MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Feb 10, 2021 at 09:28 am
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Picture
8.2
Mixed Usage
8.1
Office
8.6
Gaming
8.0
Multimedia
8.2
Media Creation
7.4
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
Adaptive Sync

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 such as a 'Console Mode' that's designed to downscale 4k content from the PS5 to 1440p.

Our Verdict

8.2 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Great ergonomics.
  • Large screen and high 1440p resolution.
  • 165Hz refresh rate and VRR support.
  • Incredible response time at max refresh rate and at 60Hz.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Low HDR peak brightness.
8.1 Office

The MSI Optix 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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great ergonomics.
  • Large screen and high 1440p resolution.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
8.6 Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Large screen and high 1440p resolution.
  • 165Hz refresh rate and VRR support.
  • Incredible response time at max refresh rate and at 60Hz.
  • Extremely low input lag.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
  • Low contrast ratio.
8.0 Multimedia

The MSI Optix 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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great ergonomics.
  • Large screen and high 1440p resolution.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
  • Low contrast ratio.
8.2 Media Creation

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.

Pros
  • Great ergonomics.
  • Large screen and high 1440p resolution.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.4 HDR Gaming

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is decent for HDR gaming, mainly due to its excellent gaming performance. It has a high 165Hz refresh rate with variable refresh rate (VRR) support, an outstanding response time, and extremely low input lag. It displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content, but it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop, and it lacks a local dimming feature.

Pros
  • 165Hz refresh rate and VRR support.
  • Incredible response time at max refresh rate and at 60Hz.
  • Extremely low input lag.
  • Displays wide color gamut for HDR content thanks to quantum dot technology.
Cons
  • Colors look over-saturated before calibration.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Lacks local dimming.
  • Low HDR peak brightness.
  • 8.2 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Office
  • 8.6 Gaming
  • 8.0 Multimedia
  • 8.2 Media Creation
  • 7.4 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
7.7 lbs (3.5 kg)
Weight (with stand)
13.4 lbs (6.1 kg)

The MSI Optix 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.

Design
Stand
Width
11.8" (30.0 cm)
Depth
8.3" (21.0 cm)

The square-based stand is smaller than the tripod stand that we've seen on other MSI monitors, such as the MSI Optix MAG271CQR, and it doesn't take up much space. It supports the monitor well, and there isn't much wobble.

8.0
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
3.9" (10.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape Yes, Both Ways
Swivel Range -75° to 75°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has great ergonomics. It has a wide swivel range, and you can rotate it into portrait mode in either direction.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

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.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)
Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
7.8" (19.7 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
1.8" (4.6 cm)
8.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
6.3
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1195 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a mediocre contrast ratio, which is expected from 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.

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
347 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
372 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

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. We measured peak brightness after calibration in the 'User' Picture Mode.

6.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
367 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
389 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
388 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
389 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
389 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
389 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
389 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

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. We tested HDR peak brightness with the HDR setting enabled; there's no brightness setting when it's enabled.

7.7
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
30 °
Color Washout From Right
34 °
Color Shift From Left
55 °
Color Shift From Right
64 °
Brightness Loss From Left
32 °
Brightness Loss From Right
37 °
Black Level Raise From Left
70 °
Black Level Raise From Right
70 °
Gamma Shift From Left
47 °
Gamma Shift From Right
50 °

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.

6.9
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
29 °
Color Washout From Above
28 °
Color Shift From Below
48 °
Color Shift From Above
41 °
Brightness Loss From Below
33 °
Brightness Loss From Above
33 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
31 °
Gamma Shift From Above
30 °

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.

8.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.321 %
50% DSE
0.114 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.574 %
5% DSE
0.045 %

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.

6.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.541 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

6.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
386 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
100
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
50-50-50
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6767 K
White Balance dE
3.19
Color dE
5.15
Gamma
2.07

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has mediocre out-of-the-box accuracy. Most colors are inaccurate and appear over-saturated. White balance is off, and the color temperature is on the cool side, resulting in a blueish tint. Gamma seems to follow a 2.1 target instead of 2.2, so most scenes are too bright, but dark scenes are a bit too dark. Note that out-of-the-box accuracy may vary between units.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
12
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
100-90-92
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6404 K
White Balance dE
0.79
Color dE
0.43
Gamma
2.18

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.

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.

10
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.5 %
Adobe RGB xy
100.0 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

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, colors in Adobe RGB may appear over-saturated because it covers more than the required color space.

9.8
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
98.1 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
97.8 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

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.

8.8
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
93.8 %
Rec. 2020 xy
81.3 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
User
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
User

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 is expected to have a worse color gamut.

Note: The DCI P3 coverage is a bit lower than the advertised 97%. This is normal and is due to the way we measure DCI P3. We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.

8.0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
87.1 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
72.4 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
User
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
User

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.

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. However, this may vary between units.

9.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD's gradient handling is exceptional. There's almost no visible banding in real content. The max refresh rate you can achieve with a 1440p resolution and a 10-bit signal over DisplayPort is 120Hz, and you can get 60Hz over HDMI with 1440p.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.291 %

There's some vertical color bleed, which isn't ideal for content creation.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
3.0 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.4 %

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.

7.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

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.

Motion
9.6
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
3.4 ms
Total Response Time
6.3 ms
Overshoot Error
2.4 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
3.4 ms
Dark Total Response Time
6.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
4.8 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table 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.

9.1
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
4.8 ms
Total Response Time
10.4 ms
Overshoot Error
0 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
5.3 ms
Dark Total Response Time
11.0 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
Extreme Chart Table Photo

The response time at 60Hz is outstanding. 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.

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

The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions.

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 MAG274QRF-QD has a Black Frame Insertion 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. We also noticed it works 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.

Note: The BFI score is based on the minimum and maximum frequency at which it can operate, and not the BFI's performance.

9.2
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
165 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (NVIDIA Certified)
VRR Maximum
165 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has an outstanding refresh rate. If you own a NVIDIA graphics card, it has G-SYNC compatibility, which only works over a DisplayPort connection. You can achieve its full refresh rate range over a DisplayPort connection. Over HDMI, it has a max refresh rate of 144Hz.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.8 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.0 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
4.6 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.9 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)