MSI Optix G27C Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Mar 16, 2018 at 01:55 pm
MSI Optix G27C Picture
6.6
Mixed Usage
6.4
Office
7.5
Gaming
6.4
Multimedia
6.3
Media Creation
5.2
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 1920x1080
Refresh Rate 144 Hz
LCD Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix G27C is an average VA-type gaming monitor with a fast 144 Hz refresh rate and support for variable refresh rates. It features a simplistic stand with limited mobility, and a curved design uncommon in monitors of this aspect ratio. While it has a better contrast ratio than average, its very poor black uniformity causes its picture quality in a dark room to be mediocre. Its very narrow viewing angle also means that a slight change in perspective can easily cause the screen to appear less uniform.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

Ordinary monitor for a mixed usage. While it isn't a completely terrible display, the MSI G27C's overall performance is below average. Thanks to its 144 Hz refresh rate and low input lag, it does provide a decent gaming experience, but its mediocre picture quality and the very narrow viewing angle can often cause issues.

Pros
  • Supports Freesync for smoother motion
  • 144 Hz makes for a responsive experience
Cons
  • Blacks are exceptionally cloudy
  • Picture quality shifts with minor perspective changes.
6.4 Office

Subpar monitor for use in an office. The MSI Optix G27C's stand provides very little adjustment for comfort, and the lack of a VESA mount makes it difficult to solve. Combined with its very narrow viewing angle and average brightness, it makes for a monitor that is both difficult to use in a team environment and less than seamless for a single user.

7.5 Gaming

Decent monitor for playing video games. The 144 Hz refresh rate and Freesync support enable a smooth and responsive experience, and the very low input lag helps make games feel connected. Unfortunately, the monitor's subpar picture quality and low pixel density negatively impact immersion enough to be a detriment.

6.4 Multimedia

Below average monitor for multimedia use. While the MSI G27C can cover the s.RGB color volume better than average thanks to its good contrast ratio, its blotchy blacks are significant enough to be damaging to the picture quality. It also lacks any HDR capabilities, which stops it from seeing any picture quality enhancement from wider gamut content.

6.3 Media Creation

The MSI Optix G27C is a monitor for media creation. While it does cover the s.RGB and Adobe RGB color volumes better than average, its very narrow viewing angle causes the screen to be inaccurate in most viewing positions, and its basic 8 bits of color depth is limiting for more professionally-oriented users.

5.2 HDR Gaming

HDR is not supported, which is common for most monitors on the market at the moment. For an HDR compatible monitor see the higher-end Samsung CHG70.

  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Office
  • 7.5 Gaming
  • 6.4 Multimedia
  • 6.3 Media Creation
  • 5.2 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 1/17/2019: We tested the monitor's compatibility with NVIDIA's new FreeSync driver. See our full investigation into NVIDIA's FreeSync Drivers here.

Check Price

27" Optix G27C
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve radius 1800R
Weight (without stand)
9.9 lbs (4.5 kg)
Weight (with stand)
11.9 lbs (5.4 kg)

The design of the MSI Optix G27C is basic but the monitor still looks stylish. The stand looks good and supports the monitor well, but adjustment options are very limited as the monitor can tilt and nothing else. This can make it difficult to find a comfortable viewing position or to rotate the monitor to share images with friends or coworkers. The rear also looks good with some red flair, and the borders have an average thickness. The build quality is fine, but the whole monitor is plastic. This is unlikely to cause any issues with normal use though. MSI has released a new monitor with similar features, but with an updated design and a more aggressive screen curve, the MSI Optix G27C4.

Design
Stand
Width
16.4" (41.7 cm)
Depth
8.7" (22.1 cm)

The stand of the monitor has an average size but does provide good support, and looks quite sleek. It does tend to slide around a bit though.

2.2
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
N/A
Switch portrait/landscape No
Swivel Range N/A
Tilt Range -12.5° to 7.5°

The ergonomic options on the MSI Optix G27C are very limited. Only the tilt can be adjusted, so it may be difficult to find a comfortable position.

