MSI Optix MAG342CQR Review: 1500R 1ms 3440×1440 144Hz; Curved UltraWide Gaming Experience


Our Rating: 4.6

In the world of gaming, the right monitor can make all the difference. MSI Optix MAG342CQR has been making waves in the gaming community, and for a good reason. With its impressive specs and performance, it promises to elevate your gaming experience to new heights.


  • Excellent image quality with deep blacks and vibrant colors
  • High resolution and refresh rate for smooth gaming
  • Curved design for immersive gameplay
  • VESA mount support
  • HDR capability


  • Limited HDR: While the monitor supports HDR, it lacks full-array local dimming(FALD)
  • Lack of USB ports

Design and Build

This monitor is a sight to behold with its sleek and edgy aesthetics. The monitor is built with a 21:9 UWQHD (3440 x 1440) VA panel that is housed in a sturdy and durable frame. The back panel features three simple RGB LED stripes, adding a touch of color to your gaming setup.

MSI-MSI-MAG342CQR back side

The MAG series, which includes the MAG342CQR, was designed to be a symbol of sturdiness and durability. The monitor has a simple installation process and a friendly user interface, making it an great choice for entry-level gamers.

In terms of materials, the monitor is made of high-quality plastic that feels solid to the touch. There are no creaks or wobbles, and the monitor feels like it can withstand the rigors of daily use.

Overall, the design and build are impressive. It’s a monitor that looks good and is built to last.

Display Quality

This model is a 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz ultrawide gaming monitor based on a curved VA panel. This panel type is known for its high contrast ratio, delivering deep and inky blacks. In fact, MAG342CQR boasts a static contrast ratio of 4000:1, which is significantly higher than the typical 1000:1 contrast ratio found in IPS monitors.

UWQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution results in a high pixel density, providing plenty of screen real estate and sharp details without any scaling necessary.

When it comes to color accuracy, it shines with a wide 92.57% DCI-P3 gamut coverage. This means you’ll get more vibrant and saturated colors, pushing immersion to its limits. If you want more accurate SDR color output, you can enable the sRGB emulation mode.

The monitor also has a decent 300-nit peak brightness, meaning that it can get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions.

MSI-MAG342CQR side view

The viewing angles of the model are wide at 178°, ensuring colors and details stay sharp at more angles compared to other monitors with less viewing angles.

Lastly, it features an anti-glare surface treatment, which helps to prevent reflections and maintain image clarity under various lighting conditions.


This model boasts a 1ms response time, which is the time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another. A lower response time means less motion blur and a smoother gaming experience.

Its input lag is approximately 5ms. Input lag refers to the delay between an action you’ve performed and the time it takes for your action to be represented on the screen. A lower input lag means a faster reaction time in games, which can give you a competitive edge.

The monitor has a refresh rate of 144Hz. The refresh rate of a monitor refers to the number of times the screen updates with new images each second. A higher refresh rate results in a smoother picture and better gaming experiences.

While it is not officially G-Sync compatible, it has been reported that G-Sync can be manually enabled in the NVIDIA control panel and works without any major issues.

The model supports Adaptive Sync technology in the form of AMD FreeSync. This technology helps to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering, providing a smoother gaming experience.

Adaptive Sync

MAG342CQR is equipped with features that provide a competitive edge in gaming. Its high refresh rate and low response time ensure smooth and responsive gameplay. Adaptive Sync technology can match the display’s refresh rate with your GPU for ultra-smooth gameplay. These features make it a great choice for fast-paced games where every millisecond counts.


This 34″ ultrawide gaming monitor is a powerhouse, boasting a resolution of 3440×1440 and a refresh rate of 144Hz. The 1ms response time panel is a significant advantage in fast-moving game genres such as first-person shooters, fighters, racing sims, real-time strategy, and sports.

The monitor offers an on-screen display (OSD) accessible through buttons on the back of the monitor. This OSD allows you to adjust various display settings like brightness, contrast, and color temperature. MSI’s Gaming OSD software allows you to save and load different display settings profiles, making it easy to switch between different game genres or preferences.

One of the standout features is the Night Vision technology. This feature is part of MSI’s monitor configuration software, the Gaming OSD App. Night Vision works by intelligently amplifying details in dark areas of the screen without overexposing the entire screen.

MSI OSD night vision technology

It offers various levels of adjustment, allowing gamers to adapt to different types of visually challenging dark scenes. Notably, Night Vision also includes an “AI” mode, which allows the monitor to compute and manipulate what’s being shown on the screen for an overall comfortable and pleasing image.

This feature can be considered an upgraded version of MSI’s previous function, “Black Tuner”, which simply increased the overall brightness of the scene.

The monitor also comes with Mystic Light RGB. This feature has three simple RGB LED stripes in its back panel. The RGB design reflects the sleek and edgy aesthetics. These colorful lights can be a constant companion for gamers through every battle, guiding them to their victory.

In addition to these, the monitor is equipped with HDR technology that can produce images with more details, wider range of colors, and look more similar to what is seen by the human eye when compared to traditional monitors.


