Competitive gaming no longer demands the most expensive, budget-busting monitors on the market. Sought-after features like FreeSync, stellar color accuracy, and lighting-fast response times can be found on budget-friendly prices that would have been unthinkable even just a few short years ago. As higher-end resolutions such as 1440p have taken the market by storm, 1080p displays have dropped in value and can still provide excellent gaming experiences at as much as half of the cost of a comparable high-end display.
For competitive esports players or budget-conscious gamers, two 1080p monitors have vied for the podium as the best bang for the buck option under $250. In this comparison, the BenQ EX2510 will go up against the MSI Optix G241 to see what the main differences are and which one provides the best value for your money.
|Monitor||BenQ EX2510||MSI Optix G241|
|Panel||25” IPS||24” IPS|
|Brightness||350 Nits||250 Nits|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Connectivity||2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2||2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Headphone Out|
Appearance & Stand – BenQ EX2510
Both monitors sport similar screen sizes with the BenQ coming in at just an inch larger than the 24inch MSI Optix. As much as consumers say they don’t like to judge products by appearance, looks do matter when achieving that sleek, clean battle station look that gamers love. Both displays boast “frameless” designs with narrow bezels.
The BenQ EX2510 ekes out ahead with a slightly more robust stand that allows for a wider range of vertical and horizontal adjustments with 20 degrees of maneuverability in each direction. The MSI Optix allows for vertical movement and adjustments, but the horizontal swivel is lacking in this model.
The MSI Optix takes a simple matte black approach with faux brushed metal panels and an angular design that matches the popular aesthetic of other gaming-centered products. The BenQ would look more at home as a premium set piece. It has a more modern professional with a rounded white stand that has a single strip of orange accent that makes it pop. Since neither option has any glaring design choices, It’ll come down to personal style preference as to which one would look more at home on your desk.
Resolution, Panel Type, Refresh Rate, & Peak Brightness – BenQ EX2510
The BenQ EX2510 and the MSI Optix G241 each have IPS panels with matching 1080p full HD resolutions and 1000:1 contrast ratios. Additionally, both monitors come in at a 144Hz refresh rate with just 1ms of response time. Since these monitors are so neck-and-neck in terms of big-ticket features, it’s best to look at the more minor details to see what sets these two options apart.
One such detail is the peak brightness of the displays. The BenQ has a clear lead on brightness with a peak output of 350 nits compared to the MSI Optix’s 250 nits. The approximate 20% difference isn’t drastic, especially if you are the sort of user who does not usually max out the brightness of a display. But some may find that extra 20% a boon in sunny rooms or offices. The BenQ EX2510 also has a front sensor that can detect the level of light in the room and adjust the brightness and color settings based on that information.
Colors – BenQ EX2510
BenQ is the name many think of when color accuracy and sRGB coverage are brought up, and it is for good reasons. The EX2510 delivers stellar color accuracy out of the box with minimal need for calibration in standard picture modes. This display boasts excellent gamma with accurate grayscale and color tracking without the need to do much tweaking at all. It covers 99% of the sRGB gamut, has multiple color modes for different tasks, and has minimal IPS panel glow when compared to other options in the same price bracket.
The MSI Optix G241 falls a bit behind with many users claiming over-saturated reds and inaccurate colors out of the box. However, MSI does claim to cover 128% sRGB, which should translate to a bit more accuracy for professionals working with content sources that share a wider space than standard sRGB. However, sometimes a bigger number doesn’t translate to better performance across the board. With minimal support for additional sRGB in most programs and a need to professionally fine-tune the calibration for the best results, the results will often result in over-saturated colors for the majority of users.
Connectivity & Features – BenQ EX2510
Both monitors support AMD FreeSync, HRI, and have wide 178-degree viewing angles that make them crisp and clear no matter how they are orientated in your setup. Each one has support for standard VESA mounts, so it will be a breeze to attach either one to a monitor arm to free up some desk space.
The MSI Optix G241 has two HDMI 1.4b ports, a single 1.2a display port, and an AUX port for audio. The BenQ EX2510 has two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single 1.2a display port, and no AUX port. So, the BenQ has more up-to-date connectivity options at the cost of no integrated audio output for headphones. Most users won’t find the lack of an AUX port to be a huge issue, especially with onboard MOBO audio and Bluetooth headsets being rather ubiquitous in the gaming space.
One quality of life feature that the BenQ model has is an internal supply with no need for an external brick while the MSI Optix does make use of an external PSU.
Price – MSI Optix G241
Despite lagging marginally in feature sets, the MSI Optix G241 comes in at an incredible value of just $189. It can even be had during sales as low as $169. The BenQ EX2510 may be the more premium monitor of the pair, but those additional features demand a higher price of $250. The rock-bottom price point of the MSI Optix makes it the clear budget option for gamers who may not be as picky about color accuracy and overall visual fidelity.
Verdict – BenQ EX2510
The BenQ EX 2510 is the better of the two monitors by a decent margin. It’s more accurate. It’s brighter. It has a more up-to-date I/O. However, consumers should not count the MSI Optix G241 out. It delivers very similar metrics and features while costing nearly $100 less than the BenQ EX2510. In short, professionals who need crisp and accurate colors out of the box should go with the BenQ. Gamers who want all of the premium features of higher-tier monitors who don’t mind some over-saturation and dimness should go with the MSI Optix G241. My personal choice would be to dish out the extra money for the BenQ, as it is a better all-rounder for productivity and gaming.