Design
Back
Wall Mount N/A

The rear of the monitor is quite basic but looks good. There is no VESA mount though and also a lack of cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (1.0 cm)

The borders have an average thickness and look fine. If placed next to another screen the borders are quite noticeable, but for a single screen setup, this isn't an issue.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
7.3" (18.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
4.5" (11.4 cm)

The monitor appears quite thick when viewed from the side due to the pronounced curve. It can still sit quite close to a wall though, which is good.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the MSI G27C is fine. All of the parts are made of plastic and the monitor doesn't have a premium feel but it shouldn't present a problem for normal usage.

Picture Quality
8.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3695 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

Great contrast ratio for the MSI G27C PC monitor. With this high contrast ratio, blacks look deep, especially when viewed in a dark room. This makes a perfect option for people that use there monitor in a dark environment compare to other IPS monitor since IPS can't reproduce deep black like this VA panel monitor.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The MSI Optix G27C does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

7.3
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
278 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
291 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
290 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
290 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
289 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
289 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
290 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
290 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
289 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
289 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
289 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The monitor can get decently bright which should be good enough for most rooms, but it may appear a little dim in a very bright room.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A

HDR is not supported.

4.3
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
22 °
Color Shift from Right
24 °
Brightness from Left
30 °
Brightness from Right
33 °
Black Level from Left
15 °
Black Level from Right
18 °
Curve Radius 1800 R

The monitor has bad horizontal viewing angle, but it's fairly typical for a VA panel. Brightness decreases and blacks turn gray rapidly when the screen is viewed at an angle, while colors degrade less at an angle. The curve of this monitor does help to relieve this viewing angle because the angle of the screen relative to the user is decreased near the screen edges.

4.2
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
21 °
Color Shift from Above
23 °
Brightness from Below
29 °
Brightness from Above
31 °
Black Level from Below
6 °
Black Level from Above
6 °

The MSI G27C has bad vertical viewing angle, but it's fairly typical for a VA panel. Blacks turn grey very rapidly at an angle, and brightness also decreases, making the contrast ratio near the top and bottom of the screen not as good as in the center. Fortunately, the color degradation isn't nearly as bad.

8.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.590 %
50% DSE
0.132 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.827 %
5% DSE
0.056 %

This MSI monitor has great gray uniformity. The 50% gray uniformity looks good overall, with only small darker areas near the edges. A warmer spot is also visible on the right side of the monitor. Looking at the 5% gray uniformity test picture, the bottom edge looks a bit brighter than the rest of the screen but overall the screen is fairly uniform. This is good for content which includes large uniform areas such as when browsing the web or watching YouTube videos.

3.2
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
3.875 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The MSI G27C monitor has a bad black uniformity. Flashlighting is clearly visible near the top and bottom, which is bad. For dark scenes, the result is quite disappointing and results in a worse dark-room experience.

5.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
270 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
90
Contrast Setting
50
RGB controls
54-58-59
Color Temperature
6178 K
White Balance dE
5.26
Color dE
4.61
Gamma
2.37

Out of the box, when set on the 'Standard' picture mode, the accuracy of the monitor is disappointing. The white balance dE and color dE are both higher and the inaccuracy could be noticed by most enthusiasts out there. The overall gamma is close to our 2.4 target, but the curve is not tracking the target very closely.

Note that is you are not planning on calibrating your monitor, the 'RTS' 'Picture Mode' is a bit more accurate and the worse one is the 'Eyesaver', which is not really accurate at all.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
7
Contrast Setting
65
RGB Controls
53-57-59
Color Temperature
6602 K
White Balance dE
0.91
Color dE
0.86
Gamma
2.19

After calibration, the monitor accuracy is excellent. The white balance dE and color dE are now under 1, which is great even for professionals. The gamma now tracks our 2.4 target perfectly and the curve is almost perfect too. Looking more closely at the color accuracy, pretty much all color are tracking their target very closely, except the 100% blue primary, but this is not really too problematic.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
97.7 %
Adobe RGB xy
82.8 %

The MSI Optix G27C has near perfect coverage of the standard s.RGB colorspace, which is great for most uses. Its coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace is quite limited, making this monitor less useful for professional use such as print editing.

