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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  • lilkwarrior - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    You absolutely can drive 1440p to 180hz and even around 240hz EASILY with modern display I/O that's standardized: Displayport 1.4, HDMI 2.1, & eventually Displayport 2.0.
  • Topweasel - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    I think the point is that video cards even the best struggle to play that high at 1440p.

    I would counter that monitor purchases usually last through multiple video card upgrades and even full systems. The featureset, like refresh rate, up as high as they can. Or at least people shouldn't make purchases like this monitor in anticipation of what comes next.

    But the bigger point is I have a 1440p, 32", curved monitor. 144Hz. I am a huge fan of it. But even at 1440p I would say that the resolution isn't great for a monitor of this size. Its a really good compromise and I got the monitor specifically because I wanted something less GPU intensive as a 4k monitor. But I could not see myself using the same monitor with a 1080p resolution. That res at that size at a normal sitting distance would make a monitor look like an old CRT.
  • schujj07 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    This monitor has 69.96 PPI which will look horrible. Personally I would never use a 1080p monitor over 24" in size as at that size you get 91.79 PPI which happens to be the same as a 32" 1440p monitor.
  • rrinker - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Do you sit 6" from it? I have a 27" 1080 on my desk at work and it is just about perfect, I can see it clearly without scaling. I have a 24" next to it (since, why buy two when there's already a perfectly good working display, right?). Test and images are no clearer on the 24" 1080 than they are on the 27" 1080.
    Not everyone has Superman eyes, but really I only see the pixels in the 27" if I am close enough to see it without my glasses. At normal working distance, there are no visible pixels. I have a 27" 1440 on my workbench computer at home - at normal working distances, it's too small for me at 100% scaling. Luckily I mounted it on an arm to save desk space and can pull it close as needed. My other computer has a pair of 23" 1080 displays, I want to replace both of those with the same sort of 27" 1080 I have at work, just so I can see them better. Yes, i can see the difference between my old iPhone 3G and the 8 Plus I have now.
  • schujj07 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    At work I sit 2-3ft from my 24" 1080p monitors and I can see the pixels. That being said they are small enough that it doesn't bother me. When looking at 27" 1080p monitors it looks quite fuzzy at the same distance and I wouldn't want it on my desk. With my 34" Ultrawide 1440p at home and sitting 3-4ft away I cannot see the pixels.
  • Dug - Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - link

    If you sit 2-3ft from a 24" monitor and you think it's comfortable reading at 100% scale, then you are not the norm.
    The only way 1080p would look fuzzy is if you have- 1. bad video card (several nvidia cards are to blame for this), 2. You don't know how to adjust your monitor, 3. You don't know how to adjust your OS.
    If there is a 1080p signal going to a 1080p display, there is nothing to make fuzzy. It's pixel perfect. No one ever has said fuzzy if it's set up correctly.
  • CharonPDX - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Yet if they prioritized framerate, they should have gone with something higher than 180Hz.

    There are now 144 Hz 4K displays that can do 1080p at perfect pixel mapping..
  • del42sa - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

  • yetanotherhuman - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Yeah. This is literally the same thing as everyone else is thinking. This was a waste of a click.
  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    SMFH… These monitor manufacturers are wasting monitor material this year at this point releasing something like this in 2020.

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