So with all the love for 4K60 and beyond right now, where does a high refresh rate 1440P gaming monitor stack up? Well to be honest, I personally think 1440P is the sweet spot for PC gaming right now. Whether it be the standard 16:9 or the massive ultrawide 21:9 ratio, 1440P offers more pixel clarity than 1080P while being easier to run than 4K. Today we are gonna look at the MSI Optix MAG272CQR.
Hey hey OCNers, I am bluedevil. Today we look at the 1440P, 165Hz, Freesync enabled, 1 ms, 27” gaming monitor from the MSI Optix line. I want to take a second to thank MSI for sending this out for review to see what I think.
So it seems we went from 1080P 144hz straight to 4K 60hz and beyond. But what about the sweet spot for PC gaming? Yeah good ole’ 1440P, which until late hasn’t gotten much love. Well when MSI wanted to send the Optix MAG272CQR over for review, I wanted to see what a 165hz VA panel could do over a 165hz TN panel. TN panels, for the longest time have been highly regarded as being better for high FPS games like CSGO, Rocket League, and other fast paced titles. This is due to faster response rates, mostly sitting around the 1 ms timeframe.
So starting things off, getting the specs out of the way. The Optix MAG272CQR is a 1440P Samsung VA panel at 27 inches, MSI claims it supports 90% of the DCI-P3 color space while being able to put out 100% of the sRGB. While still really being an 8-bit panel, MSI has opted for a panel that supports 8-Bit+2FRC, which may not mean a whole helluva lot to some people, but it’s a way to support or fake 10-bit colors. Contrast ratio is rated at 3000 to 1, which I find to be perfectly acceptable for a gaming monitor with only 300 nits of peak brightness. The MAG272CQR also has support for AMD’s Freesync and is Nvidia G-Sync compatible, so getting a tear free gaming experience shouldn’t be that hard to attain.
Moving to the inside of the box you obviously get the monitor, as well as a decent stand. The stand which is constructed of metal and plastic is a simple, yet functional design. Height and tilt adjustment are possible, but no swivel is present.
Moving to the back of the monitor and you are greeted by a number of design elements. First being the MSI Dragon logo in the upper left, followed by the brushed plastic, which has a metallic look to it. Some glossy elements are present along with the ability to control some RGB functions to allow some lighting behind the monitor, which are controllable via MSi’s Mystic Light software. The mounting area for the stand is pretty self explanatory, just slide the stand in the slots and screw down with the 2 included screws.
Rear IO connectivity of the Optix MAG272CQR is pretty plentiful, with a single 1.2 Displayport, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port which also supports Displayport, a headphone jack, and a 2 port USB 3.0 hub. Also something to note, the HDMI ports only support refresh rates up to 144hz, as opposed to the displayport, which supports up to 165hz.
Here’s one you don’t see too often nowadays, internal power. No power brick necessary here people, just plug in the included power cord and you can start your frag fest.
Once things are set up, the Optix MAG272CQR looks incredible. While having a 1500R curve, which is hardly noticeable, give the Optix MAG272CQR a very sleek look with almost no bezels on three of its sides. Even the “chin” is pretty small, with the MSI logo slightly showing. Like I stated before, only tilt and height adjustments are possible here, but with a 1500R curve, viewing angles should be decent at 178 degrees. Being a VA panel, for the most part isn’t a bad thing. For one, true IPS panels are traditionally more expensive, however VA panels are coming really close to their IPS counterparts in terms of image quality.
As far as testing goes, I don’t have a Spyder calibration tool at my disposal. However the guys over at eTeknix do, which they also did an excellent write up with Datacolor graphs. I will have their review linked below. But in terms of frameskipping, the tests over at BlurBusters do the trick nicely. So testing at the native 165hz, frameskipping is pretty well under control. The Animation Timing Deviation test, which measures response time, while the MAG272CQR is rated at 1ms, stays true to its claim.
Loading up Doom Eternal, let me peg the Optix MAG272CQR to the 165 fps it craves albeit with a Nvidia RTX 2080 Super but boy does it deliver. MSi did a great job with the Optix MAG272CQR, the fit and finish are superb. Awarding the Overclock “Scorching” award, the Optix MAG272QCR is the sweet spot for PC gamers.
If you are in the market for a high refresh rate 1440P gaming monitor, the Optix MAG272CQR should be on your short list.
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