Current deal: The Samsung Odyssey G5 has dropped by $70 on BestBuy.com. See all Black Friday deals on Monitors.

MSI Optix G27C5 Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Sep 11, 2020 at 08:48 am
MSI Optix G27C5 Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
6.9
Office
7.9
Gaming
6.8
Multimedia
6.7
Media Creation
5.7
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix G27C5 is a basic, budget-friendly gaming monitor. It has a VA panel that displays deep blacks, but that comes at the cost of narrow viewing angles, so images look washed out when looking from the side. It has native FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support and it works with NVIDIA graphics cards. The input lag is incredibly low, and though it has a good response time there are some motion artifacts in dark scenes. It has a max refresh rate of 165Hz, which you can get through a DisplayPort connection. It only comes with an HDMI cable, and you can get a maximum of 144Hz refresh rate with it. It has bad ergonomics, so it might be hard to place in an ideal position, but it can be VESA-mounted. Lastly, it gets bright enough to combat glare in a moderately-lit room, but reflections may be too distracting if it's opposite a window.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The MSI Optix G27C5 is a decent overall monitor. It performs best as a gaming monitor because it has an incredibly low input lag, FreeSync VRR support, and good response time. It's alright to use in an office, but its 1080p resolution, narrow viewing angles, and bad ergonomics might not be for everyone. However, it has good reflection handling and decent brightness, so it's a good choice for a fairly well-lit environment. Lastly, it has excellent gradient handling and great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Bad ergonomics.
  • Black uniformity issues.
6.9 Office

The MSI Optix G27C5 is alright for office use. The 27 inch screen allows you to open multiple windows at once, but the 1080p resolution may be too limiting for some. It gets bright enough to combat glare in moderately-lit rooms, but it struggles with direct sunlight. Unfortunately, this monitor has narrow viewing angles and bad ergonomics.

Pros
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Bad ergonomics.
7.9 Gaming

Good for gaming. The MSI Optix G27C5 has incredibly low input lag and it has native FreeSync support. Its response time at its max refresh rate of 165Hz is good, but there's smearing in dark scenes. Sadly, it has bad ergonomics, so it's hard to place in an ideal viewing position. On the upside, it's a great choice for dark-room gaming because it can display deep blacks.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Bad ergonomics.
  • Black uniformity issues.
6.8 Multimedia

The MSI Optix G27C5 is alright for watching content. It has a large, 27 inch screen, but its 1080p resolution is too low for watching the latest 4k videos online. It has good reflection handling and decent brightness, but it's not a good choice if you have direct sunlight on it. Fortunately, it has a great contrast ratio, so blacks appear as they should when viewed in the dark.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Bad ergonomics.
6.7 Media Creation

The MSI Optix G27C5 is okay for media creation. Its 1080p resolution isn't ideal if you need to create content at a high resolution. It also has narrow viewing angles, so the image isn't accurate when viewing from the side. Luckily, it has excellent gradient handling, great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and good reflection handling if you work in a somewhat bright environment.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Great coverage of Adobe RGB color space.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Bad ergonomics.
  • Black uniformity issues.
5.7 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix G27C5 doesn't support HDR.

  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 6.9 Office
  • 7.9 Gaming
  • 6.8 Multimedia
  • 6.7 Media Creation
  • 5.7 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1500R
Weight (without stand)
8.4 lbs (3.8 kg)
Weight (with stand)
10.1 lbs (4.6 kg)

The MSI Optix G27C5 has a simple design with thin bezels on three sides. It has a gamer-friendly look but it won't stand out much in an office environment, either.

Design
Stand
Width
18.7" (47.5 cm)
Depth
9.8" (24.9 cm)

This monitor has a V-shaped stand that supports the monitor well. Although the overall footprint is large, the design leaves lots of room to place small objects in front of it.

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

Unfortunately, the MSI Optix G27C5 has bad ergonomics, so it may be difficult to place it in an ideal viewing position.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is sleek, with a simple design. There's no quick release for the stand, but it can be VESA-mounted, which is good given the bad ergonomics of its stand.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)

Very thin borders on three sides, making this a good choice for a multi-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
8.6" (21.9 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
3.3" (8.3 cm)

Due to the curvature of the screen, the MSI Optix G27C5 is a bit thicker than similar flat monitors.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The MSI Optix G27C5 has a decent build quality. While it's better than the MSI Optix G27C4, with no obvious gaps or loose panels, it's not as good as the MAG series, like the MSI Optix MAG273R.

Picture Quality
8.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3676 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

Like most VA monitors, the MSI Optix G27C5 has great contrast, so blacks appear as they should in a dark room. MSI advertises a 3000:1 contrast ratio, so ours is a bit higher, but this can vary between units.

Note: We normally measure contrast after calibration, but in this case, calibrating the monitor lowered the contrast. After calibration, we measured a contrast ratio of 2925:1, which is much closer to MSI's advertised contrast.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This monitor doesn't support local dimming. The video above is provided for reference only.

7.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
287 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
284 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
284 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Decent peak brightness. The MSI Optix G27C5 gets bright enough to combat glare in moderately-lit environments, but it may struggle with direct sunlight on it. Luckily, its brightness remains consistent across various content.

