The MSI MAG271CQR is another addition to the plethora of available 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors based on curved VA (Vertical Alignment) panels.
And that’s not a bad thing, the more options, the better. In fact, the MSI Optix MAG271CQR packs a bunch of useful gaming features and an eye-catching design at a reasonable price!
The VA panel of the MAG271CQR offers a superior static contrast ratio of 3,000:1 and a decent peak luminance of 400-nits which makes for vivid details in shadows and highlights of the picture.
In comparison to IPS and TN panel displays which have a static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, the MSI MAG271CQR monitor provides deeper blacks and a better relation between the darkest and the brightest shades in general.
The WQHD resolution of 2560×1440 pixels hits the pixel density sweet spot of 108 pixels per inch ensuring plenty of screen real estate as well as striking detail clarity without any scaling necessary.
All in all, you get an incredibly immersive viewing experience thanks to the high contrast ratio, wide color gamut, and high screen resolution.
This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though as this entry-level HDR support just provides a glimpse of what HDR can truly do. For a notable improvement in HDR picture quality, we recommend at least DisplayHDR 600 certified displays though these monitors are more expensive too.
The MSI MAG271CQR 1440p display also offers an excellent performance. Thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate, all games that can take advantage of it will be significantly more fun and enjoyable to play due to the buttery smooth fast-paced motion.
Now, MSI specifies a response time speed of 1ms for the MAG271CQR. However, this actually applies to the MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) pixel transition measurement which is achieved via backlight strobing.
The regular response time speed (GtG – gray to gray pixel transition) is not specified, though it’s safe to assume it amounts to ~4ms which is standard for VA panel displays at this price range.
Overall, there’s no particularly noticeable ghosting in fast-paced games. Some smearing of dark pixels is apparent at higher frame rates, but it’s certainly tolerable. The MSI MAG271CQR also has very low input lag of only ~4ms.
Naturally, if you just want the best performance in FPS games, you should look for a 1080p 240Hz 1ms gaming monitor which you can also get at this price range.
To get the 1ms response time speed on this MSI display, you will need to enable the Anti Motion Blur technology which via backlight strobing reduces the perceived trailing of fast-moving objects.
However, when this technology is in use, the brightness of the monitor is reduced. Further, you cannot use Anti Motion Blur and AMD FreeSync at the same time.
The MSI MAG271CQR curved gaming monitor has three overdrive presets: Normal, Fast, and Fastest. The ‘Fastest’ preset just enables Anti Motion Blur, so if you want to use FreeSync, you can choose between Normal and Fast.
We recommend using the Normal preset at lower frame rates and for regular PC use as ‘Fast’ can introduce pixel overshoot or reverse ghosting. At high frame rates, use the Fast option to reduce ghosting.
Moving on, the MSI MAG271CQR supports AMD FreeSync over both HDMI and DisplayPort with a 48-144Hz VRR (variable refresh rate) range. As long as your FPS (Frames Per Second) rate is within this range, you’ll get no screen tearing or stuttering with minimal (~1ms) input lag penalty.
Although the monitor is not certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible, there are no issues when using FreeSync with compatible NVIDIA graphics cards.
Other gaming features include Game Mode (picture presets such as FPS, RTS, RPG, and Racing), Black Tuner (increases visibility in darker games), Screen Assistance (custom crosshairs), Zero Latency (minimizes input lag), and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is quite user-friendly and easy to navigate with thanks to the 5-way joystick. You can also download the Gaming OSD application which allows you to make monitor adjustments using your mouse and keyboard.
The MSI MAG271CQR 144Hz gaming monitor also features the MSI Mystic Light RGB lighting which consists of various different glowing patterns. You can even sync your smartphone and change the lighting colors/styles remotely. Additionally, you can synchronize it with the rest of your Mystic Light compatible devices.
Design & Connectivity
The design of the monitor boasts a steady and high-quality build with a height-adjustable stand (up to 130mm). YOu can also tilt the screen by -5°/20° and VESA mount it (100x100mm), but you cannot swivel or pivot it.
Other notable features include a 1800R screen curvature, a headset hanger, and a matte anti-glare screen coating while the bezels are ultra-thin.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 2.0 hub (one upstream plus two downstream ports). All display connectors support AMD FreeSync and 144Hz at 1440p.
Price & Similar Monitors
The MSI MAG271CQR price amounts to ~$400 which is a reasonable price considering the image quality, performance, and features it offers.
Depending on your budget, you may want to check out the following 27″ 1440p 144Hz curved VA alternatives as well:
- Samsung C27JG50 – without FreeSync, 1ms MPRT, or wide color gamut
- Viotek GN27DB – with a lower-quality build and no 1ms MPRT
- MSI MPG27CQ – same as the MPG271CQR but with an extra microphone jack, GameSense RGB lighting, and USB 3.1 instead of USB 2.0.
- AOC AG273QCX -with FreeSync 2 and DisplayHDR 400 (with 10-bit color depth) as well as more connectivity options and a more ergonomic stand
- Samsung C27HG70 – with DisplayHDR 600 but not as good motion handling. It’s also notably more expensive
Overall, we recommend going for the AOC AG273QCX if you can afford it. Otherwise, the MSI MAG271CQR is a great alternative for the money.
Now, there are plenty of 32″ 1440p 144Hz VA gaming monitors available too. These have a bit lower pixel density, so the image won’t be as sharp and for most people, a 32″ screen is simply too big. If you’re interested in a 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, check out the following two displays:
Finally, there are several 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors with IPS panels available at this price range. These models offer a faster response time speed, so there’s no smearing in fast-paced games, but the image quality is not as immersive due to the lower contrast ratio. IPS panels also offer more accurate colors. Check out our Nixeus EDG27S V2 and ASUS XV272U reviews.
You can find even more options in our best gaming monitor under $400 buyer’s guide.
Overall, the MSI MAG271CQR is a great gaming monitor for the price, but as you can see, there are plenty of options available at this price range which can make picking the perfect monitor for you a bit difficult.
If you’re on the fence between two or more monitors or have any other questions, feel free to leave us a comment below.
MSI MAG271CQR Specifications
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Response Time||4ms (GtG)|
|Motion Blur Reduction||1ms (MPRT)|
|Adaptive Sync||FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||2x USB 2.0, Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||3000:1 (static)|
|Colors||16.7 million (true 8-bit)|
- High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
- Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync and 1ms MPRT
- Height-adjustable stand and a USB hub
- Moderate smearing of dark pixels is visible in fast-paced games
- No swivel and pivot ergonomic options
MSI MAG271CQR Review
- Design - 9.1/109.1/10
- Display - 9.4/109.4/10
- Performance - 7.9/107.9/10
- Price/Value - 8.5/108.5/10
The MSI MAG271CQR offers an immersive picture quality as well as a smooth performance and plenty of useful gaming features. There are many options to choose from at this price range, but you won’t be disappointed with the MAG271CQR for the money paid.
Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.