What’s a gaming monitor alleged to do? Initially for many patrons, it ought to—”duh, apparent” alert!—sport effectively. However many consumers need the entire package deal of their buy: good gaming and media viewing, all in a single panel at a value that does not actual an enormous premium over a mainstream leisure show. Alas, by making an attempt to please a number of events, MSI’s $299.99 Optix MAG274R2, a brand new 27-inch panel with a gaming bent, stumbles in each departments. We famous a washed-out, uneven picture throughout our video games testing. The value is aggressive for a gaming panel at its measurement, and its enter lag studying is superb, which retains it on the three-star line. It is a truthful alternative for a finances gaming panel, however you are able to do higher at this measurement (and cheaper!) with the likes of the Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor (S2721HGF).
Extremely Adjustable, Inside and Out
With a 27-inch show operating at 1,920 by 1,080 pixels native and a peak refresh fee of 165Hz, the Optix MAG274R2 contains a fundamental, simple design, in keeping with its value level (comparatively talking, that’s—extra on that in a minute).
The monitor sits on an all-black standpost that ends in a flat, rectangular, and durable base. The stand lets the display screen slide up and down by simply over 6 inches, tilt ahead and again (from -5 to twenty levels), and swivel left and proper (75 levels both approach). The entire unit weighs 19.2 kilos assembled, whereas the show portion itself is 13.4 kilos, making it a good selection for anybody with a VESA mount rated for decrease weights.
The monitor additionally pivots 90 levels between panorama and portrait mode, uncommon for a lower-cost gaming panel. Total, the MAG274R2 is a extremely ergonomic monitor, and it ought to match on virtually anybody’s desk or wall with ease.
Every of the lights lining a diagonal strip alongside the again of the monitor’s casing is RGB-ready and customizable both utilizing the responsive onscreen show (OSD) menu (it is managed by a five-way joystick on the again), or through the MSI Gaming OSD software program suite. To make use of the software program, the show must be linked to your PC through an upstream USB 2.0 port on the again of the unit.
MSI’s onboard menu is deep with customization choices and prebuilt profiles to pick amongst. This consists of three totally different gaming modes (RTS, FPS, Racing), in addition to each a Skilled mode for colour work, and a Film mode for watching content material.
Whereas the facility button is slightly below the OSD joystick, many of the ports are offset to the again left nook of the monitor. These embrace two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4b enter, an upstream USB 2.0 Kind-B port, two downstream USB 2.0 Kind-A ports, a USB-C port (display-ready), a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio passthrough through HDMI, and the connector for the facility brick.
Testing the Optix MAG247R2: Cannot Be All Issues to Everybody
The 1080p show is constructed on a typical IPS panel (be aware the dearth of “Quick” or “Speedy” there) with a local refresh fee of 165Hz. It is billed as “HDR-ready,” which mainly means it may well settle for an HDR sign then downscale it to SDR, and it’s G-Sync Suitable together with help for AMD FreeSync (no “Premium” or “2” on the finish of that latter qualification).
Within the Customary image mode with an SDR sign, the MAG274R2 confirmed a surprisingly excessive peak brightness studying of 374.2 nits (the show is rated for simply 300 nits), and a black stage of 0.33 nit, understanding to a distinction ratio of 1,150:1, effectively above its rated 1,000:1. These numbers did not change considerably in different image modes comparable to FPS, Racing Mode, or Cinema. (See extra about how we test monitors.)
Nevertheless, turning on the HDR setting (bear in mind, that is simulated HDR) did the inverse of what you’d count on, dropping the nits measure down to only 223.4. (As a result of the HDR is simulated, it isn’t mapped within the chart above.) Do not use this mode when you can keep away from it. It serves extra of a advertising goal than enhancing the image high quality of your video games, films, or TV reveals.
Transferring alongside to the colour outcomes, the Optix coated 100% of the sRGB gamut and in addition hit some excessive marks in DCI-P3 at 93% protection, making it a stable sufficient choose for each avid gamers and content material lovers from a color-coverage perspective. The AdobeRGB gamut returns have been increased than common as effectively (84% protection), which is greater than most gaming panels however nonetheless beneath what knowledgeable content material creator ought to search for of their subsequent monitor.
