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MSI Optix G27C4 Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Feb 21, 2020 at 08:05 am
MSI Optix G27C4 Picture
Test Methodology v1.1
7.0
Mixed Usage
6.8
Office
7.9
Gaming
6.7
Multimedia
6.6
Media Creation
5.6
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
LCD Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a decent monitor with impressive gaming performance. With a curved 27 inch screen, its 1080p resolution feels somewhat lacking, but it makes up for it with a high refresh rate, excellent motion handling, and exceptionally low input lag. This monitor is well-suited for dark room gaming thanks to its high contrast ratio, and it can deliver a good picture quality with saturated colors and fluid motion. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, it has very few extra features, and its mediocre peak brightness can be an issue in very bright rooms.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a decent monitor for most uses. It can deliver a good picture quality, but its 1080p resolution is a bit low for a 27 inch screen, which is less ideal for multitasking. It's a great gaming monitor, though, as it has a 165Hz refresh rate, excellent response time, and a low input lag to provide a smooth and responsive gaming experience. Additionally, it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.8 Office

The MSI Optix G27C4 is an okay monitor for office use. It has a large 27 inch screen to let you work comfortably, but text may not look as sharp due to its 1080p resolution. Viewing angles are rather poor, and the monitor's bad ergonomics make it hard to adjust to your optimal viewing position. The monitor has good reflection handling, but its low peak brightness may be an issue if you're in a bright room with direct sunlight.

See our Office recommendations
7.9 Gaming

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a great gaming monitor. It has a high refresh rate and a low response time to provide a smooth gaming experience. Input lag is exceptional and there's support for FreeSync variable refresh rate, but unfortunately, its 1080p resolution may be a bit disappointing for fans of RPGs and atmospheric games.

See our Gaming recommendations
6.7 Multimedia

The MSI Optix G27C4 is an okay monitor for media consumption. Its 1080p resolution is a bit low, but its 27 inch screen lets you see comfortably without having to sit up close. Viewing angles may be a problem if you want to share content with others, and even though it has great reflection handling, viewing the screen in a bright room can be difficult due to the monitor's low peak brightness.

See our Multimedia recommendations
6.6 Media Creation

The MSI Optix G27C4 is an acceptable monitor for media creation. Its 27 inch screen provides plenty of screen real estate to work comfortably, but the 1080p resolution may be too low for content creators. The monitor has bad ergonomics, making it difficult to adjust to your optimal position, and the VA panel's viewing angles are poor, causing colors to appear washed out when viewed from the side.

See our Media Creation recommendations
5.6 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a sub-par monitor for HDR gaming. Although it has a high refresh rate, low response time, and low input lag, this monitor doesn't support any HDR format. In addition, its low peak brightness can't bring out any highlights. Its high contrast ratio is great for dark room gaming, though, as blacks look deep and inky.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Office
  • 7.9 Gaming
  • 6.7 Multimedia
  • 6.6 Media Creation
  • 5.6 HDR Gaming
Pros
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
Cons
  • Bad ergonomics.
  • Poor viewing angles.

Check Price

27" Optix G27C4
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1500R
Weight (without stand)
10.6 lbs (4.8 kg)
Weight (with stand)
12.3 lbs (5.6 kg)

The MSI Optix G27C4 has a very simple design. It's mainly made out of matte black plastic. The top and side bezels are thin, but the bottom bezel is much thicker. The stand has a tripod design with a shorter back leg, and the screen is curved.

Design
Stand
Width
16.4" (41.6 cm)
Depth
8.8" (22.4 cm)

The stand has a tripod design, though the back leg is much shorter than the front legs. The overall footprint is large, but because the legs are thin, you can still use the space in-between the legs. The stand supports the monitor well and it doesn't wobble at all.

2.8
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
N/A
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The G27C4 has bad ergonomics. It only allows for tilt adjustments.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is plastic and has a subtle gamer-oriented design, though it shouldn't look out of place in an office environment. The inputs are easy to access; however, there's no built-in cable management, and the stand doesn't have a quick release feature. There's a joystick at the bottom left corner to navigate the on-screen menu.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)

The bezels are very thin, which is great for multi-monitor setups.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
9.4" (23.8 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
3.6" (9.2 cm)
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the G27C4 is mediocre. It's mainly made out of plastic and doesn't have a premium feel to it. The stand is also plastic and supports the monitor well.

Picture Quality
8.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3658 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

Like most VA panels, the Optix G27C4 has a great contrast ratio, resulting in deep, inky blacks when viewed in the dark.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature; the video above is provided for reference only.

