The MSI Optix AG321CQR is a curved 1440p gaming monitor with 32-inch screen and 165Hz refresh rate for high refresh rate gaming. It is a 1500R curved monitor with AMD FreeSync Premium certification. We recommend this gaming monitor for PC and console gaming as well because of its large screen. It is the newer version of the MSI Optix G32CQ4 with improved colors, rich connectivity, and ergonomics.
We think the MSI Optix AG321CQR is a better deal than its predecessor because surprisingly it offers more features at a price cheaper than the former. You get rich connectivity, wide color gamut coverage and a fully adjustable stand for gaming requirements.
- 32″ VA QHD Panel
- 165Hz Refresh Rate
- 1ms Response Time
- 1500R Curved Design
- Wide Color Gamut
- AMD FreeSync Premium
- Fully Adjustable Stand
MSI Optix AG321CQRMSI Optix AG321CQR
The MSI Optix AG321CQR houses a curved VA panel so it is not the best monitor for office use because of its mediocre viewing angles but the screen clarity is good.
This gaming monitor has 165Hz refresh rate and is FreeSync Premium certified for high refresh rate blur-free gaming.
Its large screen makes it a perfect monitor for entertainment, but you should get a 4K or an ultrawide monitor for media creation at this price point.
Design & Ergonomics
Monitor Type – 1500R Curve
Width – 71cm
Height – 46.56 cm
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has a very sleek design from the front and it comes finished in black color. The bezels are super thin from the front with MSI logo on the bottom bezel of the monitor.
The monitor has spreaded legs and it looks like a proper gaming monitor from the front. It has a good amount of width and height, so you will need a good amount of space on the desk.
Depth – 24.69 cm
VESA Mount – 75x75mm
Ports Position – Down-Facing
The MSI Optix G32CQ4 has a stylish design from the back with a lot of sharp elements. However, it comes finished in only black color at the back also. You get RGB Mystic lights at the back that is customisable.
There is a joystick on the right-back of the monitor that acts as a power button as well as controller for OSD menu controls. It also has VESA mounting holes at the back and they have 75x75mm interface.
Thinness – N/A
The bezels on the MSI Optix G32CQ4 are crazy thin making it a perfect gaming monitor for dual setups.
Weight – 14.55 lbs
The build quality of MSI Optix AG321CQR is excellent. It does feel sleek, but the parts are of very good quality and it weighs 14.55 lbs which makes it heavier than its predecessor Optix G32CQ4.
Removable Stand – Yes
Cable Management – Yes
The MSI Optix AG321CQR gaming monitor has a removable stand so make sure to remove it while mounting. It has tri-shaped leg stand that does not take much space on the desk despite holding a large monitor.
This gaming monitor also has a cable management hole on the stand for routing the cables down the desk.
Tilt – 20° Backward, 5° Forward
Swivel – 30° Right, 30° Left
Height – 90mm
Pivot – 5° Both Ways
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has good ergonomics because it offers tilt, height, swivel, and pivot functions.
However, the swivel and height range are quite narrow. Also, the pivot function is of no use because the display rotates only 5-degrees and that is of no use.
Display & Performance
Panel Type – VA
Panel Size – 31.5-inch
Aspect Ratio – 16:9
Panel Depth – 8 bits
The MSI Optix AG321CQR features a VA panel with 31.5-inch screen size and that provides excellent dark-room performance with inferior viewing angles to IPS monitors.
This gaming monitor has 1500R curved design and it comes with 16:9 aspect ratio with panel depth of 8 bits so it can display 16.7 million colors which makes it a color-rich panel.
Resolution – QHD | 2560x1440p
PPI – 93 PPI
The MSI Optix AG321CQR monitor has QHD screen resolution i.e. 2560×1440 pixels resolution and that results in average 93 PPI on the 32-inch screen size.
