With the new MPG Artymis 323CQR, MSI has launched a 32 inch curved monitor that gets gamers right into the action thanks to a strongly curved display. “Set the curve” is the slogan of the manufacturer. The built-in VA panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio has WQHD resolution with a 1000R curve and 2560 x 1440 pixels. MSI explains the benefits of the 1000R curve on its homepage. According to MSI, the DCI-P3 color space is about 90% covered, which is thematically expressed in a rich color rendition. This MSI 32 inch gaming monitor is also DisplayHDR-400 certified.
As a gaming screen, the MSI MPG 323CQR offers a wide range of functions, especially for gamers. The curved gaming monitor achieves a refresh rate of 165Hz and supports FreeSync Premium. Three-level pixel acceleration aims to ensure fast-moving images, and with “Night Vision” the black level performance can be improved, but MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review offers a lot. Along with “Smart Crosshair,” a wider crosshair setting is available that also controls automatic color adjustment. With “Auto-Brightness Control” and “Ambient RGB Light”, subjective image quality can be further improved. For PlayStation 5, the MSI MPG 323CQR has a special console mode. By having the gaming PC monitor accept 4K-signals and convert to QHD, image quality should be much better than other screens with QHD resolution.
In addition to DisplayPort and HDMI, a USB-C connection is also offered. That makes it very easy to connect the device to the monitor, and it can also be charged up to 15W. Mystic Light, RGB lighting on the back of the 32 inch curved monitor, and different surface structures that make the MSI MPG 323CQR unique ensure a stylish look.
It’s rare for a monitor to stand out from the crowd. The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR achieves this not with color accents, but with different surface structures. Apart from the ultrawide curved display from the front, there is nothing special to see. The MSI keeps up with the times and features a frameless design. Only at the bottom of the screen is an approx. 2.5 cm high border. On the other hand, there’s a mix of matte, high-gloss, and brushed structures as well as a carbon fiber look at the rear. So far, we haven’t had a monitor in testing that shows such a variation in surface quality.
The light sensor for automatic brightness control (“Auto-Brightness Control”) is located in the front center on the lower display frame, and the letter of the manufacturer is printed in the left corner. The MSI logo can be found on the back of the case, which illuminates even when the Mystic Light is activated. Although the display has a strong curvature, the outer edge of the body is only 2 cm thick.
In terms of ergonomics, the MSI MPG 323CQR also offers a convincing package. A height adjustment is available with which the display can be kept continuously from a minimum of 7 cm (from the bottom edge of the display to the top edge of the desk) to a maximum height of 17 cm. The mechanics basically work well, but sometimes it takes a little more effort to set the screen in motion.
A side swivel function is also included. The display can be rotated continuously by 30 degrees to the left and right. The mechanics work perfectly here, it is not too difficult, but also not too easy.
The ergonomics package of the MSI MPG 323CQR is accomplished by a tilt function. The display can be tilted about 5 degrees down and 21 degrees up. The mechanics work pretty much the same way as rotating sideways.
The base of the MSI MPG 323CQR is made of metal and provides a secure stand. With a span of about 64 cm and a depth of about 32 cm, an equally large amount of space is required for the base. It is attached to the monitor bracket using a wing screw. Rubber feet and weights on the underside of the stand ensure that the screen doesn’t slip.
The stand is assembled quickly. There is a cable duct in the lower area. It offers enough space to run all the cables you need. However, it is advisable to start with the power cord as it has the largest connector.
With the MSI MPG 323CQR, a VESA bracket with 100mm hole spacing from the original stand is also used. Here, however, four screws and thus a screwdriver is required for assembly. Screws are included in the accessories.
An integrated headset holder is located on the right edge of the housing. It is pressed like a button, causing it to push a spring mechanism far enough away that you can grab the holder and pull it out of the housing.
The MSI 32 inch curved monitor comes with a few ventilation openings. They are located on the upper edge of the housing and are also fully integrated into the design.
Mystic Light is the name of the external RGB LED lighting on screens from MSI. The MSI logo and an LED strip are illuminated on the back of the case. RGB-LED can be activated or deactivated in the monitor’s OSD. Further configuration options are not available.
