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MSI Optix MAG272CQR review: A 1500R curved gaming monitor with 165Hz refresh rate

MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor

The MSI Optix MAG272CQR is a great option with its gaming-oriented features like curved screen, high refresh rate, and low response time.

Techaeris Rated 9.3/10

Curved monitors and curved gaming monitors have been around for a while now. While 1800R curvature was the standard, more monitors are shipping with a much more pronounced 1500R, and a few even at 1000R. The lower the curvature number, the closer the screen is to mimicking the curvature of the human eye (1000R). Our MSI Optix MAG272CQR review takes a look at a 27-inch 1550R curved gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Read on to see what we thought!

Specifications

The MSI Optix MAG272CQR gaming monitor has the following features and specifications:

  • Curved Gaming display (1500R): The best gameplay immersion.
  • Mystic Light: The ultimate gaming finish
  • WQHD High Resolution: Game titles will even look better, displaying more details due to the WQHD resolution
  • 165Hz Refresh Rate: Real smooth gaming
  • 1ms response time: Eliminate screen tearing and choppy frame rates
  • Gaming OSD App: Create the ultimate viewing settings for your game
  • HDR Ready-Provide eye-catching detail through contrast and shadows adjustment
  • Night Vision: See every detail clearly in the dark, helping you find and attack enemies before they notice
  • Connect with Type-C: Easily connect your laptop or PC to the MSI Optix MAG272CQR display via type-C port
  • AMD FreeSync: prevent screen tearing
  • Anti-Flicker and Less Blue Light: Game even longer and prevent eye strain and fatigue
  • Frameless design: Ultimate gameplay experience
  • 178° wide view angle
ModelMAG272CQR
Panel Size27″
Panel Resolution2560 x 1440 (WQHD)
Refresh Rate165Hz (via DisplayPort, 144Hz via HDMI)
Response Time1ms
Panel TypeVA
Brightness (Nits)300 nits
Viewing Angle178° (H)/178° (V)
Aspect Ratio16:9
Curvature1500R
Contrast Ratio3000:1
Dynamic Contrast Ratio100000000:1
Active Display Area (mm)596.736(H) x 335.664(V)
Pixel Pitch 0.2331(H) x 0.2331(V)
Surface TreatmentAnti-glare
Display Colors10.7B (8bits + 2FRC)
DCI-P3/sRGB90%/100%
PortsDisplayPort 1.2a
2x HDMI 2.0b
USB Type-C (DisplayPort Alternate)
2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A
USB 3.2 Gen1 Type B
Earphone out
Kensington lock
Vesa Mounting100 x 100 mm
Control5-way OSD navigation joystick
Power TypeInternal Adaptor
Power Input100~240V, 50~60Hz
Power Consumption61W
Signal Frequency70.56 to 243.37KHz (H)
48 to 165Hz (V)
Adjustment (Tilt)-5° ~ 20°
Adjustment (Height)0 ~ 130mm (0 ~ 5.12″)
Dimensions (W x H x D)611.5 x 560 x 267 mm (24.07 x 22.47 x 10.51″)
Weight5.9kb (13 lbs)

What’s in the box

  • MSI Optix MAG272CQR gaming monitor
  • Stand
  • Stand Base with Screw
  • Power Cord
  • HDMI Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • USB Upstream Cable (to enable the USB ports on the monitor)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
What's included with the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor
What’s included with the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor.

Design

The MSI Optix MAG272CQR was definitely designed with gamers in mind. With a matte black back, for the most part, the monitor features an obvious curve. The top of the monitor has a brushed look with an angled gloss black piece with some sharp design lines below the RGB lighting holes. The bottom of the monitor drops the brushed look for a standard matte black finish.

The middle of the back of the monitor has a square piece that attaches the stand or can be used to VESA mount it. As for the stand, it is sharp and angular as well with a brushed finish. Two arms angle out towards the front while the back arm consists of two small pieces. Instead of lying flat, the arms angle up into the stand, raising it about an inch above your desk, allowing for other cables to run underneath. The underside of each foot has a rubber pad to prevent rubbing or scratching your desk. The stand itself angles towards the back, offers height adjustment of just over 5-inches, minor tilt adjustment, and has a hole in it for cable management. Unfortunately, the monitor does not offer swivel adjustment but for a monitor this size that’s usually not a concern.

The RGB LED lights on the back of the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor
The RGB LED lights on the back of the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor.