9.6
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
99.5 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
91.7 %

Excellent color volume. The monitor's great contrast ratio allows it to show its near perfect s.RGB gamut at a large range of brightnesses, which is excellent. Its Adobe RGB volume though suffers due to its limited gamut.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A

HDR gamuts are not supported.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
N/A

HDR color volumes are not supported.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

There is no temporary image retention present on the VA panel even after our 10 minute high contrast torture test, which is excellent.

7.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

The gradient performance of this MSI G27C monitor is good. 8 bit banding is present, and there are some artifacts especially in the dark shades of colors. For most use cases, this isn't an issue.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel row error
0.000 %
Pixel column error
0.000 %

The MSI G27C does not produce any color bleed.

8.0
Picture Quality
Reflections

The MSI G27C is great at handling reflections. The curve distorts reflections and may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the location of light sources. The light matte finish diffuses reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. This is a good result for most rooms.

Motion
8.0
Motion
Motion Blur
80% Response Time
6.7 ms
100% Response Time
16.0 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
On

Over Driver Off
Over Driver On

Great response time, good enough for watching fast-paced content with only a short trail following moving objects. This is great for playing action-packed games with fast motion. The response time can be increased by activating the 'Over Driver' (Overdrive) setting without adding any overshoot artifacts, which is great.

7.5
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

Like most monitors, the monitor doesn't flicker and shows each image for a full frame. Without flicker, motion appears slightly smoother which is good. Unfortunately, this monitor doesn't have a BFI setting to reduce persistence blur by adding flicker, which would otherwise be useful for reducing blur with sports or other fast-paced content.

8.8
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Factory Overclock
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
90 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The monitor has a high 144 Hz native refresh rate, which is great for gaming. It also has FreeSync so it can adjust the screen's refresh rate to match the frame rate of a compatible graphics card, which allows playing graphically-intensive games without tearing or stuttering. Unfortunately, the FreeSync range doesn't go below 90 Hz like most FreeSync monitors, so stuttering or tearing may occur when a game's framerate drops below 90 Hz.

Update 01/15/2019: We have retested the G27C with NVIDIA's new FreeSync driver, and there were no issues. Although not officially compatible, we only had to select the G-Sync option under NVIDIA Control Panel, nothing had to be enabled on the monitor's OSD.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
5.3 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
10.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
4.3 ms
10 bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

Excellent low input lag, mostly due to the fast scan time of 144Hz. The 60 Hz input lag is higher as expected but is still fairly low. The FreeSync input lag is actually lower than the input lag at native refresh rate, which is great. While the monitor will accept non-native resolutions, 1920x1080 is the only resolution that supports 144 Hz input.

7.3
Inputs
Resolution and Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density 82 PPI
Screen Diagonal 27.1 inches
Screen Area 313 sq inches

The monitor has a large 27" size but only a common FHD resolution, which gives it low pixel density and detail.

Inputs
Inputs

The only inputs are located on the rear of the monitor.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 1 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI 1 (DVI-D, dual link)
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm No
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
Yes
HDR10 No
Multiple input display
No

The Optix G27C has a few additional features in the menus which are quite gaming centric:

  • Over driver (response time adjustments)
  • Freesync
  • Eyesaver mode for reduced blue light

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)

Features
Controls

The controls are located below the right-hand side of the monitor. They have a traditional layout and are quite easy to use. The buttons protrude slightly providing a good tactile feel.

Features
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Displayport cable
  • Power cable

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the MSI Optix G27C, however, there are a series of Optix monitors with differing sizes, resolutions and other features - some of these are listed below.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their monitor doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Refresh Rate FreeSync Resolution
G24C 24" 144Hz Yes 1080p
MAG24C 24" 144Hz Yes 1080p
MPG27C 27" 144Hz No 1080p
MAG27C 27" 144Hz Yes 1080p
MAG27CQ 27" 144Hz Yes 1440p
AG32C 31.5" 165Hz Yes 1080p

Compared to other monitors

Comparison picture

Left: ASUS PB277Q. Middle: MSI Optix G27C. Right: LG 27UD58-B.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The MSI Optix G27C is a decent gaming monitor with deep blacks and a fast 144Hz refresh rate, but it faces tough competition. See our recommendations for the best 144 Hz monitorsbest gaming monitors and the best gaming monitors under $300.