The accessories of the MSI MPG 323CQR are very extensive and even include all cables that are required to use the existing connections. A DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C, USB upstream, and power cable are included with the monitor. In addition, a VESA cover, four screws for stand mounting, four spacing bolts for optional mounting of the screen to the wall bracket, as well as a quick start guide, a warranty card, and a mouse cable bracket are included.
The electronics of the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR operate silently and cannot be heard from outside. The external power supply also does not make a sound. Changes in brightness or other settings in the OSD of the monitor did not affect the development of noise.
However, it is precisely the noise development that can be subject to a great range of variations, which is why this assessment need not apply equally to all devices in a series.
The monitor consumes 32.6 watts at the factory setting (image mode “Eco”, brightness 70%). If we switched to the “User” screen mode without changing the brightness, we measured the power consumption of 44.3 watts.
The MSI MPG 323CQR shows strange behavior when the color temperature is changed from “Normal” to “Adaptation”, because this significantly reduces the luminance, although the brightness control remains unchanged. Since the RGB controllers are only available in this mode, the brightness must be increased to 88% to achieve a brightness of 140 cd/m².
Although the brightness is very low, what is unusual about it is that the monitor still consumes as much power as it does at “normal” color temperatures, where the brightness is more than 400 cd/m² with 88% brightness. With a power consumption of 51.5 watts at 140 cd/m², the energy efficiency is a poor 0.7 cd / W. If RGB-LED is activated, we measure an additional power consumption between 0.5 and 1 watt.
All connections are located on the rear of the housing and are oriented downwards. The range of interfaces is diverse. In addition to a DisplayPort (1.2a) and two HDMI inputs (2.0b), the test subject offers a USB-C connection as a DisplayPort alternative, a headphone output, and two USB Type-A sockets – the latter, however, only in version 2.0.
There are three buttons on the bottom right side of the case. The monitor has a power button and a switch with which the Gaming OSD 2.0 software can be opened directly. Unfortunately, we could not test this function as any of the download options on the MSI website were working at the time we were creating the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review. The actual operating button of the monitor has been placed between these two buttons in red: a five-way joystick. It makes it child’s play to navigate through the OSD of the screen. The easily accessible joystick thus provides a high level of operational convenience.
The power LED is located on the lower right edge of the housing. It lights up discreetly white when in use and orange when in idle mode. When the monitor is switched off, the power LED also goes out. Deactivation of the lighting is not required.
The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR uses a 32-inch curved VA panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The display has a strong 1000R curvature, which corresponds to a radius of curvature of 1 meter, and has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (WQHD). W-LED is used as background lighting.
Factory brightness drops to 70%, but the luminance is still 211 cd/m² in Eco mode or 341 cd/m² in User mode and is therefore very bright in most cases. The picture mode is “Eco” and preset as “User” game mode. The response time (pixel acceleration) is set to “Fast”. The MSI MPG 323CQR also offers an MPRT mode, Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync Premium), and DisplayHDR 400 and achieves a maximum native refresh rate of 165 Hz. According to the specs, the DCI-P3 color space is covered by 89.8%. Typical for VA panels, the static contrast ratio is specified as 2500: 1.
Subjectively, the image quality appears very good after lowering the brightness. Due to the slightly larger color space, the color reproduction of the MSI 32 inch curved monitor is more saturated than is the case with screens with VA panels and sRGB color space. Nevertheless, the color brilliance does not quite reach that of an IPS panel. In return, there is no brightening of dark hues from the angle, which makes the display appear more contrasty.
We used test images to test the display quality of color levels, color, and gray gradients. The image quality of the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR can also convince in the details. Color and gray gradients are reproduced without banding (stripes), and the monitor also manages the color levels very well. However, some picture modes have a negative influence on the display of color levels. For example, the “Office” image mode has such a strong effect on grayscale displays that individual pages can no longer be recognized in Word because the gray area between pages is no longer displayed.
The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR sports a pretty decent black and white level display even with factory settings. Black levels stand out from the background at level 2 on our test image, with white levels that can be differentiated up to level 253.
