The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is an excellent gaming monitor. It has a native 165Hz refresh rate with FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Motion looks smooth thanks to its incredible response time, and it also has extremely low input lag. It's well-built and has great ergonomics, allowing you to place the screen how you like. It uses quantum dot technology to provide a very wide color gamut for HDR content, but with its low HDR peak brightness, mediocre contrast, and lack of local dimming, HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content. You may also need to get it calibrated since colors look over-saturated out of the box. Lastly, it's packed with features like a 'Console Mode' designed to downscale 4k content from the PS5 to 1440p.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is great overall. It's excellent for gaming because of its high 165Hz refresh rate, extremely low input lag, and very quick response time. Its large 27 inch screen, 1440p resolution, and wide viewing angles make it good for office use. It's also great for content creators, but you may notice that colors are over-saturated before calibration. Lastly, it displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content but has low HDR peak brightness, a mediocre contrast ratio, and lacks local dimming.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD is great for office use. It has a large, high-resolution screen that delivers clear text. The ergonomics are great, and it has wide viewing angles, making it easy to share your screen with someone else. It also gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling for well-lit rooms.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is excellent for gaming. It has a 165Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility. The response time is incredible, resulting in clear motion, and it also has extremely low input lag. Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray when viewed in the dark.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD is great for watching multimedia content. Its 1440p resolution helps deliver crisp images, and its wide viewing angles make it easy to watch videos with friends as the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. Unfortunately, its low contrast ratio results in blacks that look gray when viewed in the dark.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is great for content creators. It has an exceptional SDR color gamut, but colors look over-saturated, and you may need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. Luckily, it has wide viewing angles and great ergonomics, allowing you to easily share your screen with a client or coworker.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD delivers an okay HDR experience. It has a low contrast ratio and no local dimming, so blacks look gray in a dark room, and it's not very bright in HDR, so bright highlights don't stand out very well. It has an excellent HDR color gamut, though, with nearly complete coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used by most current HDR content.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD looks a bit different from other MSI monitors we've tested. It has a square-based stand that doesn't take up too much space. It has thin bezels on three sides with a thicker bottom bezel. The back has a sleek-looking design that won't stick out in an office environment, and it has RGB lighting.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD's build quality is great. It's made out of solid plastic, and there aren't any obvious gaps in the construction. The monitor feels stable on the stand, and there's minimal wobble.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has great ergonomics. It has a wide swivel range, and you can rotate it into portrait mode in either direction. The back panel is a mix of matte and glossy plastic. There's a strip of RGB lighting above the glossy plastic. Cable management is serviced through the stand.
The square-based stand is smaller than the tripod stand that we've seen on other MSI monitors, like the MSI Optix MAG271CQR, and it doesn't take up much space. It supports the monitor well, and there isn't much wobble.
There's a joystick on the back right side to control the on-screen menu. There's a function button on the left side that you can assign a macro to through the OSD.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a mediocre contrast ratio, which is normal for an IPS panel. Blacks appear gray when viewed in the dark. It's higher than the 1000:1 advertised contrast ratio, but this may vary between units.
This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. The above video is for reference only.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has great SDR peak brightness. It gets bright enough to combat glare, and it maintains its brightness extremely consistent across different content. These measurements are from after calibration in the 'User' Picture Mode. The minimum brightness is a bit high, so it's not ideal if you're planning on using it in a completely dark room and are sensitive to light.
The HDR peak brightness is alright. It gets brighter than in SDR, but it's not enough to make highlights stand out the way the creator intended. It doesn't track the EOTF very well. Dark scenes are brighter than the content creator intended, and there's a very sharp roll-off near the monitor's peak brightness, which causes a loss of fine details in bright scenes.
These measurements are with the HDR setting enabled; there's no brightness setting when it's enabled.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a good horizontal viewing angle, which is normal for an IPS panel. The colors remain accurate when viewed at wide angles, so it's good for sharing your screen with others around you.
The vertical viewing angle is okay. You may notice some color washout if you place the monitor above eye level, but the image remains accurate for the most part.
Gray uniformity is great. The edges of the screen are noticeably darker, but there's no visible dirty screen effect in the center. Uniformity is improved in near-dark scenes. Note that gray uniformity may vary between units.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD's black uniformity is alright, although this may vary between units. The entire screen looks gray due to the low contrast ratio, and there's backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges. Luckily, there isn't much blooming around the test cross.
Update 11/18/2021: We retested the monitor with the default settings after updating it to the latest firmware (v016). We've replaced our initial results, as well as all related text, as the accuracy out of the box has changed significantly.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has decent accuracy out of the box. The most accurate sRGB mode has noticeable inaccuracies in most colors, and the white balance is way off. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB target curve at all, as dark scenes are a bit too dark, and bright scenes are too bright. The color temperature is very cool, giving everything a bluish tint.