The screen clarity is acceptable because of the tight arrangement of pixels, and it is equivalent to clarity on a 24-inch 1080p monitor. The screen real estate is satisfactory, but not as good as 4K monitors and we do not recommend this monitor for media creation.
Peak Brightness – 250-nits
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has mediocre 250-nits peak brightness which feels unsatisfactory for a 32-inch monitor.
There is an anti-glare coating on the panel which should eliminate most glares and reflections, still it is not the best choice for lit environments because there are brighter monitors available.
Contrast Ratio – 3000:1
According to Display Specs, this monitor’s contrast ratio is 3000:1, which is standard for VA monitors, and the blacks appear deep with utmost clarity in the dark.
Gaming on this monitor in the dark feels excellent because it produces excellent details in the dark.
Viewing Angles (H/V) – 178°/178°
MSI claims 178-degrees wide viewing angles which is great, but we think that is not happening here because the viewing angles here are mediocre.
sRGB – 124%
DCI-P3 – 98%
The color coverage is excellent with the 124% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 on this monitor, which is perfect for viewing SDR and HDR content. It produces vibrant colors bringing the gaming experience true-to-life.
Response Time – 1ms MPRT
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has 1ms minimum response time and it excellent for a gaming monitor. It handles motions very well and with the FreeSync Premium certification, the gaming experience stays blur and stutter-free.
Refresh Rate – 165Hz
This gaming monitor can reach 165Hz refresh rate at its max. It provides consistent high refresh rate gaming experience and the visuals appear super smooth. Hence, this gaming monitor performs very well in terms of high refresh rate gaming. You can looks at other budget gaming monitors here.
Black Frame Insertion – N/A
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has black frame insertion technology, but it cannot be used with VRR.
HDR – N/A
The MSI Optix AG321CQR is not HDR certified, but it does support wide color gamut.
This gaming monitor supports variable refresh rate. It supports FreeSync Premium for consistent and tear-free high refresh rate gaming.
It has flicker-free technology to prevent flicker at all brightness levels.
Night Vision tunes the panel to display fine details of dark scenes so that you get better clarity and visibility.
Mystic RGB Lights
This gaming monitor has ambient RGB lights at the back which can be synced with other Mystic Light enabled gaming product. It can be controlled from your smartphone or Mystic Light app on the computer.
Low Blue Light
Blue Light Shift reduces harmful blue light from the display so that your eyes do not strain
This gaming monitor has 5-way joystick that acts as a power button and a joystick for controlling OSD menu.
2x HDMI 2.0
1x DisplayPort 1.2
The MSI Optix AG321CQR has dual HDMI 2.0 ports which support max 144Hz refresh rate, while the DisplayPort 1.2 supports max 165Hz refresh rate.
USB, Other Ports
1x USB 3.0 (Type-B, Upstream)
1x 3.5mm Audio Out
It offers dedicated audio out port for connecting speakers or headphones, along with a USB Type-B port.
That’s a Wrap!
We think the MSI Optix AG321CQR is a decent budget curved gaming monitor, but we feel the peak brightness is too low on this gaming monitor. Hence, it is not for well-lit rooms. Otherwise, it is a great choice for high refresh rate PC and console gaming. Also, the curve is effective instead of 1800R, it is 1500R, so that results in less eye movement, making it a comfortable gaming monitor.
Plus, the improvements are excellent over the predecessor. MSI managed to offer a fully adjustable stand, wide color gamut coverage and slightly better aesthetic at the same price as last year.
MSI Optix AG321CQR: ConclusionMSI Optix AG321CQR
Display4.3/5 SuperbThe display is curve and has satisfactory high refresh rate gaming experience.
Design3.8/5 GoodThe design and build have improved over the last year's model.
Features4/5 GoodIt has ample features and connectivity to suffice most people requirements.
- Good motion handling
- Curved screen provides comfort
- Ergonomic stand and improved aesthetics
- Stand has narrow ergonomics range
- Low peak brightness
- Black frame insertion cannot be used with VRR enabled