Lastly, the MSI Optix MAG247R2 stunned us but once more with robust leads to our colour accuracy testing, posting only a 0.91 Delta-E score in our brief run utilizing the default settings out of the field…
Many gaming displays can hit below 2.0, however below 1.0 is an achievement. In the event you work with color-sensitive supplies, a calibration session utilizing the six-axis customization below the OSD would possibly deliver this determine down even additional.
Media and Gaming Efficiency
Now, on to the media and gaming benchmarks. That is an space the place show applied sciences like IPS each shine and wrestle, with superior picture high quality but additionally slower response occasions and the potential for ghosting and artifacts in high-frame-rate eventualities.
In HDR, our 4K Costa Rica test footage (output at 1080p to match the monitor’s native decision) was mainly a non-starter, since this is not a real HDR monitor and the scaled-down sign could not maintain a candle to even probably the most fundamental HDR400 implementations. Red Dead Redemption 2, in the meantime, with HDR turned on or off, appeared okay, however inferior to what I’ve come to count on from IPS panels in 2021.
As for testing conventional enter lag (the period of time between when a monitor receives a sign and the display screen updates), we take a look at that with an HDFury 4K Diva HDMI matrix. With a 60Hz take a look at sign, the Optix really outran our lag tester, because it was so fast that the LED diode could not even choose up a sign. Till now, the quickest mannequin we would examined was MSI’s ultrawide esports choice, the Optix MPG341CQR, with an enter lag results of 1.4ms. When testing the MAG274R2, our device returned the error message “End result below 1ms, please test sensor place.”
After operating the take a look at once more on one other monitor subsequent to the MAG274R2, we noticed an anticipated results of round 5ms, which results in the conclusion that MSI’s newest Optix posts a minimum of below 1ms of enter lag. Nevertheless, simply how a lot will stay a thriller till our testing tech catches up.
Talking of gaming efficiency, with G-Sync Compatibility on board and input-lag figures like these above, I used to be anticipating good issues from the MAG274R2 as soon as it got here time to see the way it dealt with fast-paced choices like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. However I used to be disenchanted to see extreme ghosting points all through my time in that sport, in addition to in just a few rounds of Overwatch.
The issue was unhealthy sufficient that I used to be frequently lacking important whip pictures that would make or break a spherical in aggressive play. (Good factor I used to be simply up towards some bots.) Even with that benefit, although, the ghosting was nonetheless a large enough subject that regardless of this monitor’s strengths as a gaming show by way of enter lag, it finally meets defeat. (Similar to you would possibly, when you depend on it that will help you climb any ranked on-line ladders.)
Verdict: Exorcise Your Ghosts
The Optix MAG274R2 is a well-priced entry into the IPS gaming area, with extremely low enter lag and a beneficiant function set for the cash. However its issues with ghosting in high-frame-rate gaming make it troublesome to suggest to critical avid gamers on a finances. Anybody who’s all about esports gaming—and who would not be, when you’re contemplating a show like this—should not choose the MAG274R2, as its ghosting points are important sufficient to really damage your gameplay somewhat than assist it.
Nevertheless, when you’re on the hunt for an IPS panel with HDR-lite that is adequate for watching films or enjoying AAA titles at 60fps, the MAG274R2 is okay. Its restricted HDR implementation results in a muddy, washed-out viewing expertise with the function turned on, and content material was in any other case muted with it off. If an IPS panel cannot look good on high of going quick, why use one in any respect?
As an alternative, when you’re set on getting an IPS panel for the visible high quality but additionally want some pace to match, you will discover barely costlier choices that includes Nano, Speedy, or Quick IPS shows (like the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD) that do not compromise. In any other case, persist with a TN or VA panel that may sustain with the speeds of video games like Counter-Strike or Valorant. It could not look as good doing it, however a minimum of you’ll nail a clear shot each time with out worrying about earlier frames ghosting over the present picture.