Unlike most monitors, using the sRGB mode doesn't lock down most picture settings. However, changing any picture setting while in the sRGB stops the monitor from effectively clamping the color gamut to the sRGB color space, resulting in a terribly oversaturated image.
The post-calibration accuracy is incredible. Colors are accurate and don't appear over-saturated any more. Color temperature is closer to the 6500K target, but it's a bit on the warm side. Gamma also does a better job at following the sRGB curve, but some dark scenes are still a bit too dark.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has an exceptional SDR color gamut. It has perfect coverage of both the commonly-used sRGB color space and the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. However, most colors appear over-saturated in both sRGB and Adobe RGB because it covers more than the required color space, and it doesn't have a picture mode or setting to limit the colors to a specific color space.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has an incredible SDR color volume. It displays bright colors well, thanks to its high peak brightness. However, it struggles with dark colors due to its low contrast ratio.
The HDR color gamut is excellent, thanks to its quantum dot technology. It has outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content. It also has great coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. The MAG274QRF (not QD) variant doesn't have the quantum dot layer and has a worse color gamut.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD's HDR color volume is great. It displays colors at a wide range of luminance levels well, but it struggles with darker colors because of its low contrast ratio.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has decent reflection handling. It performs well with a bit of light on it, but the reflections may become too distracting if there are direct light sources on it.
The text clarity is good. It can be improved using ClearType (top photo) as it improves the appearance of diagonal lines as seen on the letters R, N, G, and S.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD's gradient handling is exceptional. There's almost no visible banding in real content.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has an excellent refresh rate. For a similar monitor with an even higher refresh rate, check out the Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible variable refresh rates, ensuring a nearly tear-free gaming experience from almost any source.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has an exceptional response time at its max refresh rate. Fast-moving content looks very smooth, and there's minimal motion blur. The recommended overdrive setting is 'Fast' because it has a quicker response time than 'Normal', and there's too much overshoot with the 'Extreme' setting.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
This monitor has an excellent response time when gaming at 120Hz. Unfortunately, the 'Fast' overdrive mode has more noticeable overshoot than at the max refresh rate. The 'Normal' mode delivers a better experience overall and delivers a more consistent gaming experience across the range of supported refresh rates.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The response time at 60Hz is great. Once again, fast-moving content looks smooth. The recommended overdrive setting is 'Normal' because there's too much overshoot on the other settings. This means that you may have to change the setting if the frame rate of your game drops.
|Refresh Rate||Motion Blur Photo|
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has a backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion (BFI), to help reduce motion blur. It works within a narrow range, it can't be used with VRR enabled, and you can't adjust the brightness when it's enabled either. Unfortunately, it behaves differently in the middle of the screen (as seen in the photo) than it does elsewhere. There's image duplication with fast-moving content near the top of the screen, as you can see in this photo.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD's input lag is incredibly low. It increases with BFI enabled, but it remains low and won't be noticeable for most people.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a great 27 inch screen with a high 1440p resolution. It's ideal for multitasking as you can easily open multiple windows side-by-side.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD supports most formats from the PS5, but due to the lack of HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, it won't accept a 4k @ 120Hz signal. Even though the native resolution of this monitor is 1440p, it still accepts a 4k signal and downscales the image. It results in a sharper image than if you were to send a native 1440p signal.
This monitor supports almost everything from the Xbox Series S or X, but since its HDMI ports don't support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, it doesn't support 4k @ 120Hz gaming. Even though the native resolution of this monitor is 1440p, it still accepts a 4k signal and downscales the image. It results in a sharper image than if you were to send a native 1440p signal.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a USB-B input that you can use as an upstream port when connected to your PC. It also has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible device. Although advertised to support a maximum of 15W of power delivery, in practice, it can only deliver 5W.
This monitor works perfectly with recent macOS devices. HDR and variable refresh rate (VRR) both work perfectly, and there are no issues with sleep mode.
There are a ton of extra features on the MSI MAG274QRF-QD, which you can see below:
We tested the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD, which is only available in a 27 inch size. There's an MSI Optix MAG274QRF variant that doesn't have a quantum dot layer, so it's expected to have a different color gamut. If someone comes across a different type of panel or their MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update the review. Keep in mind that model codes and SKUs may vary between regions.
