MSI Optix G27CQ4 Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Apr 20, 2021 at 11:15 am
MSI Optix G27CQ4 Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.0
Office
7.9
Gaming
6.9
Multimedia
6.9
Media Creation
5.7
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is a very good budget-friendly gaming monitor with a 27 inch screen and 1440p resolution. It has all the features most gamers are looking for, like FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support and a native 165Hz refresh rate. Its input lag is really low, but even though it has a quick response time, you may notice some motion blur in fast-moving scenes. Its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio, but it lacks a local dimming feature to improve it. The viewing angles are narrow, and the stand doesn't offer many adjustments, so it's hard to place it in an ideal viewing position if you need to share it with someone else. Lastly, it doesn't support HDR, which is somewhat expected for a model in this price range.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is decent for mixed usage. It's very good for gaming because it has a high refresh rate with VRR support. Its low input and quick response time deliver a responsive gaming experience, but some motion blur is visible with fast-moving objects. It's decent for office use thanks to its high peak brightness and good reflection handling, but it has terrible ergonomics and narrow viewing angles, making it harder to share the screen with someone else.

Pros
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare.
  • 165Hz refresh rate and VRR support.
  • High native contrast ratio.
Cons
  • Stand only allows for limited tilt adjustment.
  • Some visible motion blur.
  • No HDR support.
7.0 Office

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is decent for office use. The high-resolution, 27 inch screen provides clear text and crisp images. It has good reflection handling and gets bright enough to combat glare in well-lit rooms. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles and terrible ergonomics, so it's not the best choice if you need to share your screen with others.

Pros
  • Large 27 inch screen and high resolution.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Stand only allows for limited tilt adjustment.
7.9 Gaming

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is very good for gaming. It has a high 165Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. It has low input lag and a quick response time, but some people may still notice motion blur. It's also great for dark room gaming thanks to its high native contrast ratio, but it lacks a local dimming feature.

Pros
  • Very low input lag.
  • 165Hz refresh rate and VRR support.
  • High native contrast ratio.
Cons
  • Stand only allows for limited tilt adjustment.
  • Some visible motion blur.
6.9 Multimedia

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is okay for watching multimedia content. It has a high resolution to deliver crisp images. It performs well both in bright and dark rooms thanks to its high peak brightness and great contrast ratio. However, it has narrow viewing angles, so those viewing from the side see an inaccurate image.

Pros
  • Large 27 inch screen and high resolution.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Stand only allows for limited tilt adjustment.
6.9 Media Creation

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 is alright for content creators. It has a large screen and high resolution, so there's enough space to work on your video's timeline. It gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling if you work in a well-lit room. However, its terrible ergonomics and narrow viewing angles make it hard to share the screen with a coworker or client around you.

Pros
  • Large 27 inch screen and high resolution.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Stand only allows for limited tilt adjustment.
5.7 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 doesn't support HDR.

  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Office
  • 7.9 Gaming
  • 6.9 Multimedia
  • 6.9 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)
9.9 lbs (4.5 kg)

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 looks like the other entry-level MSI monitors that we've tested, like the MSI Optix G27C4. It has an all-plastic construction with a bit of a gamer-friendly tone, but it shouldn't stick out in an office environment.

Design
Stand
Width
17.8" (45.1 cm)
Depth
8.9" (22.5 cm)

The tripod stand is wide enough so that you can place stuff in between the legs, like your keyboard and mouse. The feet are metal and support the monitor well.

1.5
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
0.0" (0.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

Sadly, the ergonomics are terrible. You can only tilt it, and even at that, the tilt range is limited.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the MSI Optix G27CQ4 looks exactly like the MSI Optix G27C4. It's all-plastic with a slight gamer-friendly design to it, and there are air vents directly above the hinge for the stand. Sadly, there isn't much for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)
Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
8.7" (22.1 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.8" (7.2 cm)

The monitor isn't too thick, even with the stand attached, so it shouldn't take up too much space.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the MSI Optix G27CQ4 is okay. It's built with generic and cheap-feeling plastic, and the feet are metal. The back panel flexes a bit, and the plastic covering the hinge feels very flimsy. Also, the bottom bezel isn't uniformly attached to the screen and bends a bit.

Picture Quality
8.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3390 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The contrast of the MSI Optix G27CQ4 is great, which is expected from a VA panel. It displays deep blacks when viewed in the dark, but there's no local dimming feature to improve it. It's higher than the advertised 3000:1 contrast, but this can vary between units.

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.

7.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
335 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
296 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
297 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has good SDR peak brightness. It's higher than the advertised 250 nits, and it's very consistent across different content. Surprisingly, it gets brighter with real content than with the test slides, so it easily gets bright enough to combat glare. We tested the peak brightness after calibration in the 'User' Picture Mode.

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.

