MSI Optix MAG273R Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Sep 04, 2020 at 08:16 am
MSI Optix MAG273R Picture
7.6
Mixed Usage
7.5
Office
8.0
Gaming
7.6
Multimedia
7.6
Media Creation
7.0
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a good IPS monitor with a 27 inch, 1080p screen. The relatively low pixel density isn't great for multitasking or desktop work, but this monitor mainly targets esports players, with a high refresh rate, low input lag, and great response time. It also supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which helps to reduce screen tearing while gaming. This monitor can get bright enough for most rooms, and it has good reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, although the stand has a great height adjustment range and great tilt range, it can't swivel and can't rotate to a portrait orientation. Also, like all IPS monitors, it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not a great choice for a dark room.

Our Verdict

7.6 Mixed Usage

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a good monitor for most uses, but due to the low pixel density, it's not ideal for multitasking or office work. It has low input lag and a great response time, making it a great choice for gaming. It has wide viewing angles, good reflection handling, and good peak brightness, so it looks good in most rooms. Although this monitor supports HDR, it has a low contrast ratio and small highlights can't get very bright, so HDR doesn't add much.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.5 Office

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a good monitor for office use. It has decent horizontal viewing angles, great height and tilt adjustment, good reflection handling, and good peak brightness. Unfortunately, the 1080p resolution isn't great for multitasking, and it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not a good choice if you often work in a dark room.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
8.0 Gaming

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a great gaming monitor. It has exceptionally low input lag, a fast refresh rate, and a great response time at the max refresh rate. It also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. Unfortunately, it's not as good for console gaming, as the 60Hz response time is just okay, and it's not ideal for late-night gaming due to the low contrast ratio.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.6 Multimedia

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a good monitor for multimedia. The large screen and wide viewing angles are great for watching videos with a few people. It has good reflection handling and good peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue in most rooms. On the other hand, it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not a good choice if you like watching videos at night.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.6 Media Creation

The MSI Optix MAG273R is a good monitor for media creation. It has wide viewing angles, excellent gray uniformity, good reflection handling, and excellent gradient handling. It also has an outstanding SDR color gamut, with great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. Although the stand has a great height and tilt adjustment, it doesn't swivel, so it might not be the best if you often have to turn your monitor to share your screen.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.0 HDR Gaming

This is a decent monitor for HDR Gaming, mainly due to its great performance as a gaming monitor. Like most IPS monitors, the MSI Optix MAG273R has a low contrast ratio, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature. It also can't get very bright in HDR, so small highlights don't stand out as much as they should. Overall, HDR just doesn't add much.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Low input lag.
  • Outstanding gradients.
Cons
  • 1080p resolution isn't ideal at this size.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Can't get very bright in HDR.
  • 7.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Office
  • 8.0 Gaming
  • 7.6 Multimedia
  • 7.6 Media Creation
  • 7.0 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)
Weight (with stand)
13.4 lbs (6.1 kg)

The MSI Optix MAG273R has a simple design, with thin bezels and a claw-shaped stand. The stand has a large footprint, but it supports the monitor well, with very little wobble. There are a few nice design touches on the back as well, including a strip of RGB lighting.

Design
Stand
Width
18.4" (46.8 cm)
Depth
10.5" (26.7 cm)

The stand is very similar to the MSI Optix MAG271CQR. It has a large footprint, but overall, it's well-built and supports the monitor well.

5.3
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.1" (13.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The MSI Optix MAG273R has a great height and tilt range, but it can't swivel or rotate to portrait orientation. Note that the MAG273 (non 'R') can only tilt, it doesn't have a height adjustment.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back has a nice design to it, with a chevron pattern and RGB lighting along the top. There's a cutout in the stand for cable management, but no quick release.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (0.9 cm)

The borders are thin, even along the bottom bezel, making this a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
7.4" (18.9 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.6" (6.5 cm)

Due to the curvature of the screen, the MSI MAG273R is a bit thicker than similar flat monitors, even when VESA-mounted.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

Overall, the MSI Optix MAG273R has great build quality. The body is almost entirely made of plastic, but it feels well-built, and the stand supports the monitor well, with almost no wobble.

Picture Quality
6.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1354 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

Like all IPS monitors, the MSI Optix MAG273R has a low contrast ratio, so it's not a great choice for a dark room.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

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

7.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
327 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
313 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
313 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
313 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
314 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Good peak brightness in SDR. The MSI Optix MAG273R is bright enough for pretty much any viewing environment. It's not quite as bright as the MSI Optix MAG271CQR we tested, but they use different panel types, so this is expected.

The peak brightness listed by MSI for this monitor is only 250 nits. We don't know if our unit is exceptionally bright, or if MSI's specifications list the minimum they expect for the panel. If you have this monitor and are able to measure the peak brightness, let us know what you get in the discussions below.

6.4
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
362 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
345 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

Okay peak brightness in HDR. It's a bit brighter than SDR, but highlights don't stand out the way they should with HDR content.

7.4
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
29 °
Color Washout From Right
29 °
Color Shift From Left
50 °
Color Shift From Right
52 °
Brightness Loss From Left
31 °
Brightness Loss From Right
33 °
Black Level Raise From Left
70 °
Black Level Raise From Right
70 °
Gamma Shift From Left
49 °
Gamma Shift From Right
46 °

Typical for IPS monitors, the image remains accurate even when viewed from the side. This is great for sharing the screen with other people.