6.8
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
248 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
234 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
234 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
246 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
247 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.004

SDR peak brightness is decent. There's almost no variation in brightness when viewing different content, and it should be bright enough for most well-lit rooms, though it may struggle a bit in direct sunlight.

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

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

5.2
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
24 °
Color Washout From Right
27 °
Color Shift From Left
32 °
Color Shift From Right
39 °
Brightness Loss From Left
26 °
Brightness Loss From Right
30 °
Black Level Raise From Left
12 °
Black Level Raise From Right
14 °
Gamma Shift From Left
14 °
Gamma Shift From Right
15 °

Like most VA panels, horizontal viewing angles on the Optix G27C4 are poor. This is important if you often share content or play co-op games.

5.1
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
22 °
Color Washout From Above
29 °
Color Shift From Below
36 °
Color Shift From Above
44 °
Brightness Loss From Below
25 °
Brightness Loss From Above
32 °
Black Level Raise From Below
9 °
Black Level Raise From Above
13 °
Gamma Shift From Below
10 °
Gamma Shift From Above
13 °

As with most VA panels, vertical viewing angles are poor. This can affect the top and bottom of the screen if you tend to sit fairly close.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.392 %
50% DSE
0.098 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.574 %
5% DSE
0.038 %

The G27C4 has excellent gray uniformity. It's slightly darker at the top left corner and on the right side of the screen, but it's barely noticeable, and there's almost no sign of dirty screen effect. In dark scenes, it's nearly perfect.

5.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.397 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is disappointing. There's some backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges of the screen, as well as some clouding throughout the screen.

5.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
RPG
Luminance
157 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
80
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
Normal
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
5832 K
White Balance dE
4.27
Color dE
4.76
Gamma
2.09

Out of the box, the G27C4 has sub-par color accuracy. There are inaccuracies with many colors and with shades of gray. The gamma curve is too low for the most part, resulting in images looking brighter than they should. If you prefer a monitor with great pre-calibration accuracy, check out the ASUS TUF VG27VQ.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
42
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
43-44-55
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6529 K
White Balance dE
0.57
Color dE
1.05
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, aside from the color blue, any inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable without the aid of a colorimeter. The gamma curve follows the target well, so most scenes should appear at the correct brightness.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model, due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
96.8 %
Adobe RGB xy
81.5 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

The G27C4 has an excellent SDR color gamut. It covers nearly all of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is used for professional photo editing.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
99.0 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
89.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

SDR color volume is outstanding. This monitor can reproduce dark, saturated colors due to its great contrast ratio.

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

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

9.8
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.04 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.11 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.13 %

As with most VA panels, there are no issues with temporary image retention or permanent burn-in.

8.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

The G27C4 has impressive gradient performance; however, there's some banding when displaying dark green, dark gray, and blue.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.001 %
Pixel Column Error
0.004 %

There's no visible sign of color bleed on this monitor.

7.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
2.3 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.1 %

The Optix G27C4 has good reflection handling. The matte coating diffuses light well and there are no distracting bright spots. It's very similar to the MSI Optix MAG271CQR.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Text clarity is decent, though it can be improved by enabling ClearType (top photo), as it significantly improves the appearance of diagonal lines, as seen in the letters R and N.

Motion
8.5
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fastest
Rise / Fall Time
4.6 ms
Total Response Time
11.5 ms
Overshoot Error
6.1 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
9.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
17.0 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0 %

Mode Response Time Chart Motion Blur Photo Response Time Table
Normal Chart Photo Table
Fast Chart Photo Table
Fastest Chart Photo Table

The Optix G27C4 has a great response time when playing at maximum refresh rate. As with most monitors, the overdrive level can be adjusted. We recommend the 'Fastest' setting, as it provides the best performance. However, there's a little bit of overshoot, which can cause the appearance of some artifacts.

7.5
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
6.9 ms
Total Response Time
17.9 ms
Overshoot Error
1.4 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
9.1 ms
Dark Total Response Time
21.3 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.9 %

Mode Response Time Chart Motion Blur Photo Response Time Table
Normal Chart Photo Table
Fast Chart Photo Table
Fastest Chart Photo Table

Response time at 60Hz is good. We recommend the 'Fast' setting, which provides the best performance with minimal overshoot.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The G27C4 has a flicker-free backlight to help reduce eye strain.

6.1
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
165 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

The Optix G27C4 has a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur, but it can't be used when FreeSync is enabled.

