Now, everyone who regularly visits the gear section of Power up! He knows I’m a big sucker for big, beautiful, color-accurate Ultra HD gaming screens. Not only that, but MSI has previously impressed me with the Quantum Dot display that sits comfortably atop a 4K gaming monitor. So it’s somewhat surprising that I’ve been struggling to endorse the MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR.
Retailing for $999, it’s on top of the ultrafast range and the question I asked in this review is whether it’s worth it. That money gives you an ultra-wide 34-inch VA curved panel with 165Hz refresh, 1ms response time with HDR, 8-bit wide color gamut and all the essential gaming features.
However, after living with one for the past few weeks and playing a lot of different games as well as some content creation work, I admit I’m not intrigued by the value that the Artymis 343CQR offers. Using MSI’s Optix MPG321QRF-QD software and Alienware’s exceptional QD-OLED Ultrawide, this monitor feels like something from a bygone era. Let’s get into it.
MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR Review
The Artymis 343CQR is meticulous in its design choices and looking at it from the front won’t tell you it’s a gaming monitor. The large, curved 34-inch panel is the idea that quickly brings us back to reality. On the back is the MSI Mystic light strip and Dragon logo which are more aesthetic than ambient light for your setup. The only other color on the back comes from the bright cherry red joystick that is used to navigate the OSD menu.
The stand looks sharp and aggressive thanks to its slanted metal legs that taper forward. The legs take up a lot of space but you can always put your accessories or IKEA desk plants in between. The stand is sturdy and offers the usual range of height, swivel and tilt adjustment and I didn’t get any screen wobble from my typing. There is a small hole for cable management in the base of the stand as well.
These cables will connect to several of the I/O ports on the back of the Artymis 343CQR. There’s a DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a USB Type-C port which is great for laptop connections. The lack of HDMI 2.1 can be overlooked because the controllers don’t support a 21:9 aspect ratio. Artymis also has two USB 3.2 Type-A ports that are supported by the Type B upstream. Due to its size, I liked the extra USB ports on the bottom or side for easy access and a KVM switch so I could use the same peripherals between my PC and my MacBook.
panel and performance
The Artymis 343CQR uses a 34-inch curved panel which is great for fast gaming thanks to its high refresh rate of 165Hz and response time of 1ms. When running a UFO test, the Artymis 343CQR showed quite a bit of ghosting that was unexpected for the 165Hz refresh. However, I have never experienced any ghosting while playing games at a higher frame rate than the original game.
Using the MSI Trident X supplied with the RTX 3080Ti, like games Wolfenstein Youngblood And the eternal torment It easily exceeded the refresh limit and yet the screen handled motion clearly and smoothly. Artymis 343CQR supports AMD FreeSync Premium which was working fine with NVIDIA card.
The colors on the Artymis 343CQR are saturated, exciting, and vibrant, and look great in games. However, outside of games, this isn’t great and I had to play around with the different presets to order something that looked more realistic and accurate. It is especially worse when you are in HDR mode where the white balance is off giving the eggs a brown tint.
OSD does not provide any tools to adjust the HDR image which is an issue. However, things are better in SDR mode with controls for contrast and color balance as well as several presets for both gaming and professional genres. I’ve found that sRGB mode works best for color accuracy even though it’s still not 100%.
Additionally, since the Artymis 343CQR uses edge-lit backlighting, there’s not much in the way of local dimming to do with proper HDR but while playing certain games, HDR had a positive impact on the visuals. The dark interiors in Assassins Creed Origins lit by candles and lamps were a prime example of helping HDR. Contrast in SDR is much better although there are deeper blacks and whiter whites, so avoid using HDR for non-gaming purposes. Again, after using a QD panel on an MSI Optix MPG321QRF-QD or Alienware QD-OLED, this one really pales in comparison.
3440 x 1440 resolution is ideal for high definition, high frame rate, and immersive gaming. It’s much easier than 4K for most graphics cards to handle at higher settings with good frame rates and my favorite gameplay. With the RTX 3080 Ti, I was easily able to get over 100fps in the vast majority of games at the highest settings which made everything look and feel great. The 1000R curve of the panel is noticeable but not aggressive and seeing all corners of the screen is easy which is important to seeing your HUD in games. The only downside to owning the 21:9 ultra-wide aspect is the vertical boxing when connecting a game console.
I find this immersion really breaks but you can still totally do it. Games will run at a maximum of 2560 x 1440 pixels at 120 Hz that Xbox Series X can produce | S but for the PlayStation 5, the Artymis 343CQR automatically downgrades the 4K input to 2K so you can still play games in phantom 4K. Alternatively, you can just use the Picture-in-Picture or Picture-by-Picture modes and split the screen between two outputs with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This can be useful for a number of use cases.
Outside of gaming, the large screen space is also ideal for multitasking with plenty of room available for many full or half sized windows in your different applications of choice. The crystal-clear resolution means text is always crisp and using things like Adobe Premier allows you to easily see the entire video timeline. Ultrawides are much better for more things.
Should you buy it?
At this point in 2022, I would say no. The MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR is a very good range that has since been outdone by the newer monitors introduced this year. The Alienware QD-OLED has radically redefined our expectations for an ultra-wide gaming monitor and this older MSI display can’t be matched. It is good in itself but it is not in a vacuum.
At $1000, you can get much better value for your money with something like the Gigabyte G34WQC or the Prismplus XQ340 Pro that costs several hundreds less. I’m excited to see how MSI will update its watch line very soon in response to the competition; We hope to see ultra-wide QD-OLED with HDMI 2.1 and a KVM switch. Until then, save your money.
MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR Review
All the video inputs you need
2K Resize PS5
Modern screens make this obsolete
Poor color metering, especially in HDR
No KVM key
no value for money