MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Well known for its range of laptops that are often very powerful and well built, the Taiwanese brand MSI also offers a wide variety of screens under the name “Optix”. Here we are testing one of the most high-end models: with its 32” 4K and 144 Hz panel, the MPG321UR-QD is cut out for video games, especially on a new generation console.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD Overview and Features

This new MSI Optix screen is high-end in more ways than one and relies on great versatility. It offers a generous diagonal of 32 inches in 16:9 and Ultra HD definition (3840×2160). Another good point: its refresh rate is high, especially for a 4K screen, since it goes up to 144 Hz. With the addition of very complete connectivity, Quantum Dot type backlighting, and a response time of 1ms, we are in front of a screen perfectly cut for video games, whether on PC or home consoles.

Diagonal 32 inches
Format 16:9
Definition 3840×2160
Curvature
Refresh rate 144Hz
Slab type IPS/QLED
HDR Yes (HDR600)
G-Sync/FreeSync Yes
connectors 2xHDMI 2.1 1xDisplayPort 7xUSB 2xJack
Speakers Nope

Buy the MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD on Amazon

Construction, design: sober and futuristic at the same time

Easy to mount out of the box, thanks to a foot that attaches very easily to the back of the panel, the MSI Optix MP32 has a design that is as sober as it is efficient. At the front, we appreciate its wide foot, but not too wide, which holds the whole thing together perfectly. The weight is substantial (14kg) but the whole remains fixed and solid once installed on a desk. The construction is entirely in plastic, but it is of good quality and there is no doubt at any time of the resistance of the panel and the foot. On the latter, a slight regret comes from the lack of support to put on a helmet, as is sometimes the case on monitors dedicated to video games.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Still at the front, the MSI Optix MP32 benefits from a particularly thin frame on the sides and top and barely wider below. A very good slab occupancy rate, which highlights the image particularly well.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

At the rear, the panel is a bit more “futuristic”, with slightly more aggressive features and, above all, a small strip of RGB lighting, which is controlled via the monitor’s OSD. We also benefit from a rather successful “striated” effect and the slightly coppery MSI logo, for a result again effective and rather sober.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series XMSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

This 32-inch model is also rather “mobile”, with a panel that pivots to the right and left up to 30°, an inclination ranging from -5° to +20° and the possibility of adjusting the height by 10 cm . On the other hand, it is impossible to switch it to “portrait” mode, which is logical given the large size of the slab.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series XMSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

On the connectivity side, the MSI Optix MP32 is a real champion. In terms of video outputs, you will be able to connect a PC and two consoles at the same time without worry, thanks to a DisplayPort 1.4a and two HDMI 2.1. It therefore supports 4K at 144 Hz without worry and you will enjoy optimal rendering on a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

This model is also lined with USB ports with three on the side and 5 below (including a DisplayPort compatible USB-C port. We also appreciate the presence of a jack for headphones and a “microphone” input. Note that this screen does not have integrated speakers, which is unfortunate given its price category.

OSD: an ultra-efficient “joystick” navigation system

Like the Samsung Odyssey G9 or the Predator X35, the MSI Optix MP32 uses a small joystick on the back for accessing and navigating its OSD. An excellent choice that makes it very easy to modify the ton of settings available within this interface.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

The options are indeed very numerous, almost too many, and we regret a general lack of explanation. Access to good colorimetric profiles is for example not empty, since it is necessary to activate the “Pro” section to discover the best image settings. But we will come back to that.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series XMSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

That being said, we must recognize the great flexibility of the system and the possibility of activating several options for improving the image, as well as the PIP/PBP (“Picture in Picture”/”Picture by Picture). The latter makes it possible to display two different sources at the same time, by placing either a thumbnail image within the main image, or by displaying the two images side by side. For example, you can have your PS5 game in a corner of the screen and your Windows 10 interface on the rest of the screen, or vice versa. The option is very convenient and works impeccably well. Its activation is also very simple thanks to this joystick system.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Image quality: after a few adjustments, it’s the foot

Well built and very practical to use, the MSI Optix MP32 must also offer high image quality, especially given its price. On this point, we must recognize that our first contact with the screen was complicated. It should indeed be specified that, by default, the few accessible colorimetric profiles offer a very vivid rendering, but with strawberry fidelity. Some profiles are offered via the “games” menu, only very classic: FPS, RPG, RTS, Race… and also a “user” mode which, by default, offers a relatively correct rendering, but far from what is expected of a screen at this price.

The default “game” modes offer a very disappointing rendering.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Remember that we are dealing with an IPS-type panel, which offers viewing angles of 178° and benefits from “Quantum Dot” technology, which is substantially identical to the QLED of Samsung or TCL TVs. This is a much more precise and efficient panel backlighting system, which will offer a higher peak light

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

The “RPG” profile, for example, is catastrophic in terms of color fidelity, raising the Delta E to 19 (while we aim for 3 or less for a result deemed satisfactory) and does not allow to exceed 720 :1 of contrast. Only the color temperature (balance between warm hues and cold hues) remains good, with 5476K.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

With the “user” profile, it’s a little better, but far from being really satisfactory: the Delta E goes down to 6 (which is still high) and the contrast goes up to 930:1. We can say that we arrive at an acceptable rendering, but, there again, it is a disappointment compared to the high-end positioning of the product.

Fortunately, the “Pro” menu in the OSD, once activated, gives access to many new image settings, including the sRGB saver. Once activated, with the brightness set to maximum, it’s day and night: we get a Delta E of 2, a light peak (excluding HDR) of 410 cd/m2, a contrast ratio of 990:1 and a color temperature at 6473K.

The “sRGB” profile offers excellent colorimetry.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

If these figures do not speak to you more than that, know that it allows you to have a bright and well contrasted image, with in addition a balanced and faithful color rendering. An ideal rendering for image editing or video editing, but also for gaming. You will thus benefit from all the artistic direction on your favorite AAA. Whether on PC or consoles, the rendering with the sRGB profile is really very good. The pleasure of enjoying a game in 4K, with very good sharpness, at more than 60 FPS if your configuration holds up, is in any case undeniable.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

On the other hand, it is unfortunate that the “game” profiles that can be activated by default are so poorly calibrated. Note that it is possible to calibrate the screen with a probe, but this is not recommended, because you will then lose maximum brightness.

Buy the MSI Optix MP321UR-QD on Amazon

Conclusion

Strong points

  • 4K and 144 Hz panel
  • A screen cut for the PS5 and the Xbox Series X
  • Sober and successful design
  • Very complete connection
  • Lots of settings available
  • Rendering of the image very good once the right setting has been found

Weak points

  • No built-in speakers
  • The “game” modes offer a very disappointing rendering by default
  • High price

The first word that comes to mind about this MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD monitor is: “versatility”. Thanks to its good size, its ultra-complete connectivity, its pleasant design and its very many options, it is the ideal monitor for working and, above all, playing on PC and on new generation consoles. You can thus create a “game space” on your desk, with your PC, a PS5 and an Xbox Series X connected at the same time. The possibility of playing in 4K up to 144 Hz is also a strong argument. As for the quality of the image, it is there, but beware of the “game” profiles that can be activated by default, which tend to greatly distort the rendering. Once the correct settings have been made, however, the image is beautiful, bright, and the colorimetry almost flawless. The MSI Optix MPG32 is therefore a very good alternative to a 4K TV, especially if you are short on space.

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MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD review: the perfect monitor for 4K gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X

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