6.9
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26 °
Color Washout From Above
30 °
Color Shift From Below
44 °
Color Shift From Above
47 °
Brightness Loss From Below
32 °
Brightness Loss From Above
34 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
29 °
Gamma Shift From Above
31 °

The vertical viewing angle is okay. Most people won't notice any issues, but if you're sharing the screen with someone standing beside you, they won't see the same image as you.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.097 %
50% DSE
0.095 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.490 %
5% DSE
0.043 %

The MSI Optix MAG273R has excellent gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are darker than the center, and our unit has a slightly darker line near the center of the screen, but these aren't very noticeable with regular content. The uniformity is even better in near black scenes, with almost no dirty screen effect (DSE). Gray uniformity can vary between units, but most monitors have great uniformity overall.

6.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.710 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Mediocre black uniformity. There's no noticeable flashlighting along the edges, which is good, but the entire screen is cloudy. Black uniformity varies between units though, so if you have this monitor, let us know how it looks in the discussions below.

5.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
344 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
100
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
50-50-50
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
5861 K
White Balance dE
4.56
Color dE
4.10
Gamma
2.07

Unfortunately, the MSI Optix MAG273R has disappointing accuracy out of the box. Gamma is almost flat, closer to 2.1 than the sRGB target curve, so most content is displayed brighter than it should be. There are noticeable inaccuracies in most colors, and the color temperature is warm. Note that this does vary between units, so let us know if you get a better one.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
15
Contrast Setting
65
RGB Controls
89-100-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6564 K
White Balance dE
0.54
Color dE
0.31
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, the MSI Optix MAG273R has much better accuracy. Gamma follows the sRGB target curve almost perfectly, and there are no noticeable inaccuracies in any color. The white balance is also very close to the calibration target.

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.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
100.0 %
Adobe RGB xy
81.0 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

Excellent SDR color gamut. The MSI Optix MAG273R covers the sRGB color space perfectly, and it has great coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, which is great for content creators.

9.3
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
98.3 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
87.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

Outstanding SDR color volume. With nearly perfect coverage of the sRGB color volume, this monitor is limited mainly by its inability to produce dark, saturated colors due to the low contrast ratio. Pure blues aren't as bright as other colors either, but this is common for LED displays.

7.8
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
89.4 %
Rec. 2020 xy
66.6 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
User
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
User

This monitor has a very good HDR color gamut and exceptional coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most HDR content. P3 coverage is higher than any other monitor we've tested since the MSI MAG273R doesn't tone map to try and compress colors that fall outside the P3 color space. Instead, it clips anything that it can't display, resulting in a loss of details. This is fine if you mainly work with content mastered in DCI P3, but if your content is mastered in Rec. 2020, any details outside of its color gamut will be lost.

7.4
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
83.8 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
64.0 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
User
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
User

Decent HDR color volume. This monitor can't display dark, saturated colors very well due to the low contrast ratio, but otherwise, it fills out the color volume well.

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 can vary between units. Let us know in the discussions below if you have this monitor, and have noticed image retention.

9.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

Outstanding gradient performence, with almost no noticeable banding in any shade.

7.6
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.486 %

Unfortunately, there's noticeable vertical color bleed. While most people won't notice this, it might be an issue for content creators.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.0 %
Indirect Reflections
2.5 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.5 %

Good reflection handling overall, but if you have a lot of bright lights, glare might still be an issue.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Decent text clarity, but we recommend enabling ClearType on Windows, as it results in noticeably cleaner text, as can be seen on the curved lines of the 'G' and the diagonal line on the 'N' in the top photo.

Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fastest
Rise / Fall Time
5.2 ms
Total Response Time
12.5 ms
Overshoot Error
7.9 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
7.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
14.8 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

Great response time at the max refresh rate. There's a bit of overshoot when transitioning to a brighter shade, causing a slight halo effect behind fast-moving objects. This can be seen behind the 'R' in our moving-logo photo above. If the overshoot bothers you, the 'Fast' setting has only slightly slower response time, but has significantly less overshoot.

6.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
9.9 ms
Total Response Time
17.5 ms
Overshoot Error
0 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
12.1 ms
Dark Total Response Time
19.2 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 60Hz response time is okay, but there's a bit more noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. We recommend the 'Normal' overdrive setting, as it offers the best overall performance. The Rise / Fall Time is significantly faster on 'Fast' or 'Fastest', but there's also significantly more overshoot, causing the total response time to actually increase compared to the 'Normal' setting.

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

The backlight is completely flicker-free, which is great.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
144 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

The MSI Optix MAG273R has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, but unfortunately, it's only available close to the maximum refresh rate. Below 120Hz, it doesn't work. Unlike some ASUS monitors, like the ASUS VG279QM, BFI can't be used when FreeSync is enabled.

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

This monitor's high refresh rate is excellent for gaming, but even desktop users will appreciate it. It supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, and although it's not officially certified, we were able to enable NVIDIA's G-SYNC Compatible mode. Note that G-SYNC Compatible mode only works over DisplayPort and that it requires at least a 10-Series NVIDIA graphics card.

Inputs
9.6
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.4 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
3.9 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.2 ms
10 Bit HDR
4.6 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
4.4 ms

Outstanding low input lag, resulting in an extremely responsive gaming experience. We were only able to test the 10-bit HDR input lag at 120Hz, as that's the maximum refresh rate supported over HDMI with HDR enabled, and our HDR input lag test can only be done over HDMI.

7.1
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution