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MSI MPG 491CQP review: a stunning 49-inch OLED monitor

With its massive 49-inch QD-OLED panel, speedy 175Hz refresh rate, and 0.03ms response time, MSI has made a striking gaming display.

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Our Verdict

The MSI MPG 491QCP delivers the awe-inspiring experience you'd expect from a 49-inch OLED gaming monitor. Its huge image is amazing in games and video, and really useful for desktop work, while its image quality is fantastic. Its 175Hz refresh rate trails similar 240Hz screens, but gaming performance is still very good. Text clarity is not as good as on LCDs of a similar size/resolution, though, so it's not ideal if you do a lot of reading.

Reasons to buy
  • Fantastic overall image quality
  • Stunning HDR
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Decent value
Reasons to avoid
  • 'Only' 175Hz rather than 240Hz
  • Text clarity is middling
  • Few extra features

The MSI MPG 491CQP is a huge 49-inch gaming monitor that uses the latest Samsung QD-OLED panel technology to deliver dazzling colors and stunning HDR. It does all this while also providing speedy gaming performance, thanks to a 175Hz refresh rate and 0.03ms response time. It’s not packed with extra features, but that also keeps its price somewhat sensible.

It’s all enough to make this easily one of the best gaming monitors around, and it puts MSI firmly on the map when it comes to gaming monitors in general. There are a few caveats to note if you are interested in buying this display, though.

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Size 49-inch
Resolution 5,120 x 1,440
Refresh rate 175Hz
Panel type QD-OLED
Variable refresh rate
Yes (FreeSync Premium Pro)
HDR Yes (DisplayHDR 400 True Black)
 Curve Yes (1800R)
 Ports 1 x DisplayPort (1.4a)
2 x HDMI 2.1
1 x USB-C (DP alt.) w/PD 90W
Headphone out
USB hub (2 x USB 2.0)
Price $1,059.99 (£1,098.99)


There has been a flood of 49-inch gaming monitors in 2024, with most of them using the same Samsung QD-OLED panels with a resolution of 5,120 x 1,440. That’s the case here with the 491CQP, so it means this display has plenty of competition when it comes to its main event.

As such, while there are ways in which display manufacturers can differentiate themselves when it comes to how they use these panels, it’s the extra features that play a big part in which monitor will appeal most to you.

The 491CQP, then, runs its 49-inch panel at a refresh rate of 175Hz, which is a bit slower than some competing screens that top out at 240Hz, such as the existing Samsung G95SC. This immediately puts the MSI slightly on the back foot, but 175Hz is still enough speed for most gamers.

msi mpg 491cqp qd-oled gaming monitor review 04 curve

Elsewhere, this display offers all the essentials when it comes to features, but doesn’t exactly over-deliver. In terms of video connections, you get a fairly standard selection of one DisplayPort 1.4a port, two HDMI 2.1 inputs, and a UBS-C port. The latter can also deliver 90W of power to connected devices such as laptops.

You also get a USB hub, which offers two USB-A 2.0 sockets and a KVM feature. This means you can switch connected mice and keyboards (or any other USB devices) to connect to your main PC (via the USB-B uplink cable), or to your USB-C device when you switch video inputs. This is a handy little extra, but it’s a little surprising that you only get USB 2.0 ports on this monitor.

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Incidentally, the main difference between several of MSI’s new MAG and MPG OLED gaming monitors is that the MPG versions have the 90W USB-C power delivery, whereas the MAG models only deliver 15W. The MAG models also lack a USB hub at all.

Another missing feature across the board is any sort of speakers, with only a headphone output provided for pulling audio from the video inputs. It offers clean and clear audio output at least, and it also saves you spending extra money on speakers you may well not even use.

There’s no RGB lighting either, or indeed any other extras, although the stand does include height, rotation, and tilt adjustment, all of which operate smoothly.


When a screen is as big as the 491CQP, its design can’t help but be dominated by the presence of the display itself. However, MSI has done a decent job of keeping this monitor looking smart and functioning well where possible.

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From the front, the panel has quite wide bezels compared to some screens, but they’re no bigger than most competing displays of this size/type. The bottom bezel is finished in a simple and subtle metallic gray, with a subtle MSI logo on the far left. In the center, there’s a small white LED to indicate power, although it’s a touch too bright, so it would’ve been handy to have a setting in the menus to make it less bright or turn it off.

Round the back, this display looks like a fairly typical gaming screen, with an all-black color scheme and a shiny central section with an MSI dragon logo and various other lines etched into it. It’s not as classy-looking as the Samsung G95SC to our eyes, but your tastes my differ.

