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Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019 , Simon Barbier, Emil Beaulieu, Yannick Khong

MSI Optix MPG27CQ
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
7.4
Mixed Usage
Score components:
7.2
5.8
HDR Gaming
Size : 27 "
Resolution : 2560x1440
Refresh Rate : 144 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is a decent 27", 1440p monitor with deep blacks and excellent gaming features. It has outstanding low input lag, an excellent response time, and it supports FreeSync, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card. This monitor has a great design, with an adjustable stand and great build quality, and it has a great RGB lighting system. Unfortunately, like most VA monitors, the image washes out quickly when viewed at an angle, and it has disappointing accuracy out of the box.

Test Results
Design 8.0
Picture Quality 6.3
Motion 9.3
Inputs 9.1
Pros
  • Great gaming features, including low input lag and FreeSync support.
  • Great design and an excellent RGB lighting system.
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle.
  • Disappointing accuracy out of the box.

Check Price

8.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Curved : Yes
Curve radius : 1800R
Weight (without stand)
What it is: The weight of the monitor when mounted. This is with the stand removed, and if necessary any VESA mounting bracket attached.
When it matters: When choosing a mount for a monitor/
:
11.2 lbs (5.1 kg)
Weight (with stand)
What it is: The weight of the monitor including the stand any any input covers.
:
16.3 lbs (7.4 kg)

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has a great design. It's well-built, with an all-metal stand that supports the display extremely well, with no noticeable wobble. It appears to be made with premium materials throughout. It features two RGB lighting systems: a complex light pattern along the back for bias lighting, and a strip of LEDs along the front bottom bezel. It can be VESA mounted and has a quick release for the stand, but requires spacer screws (included) to attach the mount.

Stand
Width
What it is: The width of the stand.
When it matters: When using a small desk, for those who require a monitor with a small footprint.
:
20.7" (52.6 cm)
Depth
What it is: The depth of the stand.
When it matters: When using a small desk, for those who require a monitor with a small footprint.
:
14.6" (37.1 cm)

The stand is very simple, with three feet that support the monitor extremely well. Although the feet themselves are small, they take up a large overall footprint. There is almost no noticeable wobble, which is great.

6.2 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
Height Adjustment
What it is: The amount of vertical travel or adjustment of the display.
:
4.6" (11.7 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape : No
Swivel Range : -40° to 40°
Tilt Range : -20° to 5°

The MPG27CQ has a decent height adjustment, and a very good tilt and swivel range. It can't rotate to a portrait orientation, but this wouldn't make sense with a curved monitor anyway.

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

There is an RGB bias lighting feature on the back of the monitor (shown here), that can be customized to your liking.

This monitor can also be VESA mounted, and there is also a quick release, but the mounting bolts are recessed on the back, and require spacers (included). Finally, there is a small hole in the stand that serves as cable management.

Borders
Borders
What it is: The distance from the left edge of the display to the start of the image.
When it matters: When using multiple monitors side-by-side.
:
0.4" (1.0 cm)

The borders are thin and not very distracting. The front bottom bezel is a bit thicker, and features a strip of LED lights that can be completely customized to your liking.

Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
What it is: How far the front of the screen protrudes when placed as far back as possible against a wall.
When it matters: When the monitor is placed back against a wall.
:
12.0" (30.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
What it is: How far the front of the screen protrudes when the stand has been removed. For monitors which require a bracket to VESA mount this measurement includes the thickness of the bracket.
When it matters: When mounting a monitor with the stand removed.
:
3.1" (7.9 cm)

The stand is quite thick, and the monitor itself is thicker than most of the monitors we've tested, due to the curvature of the screen.

8.0 Build Quality
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has great build quality. It appears well-built, with quality materials and a solid metal stand that supports the display well, with no wobble.

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ delivers mediocre overall picture quality. It has a great contrast ratio, delivering deep blacks, but has disappointing black uniformity. It has very good peak brightness and great reflection handling, so there shouldn't be any issues placing it in a well-lit room. The biggest issue with this monitor is its viewing angles. If you are sitting even slightly off-center, the image quickly degrades and appears washed out. This monitor doesn't support HDR, but can display an excellent color gamut in SDR.

