The MSI Oculux NX253R is a “business in front, party in back” monitor. On the front, it looks extremely neutral with just a blacked out MSI logo on the edge of the bezel, but flip it over and you can see it’s a gaming monitor. The brushed back is embossed with the glossy MSI Oculux dragon, and on the other side of the panel you can see the NVIDIA G-SYNC logo, the MSI logo, and an RGB strip. The MSI Oculux NXG253R was designed exclusively for eSports.
This stunning display has a monstrous 360Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync, so it should be able to play the fastest games with smooth, sharp motion and no screen tearing. Players with superhuman reflexes and extreme gameplay skills look for any advantage they can get over their opponents. A fast PC with the latest graphics hardware is of course a must. The top graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD can deliver incredibly high frame rates, but to harness that power you need an equally powerful monitor. The Oculux NXG253R belongs to a relatively new generation of monitors that take their cue from the competition.
Fast but boring TN panels are no longer the only option for those who want super-fast response times. As a result, monitors like the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR, Alienware AW2521H, and Oculux NXG253R can offer newer, more vibrant “fast IPS” panels that still keep gray-to-grey times to under 1ms. The MSI monitor also follows the standard esports combo of a 25-inch screen with a 1920×1080 resolution: not particularly large or sharp compared to most of the best gaming monitors, but sticking to 1080p monitors will put less strain on the graphics cards, allowing for faster frame rates.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Design
The overall design is simple but functional, with a fully adjustable stand and a triple USB hub although we are glad the extra Nvidia branding is on the back where we can’t see it. The choice of IPS panel is also a good one, even if it’s not for speed. Coverage of the sRGB color space is 95.3%, and peak brightness reaches a high 428.3 cd/m2 right out of the box. Combined with a contrast ratio of 1129:1, which bypasses the usual weakness of IPS panels, the Oculux NXG253R often looks excellent despite its comparatively small dimensions.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Display
The NXG253R comes with a number of bells and whistles like HDR, although it is only DisplayHDR 400 certified. This is the entry level of HDR, without Local Dimming and all the features typically associated with this type of technology. So if you’re looking for an extremely vivid and lifelike picture with deep blacks, you won’t find it here. Yes, it’s a big step up from the TN panels of yesteryear, but don’t expect the world in terms of image quality. With its 1920×1080 resolution, it also can’t compete with higher resolution screens when it comes to image sharpness. HDR monitor is a nice extra, but don’t buy it for that feature if you’re not interested in speed or gaming performance.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Connectivity
Connectivity includes three USB 3.2 downstream ports on the left side, one of which is the special mouse port used by Reflex. To use it, connect a USB-B cable from the upstream port underneath to your PC. You’ll also need a supported game, mouse and graphics card. There are also both HDMI and DisplayPort ports, though you’ll need to use the latter to unlock the full 360 Hz. HDMI is limited to 240 Hz, and if you’re a PS5 monitor or Xbox Series X monitor, you’re limited to 120 Hz. Elsewhere, a three-port USB 3.2 hub is included, but there is no USB-C connectivity.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Refresh Rate
The MSI Oculux NXG253R esports gaming G-SYNC immediately piques interest, mainly because of its 360Hz refresh rate and 1ms monitor response time Rapid IPS panel. If competitive gameplay is what the gamer demands, this is the monitor you want installed on your desk. Of course, you need a top-notch GPU, and to get the best performance, we prefer NVIDIA. The Oculux monitor delivers smooth, tear-free gameplay thanks to integrated Nvidia G-Sync technology. 360 FPS might be a bit exaggerated, and there aren’t many games where you can achieve such values, but for professionals, every frame might count.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: OSD Features
Pressing the joystick of the MSI Oculux NXG253R brings up a well-sorted and organized OSD. It is divided into six submenus with seven picture modes, a menu for the functions of the G-Sync processor, the calibration and the programming of the four joystick directions. The Image menu contains the luminance controls. The brightness is called peak white (nits), and you can set the light output in nit values. The values are somewhat imprecise For 200 nits, set the slider to 175. There are three color temperature presets and an adjustment mode with very precise RGB sliders. There are also five gamma presets, ranging from 1.8 to 2.6. They are just right: set 2.2 and you get 2.2.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Calibration Settings
The user image mode of the NXG253R is quite accurate and can be used without calibration. But with a few tweaks to the RGB sliders, you can get a very fine image. Colors are spot on when referenced to the sRGB gamut specification, with excellent gamma and grayscale tracking. Once you’ve calibrated the image to your liking, turn on the variable backlight to achieve a contrast of about 3,000:1 in SDR mode and nearly 8,000:1 in HDR mode. HDR signals lock all image controls, but we did not find any complaints in our HDR grayscale, luminance and color tests. The MSI Oculux NXG253R is a very accurate monitor.
MSI Oculux NXG253R review: Performance
The combination of 360 Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync ensures sensational performance in fast-paced games: The MSI is buttery smooth and crisp in every situation. As always, however, the 360Hz refresh rate only benefits demanding gamers 240Hz displays will satisfy casual gamers. The 360Hz refresh rate is paired with a 1ms response time. Fortunately, this is achieved in the screen’s Fast Response Time mode, which offers smooth, fast, and sharp performance with only a tiny bit of overshoot that is only visible when looking closely. The other response time modes are not as impressive. The “Normal” mode has more visible blurring, and the “Fastest” option delivers additional ghosting and no significant speed increase. The “Fast” option offers the best balance its tiny reverse ghosting will not hinder gameplay.
The MSI Oculux NXG253R is an amazing gaming monitor. The 360 Hz refresh rate is fantastic, provided your computer is good enough to output images that fast. It has an excellent response time, resulting in crystal clear motion with almost no blur behind fast moving objects, and of course it has excellent input lag. If you’re a competitive gamer, it also supports NVIDIA’s new Reflex Latency Analyzer, so you can identify the weak spots in your system and improve your performance.