One design feature we do like about this screen, though, is that its edges are a little thicker than on some monitors, making it easier to handle. MSI has also managed to implement a completely passive cooling system for the screen. While many OLED panels require a fan to keep cool, there isn’t one required here. Most of these fans are basically inaudible in normal use, but it’s good to know there’s at least one less potential point of failure.

The stand here looks quite smart with its two long, V-shaped feet finished in a metallic gray. However, we much prefer the slim, flat-foot style used on the Samsung G95SC. It encroaches on less of your desk space, and the space it does occupy can still be used, as the foot is completely flat.

The curve of this panel has a gentle 1,800-inch radius (1800R), which just slightly brings the edge of the screen in towards you. This is a more practical curve for most uses than tighter curves, but if you’re looking for a dedicated flight or racing sim screen, a 1000R screen such as the Samsung G95NA will better suit your needs.

Software and controls

The MSI MPG 491CQP doesn’t offer any sort of software support, unlike the Lenovo Legion Y34wz-30, and you control all its features via onscreen menus. These are comprehensive and easy to control, thanks to a mini joystick/D-pad control on the back of the display. You get nine main menu sections, consisting of GI, Gaming, Professional, Image, Input Source, PIP/PBP, Navi Key, Settings, and MSI OLED Care.

GI is where you find the KVM switching function, along with two screen overlay options. One is a smart crosshair feature, which is genuinely quite useful. It shows a crosshair in the center of the screen (size and shape customizable) and then automatically changes its color depending on what’s on the screen, helping ensure the crosshair remains easily visible. This can be useful in games where shooting accuracy is important but a crosshair isn’t otherwise shown on screen – when using iron sights, for instance.

There’s also an Optix Scope feature, which is less obviously useful. In theory, it gives you a type of sniper scope zoom effect, but it’s on all the time so it’s tricky to make it work with most games.

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Meanwhile, the Gaming section is where the main Game Mode presets are located, along with settings for a dark color-boosting Night Vision mode, an AI Vision mode, a refresh rate counter overlay, an alarm clock of all things, and the Adaptive Sync setting.

Then there’s the Professional section, which houses the image quality presets, including an sRGB mode for limiting the color gamut of the screen, and both Adobe RGB and Display P3 modes, which again set the screen to what MSI believes are the best settings to conform to those color standards. We tended to leave the display on Display P3 for most use.

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The Image section houses the brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature, screen size, and DisplayHDR settings. The penultimate of those lets you limit the screen to a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio, which can be useful if you only like to play older games (or video) at the correct aspect ratio, rather than filling the whole screen. Oddly, 21:9 isn’t offered as an option, though.

Meanwhile, the Navi Key section lets you assign different shortcuts to the directions of the menu’s joystick. The final main OSD section is OLED Care, which offers loads of ways for the screen to reduce the likelihood of developing OLED burn-in. That’s where the screen develops permanent marks on it from static bright images being shown on it for too long.

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The OLED Care menu includes a pixel shift setting, which makes the display move the screen’s image over one pixel every now and then, slightly changing which pixels are activated. You can change the setting to Slow, Normal, or Fast.

Then there’s Static Screen Detection, which is essentially a standby mode that detects if areas of the screen haven’t moved, and if so, reduces their brightness. The same basic effect happens with the Logo, Taskbar, and Boundary Detection modes, which all offer slightly different areas for the screen to concentrate on to reduce burn-in. It’s a comprehensive list that, along with a three-year screen burn warranty, goes a long way to aiding peace of mind about your display being ruined by burn-in.

One slight irritation we noticed, however, is that the display will turn off completely when it goes into standby, requiring you to turn the display back on via the button at the back if you’ve been absent from your PC – when returning from a lunch break, for instance. It’s a small issue but it got on our nerves.

Image quality

As we’ve come to expect from Samsung’s QD-OLED panels, as used by MSI here, overall image quality is fantastic. The ability of OLED panels to completely turn off individual pixels means you get essentially infinite contrast with true black levels. Colors dazzle too, with the display able to cover 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut – the widest used for conventional displays. This means HDR content in particular really pops on the MPG 491CQP.

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Maximum full-screen brightness is modest at just 254nits (by our measurements), so you don’t get quite the dazzle that miniLED HDR displays, such as the Lenovo Legion Y34wz-30 can achieve. However, the MSI MPG 491CQP’s image still looks bright and usable, even in reasonably well-lit rooms.

Moreover, it can produce higher brightness levels in small areas, making HDR content pop more than this modest peak figure would suggest. With just the 4% window of this HDR test pattern shown, the screen can hit 440nits.

