The MSI MAG274QRF-QD is a superb gaming monitor with a wide Adobe RGB color gamut, a fast response time speed, and plenty of additional features including FreeSync (G-SYNC Compatible), MBR and an ergonomic stand.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a 27″ 1440p 165Hz gaming monitor based on an IPS panel with a wide 99% Adobe RGB color gamut and fast 1ms response time.
Additionally, it supports FreeSync (G-SYNC Compatible) and MBR (Motion Blur Reduction).
Note that this model is different from the MAG274QRF, which doesn’t have a quantum-dot enhanced backlight and therefore not as wide color gamut (~130% sRGB as opposed to ~$160 sRGB of the -QD model).
One of the main assets of the MSI MAG274QRF-QD monitor is definitely its wide 97% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RGB color gamut (equivalent to ~160% sRGB).
This makes for incredibly vibrant colors, especially when it comes to blue, cyan, and green shades.
With the v016 firmware, you also have access to sRGB, DCI-P3 (Display P3) and Adobe RGB (User/Default) color presets, allowing you to enjoy different content the way the creators intended.
The accuracy of these modes will vary across different units of monitors, but they efficiently clamp the gamut to get rid of over-saturation. You can also adjust brightness and RGB channels in these modes.
While HDR (High Dynamic Range) is supported, the monitor lacks a high enough brightness and contrast ratio for the true HDR viewing experience. It can accept the HDR10 signal, and some HDR scenes will look better, but you’ll mostly prefer to have it disabled.
The monitor has a decent peak brightness of 300-nits and a static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, which is expected from an IPS panel monitor at this price range.
Dithered 10-bit color depth (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) is supported for 1.07 billion colors, while the 178° wide viewing angles ensure flawless image quality regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.
Due to the monitor’s wide color gamut, if you have a colorimeter, you can use the MSI MAG274QRF-QD for professional color-critical work once properly profiled and calibrated. You can do it even without a colorimeter at a respectable level.
The 2560×1440 Quad HD resolution hits the pixel density sweet spot when displayed on the 27″ sized screen of the monitor. With roughly 108 PPI (pixels per inch), you get sharp text and details as well as plenty of screen space without any scaling necessary.
As it’s the case with all IPS monitors, some IPS glow is noticeable, but the amount of it varies across different units of the monitor.
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD has three response time overdrive modes: Normal, Fast, and Fastest. We recommend using the Fast mode as it effectively eliminates ghosting at high refresh rates without adding any overshoot.
At lower refresh rates, some inverse ghosting might creep in, but it’s not particularly noticeable. If it bothers you, you can dial back the overdrive to ‘Normal’, but it’s not necessary in most cases.
There’s also a backlight strobing technology called ‘Anti Motion Blur’ which can further decrease perceived motion blur by rapidly turning the backlight on and off.
This notably improves motion clarity, but it introduces flickering (invisible to the human eye, but can bother those sensitive to flicker) and decreases the monitor’s brightness while active.
Additionally, you can’t use it at the same time as VRR (variable refresh rate).
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD display supports Adaptive-Sync with both AMD’s FreeSync Premium and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible certifications ensuring smooth VRR performance with the compatible graphics cards.
G-SYNC Compatible only works over DisplayPort, while FreeSync is supported over both DP and HDMI. The supported VRR range is 48-165Hz over DP and 48-144Hz over HDMI at 1440p.
Below 48FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) takes over and multiplies the frame rate in order to keep tearing at bay.
Input lag amounts to only ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless MBR is enabled) and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (Eye Saver).
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is controllable via the directional joystick placed at the back of the monitor. Alternatively, you can use the Gaming OSD 2.0 desktop application, and make your adjustments there.
Noteworthy gaming features include Night Vision (improves visibility in darker scenes), various pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, RPG, Racing, etc.), custom crosshair overlays, a refresh rate tracker, and on-screen timers.
Other adjustments include the standard brightness, contrast, color temperature, and other tools, but you won’t find any gamma or hue/saturation settings.
At the rear of the monitor, there’s an RGB LED strip, which you can synchronize with other MSI Mystic Light RGB compatible peripherals.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers decent ergonomics with up to 100mm height adjustment, 90° pivot, +/- 75° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
The screen has a 3-side borderless design while the screen is coated with a matte anti-glare finish that eliminates reflections.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2a, two HDMI 2.0b ports, a dual-USB 2.0 hub, a headphone jack and a USB-C port with DP 1.2 Alternate Mode and 15W Power Delivery.
Due to the DP 1.2 bandwidth limitations, you can only use 10-bit color depth at up to 120Hz – or at 165Hz with chroma subsampling.
Alternatively, you can drop the color depth to 8-bit and run the monitor at its maximum 165Hz refresh rate without chroma subsampling.
Note that HDMI can accept a 4K signal and downscale it to 1440p allowing you to enjoy crisp image quality on your PS5 instead of having to resort to 1080p.
Price & Similar Monitors
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD goes for ~$450. It’s our top-recommended 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming model!
The non-QD model, the MSI MAG274QF, uses the same panel without the quantum dot enhanced backlight, so it delivers the same performance and features, but doesn’t have as wide color gamut (94% DCI-P3, ~131% sRGB) for ~$50 less.
Thanks to the newly added sRGB and DCI-P3 color presets, we now recommend the MSI MAG274QRF-QD over LG’s Nano IPS models, such as the LG 27GP850. You get a wider color gamut and a slightly higher contrast ratio, while the performance is equally good on both models, though the 27GP850 is overclockable to 180Hz.
To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.
All in all, the MSI MAG274QRF-QD is one of the best 1440p 165Hz 1ms IPS gaming monitors for the money. Props to MSI for finally adding an sRGB (and DCI-P3) gamut clamp! We hope that they’ll do the same for some of their other monitors and that all new MSI wide-gamut monitors will have this feature out of the box.
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Response Time (GtG)||1ms (GtG)|
|Response Time (Anti Motion Blur)||Not specified|
|Adaptive-Sync||FreeSync Premium (48-165Hz)|
G-SYNC Compatible (48-165Hz)
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack, 2x USB 2.0|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 (static)|
|Colors||1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)|
99% Adobe RGB
- Wide Adobe RGB color gamut
- Quick response time speed
- Plenty of features including FreeSync and MBR up to 165Hz
- Fully ergonomic design and rich connectivity options
- DisplayPort 1.2 bandwidth limitations
- No gamma or hue/saturation settings available
- IPS glow and inferior contrast ratio of VA panels