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Trying out the MSI MAG325CQRF QD 31.5’ QHD Monitor: gaming at 170Hz (2024)

My thoughts on the MSI MAG325CQRF QD screen: Build quality, gaming performance, visual issues.

Paul Norvig


January 10, 2024


For a household member I recently purchased the MSI MAG325CQRF QD Gaming Monitor and now have spent quite some time testing it. The large 31.5-inch screen is great, as well as the 144Hz - more on this below.


Property Value Property Value
Screen Size 32 Inches Display Resolution Maximum 2560 x 1440
Brand MSI Special Feature Adaptive Sync, High Dynamic Range
Refresh Rate 170 Hz


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor full screen Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor box Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor side


First Impressions and Build

Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor full screen

The MSI MAG325CQRF QD Gaming Monitor boasts a 31.5-inch screen size, immediately capturing the interest of serious gamers. This expansive display features a 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution, delivering an immersive and engaging gaming experience with its impressive pixel count. The Quantum Dot technology further enhances the monitor’s allure, bringing games to life in stunning detail with enhanced visual quality.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Quantum Dot Technology: Improves color precision for vivid displays.

  • 1ms Response Time: Aiming to reduce lag for a smoother gaming experience.

  • 170Hz Refrefresh Rate: Offers smooth motion without trailing images.

  • HDR Ready: Set to enhance the contrast and coloring of your games.

Upon assembling the monitor, I was impressed by its strong and substantial build quality. The tilt and height adjustable stand ensures ergonomic convenience for users. The 1000R curvature provides an engaging experience but may negatively affect viewing angles and can feel overwhelming when sitting too close.

The Adaptive Sync function, a major selling point, is advertised to minimize screen tearing for smoother gameplay. However, it requires calibration for optimal performance at the 178° viewing angle. Despite this wide perspective, color shifts may occur when observing from extreme angles, potentially impacting the overall experience if not directly in front of the screen.

An unexpected issue I encountered was backlight bleed. While it wasn’t noticeable during action sequences, it could affect viewing dark scenes or from an angle. This is a concern for those focused on screen uniformity.

The FreeSync Premium support should, in theory, marry well with the high refresh rate to provide seamless gameplay, yet the real-world outcome hasn’t been entirely devoid of hiccups, hinting at the need for some troubleshooting or potentially indicating a unit-specific defect.

In the field of aesthetics, the monitor is impressive with Quantum Dot technology delivering vivid colors. But, I noticed a dead pixel early on – a common issue in monitor purchases.

To summarize, the MSI MAG325CQRF QD monitor boasts impressive specifications. However, its practical use requires careful setup and individual calibration. It’s advisable to keep the packaging handy and be prepared for calibration due to its high price tag. The monitor’s standout features, such as refresh rate and quantum dot display, offer significant visual impact. Users should be willing to navigate initial adjustments to fully appreciate these aspects.

Performance and Gaming Experience

Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor box

The MSI MAG325CQRF QD gaming monitor is a good option for gamers seeking a large, engaging screen with impressive features. Here’s what I discovered:

  • 31.5-inch Rapid VA monitor with Quantum Dot technology provides excellent color representation essential for games with darker scenes.

  • A 170Hz refresh rate enhances gameplay experience in fast-paced titles by ensuring smooth visuals. This is advantageous.

  • A fast 1ms response time significantly reduces ghosting and screen tearing. These issues can be detrimental for competitive gamers. By eliminating them, your gaming experience becomes smoother and more responsive, giving you a valuable edge in competitive play.

  • 178 degrees viewing angle: This feature ensures color consistency when you’re not seated directly in front of the screen.

  • Adaptive Sync, though not explicitly labeled as G-Sync compatible, effectively reduces screen tearing and improves gaming experience on Nvidia graphics cards.

Despite the monitor’s promising features, some drawbacks exist. The 1000R curvature might be too intense for certain users, leading to eye strain if seated too close. Setting adjustments are necessary to enhance the viewing experience. A non-uniform backlight can affect image quality, especially in darker scenes or games. dead pixels, a common issue mentioned by users, may also concern potential buyers due to quality control problems.

Moreover, achieving 170Hz may require tinkering with settings or ensuring that your cable is up to par (DisplayPort 1.4 is recommended). Lastly, the size and curve combination can take some adjustment, and it may not suit everyone’s taste or desk setup.

Overall, the MSI MAG325CQRF QD gaming monitor could shine as a part of a high-end setup, particularly when the strengths like the refresh rate and response time come into play. On the flip side, build inconsistencies and issues with backlight bleed are the main cons to consider. When investing in a monitor at this price point, these factors play a big role in the decision-making process.

I took a significant step up from 1080p to 1440p in my monitor setup and noticed a remarkable enhancement in game visuals. Although dealing with backlight bleed and narrower viewing angles, the increased refresh rate became apparent during fast-paced gaming sessions.