The contrast regulator can be used to influence the display of white levels. The contrast is factory-set to 70 and is therefore ideal. An increase to 71 has already shown that white levels are lost. As should be the case for real gaming monitors, the Artymis 323CQR 32 inch curved monitor also has an option to affect the black level display. Manufacturers call this option “Night Vision,” with five setting options behind it. The option is deactivated ex-works (“Off”). There are still “Normal”, “Strong”, “Most Strong” and “AI” to choose from.
Since the black level display is already very good at the factory, this option should be changed only when necessary, as all other settings harm the contrast ratio.
Notably, no change in image quality could be determined after profiling and calibration. There has been no change in neither the black nor the white level display. At least subjectively, image quality is still pretty good.
The photo on the left shows a completely black image roughly as seen with the naked eye; this is where the noticeable weaknesses become visible. The photo on the right with a longer exposure time, on the other hand, highlights the problem areas and is only used for a clearer representation.
A screen that is evenly lit not only has an impact on perceived image quality thematically but also has a positive effect in games or a color-binding task. The MSI MPG 323CQR’s display illumination is well implemented, but there’s some glare at the edges of the display. However, they are not pronounced enough to be considered annoying.
Brightness, black level, and contrast
Measurements are performed after calibration to D65 as the white point. If possible, all dynamic controls are disabled. Due to the adjustments required when the test series was performed with the native white point, the results are low.
The measurement window is not surrounded by a black border. The values can therefore be compared to ANSI contrast and reflect real-world conditions better than measurements of flat white and black images.
In the specifications of the Artymis 323CQR, the manufacturer specifies a contrast ratio of 2500:1. The average of our measurements is 2388:1. It means that a high contrast ratio can be achieved. The contrast ratio remains pretty constant over the entire brightness range, with the exception of two outliers at 0% and 10%. The monitor achieves a minimum value of 2083:1 at 0% brightness, the highest value of 2622:1 at 10% brightness.
As an HDR -400-certified model, the maximum brightness must be at least 400 cd/m². The MSI 32 inch curved monitor achieves a maximum of 447 cd/m² with a black point of 0.19 cd/m². If the background lighting is reduced to 0%, the brightness is 62 cd/m², and the black point is 0.03 cd/m². A brightness control range of 385 cd/m² is therefore available.
We examine the image homogeneity using four test images (white, neutral tones with 75%, 50%, 25% brightness), which we measure at 15 points. This results in the averaged brightness deviation in% and the also averaged Delta C (ie the chroma difference) concerning the respective centrally measured value.
With the Artymis 323CQR, the average deviation of brightness from the reference value measured at the center of the display is a good 4.23%. The maximum deviation of 11.94% on the right side of the display is still a good value. No shadowing can therefore be observed.
In terms of color purity, the test person achieved a satisfactory overall result. The maximum deviation of 2.78 delta c, this time on the left side of the display, is still good. However, the mean deviation of 1.81 delta c is slightly higher. There are no color casts.
The surface coating of the panel has a major influence on the visual assessment of image sharpness, contrast, and sensitivity to external light. We examine the coating with a microscope and show the surface of the panel (foremost film) in extreme magnification.
Microscopic view of the subpixels, with a focus on the screen surface: The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR has a matt surface with microscopically visible depressions for diffusion. The black transverse lines in the microscopic image cannot be seen with the naked eye.
In the datasheet of the monitor, there is only the indication “Anti-glare” about the anti-reflective coating. In practice, light reflections are effectively attenuated as long as there is no direct light that is too bright.
The VA panel of the device shows good color rendering from a central viewing position. Due to the curvature, slight deviations from the center are not a problem. However, the further the viewing angle shifts from the center, the more the color saturation and contrast decrease. When the white dot is moved sideways it remains stationary. However, when viewing the display from the top or bottom, there is a clearly visible yellow color.
VA panels do not show any lightening of dark hues when viewed from the side, as is the case with IPS panels. Even so, the Artymis 323CQR does not completely fail to appear brighter. However, there’s background lighting here that causes separation at the edges of the display.
The following representations are based on the colorimetric data after calibration to D65 as the white point.
