MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Review: Awesome 27-inch Quad HD Quantum Dot IPS Panel

The MSI MAG274QRF-QD is a 27-inch Quad HD IPS 165 Hz monitor that has a quantum dot filter (Quantum Dot) supposed to make the difference on the competition and this has yet to be demonstrated. The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD has a 27-inch IPS panel displaying a Quad HD definition of 2560 x 1440 px. This model supports a native 144 Hz refresh rate but is overclocked by default to 165 Hz. It is also compatible with Adaptive Sync, FreeSync, and G-Sync (G-Sync Compatible) technologies between 30 and 165 Hz. manufacturer announces a response time of 1 ms, a reactivity equivalent to that of TN models.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Test

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD stands out from other monitors on the market by its quantum dot filter (Quantum Dot) supposed to display more vivid and more precise colors, which is far from being the case as we will see. The ergonomics are very complete as is the connectivity, with USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port. Finally, this monitor has sold for around € 550, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD competes directly with the Asus TUF VG27AQ, also equipped with a 27-inch Quad HD 144 Hz IPS panel while being a little cheaper (€ 490), and in a less with the AOC 27G2U and its 27-inch 144 Hz IPS panel limited to a Full HD definition, but much more affordable (250 €).

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Ergonomics

This monitor MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is mostly in black dress. This is the current trend: monitors for players are getting more and more sober. The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD does not reveal any artifice on the front. The screen edges are quite thin and the finishes are neat. In addition, the 27-inch panel benefits from a matte coating that limits annoying reflections.

The back of the monitor offers a little more character and assumes its gaming style. The stand incorporates a fairly basic, but effective cable management system. Finally, we discover a strip of RGB LEDs that should delight color lovers.

Very good, this monitor has a neat ergonomics with many settings. It is adjustable in height over 10 cm, inclination between -5° and + 20° and even manages rotation over ± 75°. It also has a pivot that allows switching to portrait mode.

The external power supply is compact, but its power is also limited (60 W), which limits that of the USB-C port to 15 W for recharging a laptop. The connection includes two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort 1.2 input, a headphone output, two USB 3.0 ports and even a USB-C port (5 W). Too bad that MSI did not think of offering a USB port on the edge of the monitor, more convenient to access than the ports placed on the back, and that the power of the USB-C port is also limited.

To navigate the OSD menus, MSI relies on a single joystick. For us, it is quite simply the most efficient system yet for quickly setting up a monitor. The MSI one also allows you to use the four directions as customizable shortcuts to change the source, choose the image mode, display information in overlay, etc. A good idea! The OSD also allows the blue light filter to be adjusted to four levels and to change the basic settings (brightness, contrast, saturation and temperature). It can be moved anywhere on the screen. And that’s not all: its transparency can also be configured, just like the duration before its disappearance. Powering up is managed independently via a button located at the base of the panel.

TECHNICAL DATA SHEET / CHARACTERISTICS
Diagonal 27 inch
Slab IPS
Definition 2560 x 1440 pixels
Response time 1 ms
Interfaces (HDMI / DVI / VGA / YUV) 2 / / /
Other 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x headphone

On our 140 x 60 cm desk, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD remains quite discreet. With a depth of just 8 inches, the monitor leaves plenty of room for a keyboard and mouse. The Quad HD definition offers a good compromise between compactness on the desktop and a comfortable workspace under Windows or macOS. The resolution remains quite fine (109px per inch) and some will be tempted to use the scaling embedded in modern operating systems in order to adapt the size of the fonts. On the other hand, you must have a graphics card powerful enough to properly use this native Quad HD definition with a frequency of 165 Hz ( GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or Radeon RX 5700 XT ).

This monitor consumes approximately 27 W with a white set of 150 cd / m². Relative consumption thus reached 134 W / m², well above the average of the screens tested (100 W / m²). At minimum brightness (59 cd / m²), it consumes 18 W and rises to 47 W at most (358 cd / m²).

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Colors and contrast

By default, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD monitor displays near-perfect color temperature and gamma. The curves are stable over the entire spectrum and the measured means – 6780 K for gamma and 2.2 for gamma – are close to the reference values ​​(6500 K and 2.2). On the other hand, with an average delta E of 4.6, the colors cannot be considered as faithful to those sent by the source. Remember that when the delta E is greater than 3, the difference in shade is perceptible by the human eye.

