deep blacks, it takes longer for the pixels to change into lighter shades. So, when the picture is mostly dark, there will be prominent smearing and ghosting of fast-moving objects.

Now, this is entirely tolerable for some gamers, but competitive FPS players may find it too distracting which is the main reason why they go for faster TN panel gaming monitors instead.

The MSI Optix MAG241C, however, has a solution for this called the 1ms MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) technology.

Using the backlight strobing method where a black frame is inserted between each actual frame, the monitor can notably reduce the perceived motion blur.

This technology has its downsides though. The screen becomes less bright without the ability to adjust the brightness level and what’s more, backlight strobing cannot work at the same time as variable refresh rate/AMD FreeSync.

So, remember to enable 1ms MPRT only when playing fast-paced competitive games; otherwise, leave it turned off. The MSI Optix MAG241C 24″ 1080p monitor will have to be set to at least 75Hz in order to enable 1ms MPRT.

Performance

There’s no excessive backlight bleeding nor any dead pixels; the wide 178-degree viewing angles ensure no color and contrast shifts when looking at the monitor from skewed angles, and the MSI Optix MAG241C input lag amounts to less than 5ms which is fit for hardcore gaming.

You can game for hours without worrying about your eyes as the monitor has a flicker-free screen and a built-in low blue light filter.

If you enjoy fast-paced competitive games, a 144Hz refresh rate is a must-have. Besides making the gameplay more immersive and enjoyable, it gives you a slight edge over your opponents with regular screens as your picture refreshes more than twice as fast.

AMD FreeSync

msi optix mpg27cq

If you have a FreeSync-compatible graphics card by AMD, you can make the monitor’s refresh rate change dynamically, according to GPU’s frame rates which will eliminate screen tearing and stuttering.

The MSI Optix MAG241C FreeSync range is 48-144Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second). But, even when your FPS dips below 48, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) technology will increase (multiply by) the display’s refresh rate (at 47FPS, you get 141Hz) in order to maintain smoother performance.

As already mentioned, FreeSync and 1ms MPRT cannot work at the same time.

Update: FreeSync also works without any issues when using a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card.

Features

optix mag271cr

The OSD (On-Screen Display) is very user-friendly and it has plenty of useful settings. You can adjust the settings via the OSD joystick placed at the back of the monitor or via a desktop application using your keyboard and mouse. You can even adjust some settings using an Android MSI Optix software.

In the OSD menu, you will find FPS, RTS, RPG, Racing, and one customizable picture preset under the Game Mode settings. Next, there’s the Black Tuner feature which increases visibility in dark areas in video games.

Under the Response Time settings, there are three modes including Normal, Fast, and Fastest. Setting it to ‘Fastest’ automatically enables Anti Motion Blur which is the 1ms MPRT technology.

While not in the OSD menu, the joystick can be used as a hotkey for certain shortcuts: ‘up’ opens the Game Menu settings, ‘down’ provides you with six different crosshairs, ‘left’ allows you to set an alarm clock, and ‘right’ changes the input source.

Other features include the standard settings such as brightness, contrast, and sharpness as well as an Eye Saver mode, 4:3/16:9 aspect ratio selection, and RGB color settings.

While the MSI MAG241C has saturated colors covering 115% of the sRGB gamut which makes the colors more vibrant and lifelike, it lacks a picture profile such as ‘sRGB’ which would limit the color reproduction to 100% sRGB. This may be a problem for those who require accurate color representation for graphic design and other color-critical tasks.

Design & Connectivity

msi optix mag241c amazon

The design is clearly gamer-inspired but not over the top. The bezels are very thin which along with the aggressive 1500R curvature makes the MSI Optix MAG241C 144Hz gaming monitor ideal for a multi-display setup.

Alas, the stand is tilt-only, but it’s VESA mount compatible for third-party monitor stands. There’s also a hanger for the headphones and an anti-glare screen coating.

Connectivity includes DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 1.4 ports, a headphones jack, and a dual USB 2.0 hub. All display connectors support FreeSync with a 48-144Hz dynamic range.

Price & Similar Monitors

The MSI Optix MAG241C price is around $200.

We recommend checking out the AOC C24G1 which is based on the same panel. It doesn’t have as wide color gamut, but it has a better MBR implementation for less motion blur. It also has a more ergonomic design and it’s much better, it can be found for as low as $145.

You can also get a good 24″ 1080p 144Hz gaming monitors with an IPS panel at this price range such as the Acer VG240YP or the AOC 24G2. These models don’t have as high contrast, but they have even better colors and faster response time.

If you don’t care much about image quality and just want the best performance in competitive FPS games, check out the AOC G2590FX.

The MAG241C is also available as a 27″ model, the MSI MAG271C. We don’t recommend getting 27″ 1080p monitors due to low pixel density. You pay more, yet you get a less clear image quality.

There are numerous variants of the MAG241C available, all of which we’ll break down in the table below. Only the specs that are different are included.

MSI Monitor

Adjustable Stand Height

Stand swivel

Mystic Light RGB

sRGB Gamut

HDMI Max Refresh Rate

Screen Curvature

MAG241C

No

No

No

115%

144Hz

1500R

MAG241CR

Yes

No

Yes

115%

144Hz

1500R

MAG24C

Yes

Yes

No

110%

120Hz

1800R

MAG240VC

Yes

Yes

No

110%

120Hz

1800R

MAG24MVC

Yes

Yes

No

110%

120Hz

1800R

G24C

No

No

No

110%

120Hz

1800R

Conclusion

While the Optix MAG241C is an excellent gaming monitor, MSI will have to lower its price in order for it to be even considered as an alternative to the AOC C24G1 and the mentioned 144Hz IPS-panel models.

MSI Optix MAG241C Specifications

Screen Size23.6-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time (GtG)4ms (GtG)
Response Time (Backlight Strobing)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 1.4
Other Ports2x USB 2.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros

  • Wide color gamut and high contrast
  • 1ms MPRT effectively deals with ghosting
  • Eye-catching thin-bezel curved design
  • Plenty of gaming features such as FreeSync
  • USB ports

The Cons

  • Tilt-only design
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly where dark pixels are predominant
  • There are better alternatives at this price range
  • No sRGB preset
MSI Optix MAG241C Review
  • 8.7/10
    Design - 8.7/10
  • 8.8/10
    Display - 8.8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performance - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Price/Value - 9/10
8.8/10

Summary

The MSI Optix MAG241C offers an enjoyable gaming performance thanks to its high refresh rate, low input lag, and a quick 1ms MPRT speed. At the same time, it delivers an outstanding image quality with punchy colors, high contrast, and a curved display.

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