Resistance to gunfire is more than a novel headline for MSI monitors – it’s a sign of high build quality and long-term resilience
Some people take their gaming very seriously, but they probably wouldn’t go so far as to pull out a real gun, even in the heat of a frantic ranked session of League of Legends. So when we heard that an MSI gaming monitor had blocked a stray bullet, we assumed it was probably not due to an extreme case of “rage quitting”. It was, in fact, an errant munition from an unrelated shooting incident outside the owner Eric Gan’s apartment, which he fortunately survived unscathed. The incredible thing is that, despite taking a slug in the back, Gan’s MSI Optix G27C2 monitor also survived and was still working just fine after its shooting.
For clarity’s sake, we should point out that the bullet had gone through a wall before hitting the screen, so had lost some momentum prior to impact. Nevertheless, regular Rainbow Six Siege players will know that a bullet can still be deadly when shot through another object, and if Gan himself had been hit instead of the screen, he probably wouldn’t be functioning quite so well as his display. So this is a very commendable accomplishment by the G27C2, but it’s also indicative of something more significant than a novel capability that generated a surprising headline.
The reason why Eric Gan’s Optix G27C2 was so resilient to gunfire is a by-product of just how solidly built MSI’s gaming monitors are. Most people probably won’t be using their gaming screen as a shield against real firearms impacts, but they will want it to be reliable when facing a virtual munitions onslaught in their favourite first-person shooter. In Gan’s case, the G27C2 resisted attack due to MSI’s “Steel Armor”, which is used in a backing plate the company installs on its monitors made from Steel Electrogalvanized ColdRolled Coil (SECC). Aside from its bulletproof properties, SECC also provides very effective shielding from electromagnetic interference (EMI). So not only does the SECC backing of MSI monitors make them extremely tough when accidentally knocked (or shot…), it also prevents them from incurring faulty operation due to stray disturbances to their electrical circuitry from outside emissions.
MSI’s monitors aren’t the only range of its products to benefit from Steel Armor, either. The company’s motherboards use SECC extensively to protect multiple elements, including chipset and VRMs, M.2 storage, and even the memory DIMM and PCI Express adapter slots. The Steel Armor protects all these areas from physical damage and EMI, but also adds extra ground points to guard against overcurrent. MSI’s ARMOR Series Graphics cards are similarly protected by Steel Armor, which in this case adds a classy look as well. In all these examples, MSI applies a higher standard of manufacturing so that its products stand up better than the competition to demands of strenuous use.
A solid back frame is particularly essential for one of the latest growth areas in gaming displays – curved screens, of which Gan’s monitor is an example. These types of models surpassed 50% of the market in 2018, and this is set to grow, as the flat-screen share dropped 21% year-on-year at the same time. MSI’s dependability in its monitors is giving it a real opportunity to beat the top sellers in this market. MSI was the fastest-growing vendor of gaming monitors in 2018. Its gaming screens are now so highly regarded that MSI’s Oculux NXG251R was used by professional gamers at ESL One e-sports tournaments.
The gaming monitor sector is a huge growth area in an otherwise mildly shrinking screen market. The volume of gaming screens shipped approximately doubled in 2017 compared to 2016, and in 2018 more than doubled again. It’s expected to grow by another third in 2019. On the one hand, this is great news for manufacturers, as profitability is nearly three times for gaming monitors compared to regular models, so there is much more opportunity for a healthy business model. However, this has understandably lured many manufacturers into the area.
Not all of these manufacturers are creating products to the same level of quality, and this is more important than it might seem for an entertainment-focused activity like gaming. This is one of the most strenuous tasks you can perform with PC components. Your graphics card and processor will be running at full pelt for hours on end, and your screen is going to be operating at a high refresh rate for most of that time too. Components need to be the most reliable available, and MSI’s focus is on quality and durability.
Although the MSI screen we started off this piece with was working just fine despite its ordeal, MSI was kind enough to replace it. After all, the MPG27CQ and MAG271CQR are recent models with features that are bang on the money for current gaming needs. Aside from being a curved model, the MPG27CQ has a 27in panel and 16:9 aspect with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. The 144Hz refresh and Adaptive Sync with 1ms MPRT pixel response make for super-smooth high frame rate gaming. Gan will understandably have been upset that his cutting-edge screen took a bullet for him. But at least he can now continue to game in the confidence that should the shooting get out of hand again – both on his screen or in the local neighbourhood – his MSI gaming screen has the dependable build quality to withstand the attacks, whether they are virtual or real.