ASUS VG248QE
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The ASUS VG248QE is much better than the MSI Optix G27C, despite the smaller size, unless dark room viewing is important to you. The Asus VG248QE has much better ergonomics, making it easier to place it in the ideal position. The ASUS has a TN panel, which has a nearly instantaneous response time, so motion is clear with no blur trail. The Optix G27C has a VA panel, which has much better dark room performance thanks to the better contrast ratio.

MSI Optix G27C4
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The MSI Optix G27C4 is better than the MSI Optix G27C. The G27C4 is a somewhat updated version of the G27C with an updated design and some performance improvements. The G27C4 has a much better black uniformity, a higher refresh rate, and a faster response time. However, its peak brightness is lower, and its horizontal viewing angles are worse than the G27C. Gray uniformity is much better on the G27C4, as well as its out of the box color accuracy.

Acer Nitro VG271
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Although they use different panel technologies, the Acer VG271 is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The Acer uses an IPS panel, and has much wider viewing angles, better gradients, and better motion handling. The Acer also supports HDR, and has an optional black frame insertion feature. The MSI, on the other hand, has better reflection handling.

AOC AGON AG271QX
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The AOC AGON AG271QX is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The AOC AGON has much better ergonomics, making it easier to place it in the most comfortable position. The AGON displays gradients with almost no banding and has a very fast response time, so motion looks crisp with very little blur trail. The higher resolution of the AGON makes it easier to get more done or to see more fine details in games.

Samsung CF398
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung CF398 is better than the MSI Optix G27C for most uses, but some people may prefer the Optix for gaming. The Optix is a bit brighter and has slightly better native contrast, but worse black uniformity. The CF398 has wider viewing angles and better black uniformity. For gaming, the CF398 has a faster response time, but the Optix has a much faster refresh rate and lower input lag.

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The ASUS ROG PG279Q is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The PG279Q uses an IPS panel, which has much wider viewing angles and has a higher native resolution. It's much easier to place in an optimal viewing position thanks to the better ergonomics. Motion looks better on the PG279Q, as there is much less motion blur, thanks to the faster response time.

HP 27F
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HP 27F is overall much better than the MSI Optix G27C for most uses. The 27F has an IPS panel, so the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, great for quick co-op gaming sessions, or for sharing your work with a nearby coworker. The 27F also has much better dark room performance. For gamers, it depends on what's the most important thing to you, as the G27C has a much faster refresh rate and wider VRR range.

MSI Optix MAG271CQR
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The MAG271CQR has a higher native resolution, better ergonomics, and a much faster response time. The MAG271CQR also has an optional black frame insertion feature, and a built-in USB hub.

Dell D3218HN
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell D3218HN is slightly better than the MSI Optix G27C for mixed usage. The Dell D3218HN is larger and has an IPS panel that makes it more suitable for collaborative work as it has better viewing angles. The MSI Optix G27C, on the other hand, has a faster refresh rate with Freesync support and a lower input lag which make it great for gaming. Finally, the MSI Optix G27C has a curvy profile that many people like and better reflection handling than the Dell.

MSI Optix MPG27CQ
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The MPG27CQ has a higher native resolution, a much better stand with better ergonomics, and better black uniformity. The MPG27CQ also has a much faster response time, and an optional black frame insertion feature for even clearer motion. Finally, the MPG27CQ also has a great RGB bias lighting system.

ASUS PB277Q
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The ASUS PB277Q is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The PB277Q has better ergonomics, so it's easier to adjust to the most optimal viewing positions. There is less motion blur on the PB277Q due to the faster response time, and the higher screen resolution allows you to see more fine details when gaming.

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