MSI Optix MPG341CQR Ultrawide Curved Monitor (review)

MSI knows the importance of being able to see everything when you’re playing video games. Their latest monitor, the Optix MPG341CQR, is one of the first VA-panel ultrawide gaming monitors with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and a native refresh rate of 144Mhz. It’s designed to give gamers, both casual and professional, an enhanced viewing experience when loading up their favorite games. We had the opportunity to try out their ultrawide monitor for the last few weeks to see how it truly stands out. 

Design

MSI brought all the aesthetics with the Optix MPG341CQR Ultrawide Curved Monitor (see it on Amazon), bringing a 34-inch panel size with a curvature of 1800R, with an almost completely bezel-less design. Supporting the monitor is a base with three legs that consist of a shorter rear leg, and two elongated legs that provide much of the support. The base mount is thick and allows for the monitor to be rotated at 30/-30-degrees, height adjustment can go up to 100mm, and can be tilted at -5/15-degrees.

To make the monitor fit with any players’ gaming setup, MSI included an LED light strip on both the front and back of the monitor. The lights can be used in coordination with compatible games, to give you in-game alerts via the RGB LED lighting that can be used to give players a competitive edge. 

On the back of the monitor, there’s a small 5-way joystick that opens up the monitor’s settings. The joystick feels great and is easy to control and maneuver, and has a very responsive click for you to make your selections. Moving the joystick in certain directions will open up a quick access menu for fast adjustments, instead of having to scroll through all the settings.

Connectivity

The ultrawide monitor is equipped with multiple ports to expand gamers’ options. For video, the monitor provides two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4, and one USB type-C that can be used as a DisplayPort alternative. When it comes to USB, you’ll get three 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and one 3.2 Gen 1 Type-B port that is intended as a PC to monitor connection. Audio will get one port for earphones, one microphone in, and one audio combo jack. As an added bonus, MSI has added a camera mounting bracket, headset hanger, and a mouse bungee to make cable management easier. 

If you want to take advantage of the monitors 144Hz refresh rate, it’s best recommended that you use the DisplayPort or the USB Type-C port, as both will be able to provide you with the maximum refresh rate. If you’re using the HDMI ports, then you’ll be capped at a 100Hz refresh rate.

Performance

As one of the first ultrawide VA-panel monitors, image quality for gaming is outstanding. With a stark contrast ratio of 3000:1, you’ll get really deep blacks that are well balanced with highlights that are not overly blown out. With a DCI-P3 color space of 84%(SRGB 105%) makes video games look extremely vibrant, while a 3440×1440 resolution and a pixel density of 110-PPI will give those games the added detail and sharpness that video games deserve. 

With an aspect ratio of 21:9, there’s definitely a lot of screen real estate to increase your field of view during gaming and general productivity use. This expanded ultrawide view gave games such as Rainbow 6 Siege a visual enhancement that allowed me to see more than I typically would with previous standard monitors.  Did it make me a better player? Not necessarily, but it does give you a small advantage against other players as you can now see more in your peripheral vision.

The ultrawide aspect was truly beneficial when I would use it for video editing. The bigger landscape allowed me to set up and organize my Adobe Premiere Pro workspace in such a way that I didn’t need to use a secondary monitor. Everything I needed from an expansive video timeline to my color correction and video effects panels was all centrally located that was easy for me to find and use.

To see how the monitor truly performs during gaming, we played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as the game is ladened with great graphics and intensive action. For those heavier sequences of action, at times we did notice a bit of ghosting, which can be predominately seen in darker areas. This, of course, can be truly seen by those with a really keen eye, but if you’re concentrating on your gaming and the experience, you’ll rarely see any occurrence of ghosting, which for us, really wasn’t bothersome. 

MSI has included an Anti-Motion Blur that can be toggled on or off in the monitor’s OSD menu. Is ghosting is problematic for gamers, activating the Anti-Motion Blur will strobe the backlight of the monitor in an attempt to reduce the amount of Ghosting that can be seen. 

Features

The monitor features a handful of options that can be accessed through the MSI OSD gaming app or on the in-monitor settings. This gives gamers the option to dial in all the settings they need to optimize their gaming. Aside from the standard brightness, contrast, and sharpness settings, you also have the choice to set the monitor to be efficient for gaming or professional work. Gamers can choose to set the monitor to the type of game you’re playing, such as FPS, racing, RPG, or RTS games. FPS gamers can also benefit from the screen assistance options, that will place a crosshair in the center of the monitor to help you out during gunfights. 

MSI knows that with a monitor such as this, gamers will be spending a lot of hours in front of it, just as we did. So for good measure, MSI integrated a “Less Blue Light” filter to help reduce the amount of eye strain and headaches due to the extended use of screen time.

Final Reaction

If you’ve ever had the feeling that you needed to expand your field of view for gaming, the MSI Optix MPG341CQR monitor is an option to increase your possibilities. This 34-inch ultrawide monitor offers more than just an expansive field of view, as well as a handful of features that upgrade your overall gaming experience. A VA-panel with a 144Mhz refresh rate and a response time of 1ms, games will look sharp, clean, and dynamic, with a tad bit of ghosting in fast-paced action riddled games. Contrast is deep and colors are vivid, though, during graphical or video work, we found that the monitor suffers in color accuracy, especially with skin tones. Retailing at $799, the monitor is pretty expensive for casual gamers, but still, with cheaper options available, the MSI Optix MPG341CQR is a monitor that should be highly considered if you’ve ever contemplated switching to an ultrawide monitor. 

Score: 4.5/5 Atoms

 

 

 

*The Optix MPG341CQR was provided by MSI for review purposes

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Arvin Santiago
Arvin Santiago 374 posts

Photo/Video Enthusiast and Escape Room "Semi-Professional"