- White volume: screen color space
- Black volume: reference color space
- Colorful volume: intersection
- Comparison target: sRGB
sRGB: 99% color space coverage
DCI-P3: 80% color space coverage
The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR achieves good color space coverage of the sRGB color space with 99%. With the DCI-P3 color space, on the other hand, coverage is only 80%. Due to the anything but neutral gray axis, which we will discuss in detail in the next chapter, the monitor cannot be considered for the EBV.
Measurements before calibration and profiling
If possible, dynamic controls are deactivated before the subsequent tests.
Factory setting (picture mode “User”, color temperature “Normal”)
The picture mode “User” and the color temperature “Normal” are set at the factory. The result of the gray axis is unsatisfactory with these settings, as the average deviation is 2.21 Delta C and the range is up to 4.96 Delta C. We then changed the color temperature to “Adaptation”, but without changing the color controls. Here, too, the result is sobering.
sRGB mode versus sRGB
In sRGB mode, the deviations in the gray axis are also very high with an average of 1.39 Delta C and a range of 4.79 Delta C. The deviations of the color values with an average of 1.39 Delta E are, on the other hand, at a good level.
Measurements after calibration and profiling
The desired brightness was 140 cd/m². D65 was selected as the white point. Neither is a generally valid recommendation. That also applies to the choice of gradation, especially since the current characteristics are taken into account in terms of color management.
The profile validation shows that there are no non-linearities and that the matrix profile precisely describes the state of the MSI MGP 323CQR. However, the high deviations in the gray axis also result in a poor overall result here.
Comparison with sRGB (color transformed)
While the average deviation of the color values is a 0.72 Delta E and the sRGB color space coverage is convincing with 99%, the Artymis 323CQR can only achieve a sufficient result even after profiling and calibration due to the high deviations in the gray axis.
We made the following settings during our MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review: Brightness 88, Red 50, Green 47, Blue 46, and Contrast 70.
The designation “screen size” hides the option of being able to influence the display format. The MSI MPG 323CQR offers three options: “Auto”, “4: 3” and “16: 9”, the former is set as the factory setting. Without the help of the graphics card, the monitor displays every resolution pixel-precisely when a signal is fed from a PC. The options “Auto” and “16: 9” have no effect, we only try to select 4: 3 with the selection “4: 3” – force aspect ratio. To be able to test the interpolation quality of the screen, we set the scaling mode “Aspect Ratio” in the graphics card options.
An interpolated display can be sharpened with the sharpness control. The sharpness is set to 0 at the factory and can be increased to 5 in steps of 1. Although the sharpness control is also available in the native resolution, an increase to level 1 already results in over-sharpening. In the case of an interpolated display, however, the sharpness can definitely be increased to 3. From level 4 onwards, however, we were able to determine the first over-sharpening here as well.
The 32 inch curved monitor for gaming has a strongly curved display with a 16: 9 format. The native resolution of the VA panel is 2560 x 1440 pixels (WQHD) and allows a maximum frame rate of 165 Hz. We examined the model at the native resolution of 60 Hz and 165 Hz at the DisplayPort.
Image build-up time and acceleration behavior
We determine the image build-up time for the black-and-white change and the best gray-to-gray change. In addition, we give the average value for our 15 measuring points.
The measured value Color to Color (CtC) goes beyond the conventional measurements of pure monochromatic jumps in brightness, after all, you usually see a colored picture on the screen. This measurement, therefore, measures the longest period of time the monitor needs to switch from one mixed color to another and stabilizes its brightness. The mixed colors cyan, magenta, and yellow are used – each with 50% signal brightness. With the CtC color change, all three subpixels of a pixel do not switch equally, but different rise and decay times are combined.
In the specs, the manufacturer specifies a response time of 1 ms MPRT (“Moving Picture Response Time”), but MPRT must be activated explicitly in the OSD – with the disadvantage that Adaptive Sync is deactivated. MSI does not provide information on the response time without activated MPRT. The 32 inch curved monitor offers three-stage pixel acceleration with the setting options “Normal”, “Fast” and “Fastest”. In the factory setting, the response time is set to “Fast”.
Latency is an important value for gamers, we determine it as the sum of the signal delay time and half the average frame change time.
