As high refresh rates increasingly become a standard feature in monitors aimed at the gaming market, manufacturers have started to turn their eyes towards what's next in the ever-ongoing race to stay ahead of their competition. So, with 144Hz displays seemingly conqured, that attention has turned to ever higher refresh rates. Following this trend, MSI this week introduced its Optix MAG322CR LCD, one of the industry’s first displays with a 180 Hz maximum refresh rate.

The MSI Optix MAG322CR uses a slightly curved 31.5-inch 8-bit+FRC VA panel with a 1920x1080 resolution. All told, the monitor offers a maximum brightness of 300 nits, a 3000:1 contrast ratio, a 1 ms MPRT response time, and a maximum refresh rate of 180 with VESA Adaptive-Sync support. As well, the monitor is also AMD Freesync certified. Meanwhile MSI is using a wider-gamut backlighting system, so the monitor can display 96% of the DCI-P3 and 125% of the sRGB color gamuts.

The MAG322CR is also marked as ‘HDR Ready’; though with 300 nits peak brightness it doesn't even meet the VESA's lowest DisplayHDR tier. So it's hard to imagine the monitor delivering a quality HDR experience.

As far as connectivity is concerned, the Optix MAG322CR is equipped with one DisplayPort 1.2a, two HDMI 2.0b connectors, and a USB Type-C port (with DP Alt Mode support). Also, the monitor has a dual-port USB 2.0 hub, and an earphone out.

Being aimed at serious gamers who demand not only performance, but also style, the Optix MAG322CR comes equipped with Mystic Light addressable RGB LEDs on the back that support a variety of modes.

The MSI Optix MAG322CR Monitor
  Optix MAG322CR
Panel 31.5" VA 8-bit+FRC
Native Resolution 1920 × 1080
Refresh Rate 180 Hz OC
Dynamic Refresh Rate Technology VESA Adaptive-Sync
(AMD Freesync Certified)
Range ?
Response Time 1 ms MPRT
Brightness 300 cd/m²
Contrast 3000:1
Color Gamut 96% DCI-P3
125% sRGB
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Curvature 1500R
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2a
2 × HDMI 2.0b
USB Hub 2 × USB 2.0
Audio earphone out
Stand Height 130 mm
Tilt +20° ~ -5°
Swivel -
Power Consumption Idle ?
Typical ?
Maximum ?

MSI’s Optix MAG322CR is currently listed at the company’s website, so it is reasonable to expect it to hit the market shortly. currently lists the monitor as available for pre-order for $329.99, with the monitor slated to ship within one or two months.

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Source: MSI (via Hermitage Akihabara)

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  • Makaveli - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    31.5' 1080p Hard Pass!
  • prophet001 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Yeah that's weird.
  • Steelbom - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Yeah, I thought jeeze 180Hz 2560x1440 seems all right. Then I see the "1080p"... but why?
  • Korguz - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    why not ??
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    This monitor prioritizes framerate over resolution. It's nearly impossible to drive AAA games at anywhere close to 180 fps on a 1440p monitor.
  • sharath.naik - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    So the only thing this monitor can do is game. Content at 1080p 31" will look so blurry and pixelated. I donot see how games are not going to look pixelated at this low resolution and size.
  • lilkwarrior - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Gaming is a reach w/ its abysmal nits (laughable they said HDR-ready missing the mark on getting the minimum recognized VESA HDR rating).
  • smartthanyou - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Don't be ridiculous, the image certainly will not look "blurry and pixelated." Maybe you were born recently but there was a time when 1080P displays were all that was available and at sizes bigger than that didn't look bad.
  • schujj07 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    At normal viewing distances from a computer monitor a 32" 1080p will look fuzzy. If you are using normal viewing distances for TVs then yeah you really won't notice the pixels until you get to 65"+ sizes.
  • Valantar - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    >30" displays have been far beyond 1080p for a long, long time. TVs have not, but TVs are viewed from >3x the distance of a PC monitor. Anything less than 96ppi gets genuinely problematic for text rendering and similar things that require sharpness, no matter your eyesight - a blurry or jagged display makes it harder to see things properly with poor eyesight after all.

    Still, this is obviously a budget high frame rate gaming oriented display, and text rendering sharpness is likely not a consideration whatsoever. Probably good for its use case.

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