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MSI Optix MAG271CQR Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Updated Sep 20, 2019 at 08:24 am
MSI Optix MAG271CQR Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.2
Office
8.2
Gaming
6.9
Multimedia
7.0
Media Creation
5.5
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Pixel 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

7.2 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.

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
7.2 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.

8.2 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.

6.9 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.

7.0 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.

5.5 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR doesn't support HDR.

  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Office
  • 8.2 Gaming
  • 6.9 Multimedia
  • 7.0 Media Creation
  • 5.5 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 7/6/2020: Corrected an internal issue that caused some boxes to not appear.
  2. Update 5/29/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
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)
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.

5.4
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.3" (13.5 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
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.

5.7
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
36 °
Color Washout From Right
34 °
Color Shift From Left
47 °
Color Shift From Right
42 °
Brightness Loss From Left
36 °
Brightness Loss From Right
34 °
Black Level Raise From Left
13 °
Black Level Raise From Right
12 °
Gamma Shift From Left
15 °
Gamma Shift From Right
14 °

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.

5.4
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
30 °
Color Washout From Above
35 °
Color Shift From Below
33 °
Color Shift From Above
35 °
Brightness Loss From Below
31 °
Brightness Loss From Above
34 °
Black Level Raise From Below
11 °
Black Level Raise From Above
10 °
Gamma Shift From Below
13 °
Gamma Shift From Above
15 °

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
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
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.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
14
Contrast Setting
51
RGB Controls
100-100-90
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
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 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

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 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

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
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, 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
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
2.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.8 %

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

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB
Motion
8.8
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
4.6 ms
Total Response Time
12.1 ms
Overshoot Error
1.1 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
6.0 ms
Dark Total Response Time
13.1 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
1.6 %

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.

7.4
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
4.5 ms
Total Response Time
18.3 ms
Overshoot Error
7.3 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
4.4 ms
Dark Total Response Time
20.8 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
18.4 %
10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 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'.

7.8
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
144 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
85 Hz
9.0
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
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
9.4
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.7 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.2 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
5.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.6 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.

8.3
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