With 60 Hz, we measured latency of 19.6 ms on the Artymis 323CQR, regardless of the set overdrive level. Half the average image change time is 12.7 ms with the lowest pixel acceleration (“Normal”), 7.1 ms with the “Fast” setting, and 4.1 ms with the fastest pixel acceleration (“Fastest”).
The average values for the mean total latency at 60 Hz are therefore 32.3 ms with the “Normal” setting, 26.7 ms with “Fast” and 23.7 ms with “Fastest”. The device does not show convincing performance at 60 Hz for a gaming monitor.
If the refresh rate is increased to 165 Hz, the latency also improves and is now worthy of a gaming display. It is now 1 ms. Half the average picture change time is 11.7 ms with pixel acceleration “Normal”, 7.1 ms with “Fast” and 5.3 ms with “Fastest”.
The average values for the mean total latency are thus 12.7 ms at 165 Hz with pixel acceleration “Normal”, 8.1 ms with “Fast” and 6.3 ms with “Fastest”.
At least at 165 Hz, the latency times achieved are convincing, although the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR 32 inch curved monitor does not show any record values here either. Nevertheless, the performance is completely sufficient – even for demanding gamers.
The background light of the MSI gaming monitor is not reduced by pulse width modulation (PWM), so there are no interruptions in the luminous flux (flickering). The device is therefore suitable for longer sessions even with reduced brightness. The test subject (DisplayHDR-400 certified) achieved a very high brightness with a maximum of 447 cd/m².
The wide curved display of the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR shows its strength, especially in gaming. You feel right in the middle of the action. But you also shouldn’t sit too close, otherwise, you won’t be able to see the whole screen at a glance. Pixel acceleration can easily be set to the highest level “Fastest”, as there is no negative effect on image quality. Due to the WQHD resolution, the demand for PC hardware is not so high, and, depending on the game, higher frame rates can be achieved even with older hardware. PC hardware not so demanding due to WQHD resolution, and higher frame rates can also be achieved with older hardware, depending on the games.
Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync Premium) and MPRT
It is very important to synchronize the refresh rate of the 32 inch curved monitor with the frame rate provided by the graphics card to prevent tearing (horizontal tearing of the image display). However, the screens only supported either FreeSync and thus synchronization in combination with an AMD graphics card or an NVIDIA graphics card with G-Sync. Adaptive Sync has been introduced so that the display is no longer limited to just one type of graphics card – a technology that can serve both worlds.
According to the datasheet, if the monitor is operated on an AMD graphics card, it supports FreeSync Premium. Unfortunately, our MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review unit does not have NVIDIA verification and therefore does not provide G-Sync support. Instead, V-Sync is supported in this case.
With the “G-Sync Pendulum Demo,” We tested the behavior of the MPG Artymis 323CQR with various frequency settings. Tearing is also prevented with V-Sync starting at 20Hz. However, V-Sync has the disadvantage that images from the graphics card are limited to the monitor’s maximum refresh rate. That may not be a disadvantage in today’s world when gaming monitors already support higher refresh rates – but it is. If the graphics card is unable to provide the maximum number of images that the screen can display, so it has to wait for the images to be delivered, which in turn is reflected in tearing. In addition, V-Sync increases input lag, which isn’t ideal even in fast games.
The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR 32 inch curved monitor also offers the “MPRT” (“Motion Picture Response Time”) option. When MPRT is enabled in the monitor’s OSD, adaptive sync is automatically disabled. In addition, response time, brightness, HDCR, and “auto-brightness control” are off, and game mode is restricted to “user” as well. At least color temperature remains available as a selection so that brightness can at least be increased by a selection other than “Adjustment”. In practice, we did not find any notable differences between adaptive sync and MPRT.
Native 165 Hz and three-stage response time
Even without overclocking, the Artymis 323CQR enables a refresh rate of 165 Hz. With this high value, the fast motion also displays sharply and smoothly – provided, of course, that the graphics card can deliver a sufficiently high frame rate. This is where the graphics card comes in to assist with the monitor’s medium resolution. A 4K resolution would certainly be possible with 32 inches, but it also puts high demands on PC hardware if you want to play current games with the highest possible frame rates.
