MSI Optix MAG24C Gaming Monitor Review: Premium Contrast At a Budget Price

Conclusion

MSI has stepped up to the plate with the Optix MAG24C. For less than $250, you get 144Hz and FreeSync, which should be enough for most users to stop contemplating and pull out their wallets. But wait, there’s more. A high-quality, high-contrast VA panel is the icing on the cake, with a cherry on top. We were extremely impressed with the image quality delivered. 3000:1 contrast is not just a small improvement over IPS or TN. It’s a major upgrade.

The only missing items are minor. There are no speakers or USB ports. Design is gamer-oriented, but there are no fancy lighting effects or molded textures in the chassis. You get a nice pair of red LED strips around back that glow softly, but that’s about it for the MAG24C’s aesthetics. We don’t mean to imply that it’s plain, but some users may want hardware that makes a bolder visual statement.

You also won’t get a ton of extra gaming features. The overdrive works but disables the brightness control, so we consider it unavailable. But that’s not a problem with the MAG24C’s frame rates. When operating over 100Hz, blur simply wasn’t an issue. Ultimately, you may not be left wanting in this regard.

The only thing we wish MSI would add is an sRGB mode. Though it handles color smartly for an extended-gamut monitor. The best fidelity in nearly all content comes from accurate sRGB color reproduction. The MAG24C is a DCI panel that hits most, but not all, sRGB gamut target. This may be a problem for those who demand ultimate accuracy. But the silver lining is that if MSI were to add HDR in the future, the panel is already capable enough in both the color and contrast departments.

The final message here is check out the MAG24C’s amazing contrast. While some may wish for higher resolution, this 24-inch FHD screen offers plenty of detail while delivering high frame rates with cheap video cards and more depth than any IPS or TN screen can muster. That is the crowning feature here and the reason why we’re so impressed with what MSI is offering for less than $250. The Optix MAG24C is highly recommended.

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16 comments
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  • Mark Broker
    I had to RMA two of the QHD monitors. First one didn't POST the day after I received it. The second one entered some sort of diagnostics mode instead of sleep after about three weeks of use (the MSI service rep I spoke to said that issue had never been reported before). I went with a Samsung instead of trying my luck with a third.
  • darth_adversor
    This may not be the best place to ask this question, but this monitor checks all the boxes for me and I'm seriously considering picking one up.

    Is it possible to run this through a home theater receiver (via HDMI for audio), but still utilize the display port? I realize that's an unusual setup, but I've got a spare receiver and set of speakers, and at this point, I don't think I could go back to computer speakers.
  • Schaden81
    I've been using for for about 2 months now, and I find it fantastic. I have it paired with an RX470 4Gb, so for most most of the game I play I'm in the 70-100fps range. It works perfectly and I don't see any hint of ghosting.
    One issue I do have, and I may get an exchange unit unless I just learn to live with it, is the panel isn't perfectly level, it slopes down to the left, with about 1/4" difference edge to edge.
  • mikewinddale
    I own the MAG241C, which I think is very similar to the MAG24C. (They have all the same specs - just a different stand, and the MAG241C has USB ports.) I find the OSD to be extremely useful and convenient. Some presets are better for watching dark movies with subtle details, for example, while other presets are better for word processing. The ability to switch quickly among presets is very convenient and helpful.
  • Chaos2Theory
    Eh, just buy it.
  • BaRoMeTrIc
    659338 said:
    This may not be the best place to ask this question, but this monitor checks all the boxes for me and I'm seriously considering picking one up. Is it possible to run this through a home theater receiver (via HDMI for audio), but still utilize the display port? I realize that's an unusual setup, but I've got a spare receiver and set of speakers, and at this point, I don't think I could go back to computer speakers.

    Just run your 1/8" jack through your receiver using a 1/8" to rca adapter if your receiver doesn't have 1/8" input.
  • jasmuziek
    Thanks for the detailed review. We bought two of them!
  • prabhu2086
    Is this panel glossy or has matt screen ?
  • Elkethus
    anyone found a way to turn off the monitor? cause I cant found the button lol help
  • Elkethus
    anyone found a way to turn off this monitor lol
  • anthony.brian.campbell
    Hold the button down
  • Elkethus
    thanks sorry just saw I typed that 2 time lol thank you. Btw is there any icc profile for this monitor I feel is to white a little.
  • Elkethus
    anyone have better calibration than this my eyes hurt like hell lol?
  • apis
    Can this monitor use on dvi-d and have 144hz or we must only use dp to have 144hz.
    I dont have hdmi port on my graphic card only mini dp and dvi-d.
  • sucros3
    Thanks. Looks a lot better. :)
  • Jonathan Grove
    I just purchased the MAG241CR version yesterday and very happy with the performance and quality of the visual I'm getting, I used the review from this site as the testing was very through which helped with my decision to getting it, the only thing I can see that's different between my version and what tomhardware tested is is the USB connection to the pc which has pass-through for another device, mystic lights feature and the adjustable stand (height and screen angle) which is surprisingly heavy which means a stable platform for the screen, the USB connection is used for adjusting the screen settings on the pc or app on an android phone on the fly (which needs to be connected to the pc via wifi with software already installed for it to work).
    So thanks for doing such a very nice job on testing the screen in your review and will be keeping an eye out for more quality reviews.