Some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units. Our unit was manufactured in October 2020, and you can see our label here.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is an excellent gaming monitor packed with features. Its incredible response time results in smooth motion, and it has extremely low input lag. However, colors look over-saturated out of the box, and there are cheaper options available with similar gaming performance, like the Gigabyte M27Q.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Dell S2721DGF are both great monitors with similar gaming features. They're both 1440p monitors with a 165Hz refresh rate and outstanding response time. The MSI has a BFI feature, which the Dell doesn't, but it only works within a narrow frequency range. The MSI also has a USB-C input, which supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. On the other hand, the Dell is a better choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room because it has much better reflection handling. It also has a local dimming feature, but it performs terribly.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Gigabyte M27Q are two excellent gaming monitors with a 1440p resolution. They each have outstanding response time, low input lag, FreeSync support, and G-SYNC compatibility. The MSI has much better ergonomics, making it easy to place the screen how you like. However, the Gigabyte has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, so colors don't look over-saturated like they do on the MSI. It also has Picture-by-Picture/Picture-in-Picture modes, allowing you to display images from two sources at once.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the LG 27GP850-B perform almost identically overall. The MSI is a better choice for most people, as it has a much better stand, as it has a wide swivel range and can rotate to portrait orientation in either direction. The MSI also feels better built, and it has a USB-C port for better connectivity with some devices.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ performs very similarly to the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. As far as gaming goes, you can't really go wrong with either one. The MSI has a slightly faster response time at the max refresh rate while the ASUS has a slightly faster response time at 60Hz and a marginally higher refresh rate, but really, these are minor differences. While the MSI has a wider color gamut thanks to its use of Quantum Dot technology, in practice, colors can look oversaturated. The ASUS has a couple of other things that may make it preferable to some. It has wider viewing angles, so the image stays accurate from the sides, and it has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you may not need to calibrate it to get the most out of your monitor. All in all, though, these are both excellent gaming monitors.
Overall, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD performs better than the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A. The MSI has a much faster response time to deliver a clearer image in fast-moving scenes. It has a much wider color gamut for HDR due to its Quantum Dot layer; however, it doesn't get as bright as the ASUS to bring out highlights in HDR content. The MSI has more USB ports, including a USB-C that supports DisplayPort and 15W charging.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a better gaming monitor than the LG 27GL850-B. They have similar features with a 1440p resolution, FreeSync support, G-SYNC compatibility, and a very quick response time. The MSI has a Black Frame Insertion feature, which the LG doesn't, but it has a narrow flicker range and can't be used with VRR enabled. The MSI also has much better ergonomics, including a swivel adjustment, which the LG doesn't have.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD are both great monitors with excellent gaming performance; however, they're different. The Samsung uses a VA panel and is available in a 27 inch or 32 inch size, while the MSI uses an IPS panel and is only available in a 27 inch. If you want better dark room performance, go with the Samsung because it can produce much deeper blacks. It has a higher refresh rate as well, but the difference is often hard to tell for most casual gamers. The MSI isn't as good for dark rooms due to its IPS panel's mediocre contrast, but it provides wider viewing angles, and it has USB-C input.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is better for most uses than the MSI Optix G273QF, but they have similar gaming performance. They both have an incredible response time, very low input lag, and a 165Hz refresh rate for gaming. The MAG274QRF-QD has much better ergonomics, allowing you to easily adjust the screen. It also supports HDR10, which the G273QF doesn't, and it has many more features, such as a Console Mode that's designed for PS5 compatibility.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is better than the Gigabyte G27Q for most uses. The MSI has a slightly higher refresh rate and faster response time to deliver smoother motion. It also has better ergonomics because it allows for swivel and pivot adjustments, and its USB hub includes a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort and 15W charging. It has a wider color gamut than the Gigabyte but doesn't get as bright to bring out highlights in HDR content.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the ASUS TUF VG27AQ are two excellent gaming monitors; they each have a 1440p resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. Motion looks smoother on the MSI thanks to its quick response time, especially at 60Hz. However, the ASUS has a BFI feature that works at a wider refresh rate range than the MSI, and it can also be used when VRR is enabled, which the MSI can't do.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 S28AG70 and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD are different types of monitors. The Samsung is a 4k monitor with HDMI 2.1 inputs, so it's a better choice for console gaming, while the MSI has a 1440p resolution and a slightly higher 165Hz refresh rate. Motion handling is fantastic on both, but the MSI has a slightly faster response time at 60Hz. The MSI has a few more office features like better ergonomics and a USB-C input, but the Samsung delivers clearer text thanks to the higher resolution. The MSI is also a better choice for use in well-lit rooms because it gets brighter.