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That’s still nothing compared to the 1,000nits of some miniLED screens, but it still makes for incredible-looking HDR imagery – after all, most people will only want to run their screen at around 200nits for daily use so 440nits is still a nice brightness boost for HDR. As such, whether you’re watching video or playing games, this screen doesn’t disappoint. It simply looks fantastic.

In our color calibration tests using a Calibrite Display Plus HL and DisplayCal software, the screen did show that it benefits from a little bit of color balance tweaking to look perfect, but it’s not too drastic. Its default Eco mode isn’t great, though, so we recommend switching to the Display P3 or User modes and going from there.

msi mpg 491cqp qd-oled gaming monitor review 17 image quality ultra wide video

As such, there are only two main areas of concern when it comes to image quality. The first is that the sheer size of the screen means it’s actually too wide for even ultra-widescreen movies, and it doesn’t play perfectly with some games either. Slightly less wide screens – those with 21:9 aspect ratios – offer a better experience for widescreen movies and games.

Instead, it’s when you’re using productivity software and watching the occasional ultra-widescreen video clip, such as the one shown above, where the screen really shines. The extra width is super useful for having loads of windows open side-by-side, and it makes for quite a sight when the whole screen is filled with video footage.

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Where it’s let down for productivity work is when it comes to text clarity. Because QD-OLED panels use a slightly different layout of red, green, and blue subpixels to LCD screens, they can produce colored fringes on the edges of high-contrast parts of an image, such as black text on a white background. You can see in the two images below how the OLED panel (top) has these fringe colors, whereas the LCD panel below (with the same resolution/screen size) looks much crisper.

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msi mpg 491cqp qd-oled gaming monitor review 10 lcd text quality

For this reason, I personally still wouldn’t use a screen of this size and resolution for my day job of reading and writing about tech all day – the drop in text quality is noticeable enough. However, many users will find it’s not much of a problem. Also, for screens with a higher pixel density – as you’ll find with 4k 32-inch OLED screens, for example – this problem essentially disappears.

Gaming performance

The big advantage of OLED over LCD is its ultra-fast response time and that’s in evidence here. With a rated 0.03ms response time, this panel is 100 times faster at switching colors than the fastest LCD, in theory. In our response time tests using an OSRTT, it actually averaged a 1.28ms initial response time, thanks to a few slower-than-expected color transitions, but for the most part, this is still a blazing-fast screen.

msi mpg 491cqp qd-oled gaming monitor review 14 response time

This was borne out in my own gaming tests, where I found the 491CQP to offer a really snappy feel that allowed me to aim and track movement precisely. That said, I could perceive the slight drop in peak refresh rate compared to 240Hz screens of the same type. The difference wasn’t night and day, but I’d definitely rather have the 240Hz refresh rate than not when playing the likes of Apex Legends and CS2.

Price and availability

The MSI MPG 491CQP price of $1,099.99 (£1,089.99) is definitely competitive with other brand new QD-OLED gaming screens of the same size. Gigabyte’s Aorus CO49DQ is listed at the same price, while the likes of Asus and Philips competing screens are more expensive. Right now the MPG 491CQP is also slightly discounted to $999.99, but we don’t know how long that discount will apply.

As such, the main competition to the 491CQP in right now (May 2024) remains Samsung’s G95SC. This is based on slightly older QD-OLED tech, but it still holds up well and offers a 240Hz refresh rate, along with lots of extra features, while costing just $100 more.


If the MSI MPG 491CQP isn’t the right choice for you, I recommend considering these alternatives.

Final verdict

The MSI MPG 491CQP is a great OLED gaming monitor at a decent price. The sheer amount of screen space and performance you get for just over $1,000 is incredible. Having seen a few of these types of screens recently, there’s no extra wow factor here to really make the MSI stand out, but it also doesn’t do much (if anything) wrong, and it has a competitive price.

In general, the massive width on offer here is amazing for overall desktop space, racing and flight sims, and other games too. For some games, and for most movies, the massive width is actually a bit wasted, but when the screen can be filled it looks superb. HDR dazzles and colors pop, bringing amazing depth to whatever you’re viewing.

If you spend all day working at a screen, and care a lot about text clarity, this type of screen isn’t one we’d recommend, though. Likewise, as a pure competitive gaming screen, its 175Hz max refresh rate is a touch limiting. However, as an all-rounder, it delivers the goods, with peace of mind regarding OLED burn-in covered by MSI’s three year warranty.

For more of our top picks for gaming monitors, whether you’re looking for a high-end OLED screen, or much cheaper options, check out our best gaming monitor guide, where we have recommendations for all uses.