We chose the Movie mode, then reduced the brightness to 27 to get close to 150 cd / m² white, but that didn’t improve color accuracy much. No other mode does it better. The temperature and gamma curves remain stable over the entire spectrum, but the colors are still far from faithful with an average delta E measured at 4.5.

Rather rare, calibration of the screen using a probe has almost no effect on the rendering. It improves the color temperature very slightly, which approaches a little more than the reference value, but the colors are not more faithful. No need in these conditions to offer you the color profile since it does not do better than the factory calibration. The quantum dot filter used by MSI seems quite complicated to operate correctly and we see that even a probe cannot tame this slab.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Contrast

The contrast ratio measured at 850: 1 is quite low for an IPS monitor. In comparison, the best IPS models show a ratio above 1200: 1 like the Asus VG27AQ (1220: 1) or the AOC 27G2U (1250: 1). This contrast isn’t a problem for daylight use, but in the dark, blacks are grayish and look washed out. It is a far cry from the rate offered by VA slabs, of which the best representatives such as the AOC Q3279VWF and the Philips Momentum 436M6 have a rate above 4000: 1.

The average white homogeneity deviation is 8% on the 27-inch panel. There is thus no difference in luminosity perceptible to the eye. We did not see any light leakage in the corners or any clouding (cloud effect) on our test model. IPS technology offers very wide viewing angles, with little variation at 45° from the axis of the screen.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Reactivity

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD monitor does not use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to adjust brightness, so it is flicker-free and does not cause headaches to those who are sensitive to this phenomenon. MSI also offers an option to reduce blue light in software. This model is G-Sync certified and FreeSync compatible between 30 and 165 Hz, and therefore performs best when the graphics card “sends” between 30 and 165 fps. Between 20 and 60 Hz, the monitor uses the LFC (Low Frame Compensation) system which quadruples, triples, or doubles the number of images displayed in order to maintain a feeling of fluidity. At 20 fps, for example, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD operates at 80 Hz and quadruple the number of frames.

At 30 fps, it operates at 90 Hz and only uses the CFL between 60 and 165 Hz. The supported range is therefore very wide and covers all uses. We will still recommend a high-performance graphics card, such as the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or the Radeon RX 5700 XT, in order to take advantage of the native Quad HD definition and a very high number of images. In all cases, fluidity is there and the image does not suffer.

It is possible to activate the black image insertion system via backlight scanning (MBR, for Motion Blur Reduction), but for this, it is necessary to deactivate the Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync and G-Sync).

We measured the afterglow time at 6.5 ms with the overdrive (Response time in French in the OSD) set to the fastest. A slight reverse ghosting effect is present, but without being really annoying. By using the Fast setting, this reverse ghosting disappears completely.

The MSI monitor is one of the fastest IPS models on the market. While it does not compete with the Asus VG279QM – the fastest – with its Full HD 280 Hz IPS panel displaying an afterglow time measured at 4.5 ms, it competes with the most responsive IPS models like the BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 and its 6 ms or the Asus TUF VG27AQ (8 ms). Monitors equipped with TN panels like the Alienware AW2518HF (240 Hz flashed at 3 ms) remain more responsive, but the IPS panel of this MSI product offers many more advantages (better viewing angles and contrast). Finally, we measured the display delay ( input lag ) at 10.9 ms (at 60 Hz). There is therefore no lag between the mouse action and its repercussion on the screen.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Pros:

  • Responsive 165 Hz IPS panel.
  • Comfortable Quad HD definition.
  • Numerous ergonomic adjustments (height, tilt, rotation, portrait).
  • Complete connectivity.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Cons:

  • Limited contrast.
  • Color fidelity.
  • USB-C port limited to 15W.
  • Energy Consumption.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Conclusion

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a good monitor for gaming. Its IPS Quad HD 165 Hz panel is responsive, its ergonomics neat, its connectivity complete, but it suffers from some crippling weak points in this very competitive segment. The limited contrast and even more perfectible colorimetry make it lose its fourth star. It makes you wonder if MSI would not have done better without the quantum dot filter. As it stands, it is better to turn to the excellent Asus VG27AQ with its IPS Quad HD 144 Hz panel, admittedly a little less responsive, but much better calibrated.

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