5.6
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
24 °
Color Washout From Right
26 °
Color Shift From Left
43 °
Color Shift From Right
47 °
Brightness Loss From Left
28 °
Brightness Loss From Right
30 °
Black Level Raise From Left
19 °
Black Level Raise From Right
21 °
Gamma Shift From Left
17 °
Gamma Shift From Right
16 °

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has a narrow horizontal viewing angle, which is expected for a VA panel. The image looks inaccurate as soon as you move off-center, so it's not suggested for co-op gaming.

5.3
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26 °
Color Washout From Above
27 °
Color Shift From Below
40 °
Color Shift From Above
44 °
Brightness Loss From Below
29 °
Brightness Loss From Above
30 °
Black Level Raise From Below
13 °
Black Level Raise From Above
12 °
Gamma Shift From Below
13 °
Gamma Shift From Above
10 °

Once again, the vertical viewing angle is poor. The image looks inaccurate if you mount the screen above eye level.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.089 %
50% DSE
0.104 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.739 %
5% DSE
0.067 %

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has excellent gray uniformity. Although the edges are a bit darker than the rest, there's no dirty screen effect in the center, which is great. Uniformity is even better in near-dark scenes, but some backlight bleed is visible along the bottom edge. Keep in mind that uniformity can vary between units.

4.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.860 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The black uniformity is bad, but this can vary between units. There's visible backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges, which could be really distracting in dark scenes. However, there's not too much blooming around the center cross.

8.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
297 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
100
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
Normal
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6369 K
White Balance dE
1.77
Color dE
2.48
Gamma
2.12

The out-of-the-box accuracy is impressive. Both colors and white balance are slightly inaccurate, but it shouldn't be noticeable for most people. The color temperature is a bit warmer than the 6500K target, giving the image a slightly reddish tint, but not by much. However, gamma doesn't follow the target all that well as some dark scenes are too dark, and other scenes are over-brightened. Keep in mind that accuracy may vary between units.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
26
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
94-95-98
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6536 K
White Balance dE
0.57
Color dE
0.60
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, accuracy is incredible. Any remaining inaccuracies can't be spotted by the human eye, and color temperature is very close to the target. Gamma is also improved, except some really dark and bright scenes are still over-brightened.

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.

9.2
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
98.4 %
Adobe RGB xy
84.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

The SDR color gamut is fantastic. It has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content. For photo editors, it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.

9.5
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
99.2 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
90.5 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has an outstanding SDR color volume. It displays bright colors and dark 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

Even though it's advertised to have 92% coverage of the DCI P3 color space, it doesn't support HDR so we don't test for it.

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 image retention, even after displaying a high-contrast static image. Keep in mind that this can vary between units.

9.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has incredible gradient handling. There are no visible signs of banding.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.001 %
Pixel Column Error
0.002 %

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

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
3.3 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.1 %

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has good reflection handling. It handles a moderate amount of light really well, but struggles if you place the screen opposite a direct source of light, like a window.

7.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has good text clarity. Enabling Windows ClearType (top photo) makes diagonal lines more legible, like on the letters R, N, G, and S.

Motion
7.8
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fastest
Rise / Fall Time
5.5 ms
Total Response Time
13.5 ms
Overshoot Error
6.9 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
12.6 ms
Dark Total Response Time
21.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0 %

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
NormalChartTablePhoto
FastChartTablePhoto
FastestChartTablePhoto

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has a good response time at its max refresh rate of 165Hz. However, the response times in the darker transitions are slow, and there's too much overshoot in the lighter transitions, so you can still notice motion artifacts in most scenes. The recommended overdrive setting is 'Fastest' because it has a quicker total response time than the other settings.

6.8
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
5.7 ms
Total Response Time
21.1 ms
Overshoot Error
10.2 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
10.2 ms
Dark Total Response Time
22.2 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
1.8 %

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
NormalChartTablePhoto
FastChartTablePhoto
FastestChartTablePhoto

The response time at 60Hz is just okay. The recommended overdrive setting is 'Fast' because 'Normal' is too slow, and there's too much overshoot with 'Fastest'. Still, there's way too much overshoot in the lighter transitions, so motion doesn't look all that good. Also, this means that you may have to change the overdrive setting if the frame rate of your game drops.

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

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has a flicker-free backlight, which helps 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 G27CQ4 has a Black Frame Insertion feature to try to improve the appearance of motion. It flickers within a narrow range and can't be used with VRR enabled. Keep in mind that the BFI score is based on the flicker range and not the actual performance.

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

The MSI Optix G27CQ4 has variable refresh rate support in the form of native FreeSync support. It isn't officially listed as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA, but it works. You can achieve its full refresh rate range over a DisplayPort connection. Over HDMI, only FreeSync works, and the max refresh rate is 144Hz.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.3 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.6 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
4.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.5 ms
10 Bit HDR