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MSI Optix MAG271CQR Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Sep 20, 2019 at 08:24 am
MSI Optix MAG271CQR Picture
Test Methodology v1.0
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.3
Office
8.3
Gaming
7.1
Multimedia
7.2
Media Creation
5.5
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Refresh Rate 144 Hz
LCD Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is a decent 1440p monitor with a VA panel and a great design. It delivers great gaming performance, with an excellent response time, low input lag, and support for AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. Unfortunately, the unit we tested has terrible black uniformity, and like most VA monitors the image degrades when viewed at an angle. The stand has a limited range of motion, so it might be difficult to place it in an ideal viewing position.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is a decent monitor for most uses. It's designed with gaming in mind, and it delivers a great overall gaming experience. It isn't very versatile though, as it has limited ergonomics, disappointing viewing angles, and terrible black uniformity.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.3 Office

Decent monitor for office use. It has very good peak brightness and great reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright office. Unfortunately, the image degrades at an angle, and the stand has limited ergonomics.

See our Office recommendations
8.3 Gaming

The Optix MAG271CQR is a great gaming monitor. It has outstanding low input lag, an excellent response time, and a fast refresh rate. The 1440p native resolution is great for gaming. There's an optional black frame insertion feature for clearer motion, and it supports FreeSync, for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.

See our Gaming recommendations
7.1 Multimedia

Decent monitor for multimedia. The high-resolution, large screen is great for watching movies, and it has excellent low input lag. It has great reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room. Unfortunately, it doesn't look good in a dark room, as it has terrible black uniformity, and the image degrades at an angle.

See our Multimedia recommendations
7.2 Media Creation

Decent monitor for media creation. It has a great size and resolution, so you can see more of your work, and it has excellent low input lag. Unfortunately, the image degrades at an angle, and the stand has a limited range of motion.

See our Media Creation recommendations
5.5 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR doesn't support HDR.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Office
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.1 Multimedia
  • 7.2 Media Creation
  • 5.5 HDR Gaming
Pros
  • Excellent response time and low input lag
  • Excellent gray uniformity
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle
  • Terrible black uniformity
  • Limited range of motion on the stand

Check Price

27" Optix MAG271CQR
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve radius 1800R
Weight (without stand)
12.3 lbs (5.6 kg)
Weight (with stand)
17.6 lbs (8.0 kg)

The design is nearly identical to the MPG27CQ. It has a few neat design features, including a pop-out headset hanger on the side of the monitor and an RGB bias-lighting feature on the back. The stand has a large footprint, but it supports the monitor very well, and there is very little wobble.

Design
Stand
Width
18.4" (46.7 cm)
Depth
11.2" (28.4 cm)

The stand has a large footprint, but it feels well-built and supports the monitor well, with almost no wobble.

5.1
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.3" (13.5 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape No
Swivel Range N/A
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

Disappointing ergonomics. It can't swivel, and it can't rotate to a portrait orientation.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

There's a quick-release button on the back, and cable management is handled by a hole near the base of the stand.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (1.0 cm)

The borders of the Optix MAG271CQR are thin on three sides, great for a multi-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
8.1" (20.6 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.9" (7.4 cm)

Due to the curvature of the screen, the MAG271CQR stands out more, even when VESA mounted. The stand is a bit thinner than the Optix MPG27CQ.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR has great build quality. The stand is made of metal and supports the monitor extremely well. There's a pop-out headphone hanger on the side of the monitor, but it feels a bit flimsy.

Picture Quality
8.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3372 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR has a great contrast ratio, resulting in deep blacks. This is especially noticeable in dark scenes in a dark room.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

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

7.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
340 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
345 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
345 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
345 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
345 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
344 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Very good peak brightness, with almost no variation in brightness with different content. This should be more than bright enough for most viewing environments.

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

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR doesn't support HDR.

5.5
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
40 °
Color Shift from Right
40 °
Brightness from Left
53 °
Brightness from Right
54 °
Black Level from Left
11 °
Black Level from Right
10 °
Curve Radius 1800 R

Like most VA panels, the image degrades when viewed from the side. The most noticeable issue is a sharp increase in black levels, when even slightly-off angle, causing the image to appear washed out.

5.8
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
40 °
Color Shift from Above
35 °
Brightness from Below
50 °
Brightness from Above
56 °
Black Level from Below
8 °
Black Level from Above
5 °

Like most VA panels, the image degrades quickly when viewed from above or below.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.201 %
50% DSE
0.112 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.177 %
5% DSE
0.076 %

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR has outstanding gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are slightly darker than the rest of the screen, but this shouldn't be noticeable with most content.

1.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
4.887 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Unfortunately, the MSI Optix MAG271CQR has terrible black uniformity, worse than the Optix MPG27CQ. There is noticeable backlight bleed and significant clouding throughout the screen. If you're looking for a similar monitor with better black uniformity, then check out the AOC CQ27G1.

7.2
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
307 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
80
Contrast Setting
50
RGB controls
N/A
Color Temperature
7086 K
White Balance dE
3.42
Color dE
3.02
Gamma
2.16

Out of the box, the MSI Optix MAG271CQR has decent accuracy. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB target curve at all, which causes dark scenes to appear too dark, and bright scenes to appear too bright. Most people won't notice any significant errors in color accuracy or white balance though.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
14
Contrast Setting
51
RGB Controls
100-100-90
Color Temperature
6587 K
White Balance dE
1.19
Color dE
0.85
Gamma
2.20

After calibration, the MAG271CQR has excellent accuracy. Gamma is almost entirely corrected, so most scenes are displayed at the correct brightness. There are now no noticeable errors in color accuracy or white balance.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not 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
96.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
81.4 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Excellent SDR color gamut, with nearly complete coverage of the sRGB color space, and great coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, which is important for professional photo editing.

