MSI Optix MPG27CQ Review: 1440p 144Hz 1ms MPRT FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

Introduction

Have you decided on a 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor but you’re not sure which one to pick?

Well, the MSI Optix MPG27CQ is certainly a model you should consider.

It’s a 27″ curved monitor with AMD FreeSync, 1ms MPRT, and a VA panel with high contrast and wide color gamut.

And if you like RGB lighting, you’re in for a treat.

Image Quality

The MSI MPG27CQ monitor features the WQHD resolution with 2560×1440 pixels which on its 27″ display provides a rich pixel density of 108.79 PPI – Pixels Per Inch.

With such a high pixel count, you can enjoy plenty of screen space as well as maximum detail without any scaling necessary; shortly, it’s the perfect screen space/detail clarity ratio.

Moving on, the monitor is based on a VA panel with true 8-bit color depth and covers 115% of the sRGB color gamut.

In addition to its superior contrast ratio of 3,000:1, a decent 400-nit peak brightness, and the 1440p resolution, you get an immersive picture quality with rich colors, deep blacks, and vivid details.

Although the monitor specifies 178-degree viewing angles, they aren’t as good as the 178-degree viewing angles of IPS panel displays.

So, some minor shift in contrast is expected if you’re looking at the screen from the sides, though it only becomes bothersome at extreme angles.

Performance

Overall, the display runs perfectly smooth. We didn’t find any dead pixels nor prominent backlight bleeding; the screen is also flicker-free and has an integrated low blue light filter.

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ input lag is only 9ms which will ensure that there’s no noticeable delay (even by professional gamers) between your keyboard/mouse actions and the display’s reaction to them on the screen.

Ghosting and motion blur is usually associated with VA panels, but the MSI Optix MPG27CQ can handle it quite well via its 1ms MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) technology.

Once you turn on the ‘Anti Motion Blur’ feature, the monitor enables backlight strobing which reduces ghosting and trailing of fast-moving objects.

Keep in mind, however, that when this feature is enabled, you can’t adjust screen brightness nor use AMD FreeSync – into which we’ll get later.

So, unless you are playing fast-paced games, leave this feature turned off.

Features

msi optix mpg27cq rgb

To access the OSD (On-Screen Display), you can use the joystick placed at the rear of the monitor. Alternatively, you can use MSI’s desktop application or even an Andriod application on your smartphone called ‘MSI Remote Display App’.

The OSD menu is very user-friendly and straightforward with numerous features available.

While not in the menu, you can flick the joystick upwards to enter the Game Mode presets which include Racing, FPS, RTS, RPG, and User .

Pressing it downwards opens up ‘Screen Assistance’ which consists of customizable crosshair overlays.

If you press the joystick to the left, you can set an alarm clock while pressing it to the right allows you to change the input source.

Other gaming features include ‘Black Tuner’ for better visibility in darker games, ‘Zero Latency’ for lower input lag, and ‘Refresh Rate’ which allow you to place an on-screen FPS (Frames Per Second) counter.

You will also find ‘Response Time’ setting with Normal, Fast, and Fastest options. The ‘Fastest’ mode actually enables Anti Motion Blur.

Setting it to ‘Fast’ barely increases the response time speed as ghosting is clearly visible. For the best results in fast-paced games, you will need to use Anti Motion Blur.

AMD FreeSync

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ curved gaming monitor supports AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate for those with compatible graphics cards.

FreeSync synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate and consequently, removes all screen tearing and stuttering within the dynamic refresh rate range.

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ FreeSync range is 48-144Hz/FPS meaning that it also supports LFC (Low Framerate Compensation), so if you have a compatible AMD card, smooth gameplay performance is guaranteed.

Update: FreeSync also works without any issues when using a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card.

RGB Lighting

Unlike most monitors with RGB lighting, SteelSeries’ GameSense RGB lighting of the MSI Optix MPG27CQ enhances your gameplay experience with more than just glowing colors.

In compatible games, it allows you to assign the five RGB panels at the bottom bezel to depict your HP, ammo, cooldowns, killing blows, and similar values.

If your favorite games don’t support the SteelSeries Engine, you will still able to synchronize the RGB LEDs to the rest of your MSI compatible gear and to customize the lighting at the front and at the back of the monitor.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many games that support it, but this will hopefully change in time. Supported popular games include CS: GO and DotA 2.

Design & Connectivity

msi optix mpg27cq amazon

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ 144Hz gaming monitor has a 1800R curvature which isn’t particularly noticeable on a 27″ screen, but it does add to the gameplay immersion.

Moving on, the monitor has a versatile design with up to 120mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, -/+ 45° swivel, and 100 x 100mm VESA mount pattern, but there’s no pivot function.

Connectivity includes DisplayPort 1.2a, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a dual-USB 3.1 hub, audio line-out and microphone line-in ports, and a combined audio jack.

For 2560×1440 at 144Hz and FreeSync, you can use all three display connectors. The monitor also has an anti-glare coating and ultra-thin bezels, ideal for multi-monitor gaming setups.

Price & Similar Monitors

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ price is ~$450 which is understandable given its exclusive features. For around the same price, you can also get a 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor such as the Nixeus EDG27S v2 and the ASUS XV272U if you want faster response time but lower contrast ratio.

On Amazon, you will also find the MSI Optix MPG27C which is the Full HD model of this monitor. There are also the MSI Optix MAG27C and the MSI Optix G27C2 Full HD 144Hz curved VA models without RGB lighting. However, if you want a 1080p model, we recommend the 24″ version, the MSI Optix MAG241C, as it offers a higher pixel density.

Turning back to the 1440p 144Hz VA models, the MPG27CQ is also available without the fancy RGB lighting for a lower price as the MSI Optix MAG271CQR or the MSI Optix MAG27CQ (older model). All three 27″ 1440p 144Hz curved VA versions are compared below:

MSI Optix MonitorMPG27CQMAG271CQRMAG27CQ
GameSense RGBYesN/AN/A
Mystic Light RGBYesYesN/A
MSI Remote DisplayYesN/AN/A
USB2x USB 3.12x USB 2.0N/A
sRGB Gamut115%115%110%
Max Brightness400 nits400 nits250 nits
HDMIUp to 144HzUp to 144HzUp to 120Hz
Microphone JackYesN/AN/A
Design Swivel+/- 40°N/A+/- 30°
Headset HangerN/AYesN/A

If you want a cheaper 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, we suggest having a look at the Viotek GN27DB.

Conclusion

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is definitely one of the more interesting 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming models; either you’re going to absolutely love it or you won’t be interested in it at all.

Image quality and performance are superb. Thanks to its wide color gamut, high contrast, and a curved screen, the monitor provides an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience.

Moreover, the MSI MPG27CQ handles motion blur well for a VA panel, it has extensive connectivity options, a gorgeous design, and plenty of cool exclusive features.

MSI Optix MPG27CQ Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (WQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2a, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports2x USB 3.1, Microphone & Headphone Jacks
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

What We Loved

  • Innovative RGB lighting technology
  • Wide color gamut and high static contrast ratio
  • Low input lag and good motion blur handling
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not many games support GameSense, at least for now
MSI Optix MPG27CQ
  • 9.6/10
    Design - 9.6/10
  • 9.4/10
    Display - 9.4/10
  • 7.9/10
    Performance - 7.9/10
  • 7/10
    Price/Value - 7/10
8.5/10

Summary

The MSI Optix MPG27CQ is one of the most interesting 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors out there. It’s got plenty of exclusive features including innovative RGB lighting, AMD FreeSync, and 1ms MPRT. Moreover, it’s got a versatile design and extensive connectivity.

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