MSI Optix MPG27CQ Review

May 17, 2018 | 20:00

Tags: #1440p #144hz #gaming-monitor #high-refresh-rate #monitor #msi #rgb

Companies: #msi

Performance Analysis

The wider than usual colour gamut is confirmed by our testing, as the MPG27CQ sails to top spot with full sRGB colour spectrum and 84 percent of the AdobeRGB one.

Contrast ratio from the VA panel is excellent, and this another poll position for MSI. It’s not close to the claimed 3,000:1, but it’s still a great result. VA panels do tend to have darker blacks, and it’s noticeable with this screen. In fact, at minimum brightness, the black point was so dark that it couldn’t be measured properly. The brightness range is very high too, going from below 40 cd/m2 to comfortably over 350 cd/m2. Meanwhile, the white point at default is a slightly cooler than preferred 7,300K, but you can get it closer to 6,500K with the Warm setting if you need it.

Colour accuracy is good overall with an average delta E of 1.77 being fine, and the maximum of 3.37 is very low too. Gamma, however, was somewhat off the mark at 1.8 measured. You can improve this a bit with the black tuner, though. Also, the better than usual contrast ratio keeps things from looking too washed out.

The MSI MPG27CQ rounds out our testing with another solid set of results on the uniformity front. The variation in colour and luminosity is well controlled, and subjectively you’ll be hard pressed to notice much. We also didn’t notice any backlight bleed.

Our static set of test images looked pretty good, and we didn’t find general usage to be negatively or positively affected by the subtle curvature. Once accustomed to it, you’ll probably stop noticing it until a friend or colleague comments on it.

While we’ve already commented that the RGB gubbins don’t add much to to the gaming experience, it is nonetheless a great joy here, especially if you’re able to pump out high frame rates to match the 144Hz refresh rate. The combination of this plus FreeSync is just lovely – you’ll notice it immediately if coming from a traditional, fixed refresh rate 60Hz panel. The 27” 1440p panel provides excellent sharpness too, and we never found the curvature to be a distraction. Pleasingly, ghosting was not obvious even on contrasting moving edges, and we never felt a need to tweak the overdrive settings to compensate.

Conclusion

The price tag here of just over £500 plants the MSI Optix MPG27CQ in premium territory, but it isn’t unreasonable given what you get: a high quality VA panel with low response times, minimum ghosting, and, for the most part, great to excellent image quality. The high refresh rate is great given that you also get FreeSync, although it would be nice if MSI had implemented low framerate compensation too. Update 18/05/2018: We had a miscommunication with MSI, and it has now been in touch to confirm that LFC is indeed supported. It is also looking to get an entry for this monitor placed into AMD's otherwise comprehensive list of FreeSync monitors. Other bonuses include the easy-to-use joystick and menu, dual USB 3.0 hubs, and of course the RGB lighting, which although we didn’t get much use out of is very easy to set up, looks surprisingly good, and is easily disabled. Add to that a wealth of adjustments and you have a pretty great screen overall.

While both the curve and the RGB lighting will largely come down to taste and preference, thankfully the monitor doesn’t lean too heavily on either one. It’s clearly designed with gamers in mind, and in that realm it definitely excels. You also won’t find comparable G-Sync screens for anywhere near this price. As such, it’s an easy candidate for our Recommended badge – if you’re dying for something to upgrade a 1080p panel and can’t wait until HDR is more widely available, then this is a fine choice.


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