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a bit better than the LG 27GP83B-B. The MSI has much better ergonomics, a wider color gamut, and better text clarity. The response time is similar between the two, but the MSI has an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur. The MSI also has a bit better connectivity, with a built-in USB hub and a USB-C port.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Samsung Odyssey G5 S27AG50 are both excellent gaming monitors. They both have a 165Hz refresh rate, native FreeSync VRR support, a 1440p resolution, and fantastic motion handling. There are a few differences in picture quality, though; the MSI displays a wider color gamut in HDR and SDR, but that's because it over-saturates the colors, meaning some people may prefer the Samsung. The Samsung also gets brighter and has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for well-lit rooms. On the other hand, the MSI has a better selection of inputs, such as a USB-C input and two USB inputs that you can connect your keyboard and mouse to.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM offer very similar performance, each with strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS is a bit better for HDR, as it has a local dimming feature, and it's a bit brighter in HDR. The MSI has better ergonomics and an optional backlight strobing feature, which can help improve the appearance of motion in some games.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx are similar monitors, but the Acer has a bit more to recommend it. They both have exceptional color gamuts, but the MSI lacks an sRGB setting, so colors appear oversaturated. The Acer also has a higher refresh rate, gets brighter in SDR and HDR, and has better accuracy out of the box.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a bit better for most uses than the LG 27GN850-B, but they have many of the same features. They both have outstanding response time and low input lag for gaming, but the MSI has a slightly higher 165Hz refresh rate. It also has a BFI feature, but it only works within a narrow range. However, the LG has better out-of-the-box accuracy and colors don't look as over-saturated as the MSI, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Gigabyte M32Q offer very similar performance overall. The biggest difference between them is in their design. If you prefer a larger screen, go with the Gigabyte, but if ergonomics are more important to you and you don't plan on VESA mounting the monitor, the MSI might be the better choice.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the LG 32GP850-B are similar overall, and the differences between them are minor. The MSI has better ergonomics; if that doesn't matter to you, the LG has better reflection handling and a larger screen. The LG also has better accuracy out of the box and better gray uniformity, but these could vary between units.
The LG 27GN880-B and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD are very similar. The most notable difference is that the MSI has a higher refresh rate of 165Hz versus the LG's 144Hz, which results in a slightly smoother and more responsive gaming experience. The MSI also has a wider SDR and HDR color gamut, and more features, like two USB 3.0 ports a USB-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode. On the flip side, the LG has a better stand that takes up less space and provides more ergonomic adjustments.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X are both excellent gaming monitors. They each have an IPS panel with a 1440p resolution, but the main difference is that the Gigabyte has a 240Hz refresh rate, and the MSI is 165Hz. They have quick response times, native FreeSync support, and low input lag for gaming. The MSI uses a traditional RGB subpixel layout, whereas the Gigabyte uses BGR, which not all programs may use and could result in blurry text. However, we don't expect this to be an issue for most people.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a much better monitor than the MSI Optix G273. The MAG274QRF-QD delivers a much smoother gaming experience, with a faster response time, resulting in less motion blur behind fast-moving objects. The MAG274QRF-QD also has better compatibility with consoles, as it can display a 1440p or downscaled 4k signal, so your favorite games look sharper and more detailed. Finally, the MAG274QRF-QD supports HDR, whereas the G273 is limited to SDR.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Razer Raptor 27 165Hz are great 1440p monitors with a 165Hz resolution. The MSI displays a wider color gamut in SDR and HDR, but that's because it over-saturates colors. The MSI also has a much quicker response time at 60Hz, delivering smoother motion for console gamers, and has better ergonomics. The Razer has better reflection handling and gets slightly brighter, so it's a better choice for well-lit rooms. Even though the MSI has Adaptive Sync technology and the Razer has native FreeSync, both FreeSync and G-SYNC VRR work on either monitor.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the MSI Optix MAG161V are very different monitors that target different uses, so they're not really directly comparable. The MAG161V is a portable monitor with a 16 inch 1080p screen, designed for productivity on the go. The MAG274QRF-QD is a desktop gaming monitor with a 27 inch 1440p screen, and it delivers a much better experience overall, but it's not portable.
The ASUS ProArt PA148CTV and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD are very different products with different intended uses, so the results aren't really comparable. The MSI is a desktop fixed gaming monitor with a high refresh rate and advanced gaming features. The ASUS is a simple portable monitor designed for extra productivity on the go.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD are very different monitors, each with strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS is designed for portability, so it has a smaller screen, much worse ergonomics, and slightly worse viewing angles. The MSI is more feature-rich, as it supports HDR and has an optional black frame insertion feature.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the ViewSonic Vg1655 are two different monitors. The MSI is a standard monitor with a 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. It has more gaming features than the ViewSonic, like VRR support, a very quick response time, and low input lag. Since it's a regular desktop monitor, it also has a stand with much better ergonomics. The ViewSonic is a portable monitor with a 1080p resolution, but it has much better text clarity with its smaller screen.