9.5
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
99.7 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
89.7 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Outstanding color volume. Like almost all displays, it can't display very bright blues, but this isn't very noticeable.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

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

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, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

Good gradient handling, but there is noticeable 8-bit banding with some content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel row error
0.001 %
Pixel column error
0.001 %

There are no signs of color bleed on the MSI Optix MAG271CQR.

8.0
Picture Quality
Reflections

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR has great reflection handling. The curved screen helps to smear reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity.

Motion
9.3
Motion
Motion Blur
80% Response Time
2.8 ms
100% Response Time
13.0 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast

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

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR has an excellent response time, resulting in clear motion with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. Unfortunately, with the 'Fast' Response Time setting there is noticeable over/under shoot, which can be distracting. If this bothers you, the 'Normal' setting has less overshoot, but there is a significant difference in the response time.

There is also a 'Fastest' setting, but this is simply the black frame insertion setting.

9.4
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
144 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
85 Hz

The backlight is flicker-free at all backlight levels, which is great. There's an optional black frame insertion feature, but like most FreeSync monitors it can't be enabled at the same time as FreeSync. The black frame insertion feature can be enabled by setting the Response Time to 'Fastest'.

9.2
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Factory Overclock
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The MSI MAG271CQR has an excellent refresh rate. It supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate feature, and although it isn't officially certified by NVIDIA, it also supports FreeSync when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

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

Outstanding low input lag across all supported formats. For the lowest input lag possible, it's important to enable the "Zero Latency" setting in the OSD.

8.4
Inputs
Resolution and Size
Native Resolution 2560 x 1440
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 3.7 MP
Pixel Density 109 PPI
Screen Diagonal 27.0 inches
Screen Area 310 sq inches

The 1440p native resolution is good for multitasking, and it delivers a more immersive gaming experience, as you can see more fine details.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.4)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB 2 (USB 2.0)
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 Internal

Unlike the MPG27CQ, this monitor has an internal power supply, so you don't have to worry about the external power brick.

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
No
HDR10 No
Multiple input display
PIP + PBP

There are a few additional features on this monitor, most of which are gaming-oriented. Like most gaming monitors, there are options for a few virtual overlays, including a timer and frame counter. It supports both picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture, great for multitasking.

There's also an RGB bias light on the back. This can be turned on or off from the OSD, but full control requires the MSI Gaming OSD software (free), available on MSI's website.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

The controls, consisting of a single joystick on the back of the monitor, are easy to use.

Features
In The Box

  • DisplayPort Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Upstream Cable
  • Power Cable
  • European Power Cable
  • User Manual

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 27" Optix MAG271CQR, which is part of MSI's Optix MAG Series of gaming monitors, and has other models available, some of which are listed below. We do not expect our review to be valid for the other models.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their MAG271CQR doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
MAG271CQR 27" 1440p 144Hz Tilt & Height Adjustment
MAG241C 24" 1080p 144Hz Tilt only, 1500R curve
MAG271CR 27" 1080p 144Hz Tilt & Height Adjustment
MAG271C 27" 1080p 144Hz Tilt only
MAG321CQR 32" 1440p 144Hz Tilt & Height Adjustment

The MAG271CQR we reviewed was manufactured in May 2019.

Compared to other monitors

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is a great gaming monitor with some useful additional features, but it faces some steep competition in the same price range. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 144 Hz monitors, and the best monitors.

Dell S2719DGF
SEE PRICE
B&H

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is slightly better than the Dell S2719DGF. The MSI has much better contrast, better gray uniformity, and an optional black frame insertion feature. The Dell, on the other hand, has better ergonomics, so it's a bit easier to place it in an ideal viewing position.

AOC CQ27G1
SEE PRICE
B&H

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR is a slightly better monitor than the AOC CQ27G1. Both are 144Hz, 1440p monitors, but the MSI has a much better response time for gaming, it can get brighter, does a better job at handling reflections, and it has better viewing angles. Meanwhile, the AOC has much better black uniformity, better ergonomics, and much more accurate out-of-box colors. The MSI is better suited for bright rooms, while the AOC performs better in the dark. 

LG 27GL850-B
SEE PRICE
B&H

The LG 27GL850-B and the MSI Optix MAG271CQR use different panel technologies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The MSI looks better in a dark room, as it has better contrast, but the LG has better viewing angles, and it supports HDR. The Optix has an optional black frame insertion feature, and it has better reflection handling.

MSI Optix MPG27CQ
SEE PRICE
B&H

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ and the MSI Optix MAG271CQR are very similar overall. The MPG27CQ we tested has worse viewing angles, but better black uniformity and better ergonomics. The MAG271CQR has a built-in two port USB hub.

Samsung CHG70
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Samsung CHG70 is better than the MSI Optix MAG271CQR. The CHG70 has better ergonomics, with a small swivel range and the option to rotate it to a portrait orientation. The CHG70 supports HDR, which the MAG271CQR doesn't, although this doesn't add much.

Acer VG271UP
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Acer VG271UP and the MSI Optix MAG271CQR use different panel technologies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The MAG271CQR has better contrast and better reflection handling than the VG271UP. The Acer supports HDR, has better viewing angles, and has much better gradient handling.

AOC AGON AG271QX
SEE PRICE
B&H

The AOC AGON AG271QX is slightly better than the MSI Optix MAG271CQR. The AGON has better ergonomics, better black uniformity, and much better gradient handling. The MSI Optix has an optional black frame insertion feature.

Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD and the MSI Optix MAG271CQR use different panel technologies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The MSI is better-suited for a dark room, as it has better contrast. The Aorus has better ergonomics and better viewing angles, and it supports HDR.

MSI Optix G27C
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.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.

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