OSD has an option for “response time”, behind which is hidden three-stage pixel acceleration. It is already set to “fast” at the factory and thus provides a good starting point for most applications. However, for maximum performance, the fastest pixel acceleration “fastest” can also be well used with the model without major loss in image quality.
Every better gaming monitor now offers a way to optimize black levels to improve the scene in dark game scenes. In MSI, this function is called “Night Vision”. This monitor offers five options to choose from “Off” (this is the factory setting), “Normal”, “Strongest”, “Strongest”, and “AI”. The latter is a dynamic adjustment. MSI did a good job here, as “Night Vision” doesn’t just lighten up black levels. As can be seen in the comparison below, some of the image content remains black. It allows contrast and objects to be better recognized without losing any details.
Smart Crosshair, frame rate, and alarm clock display
In addition to the options already mentioned, the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR offers other useful functions for gamers. One of them is the “smart crosshair”. There are seven different crosshair symbols to choose from, the crosshairs can be displayed in white, red, or “auto” colors. The latter dynamically adjusts the color depending on the background so that the crosshair is always clearly visible. A simple task we’ve never seen before on any other monitor. The position of the crosshairs can also be changed.
In addition, there is a display for the monitor’s refresh rate and an alarm clock, which provide default values but can also be set individually. The status of both options can also be changed.
The Artymis 323CQR supports “High Dynamic Range” (HDR) and is DisplayHDR-400 certified. The OSD has “HDCR” options, and HDR can be activated from here. However, activating HDCR means that MPRT, brightness, and “auto-brightness control” are disabled. Background lighting is set to the maximum value. Since the brightness control is inactive, the only option is to select “Adjustment” as the color temperature, thereby reducing the brightness. All picture modes are available, along with Adaptive Sync and all other gaming functions like reaction time and night vision.
In particular, HDCR may not bring any noticeable benefit – too much brightness renders this mode almost unusable, except when used in very bright surroundings.
Ambient RGB Light
If “Ambient RGB Light” is activated, the white dot adapts to the current lighting position. When there is less light, the color temperature warms up, which is reflected in a pale yellow color. On the other hand, in daylight, the color temperature changes and cools, giving the appearance of a lighter blue color. The brightness remains unchanged. When it comes to enjoying the best subjective image quality in games, “Ambient RGB Light” and “Auto-Brightness Control” are an unbeatable pair.
The Artymis 323CQR has a headphone output, there are no built-in speakers. The quantity supplied is very small, however, and there is no quantity control either. So the sound quality depends on the headphones used.
Where there is a lot of light, there is also dark. This description applies to our MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review. We would like to conclude here why this is so. Let’s start with strength. In terms of optics and workmanship, the 32 inch curved monitor can go all-around convincing. A solid metal base, extensive ergonomic functions, various surface structures, and exterior RGB lighting make the model a monitor that stands out from the crowd. The MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR review unit can also score marks with interfaces and accessories.
Notably, the image quality is also reassuring, and the wide curved display is a special highlight. There is also support for the DCI-P3 color space improves color saturation, and a low black point ensures a high contrast ratio. In terms of gaming performance, the Artymis 323CQR doesn’t have to hide from the competition, clocking at least 165 Hz. With well-implemented black level correction “Night Vision” and a pixel acceleration that can be used even at the highest levels, the aspiring gamer is offered an all-around lossless package. The color-matching crosshairs as well as special functions like “Ambient RGB Light” and “Auto-Brightness Control” also represent a unique selling point.
Almost everything would be perfect if it weren’t for the factory calibration that went horribly wrong. The gray axis shows a consistently strong deviation from the target values. This behavior runs through all settings, so sRGB mode cannot be used sensibly. Unfortunately, the result does not improve even after profiling and calibration concerning the gray axis. It means that the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR 32 inch curved monitor cannot be used for the color-accurate work for which it was not developed anyway. This is still a big drawback, especially since the sRGB color space is pretty well covered with 99%.
Otherwise, given the solid performance of the MSI MPG Artymis 323CQR and the reasonable price of around $459.99 on Bestbuy.com, and Amazon.com, at the moment, it’s a good gaming monitor. However, the messy gray balance gives the model a good overall result. If you want to play games, and if a purely subjectively good picture is enough, you can still access it.