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MSI's Eye-Popping, 49-inch Curved Display Can Be Two Monitors In One

We've always said that you can never, be too rich, too thin, or have too much screen real estate, but MSI's new monitor puts that last claim to the test. At 49 inches, the Optix MAG491C provides nearly-gluttonous amount of space for playing high-end games or multitasking. Due out later this year for an estimated price of $999, this curved beauty can even fool your computer into thinking that it's two separate displays.

We had a chance to spend a few minutes playing Project Cars on the Optix MAG491C and were impressed both with the smoothness and just how easy it was to see the full screen without turning our heads. The surface is curved in just the right way so that you benefit from the width while keeping the entire image within your field of view.

The game was extremely smooth, with no ghosting or tearing evident. Perhaps that's because the MAG491C has a 144Hz refresh rate with a three millisecond response time and AMD FreeSync technology. The bright panel promises to reproduce 100% of the sRGB color gamut while outputting a luminous 400 nits of brightness.

You might think that a monitor of this size would have a 4K (or even 8K) resolution but the MAG491C has fewer vertical pixels than those standards require. It has the same 3,840 horizontal pixels as UHD, but only 1,080 vertical dots. That makes the display equivalent to putting two full HD (1920 x 1080) monitors right next to each other.

In fact, the coolest feature of the MAG491C is its ability to enter picture-by-picture mode, where it takes two separate inputs and gives each one half of the screen. So, if you really like the convenience of having dual monitors but don't like seeing an ugly bezel between them, MSI's screen could be your dream come true.

You just run two wires from your PC (or one each from different computers) into the MAG491C and Windows thinks you are connected to two, separate physical monitors. If it were a full 4K (3840 x 2160), each half would be 1920 x 2160, an odd resolution that many computers probably don't support. The MAG491C also supports picture-in-picture mode, which displays a small window with the secondary input rather than giving each input half of the panel.

Oculux NXG251 Has Crazy-High Refresh Rate

If you want the most responsive monitor you can get, you may be more excited about MSI's 25-inch Oculux NXG251. This monitor refreshes at an astounding 240Hz with an amazing 0.5ms response time. To put that in perspective, most high-speed gaming panels are running at 144Hz with a 3-5ms response time.

The NXG251 also supports Nvidia's G-Sync anti-tearing technology. With G-Sync and the high refresh rate, you can run some games at over 200 fps, without any ghosting at all.

Due out later this year, the NXG251 also provides 300 nits of brightness. In our brief time staring at the screen, colors appeared even brighter and more saturated than on the MAG491C.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectlys tated that the NXG251 had FreeSync when it actually has G-Sync.

  • Pedasc
    I don't know, a 'three-second response time' seems a tad bit high for a gaming monitor.

    You might want to edit that although I'm pretty sure we know what you mean.
    Reply
  • ko888
    That response time is a thousand times too slow for gaming or pretty much anything other than a slide show.
    Reply
  • BulkZerker
    "three-second response time"
    Bit high...

    "The NXG251 also supports Nvidia's FreeSync anti-tearing technology. With FreeSync and the high refresh rate, you can run some games at over 200 fps, without any ghosting at al"

    Well which is it freesync (making it the first freesync supporting that I know of that has a refresh that fast) or G-Sync?
    Reply
  • simfreak101
    This has exactly the same specs as the CHG90... so whats the point other than putting on someone elses name? If you want to get my money you need to up the resolution.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    21030640 said:
    That response time is a thousand times too slow for gaming or pretty much anything other than a slide show.

    That was probably a typo, since corrected:
    "a three millisecond response time"
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    If it were a full 4K (3840 x 2160), each half would be 1920 x 2160, an odd resolution that many computers probably don't support.

    My Samsung U28E590 with the same feature disagrees - both a C720 Chromebook and HD3000 integrated graphics (under Ubuntu) will happily drive it - neither of those are exactly performance powerhouses.
    Reply
  • mihen
    Not sure about a curved display. In racing and flying sims, a VR headset has proven to be more practical. In productivity, pixel deformation is an issue. Only real use case is shooters.
    Reply
  • Kaziel
    >supports Nvidia's FreeSync anti-tearing technology.

    Nope, not free, 200-300 USD for the chip by itself.

    Also, there's no information on what type of panel is used for the MAG491C, so I'm going to guess it's Samsung's VA as it looks identical to the LC49HG90.

    Lastly, the Oculux NXG251 must be a TN right?
    Reply
  • Pedasc
    I never even noticed the "Nvidia's FreeSync" error. The other reports I have seen claim it is Nvidia's G-Sync not AMD's FreeSync.
    Reply
  • TheOtherOne
    Only if it had 1440p resolution :(
    Reply