8.0 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
3225 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

Like the majority of monitors with VA panels, the MSI Optix MPG27CQ has a great contrast ratio, although it's slightly worse than the MSI Optix G27C. In a completely dark room, the bias lighting feature can help to further improve the perceived contrast ratio of the monitor.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Edge

This monitor does not support local dimming. The above video is for reference only.

7.8 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the monitor can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
319 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
331 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
331 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
332 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
0.000

Very good peak brightness, with almost no variation in brightness with different content. Combined with the MPG27CQ's great reflection handling, this monitor is a great choice for almost any room.

0 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
HDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the monitor can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurements are made with the monitor set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: TThe maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
N/A
HDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
N/A

This monitor does not support HDR.

4.5 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
38 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
38 °
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
11 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
11 °
Curve Radius : 1800 R

Like most VA monitors, the horizontal viewing angle is poor. Even at moderate angles, the brightness decreases and colors shift, causing a loss of accuracy. At minor angles, the black levels increase drastically, causing the image to appear washed out.

4.6 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
26 °
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
37 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
35 °
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
5 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
5 °

Disappointing vertical viewing angle. The MPG27CQ maintains colors and brightness to decent angles, but the black levels increase massively even slightly off-angle, causing the image to quickly wash out.

8.2 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.348 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.143 %
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.501 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.067 %

Great gray uniformity. There is very little dirty screen effect, but some slight vignetting, although neither of these should cause any issues for most users.

In near-dark scenes, the MPG27CQ's uniformity is excellent, and there are no significant issues.

5.2 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
2.508 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

There is noticeable clouding in our over-exposed test image, which isn't ideal when watching really dark content in a dark room, but otherwise it isn't very noticeable. On the other hand, there is almost no noticeable backlight bleed, which is great.

5.4 Pre Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
User
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
307 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
80
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
50
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
50-50-50
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
5995 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.87
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.56
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.95

Out of the box, this monitor has disappointing accuracy. There are noticeable errors in almost every color, and gamma does not follow the sRGB target curve at all, which results in most scenes appearing brighter than they should.

9.4 Post Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
User
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
103 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
18
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
48
RGB Controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
96-100-95
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6408 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.92
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.76
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.18

After calibration, the Optix MPG27CQ has excellent accuracy. Almost all color errors are corrected, and any remaining inaccuracies are not noticeable. Gamma follows the target curve much more closely than before.

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.

9.0 SDR Color Gamut
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
sRGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the sRGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
98.6 %
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
81.4 %

sRGB Picture Mode: User (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

The MPG27CQ has an excellent SDR color gamut. It has nearly perfect coverage of the sRGB color space, which is used by the vast majority of PC content. It has great coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, but can't display the full range of greens, which might not be ideal for some professional photo and video editing.

9.4 SDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
sRGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the sRGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
99.1 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
88.5 %

sRGB Picture Mode: User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Outstanding SDR color volume. In both sRGB and Adobe RGB, it can't display dark saturated colors very well, and like most LED monitors, it can't display very bright blues, but this isn't very noticeable.

0 HDR Color Gamut
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
N/A
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A

This monitor does not support HDR.

0 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
N/A

This monitor does not support HDR.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

There are no noticeable signs of image retention on the Optix MPG27CQ, which is great.

7.9 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
8 Bit

Good overall gradients on the MPG27CQ, but there is noticeable 8-bit banding in all shades, which might bother some people.

10 Color Bleed
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %

There is no noticeable color bleed on this monitor, which is great.

8.0 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

This monitor has great reflection handling, similar to the Samsung CF398 and the MSI Optix G27C. Like the G27C, the curved screen distorts some reflections, which may be less distracting in some situations.

9.3

Motion

Score components:

Outstanding motion handling on the Optix MPG27CQ. It has an excellent response time, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. The backlight is completely flicker-free, which is great for longer play sessions. There is also an optional black frame insertion feature that helps improve the appearance of motion a bit. Finally, this monitor supports FreeSync, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card, and it has an extremely wide FreeSync range, ensuring an almost perfect, tear-free gaming experience.

