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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD Review: Speed, Quality and Pro Aspirations

MSI's Optix MPG321UR-QD is a 32-inch Ultra HD gaming monitor with Esports cred and professional aspirations.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Shutterstock, MSI)

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The MPG321UR-QD wisely limits its SDR brightness peak to 424 nits. Therefore, there is no need for greater output in SDR mode. It’s better to save that brightness for HDR where we measured over 700 nits. Black levels are just average among IPS panels and result in a native contrast ratio of 955.5:1.

After Calibration to 200 nits

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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Calibration in this case consisted of setting output to 200 nits. We didn’t employ the custom color temp because it limited brightness to 160 nits, too low for a fair comparison. The Normal color temp was accurate enough and it allowed us greater flexibility in setting the backlight to a proper and comfortable level. There is no visible change in black levels or contrast. They remain average for the IPS category.

ANSI contrast was slightly disappointing thanks to the brighter areas at the bottom of the screen. They lowered the score a bit from the static value, but the real-world image is still a good one, mainly thanks to the MPG321UR-QD’s extreme color saturation. We’ll talk about that on the next page.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
  • asianjabbachoy
    i have a M32U-SA 32in UHD . what are the differences between these two? to me it seems only difference is the HDR 600 and the RGB in the back of the monitor - can anybody see any other differnce? color accuracy is very similar but the MSI optix seems to have a bigger color gamut? is that noticeable? is it worth the $135 premium i paid for the M32U?
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Lets see.
    Edge lit.
    Poor contrast ratio.
    Brightness not impressive.
    Poor screen uniformity.

    No way in hades I'd pay $900 for this.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    E-sports gamers won't be bothered with UHD monitors. What they want is high frame rates, couple with high refresh rate. I feel most will get a 1440p monitor for gaming if they want to step up from 1080p. The performance lost at UHD is too great, and especially so for fast pace games.
    And when I see edge LED lit, I am not hopeful of good HDR performance. You get very bright backlight @ 600 nits, but it generally lights up the entire screen. So till mini LED or OLED monitors become more mainstream, I think people buying LED lit monitor should not be looking at HDR as the main reason to buy a monitor.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    From the Article: "modern video cards can easily wring 200 fps or more from FHD and QHD screens. Does that matter? Oh yes, it does. Even casual gamers can easily see that difference. "
    I'd lay money that, in a properly-constructed double-blind test, 95% of gamers, casual, expert, or even professional eSports gamers, could not identify the difference between a 140hz and 200hz frame rate, or even between 140 and 360hz.
    Reply