9.2
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
165 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
165 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

Refresh rate on the Optix G27C4 is excellent. It has a wide VRR range; however, it maxes out at 144Hz when using an HDMI connection. If you want a monitor with a higher refresh rate, the Acer XV273X has a 240Hz panel.

Inputs
9.6
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.6 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.4 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
3.7 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
8.9 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
5.0 ms

Input lag is exceptionally low. It's slightly higher when playing at 60Hz or when variable refresh rate is enabled, though it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.

7.1
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density
82 PPI
Screen Diagonal 27.0 inches
Screen Area 310 sq inches

The size and resolution of the G27C4 are decent. The 27 inch screen is great for gaming and productivity, but the 1080p resolution is a bit low for this size, which impacts text clarity. However, the lower resolution helps to achieve higher frame rates when gaming. If you prefer a monitor with 1440p, check out the Nixeus EDG 34.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply External Brick
Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
No
HDR10 No
Multiple Input Display
No

The Optix G27C4 has two extra features:

  • Crosshair: Puts a crosshair on the screen for shooter games.
  • Timer: Puts a timer on the screen.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

There's a joystick on the back of the monitor to navigate the on-screen settings menu.

Features
In The Box

  • Power brick
  • HDMI cable
  • Power cable
  • User guides

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the MSI Optix G27C4, but there are three other variants with different screen sizes, resolutions, and refresh rates, which you can see in the table below.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate
MSI Optix G24C4 23.6" 1080p 144Hz
MSI Optix G27C4 27" 1080p 165Hz
MSI Optix G27CQ4 27" 1440p 165Hz
MSI Optix G32C4 31.5" 1440p 165Hz

 

If someone comes across a different type of panel, or if their MSI Optix G27C4 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit of the MSI Optix G27C4 was manufactured in August 2019 and you can see the label here.

Compared to other monitors

The MSI Optix G27C4 is very similar to the MSI Optix G27C, with an updated design and a more aggressive screen curve. Its performance should be good enough for most gamers, but its ergonomics are very disappointing when compared to a monitor such as the ASUS VG279Q, and it doesn't have as many features as the Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q.

For other options, you can see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 1080p monitors, and the best 144Hz monitors.

ASUS VG279Q
SEE PRICE
B&H

The ASUS VG279Q is significantly better than the MSI Optix G27C4 in most uses. The IPS panel on the VG279Q provides much better viewing angles, has much better color accuracy, and it can get brighter to combat glare. The VG279Q's ergonomics are also much better, but on the other hand, the G27C4 has a higher contrast ratio due to its VA panel, and it has a slightly higher refresh rate of 165Hz.

ASUS TUF VG27VQ
SEE PRICE
B&H

The MSI Optix G27C4 and the ASUS TUF VG27VQ are both 27 inch 1080p VA monitors and perform very similarly. The MSI has a much better response time, so motion is clearer, and both the gray uniformity and black uniformity are better on it as well. However, the ASUS has a much better out-of-box color accuracy and the stand allows for more adjustments. The difference between the two really comes down to personal preference and how you'll be using it.

LG 27GL650F-B
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The LG 27GL650F-B is much better than the MSI Optix G27C4. Although the 27GL650F-B doesn't have as high a refresh rate as the G27C4, its IPS panel has much better viewing angles, significantly better peak brightness, and better color accuracy. The 27GL650F-B also supports HDR and has better ergonomics, but its contrast ratio is much worse than the G27C4, and it has a slightly higher input lag.

Dell Alienware AW2720HF
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is significantly better than the MSI Optix G27C4. The Dell has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles and better color accuracy, as well as a higher refresh rate and faster response time. However, the MSI has a VA panel with much better contrast ratio and black uniformity, though the latter is still poor.

MSI Optix G27C
SEE PRICE
Newegg.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.

Nixeus EDG 34
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a slightly better monitor than the Nixeus EDG 34. It's a smaller monitor with a higher refresh rate and has a better response time too. Unfortunately, the 1080p resolution is lower than the 1440p resolution on the Nixeus. The EDG 34 also has HDR support but works best with a DP connection.

Acer Nitro XF252Q
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is better than the MSI Optix G27C4 for most uses. The XF252Q has a higher refresh rate of 240Hz and its ergonomics are significantly better. The XF252Q also has a faster response time, much better peak brightness, and it supports HDR. However, the G27C4 has a much better contrast ratio for dark room gaming, and its gray uniformity is also much better, with no visible dirty screen effect.

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