9.4 Motion Blur
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
2.7 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
11.8 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
Fast

Response Time Normal
Response Time Fast

The Optix MPG27CQ has an excellent response time for most transitions, and is much faster overall than the MSI Optix G27C. Although it's fast overall, some transitions are slower, especially in dark scenes, and motion isn't as clear as on TN monitors, like the ViewSonic XG2402.

There are three overdrive settings: 'Normal', 'Fast', and 'Fastest'. There is very little difference between 'Normal' and 'Fast', but we recommend 'Fast'. The 'Fastest' setting is linked to the Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature. Selecting 'Fastest' automatically enables BFI, and vice-versa, enabling BFI automatically changes the Overdrive setting to 'Fastest'.

9.4 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
144 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
85 Hz

The backlight of the Optix MPG27CQ does not use PWM to dim the backlight, and is completely flicker-free, which is great for longer periods of use, as there is less eye-strain.

There is an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature. When enabled, the Overdrive setting is automatically set to 'Fastest'.

9.2 Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
144 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
What it is: We test for FreeSync compatibility with an NVIDIA GTX1060. We check for any excess blur, screen blanking, or excess tearing, and confirm the variable refresh rate range.
When it matters: If you have an NVIDIA graphics card.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : DisplayPort, HDMI

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has an excellent 144Hz refresh rate, and it supports FreeSync. It has an extremely wide FreeSync range, ensuring a nearly tear-free gaming experience, even when your computer can't quite keep up with the game and the frame rate decreases.

We tested this monitor for compatibility with NVIDIA's Adaptive Sync drivers, and although it isn't officially supported by NVIDIA, we had no issues using FreeSync on our GTX 1060 6Gb. FreeSync on NVIDIA cards is only supported over DisplayPort, but on AMD cards it's supported on both HDMI and DisplayPort.

9.1

Inputs

Score components:

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has outstanding low input lag in any mode. The 27" screen and 1440p native resolution is great for multitasking, and provides a more immersive gaming experience, which is enhanced further by the curved screen.

9.6 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
4.3 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
What it is:

Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:

Native Resolution Non-Native Resolution Tested
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
4.2 ms
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
4.4 ms

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has outstanding low input lag in any mode. When connected to a console that only supports 60Hz, there is a bit more input lag, but it is still excellent.

8.4 Resolution and Size
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
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 27", 1440p screen delivers a great amount of screen real estate, and is great for gaming or multitasking.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI : No
VGA : No
DisplayPort Out : No
USB : N/A
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Microphone In 3.5mm : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

This monitor has a good selection of inputs, but does not have any analog inputs for older computers. There is an included 'Y' cable, that can be used to connect the monitor to the speaker and microphones connections on the back of your computer, allowing you to connect speakers and a microphone directly to the monitor. Speakers work fine without the 'Y' cable, but the microphone requires it.

When audio is set to 'Analog' from the monitor's OSD, the monitor will only play sound sent through the 'Y' cable, and will not play any audio sent through the HDMI or DisplayPort cables.

Features

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ has some great additional features, including a great RGB lighting system and support for both Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture. It doesn't support HDR, and has no internal speakers.

Additional Features
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : No

The Optix MPG27CQ has some great additional features. It supports both Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture, great for multitasking, and it has the ability to add virtual crosshairs to any game.

The biggest feature of this monitor is by far the RGB lighting feature. There are two sets of lights: a strip of lights on the front bottom bezel (shown here), and an arrow-shaped strip on the back (shown here). These lights can be controlled using either the Mystic Lights app (shown here), which offers basic control of the lights, or the SteelSeries Engine App, which allows you to customize each individual LED (shown here). The 'RGB light' setting must be enabled for these programs to work.

There is also a Gaming OSD app (shown here), which, similar to the Aorus AD27QD, allows you to control many of the monitor's settings from your computer, and set per-game presets that are automatically applied to the monitor. For any of the above programs to work, the USB-B cable must be connected from the monitor to your computer.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls

There is a single joystick on the back of the monitor that is used to navigate the OSD and change settings. The control scheme for the joystick can be customized.

