MSI’s latest color-accurate monitor packs some pretty great specifications when compared to its competitors. For example, the 32-inch display features a super-fast one millisecond response time, 165Hz refresh rate, and 99% Adobe RGB coverage for $800.
While originally announced in August of last year, the Creator Series monitors from MSI may have slipped under your radar. At the time of publication, the company’s official YouTube video announcing the monitor only showed a little over 1,000 views, which is strange since there is a lot to like about what this monitor series offers.
There are actually two versions of the monitor: one in QDH 2560 x 1440 and the other is 4K. At first glance, you might be tempted to go for more resolution between the two, but it’s worth noting that the extra resolution does come at a cost. First, the 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time that really impresses is only available on the QHD version. The 4K monitor maxes out at 60Hz with a 4ms response time. Still, that’s pretty good and most would be willing to accept that dip in performance for more resolution. The 4K monitor does take a hit to color accuracy though, albeit just a small one: it covers 98% of Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3.
These slight tradeoffs between one another are likely why the two monitors aren’t very far apart in price. Depending on what you’re specifically looking for, one might be a better fit for you than the other.
Both versions of the monitor don’t get particularly bright, however: while the monitor series is VESA Certified Display HDR600 they only reach a maximum of 400 nits of peak brightness. That said, they do promise a billion color bit depth thanks to the 8-bit panel plus FRC. So while it’s not a true 10-bit monitor, that’s great to see.
The MSI Creator Series monitors come equipped with multiple ports: one DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0, a USB-C, three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-B, a microphone in, a headphone out, and an SD card reader.
What makes this monitor particularly interesting is that at least with the QHD version, it can be more things to more people. That fast response time and refresh rate in tandem with 99% of Adobe RGB make it uniquely able to work as a gaming monitor as well as a color-accurate editing workhorse. While it is unfortunate that it only is equipped with HDMI 2.0 ports, the fact it isn’t 4K means that may not matter much to console gamers (at the time of publication, the Playstation frustratingly doesn’t allow for 1440p display and will automatically drop it down to 1080p) and it gets the most display power out of the DisplayPort anyway — for PC gamers, that’s all they’ll be looking for. With the explosive popularity of gaming over the last year, finding a single monitor that can function both for work and for play is becoming more important to more people, and this monitor really checks both boxes.
That’s why monitors like this MSI PS321, the LG UltraGear 4K, and even — to a lesser degree — the Samsung Odyssey G7 may all be strongly considered right now. The more versatile the tool is, the more likely it is to be worthy of a photographer’s hard-earned money.