BenQ EX3210U vs MSI MPG321UR-QD

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.
New user? Register here.

  • Author
  • #69300

      Having reviewed the BenQ EX3210U (MOBIUZ series) and received a good amount of positive feedback and read reviews in various languages on the MSI MPG321UR-QD (Optix series), it might be helpful to draw a comparison. They’re both based on the same panel (AU Optronics M320QAN02.3), but performance differs in some areas. There’s also an ‘Xbox Edition’ of the MSI but you just get a sticker most people will want to peal off and possibly an additional preset (which most Xbox gamers I’ve spoken with don’t care for – and why should they). In this case the ‘Mystic Light’ preset is set to a green colour to match the Xbox theme by default. If deciding between the two MSI models, I’d simply go for whichever is cheaper or easier to obtain. I can’t really comment too much on Quality Control (QC) aspects. Honestly, I feel all of these models can be quite hit and miss in that regard and this is a feeling I have all too often with the monitor market currently. Perhaps the BenQ is a bit below average in this sector, but I don’t have a strong feeling it’s significantly worse in that respect. Especially not compared to the ASUS PG32UQ, if recent user reviews on Amazon .com are anything to go by. Some musings with all this in mind:

      The BenQ has a fairly solid feel to the monitor itself and the neck piece is a surprisingly solid and weighty chunk of matte white plastic. The stand base is really rather plasticky in feel. And the ‘orange’ inner piece has alternating diagonal orange and purple stripes. The whole construction of the stand base reminds me of a toy rather than something I’d associate with a premium monitor. But some people won’t mind that aspect and perhaps it’s just an association I’ve made due to overthinking as I often do.

      The integrated speaker and subwoofer system of the BenQ is quite good. It’s nice to have if you find yourself using the integrated speakers. Same for the remote – it’s nice to have when navigating through the OSD. Obviously some will make more use of one or both of these features than others, they may be inconsequential if you have no need for integrated speakers or rarely access the OSD.

      BenQ’s Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are, as ever, very nicely balanced visually. I’m not sure how this MSI model compares in that respect, but if others are anything to go by you can expect a green tint to the LBL setting. Just something to consider if you like to use monitor-side LBL.

      The default calibration (with the ‘Custom’ preset or any other preset aside from ‘sRGB’ – the emulation mode) has rather wonky gamma handling on the BenQ. This can be improved a fair bit with OSD tweaking and with this plus your colorimeter I don’t see this as an issue. Just that I like good ‘2.2’ gamma tracking out the box or by just adjusting gamma mode if possible. The MSI doesn’t have great gamma tracking either and I don’t believe there’s much you can do about that in the OSD alone.

      The MSI includes emulation modes which clamp to sRGB, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB. Some people like the look of a certain colour space for general purpose usage so this can be a really nice touch with that in mind. Such settings can potentially make a good base for calibration as well as they can minimise the amount of correction that will have to be done at the software level. But in this case you can’t control the RGB channels so I’d probably recommend calibration with the native gamut anyway. As you have a colorimeter this can be done with either model, of course.

      The MSI includes USB-C, whereas the BenQ lacks this. It also supports 2-system KVM functionality (though it has 3 Type-B ports, which is unusual) in addition to 6 USB 2.0 downstream ports. The BenQ has 4 USB 3.0 ports plus one Type-B upstream.

      The MSI has a higher maximum brightness under SDR. The BenQ can still get close to (slightly above, I recorded) the specified 300 cd/m² under SDR so that’s more than bright enough for most people. But not everyone. The MSI reaches ~400 cd/m² or slightly above under SDR. For minimum luminance the BenQ goes down to <60 cd/m² and the MSI ~130 cd/m². So if you’re sensitive to brightness the BenQ is a better option.

      Under HDR the MSI also has an edge in brightness as it reaches ~700 cd/m². I’ve tested the BenQ with a range of white patch sizes (percentage white windows) and also in-game in various scenarios and it’s closer to ~500 cd/m². The dimming algorithm is also important and the BenQ certainly likes to dark-bias where there are mixtures of light and dark. In some ways this is good because it can maintain a more atmospheric look to darker areas and the dimming zones don’t pulse up to such high levels as often – bearing in mind they’re vertical stripes running from left to right and spanning from the top to bottom of the screen, such pulses can be noticeable and distracting. I’m not saying the MSI is necessarily ‘bad’ in this respect and I lack the hands-on experience to really say much more, but from the figures I’ve seen it does appear to light-bias more. Pros and cons to each approach.

      The BenQ has a party trick when it comes to its gaming performance and responsiveness compared to competing models using the panel. It has a setting (‘AMA 2’) that pushes the panel really well for high refresh rate performance. Don’t get me wrong – there are still weaknesses (will be apparent in the review once published). And you do get a moderate amount of overshoot, which will be too much for some people and as such the setting wouldn’t even be used. But if you can tolerate that you’re left with a faster performance than its competitors (including the MSI) provide – without the same strong to extreme overshoot their higher response time settings would give. Coupled with the low input lag I’m actually finding I can perform surprisingly well on various Battlefield games using the BenQ – it’s not perfect but better than I expected based on the panel used. ‘AMA 1’ is somewhat faster than any setting on the MSI as well, actually, and doesn’t have much overshoot at high refresh rate. So the BenQ simply has an edge in pixel responsiveness. Responsiveness is so subjective though, some would be happy enough with the performance of the MSI for example. I still have so much positive feedback about the BenQ EX2780Q for example and I’d put this about on-par with the MSI in terms of pixel response performance.

      The BenQ’s Blur Reduction is relatively well-tuned. One of the best strobe backlight modes I’ve come across on a ‘4K’ model actually. It has less strobe crosstalk and better pixel response tuning compared to the MSI. You can use VRR at the same time with both models.


        Improvements to overdrive tuning, if possible, are always good.
        But really would be time to start bringing out monitors with more modern panels…

        Though guess we should be happy that BenQ at least has actual adjustability in backlight, instead of having brain dead high minimum brightness like MSI.

        Alex James

          I have no forking idea why my post got banned by r/Monitors after three days, but since i’ve searched for the best 4k 144hz monitor for who know how many days, i thought it would be nice to save you from some works. also great job on the if some of you are here cuz of hesitance


            Hi Alex James,

            I take it from this you’re a happy user of the EX3210U? I’m glad to see that if so. 🙂

            Alex James

              Thanks for this information


                No problem, glad it was helpful and that you’re happy with the screen.

              Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
              • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.