In The Box

  • User Manual
  • USB B Cable
  • Audio Y adapter
  • VESA Spacer Screws
  • HDMI Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • Power Cable and Adapter

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 27" Optix MPG27CQ which is part of MSI's Optix MPG Series, and has other models available. We do not expect our review to be valid for the other models, except for the MPG27CQ2, which we expect to perform the same, but has a slightly different design.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their MPG27CQ doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
MPG27CQ 27" 1440p 144Hz  
MPG27CQ2 27" 1440p 144Hz  
MPG341CQR 34" 3440x1440 144Hz  
MPG27C 27" 1080p 144Hz  

The MPG27CQ we reviewed was manufactured in March 2019.

Compared to other Monitors

Left: Dell S2719DGF. Middle: MSI Optix MPG27CQ. Right: Samsung CHG70.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is a great gaming monitor, but not very versatile. See our recommendations for the best monitors, the best 27 inch gaming monitors, and the best budget monitors.

Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD

The Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD and the MSI Optix MPG27CQ use different panel technologies, but the AD27QD is much better overall, and slightly better for gaming. The AD27QD has an IPS panel, with wide viewing angles and a slightly faster response time. If viewing angles aren't important, the MPG27CQ has a VA panel, which looks much better in a dark room. Unlike the Aorus, the MSI doesn't support HDR, but this doesn't add much to the Aorus.

Samsung CHG70

The Samsung CHG70 is better than the MSI Optix MPG27CQ for most uses. The CHG70 supports HDR, and has a slightly more adjustable stand that can also rotate to portrait orientation. The MPG27CQ has a slightly better contrast ratio and a slightly faster response time.

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q

The ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q and the MSI Optix MPG27CQ use different panel types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS looks better in a brighter room, and it has much better viewing angles. The MSI looks better in a dark room, but only if you're sitting directly in front. For gaming, the better one depends a bit on your hardware. The ASUS works best when paired with an NVIDIA graphics card, whereas the MSI works best with an AMD card or Xbox One.

MSI Optix G27C

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is much better than the MSI Optix G27C. The MPG27CQ has a higher native resolution, a much better stand with better ergonomics, and better black uniformity. The MPG27CQ also has a much faster response time, and an optional black frame insertion feature for even clearer motion. Finally, the MPG27CQ also has a great RGB bias lighting system.

Dell S2417DG

Overall, the Dell S2417DG is slightly better than the MSI Optix MPG27CQ for most uses. The S2417DG has a slightly better stand, with the option to rotate to a portrait orientation. The MPG27CQ looks better in a dark room, as it has better native contrast and an RGB bias lighting feature. The S2417DG supports G-SYNC, whereas the MPG27CQ supports AMD's FreeSync technology.

+ Show more

Conclusion
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7.4 Mixed Usage
Score components:
Overall, the MSI Optix MPG27CQ is a decent monitor for most uses. It's a great gaming monitor, with low input lag and a fast response time, and it supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. This is also a decent monitor for office use or media creation, thanks to the great screen real estate, but the image degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn't ideal. The MPG27CQ does not support HDR.
7.2 Office
Decent monitor overall for office use. The 27", 1440p resolution is great for multitasking, and the backlight is flicker-free, so there is less eye-strain with longer viewing sessions. The stand has good height, swivel, and tilt adjustments, but can't be rotated to a portrait orientation. Unfortunately, the viewing angles on this monitor are poor, and the image washes out rapidly when moving off-center.
This is a great monitor for gaming. It has an excellent response time, extremely low input lag, and it supports FreeSync, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card over DisplayPort. It also has a great contrast ratio, making it a good choice for late-night gaming in a dark room.
This is a decent monitor for multimedia. The 1440p, 27" screen is great for watching videos, but the viewing angles are poor, so it isn't great for watching the latest trending videos with some friends. It has a great contrast ratio, delivering deep blacks when watching movies in a dark room, but there can be some noticeable clouding in really dark scenes. This monitor also has an excellent response time, delivering clear motion with very little blur behind fast-moving objects.
Decent monitor for media creation. It has great screen real-estate, thanks to the 27" display and 1440p native resolution, so you won't have to zoom or scroll as much. This monitor can display an excellent color gamut with SDR content, but does not support HDR. It also has very good peak brightness, great reflection handling, and a great contrast ratio, making it a versatile choice for almost any room.
5.8 HDR Gaming
This monitor does not support HDR. For a 27" 1440p gaming monitor that supports HDR, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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