Furthermore, the monitor has a large viewing angle, providing more leeway for placing your monitor in your setup without giving up the optimal viewing experience. Colors and details will stay sharp at more angles compared to other monitors with less viewing angles.

The monitor also has a super narrow bezel, providing the best immersion possible in the latest games with a multi-monitor 180-degree setup. This setup enhances your gaming, working, and general computing with seamless screen transitions.

Another important feature of this monitor is the Anti-Flicker technology. Standard monitors typically have a flicker-rate of about 200-times per second, which is not noticeable to the naked eye, but can cause fatigue over time. The Anti-Flicker technology provides comfortable viewing experience by reducing the amount of flicker.


The MSI Optix MAG342CQR offers a variety of connectivity options to cater to different user needs.

  • It comes equipped with DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports. However, it’s worth noting that the HDMI ports are limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440 resolution.
  • For audio output, there is a headphone jack available.
  • Unfortunately, the monitor does not come with any USB ports.


This model is designed with user comfort in mind. It offers a range of adjustability options for an optimal viewing experience. The monitor stand allows for tilting between -5° and 20°, height adjustment from 0 to 90mm, swiveling between -30° and 30°, and pivoting between -5° and 5°.

This flexibility enables you to easily change the position of the monitor for maximum ergonomics.

MSI-MAG342CQR ergonomics

The monitor is VESA mount compatible, allowing for even more flexibility in terms of mounting options.

The monitor also incorporates eye comfort features. It supports a Less Blue Light mode and flicker-free technology to reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions. These features are designed to provide a very comfortable viewing experience by reducing the amount of flicker, which is unnoticeable to the naked eye but can cause fatigue over time.


This display is based on a curved VA panel, which sets it apart from IPS monitors that typically have a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and somewhat grayish blacks. With its high 4,000:1 static contrast ratio this model delivers deep and inky blacks.

When compared to the LG 34WP65C-B, another top-budget VA ultrawide monitor, MAG342CQR poses a significant challenge. It surpasses the LG in terms of color reproduction but falls short in brightness level and black smearing. However, if built-in speakers are not a priority for you, the MSI Optix is the preferred choice, especially considering its current sale price, which is significantly lower than the coveted LG 34WP65C-B.

In comparison with the ASUS ROG Swift PG349Q, MAG342CQR holds its own. The ASUS model is a bit better for HDR, as it has a local dimming feature, and it’s a bit brighter in HDR. However, the MSI Optix MAG342CQR has better ergonomics and an optional backlight strobing feature, which can help improve the appearance of motion in some games.

When we look at the Acer Predator X34, this display again shows its strengths. The Acer Predator X34 has a higher resolution and pixel density, but the MSI Optix MAG342CQR offers a higher contrast ratio and a faster response time, making it a better choice for gamers.

MSI Optix MAG342CQR Specifications

Screen Size34 inches
Aspect Ratio21:9
Resolution3440 x 1440 (UWQHD)
Response Time1ms
Refresh Rate144Hz
Panel TypeVA
Contrast Ratio4000:1
Color Display1.07 billion colors (8 bits + FRC)
Brightness300 nits
Connectivity1 x DisplayPort (1.4), 2 x HDMI (2.0), 1 x Earphone Out
Viewing Angle178° (H)/178° (V)
Surface TreatmentAnti-glare
Adobe RGB / DCI-P3 / sRGB94.64% / 92.57% / 118.25%
Power TypeExternal Adaptor
Power Input19V 3.42A
Adjustment (Tilt)-5° ~ 20°
Adjustment (Swivel)-30° ~ 30°
Adjustment (Pivot)-5° ~ 5°
Adjustment (Height)0 – 90mm
Kensington LockYes
Dimension (W x H x D)810 x 510 x 270 mm
Carton Dimension (W X H X D)910 x 485 x 210 mm
Frameless DesignYes
VESA Mounting75 x 75 mm
Weight (NW / GW)6.91 kg / 9.36 kg


This monitor delivers a Gaming Experience that is hard to match, especially at its price point. The 1500R curvature immerses you into the action, providing a panoramic view that envelops your peripheral vision.
With a 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, the fluidity of motion in fast-paced games is exceptional.

The 3440×1440 UWQHD resolution ensures crisp and detailed visuals, making great for gaming and productivity tasks.
The VA panel offers deep blacks and high contrast ratios, which is a boon for gamers and movie enthusiasts alike.

However, color accuracy out of the box may require some tweaking to satisfy professional designers or content creators.
Also, the brightness level, while sufficient for most environments, might fall short under very bright lighting conditions.

In terms of value, this model strikes a balance between high-end features and affordability, making it an excellent choice for gamers looking to upgrade their setup without breaking the bank, or for professionals who need a wide canvas for multitasking.

It’s also a solid choice for movie lovers who want to enjoy cinematic content in a more engaging format. If you fit into any of these categories, the MSI Optix MAG342CQR deserves your consideration.

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