In conclusion, this MSI MAG325CQRF QD gaming monitor offers impressive specifications that can enhance your gaming experience. However, buyers need to weigh the benefits against potential quality control issues and ergonomic drawbacks before making a purchase.

Issues and Annoyances

Msi mag325cqrf qd gaming monitor side

When considering the MSI MAG325CQRF QD Gaming Monitor, there are certainly a number of aspects to mull over. The monitor boasts some impressive features, but it also comes with its own set of drawbacks.

Here’s a rundown of my experience:

  • Screen Size and Curvature: At 32 inches and with a 1000R curvature, the monitor promises an immersive experience that larger curved screens are known for. However, I’ve found that the curvature, coupled with the monitor’s size, can sometimes be overwhelming when you’re too close. It’s crucial to find the optimal viewing distance for comfort.

  • I value the monitor’s 178-degree viewing angle, as it usually maintains color consistency and brightness. However, I’ve noticed noticeable shifts in color and brightness when slightly off-center, which contradicts my expectations from a premium monitor.

  • Quantum Dot Technology: This technology improves color range for gaming and movies. The quantum dot layer makes colors more vibrant than standard displays. However, the color performance doesn’t meet my expectations, considering the cost.

  • Refresh Rate and Response Time: With a 170Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, there’s no denying the monitor is built for speed, aiming to provide a seamless gaming experience. However, achieving the advertised refresh rate seemed more complex than anticipated.

  • Backlight Bleed: While the monitor is marketed as being HDR Ready, the backlight bleed is a significant downside. It’s especially noticeable during darker scenes and can detract from the overall visual experience.

The solid construction of the monitor adds to my confidence in its durability, despite the challenges it faces. It offers beneficial features such as FreeSync Premium and height adjustability, enhancing functionality and personalization. When functioning optimally, the display delivers impressive results: games appear stunning, motion remains seamless, and a high refresh rate significantly improves the competitive gaming experience.

However, let me stress that your mileage may vary; it’s possible that some of the concerns I encountered could be specific to my unit or batch. In terms of build and potential, the MSI MAG325CQRF QD delivers. But it’s equally essential to be wary of possible quality control issues, like the dead pixels that appeared merely hours into gaming.

When investing in premium tech products such as the MSI MAG325CQRF QD monitor, it is crucial to be well-informed about potential inconsistencies that might not meet elevated expectations. Some users have reported such issues, which may not be deal-breakers for everyone but are worth considering before making a purchase. It is always a good idea to retain your purchase proof and packaging as they could become beneficial in case of any future complications. Thus, it is essential to be well-informed about potential shortcomings and to keep your purchase proof and packaging for peace of mind.

Comparisons and Conclusions

A side-by-side comparison of two monitors displaying the same colorful image

After comparing the MSI MAG325CQRF QD with other monitors and considering its features and performance, I’ve come to some conclusions that may help anyone pondering over this particular model.

The 31.5” size combined with the 1000R curvature is a double-edged sword; on the plus side, it offers an immersive experience that is hard to beat, especially when gaming or watching videos. The Quantum Dot technology ensures vibrant colors and better brightness compared to standard displays. Moreover, with a 170Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, the fluidity and responsiveness are top-notch, reducing motion blur and ghosting to a minimum. Here’s a snapshot of the key advantages:

  • Size and Curvature: Immersive gaming experience

  • Quantum Dot Technology: This technology produces vibrant colors and high contrast in displays.

  • 170Hz Refresh Rate: Provides smooth visuals.

  • 0.1ms Response Time: Instant motion with no delay.

  • Adaptive Sync: Reduces on-screen tearing in displays.

However, the large screen may cause eye strain if you sit too close. Additionally, the VA panel and monitor’s curve can lead to color shifting, requiring frequent position adjustments for optimal viewing. Some users, including myself, find that the color performance falls short of expectations, particularly given the price point and comparison to IPS displays.

Backlight bleed is a problem that can be noticeable, especially during dark scenes in games or movies, potentially causing distraction. Dead pixels are another concern that may affect the user experience, although this issue can vary between individual monitors.

Comparing the MSI MAG325CQRF QD monitor to my smaller, curved previous one, the upgrade to 1440p didn’t have as big an impact as I anticipated. Although I valued the improved clarity, the display’s size felt excessive for my desk setup.

From a personal perspective, I find myself more satisfied with a smaller, less feature-rich display than the MSI MAG325CQRF QD monitor. This monitor offers high refresh rate and Quantum Dot technology, making it an attractive option for those with ample space and willing to compromise on viewing angles or potential backlight bleeding. The LG 27GP850-B is a viable alternative with its IPS display and higher price tag, delivering superior performance for discerning users.