We measured the SDR peak brightness before calibration on the 'User' Picture Mode, with Color Temperature set to 'Normal'. We normally measure SDR brightness after calibration, but in this case, calibrating the monitor made the screen significantly dimmer. After calibration, it reached 219 cd/m² and had a 'Real Scene' brightness of 230 cd/m².

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.

5.3
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
26 °
Color Washout From Right
26 °
Color Shift From Left
39 °
Color Shift From Right
39 °
Brightness Loss From Left
28 °
Brightness Loss From Right
28 °
Black Level Raise From Left
13 °
Black Level Raise From Right
14 °
Gamma Shift From Left
15 °
Gamma Shift From Right
15 °

Like most VA panels, the MSI G27C5 has a poor horizontal viewing angle. It's not ideal if you need to share your screen with others.

5.2
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
27 °
Color Washout From Above
28 °
Color Shift From Below
44 °
Color Shift From Above
43 °
Brightness Loss From Below
29 °
Brightness Loss From Above
29 °
Black Level Raise From Below
11 °
Black Level Raise From Above
11 °
Gamma Shift From Below
11 °
Gamma Shift From Above
10 °

Poor vertical viewing angle, which is expected from a VA panel. The edges of the screen may appear darker if you sit too close.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.750 %
50% DSE
0.097 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.691 %
5% DSE
0.060 %

The MSI G27C5 has outstanding gray uniformity. Only the edges of the screen are slightly darker, but this shouldn't be an issue with most content. The uniformity is almost perfect in near-dark scenes.

Note: Gray uniformity may vary between units.

6.0
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.977 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The MSI Optix G27C5's black uniformity is unremarkable. There's backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges, which may be distracting in dark scenes.

Note: Black uniformity may vary between units.

6.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
282 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
100
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
Normal
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6083 K
White Balance dE
3.59
Color dE
4.00
Gamma
2.00

Okay out-of-the-box color accuracy. Most colors are inaccurate and the color temperature is warm, giving the image a red-yellow tint. The white balance is off, which affects shades of gray. Also, gamma seems to follow a target of 2.0 instead of the sRGB curve, so most scenes are brighter than they should be.

Note: Color accuracy may vary between units.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
56
Contrast Setting
55
RGB Controls
55-58-78
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6397 K
White Balance dE
0.63
Color dE
0.70
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, the MSI G27C5 has fantastic color accuracy. Any remaining color inaccuracies can't be spotted without the aid of a colorimeter, and the color temperature is closer to the 6500K target. Gamma is also much closer to the target curve, so most scenes are displayed at their correct brightness.

During calibration, leaving the Contrast setting at its default value of 70 resulted in more inaccurate colors than if it wasn't calibrated at all. By lowering Contrast to 55, we were able to get more accurate colors and better white balance, but that affected the monitor's brightness and contrast ratio.

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
97.2 %
Adobe RGB xy
81.1 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

Excellent SDR color gamut. The MSI Optix G27C5 covers almost all of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
99.1 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
88.5 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

Outstanding color volume. Due to the monitor's great contrast ratio, it can display dark, saturated colors well.

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.

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 are no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

Excellent gradient handling. Banding can be seen, especially in darker shades, but this shouldn't be an issue with regular content.

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

There are no signs of color bleed.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
3.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.1 %

The MSI Optix G27C5 has good reflection handling, but it's not as good as the MSI Optix G27C4. It performs well in moderately-lit rooms, but the reflections are too distracting in extremely bright rooms.

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 improves the appearance of diagonal lines, as seen in the letters R and N.

Motion
7.9
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fastest
Rise / Fall Time
5.5 ms
Total Response Time
13.0 ms
Overshoot Error
6.4 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
12.4 ms
Dark Total Response Time
21.3 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Fastest Chart Table Photo

The MSI G27C5 has a good response time at its max refresh rate, but it's not as good as the MSI Optix G27C4. There's very little overshoot in most transitions with the 'Fastest' overdrive setting. Unfortunately, like most VA monitors, dark transitions are significantly slower, causing noticeable motion smearing behind darker areas of the scene, as can be seen here behind our moving logo.

7.3
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
6.6 ms
Total Response Time
17.8 ms
Overshoot Error
3.5 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
10.3 ms
Dark Total Response Time
25.8 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
2.6 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Fastest Chart Table Photo

Decent response time at 60Hz. The average total response time at 60Hz is only slightly slower than at the max refresh rate, which is great. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of noticeable motion smearing in darker areas, as seen in the moving logo photo.

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

The backlight is completely flicker-free, which can help to 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 MSI Optix G27C5 has a mediocre Black Frame Insertion feature. It's only available within a limited refresh rate range, and the timing is off, causing noticeable duplication in motion. Like most monitors, BFI isn't available if 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

Outstanding refresh rate. It has native FreeSync support with a wide VRR range. It's G-SYNC compatible, but it only works over a DisplayPort connection. The max refresh rate over an HDMI connection is limited to 144Hz.

Inputs
9.6
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.4 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.3 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
3.6 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.3 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
4.9 ms

The MSI Optix G27C5 has an incredibly low input lag. It stays low with VRR enabled, which is great.

7.1
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density