On the lower left of the back of the monitor (when looking at the back) is the red 5-way OSD navigation joystick. On the upper left is the red MSI logo, tying the two together. Recessed across the back of the monitor underneath the stand plate are the assorted ports. From left to right (again looking at the back) are the power, DisplayPort, two HDMI, USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB Type-A, and finally, the USB Type-B upstream port. Along the very bottom edge is where you’ll find the power button and power LED, just below the navigation joystick. On the opposite side is the dedicated Game Mode button for toggling that mode on the fly.

The front of the monitor features pretty thin physical bezels. When turned on, the top and side bezels (including the screen bezel) are roughly one-quarter inch thick. The bottom physical bezel is about an inch thick. When turned on, this isn’t increased that much by the screen bezel. Centered in the bottom bezel is the MSI logo, gloss black, stamped into the bezel.

Display

During testing, we used the MSI Optix MAG272CQR through the DisplayPort connection. With 90% DCI-P3 coverage and 100% sRGB coverage, the colour on the display was pretty decent. Of course, the curved screen with its 1500R curvature offers up less eye fatigue and slightly more immersive experience, depending on the distance you sit from it. As is expected, and is the norm these days, the monitor also has 178° viewing angles.

The WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution easily looks better than 1080p and still allows you great framerates depending on your video card. This is important to note as I’ll discuss further in the next section. In addition, it gives you more real estate when you’re not gaming for web browsing or other work-related tasks.

The display on the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor
The display on the MSI Optix MAG272CQR curved gaming monitor.

Even though the monitor is HDR-ready, it only offers up 300 nits of brightness which puts it below the acceptable level for HDR400 certification. That being said, I was using it in my basement with very controlled lighting and when viewing or playing HDR-supported content, the monitor did come through just fine.

As with most monitors, the MSI Optix MAG272CQR comes with plenty of customizable display options so you can fine-tune the monitor to your liking. These include toggles and adjustment settings for:

  • Gaming: Game Mode (User, FPS, Rating, RTS, RPG), Night Vision, Response Time, Anti Motion Blur, Refresh Rate, Alarm Clock, Screen Assistance, and FreeSync
  • Professional: Pro Mode (User, Reader, Cinema, Designer, HDR), Eye Saver, HDCR, Anti Motion Blur, and Image Enhancement
  • Image: Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Color Temperature, and Screen Size
  • Input Source: HDMI 1, HDMI 2, DisplayPort, USB Type C
  • Navi Key: Assign up, down, left, right functions
  • Setting: Language, Transparency, OSD Timeout, RGB LED, Information on Screen, and Reset

As you can see, there are plenty of options to tweak the display to your liking.

Performance

As mentioned above, we tested the MSI Optix MAG272CQR while connected over DisplayPort. It was connected to the MSI P100 Prestige which features an MSI GeForce RTX 2080Ti video card. As such, the monitor had no problems keeping up to and providing optimal refresh rates up to 165Hz depending on the game. Even though the monitor is FreeSync rated, it did provide 165Hz options on the MSI/NVIDIA card and solid 165 fps in games like Heroes of the Storm. With a 1ms response time, most games were very fluid to play although in higher action games like Gears 5 I did notice the odd ghosting here and there. It wasn’t, however, anything serious enough to take away from the experience.

Night Vision, when enabled, adds more details in darker areas, making it easier to see movement or hidden enemies. It works not too badly and use, of course, will depend on the types of games you play.

As mentioned before, there is also a Pro Mode with a Designer option which works well for digital design work as well. Again, with 90% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB coverage, while not the best for design work is better than many other monitors.

Overall, the MSI Optix MAG272CQR performed as one would expect over DisplayPort while connected to a system with a solid video card.

Price/Value

The MSI Optix MAG272CQR retails for US$399.99. Given the WQHD resolution, 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, 1500R curvature, and USB Type-C port option, it’s a pretty reasonable price for a 27-inch gaming monitor.

Wrap-up

If you’re looking to upgrade your gaming experience, the MSI Optix MAG272CQR is a great option with its gaming-oriented features like curved screen, high refresh rate, and low response time.

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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

US$399.99

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Gamer-centric design
  • Decent display
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • 1ms response time
  • 1500R curvature
  • Cable management in stand
  • Decent tilt and height adjustment
  • DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB Type-C compatible
  • VESA mountable
  • Non-glare finish

Needs work

  • Not that bright at only 300 nits
  • No swivel adjustment option

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