When it comes to gaming monitors, there are plenty of options out there. There are different sizes, resolutions, panel types, and supported refresh rates. Each option comes with an added cost, but Monoprice does its best to bring gamers quality gaming monitors at a more affordable price than its competitors.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Our Dark Matter 42771 review looks at a 27-inch FHD (1080p) IPS gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate and slightly more affordable than most competitors. Read on for our full review.
Table of contents
The Monoprice Dark Matter 42771 27″ 165hz FHD IPS gaming monitor we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
|Active display area||596.74 x 335.66mm (23.49 x 13.21in)|
|Panel model||AUO M270HAN02.6|
|Maximum refresh rate||165Hz|
|Default colour temperature||6500K|
|Maximum colours||>16.7 million|
|Dot pitch||0.2331 x 0.2331mm|
|Response time||1ms (MPRT)|
|Video inputs||1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI 1.4|
|VESA mount size||75 x 75|
|OSD languages||English, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, French|
|Input power||DC 12V, 3A|
|AC adapter input power||AC 100 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz|
|Power consumption||Typical: 30 watts|
Standby: ≤ 0.5 watts
|Operating temperature||+32 ~ +104°F (0 ~ +40°C)|
|Operating humidity||10 ~ 85%RH, noncondensing|
|Dimensions (with stand)||619 x 477.5 x 237.4mm (24.37 x 18.80 x 9.35in)|
|Dimensions (without stand)||619 x 374.1 x 64.4mm (24.37 x 14.72 x 2.54in)|
|Weight||8.43kg (18.58 lbs)|
What’s in the box
- 27″ FHD monitor
- DisplayPort cable
- Stand stem
- Stand base
- 2x spare screws
- 4x wall mount screws
- Power adapter
- User’s manual
- Warranty card
The Monoprice Dark Matter 42771 is pretty non-descript as far as gaming monitors go, with just the right amount of accents to add a gaming touch to it. The main screen itself is just over 24 1/4-inches wide and just under 14 1/2-inches in height. As for depth, without the stand, it’s about 2 1/2-inches. With the stand, you’re looking at just over 9 1/4-inches.
The top and sides have thin physical bezels, about 3/16-inch thick. Coupled with the screen bezel, however, and the size increases by another 1/4-inch. As is typical, the bottom bezel is mostly physical with a very thin screen bezel and is about 3/4-inch thick in total. The Dark Matter logo is centred in the middle and barely visible, given it is debossed into the bezel. On either corner of the bottom of the monitor is a triangular piece with a red LED that adds a bit of that gaming glow to the monitor. Unfortunately, you can’t change the colour of these LEDs, but you can disable them. The blue power LED indicator is located in the far right bottom corner.
The back of the monitor is a bit more gamer-centric, with sharp angles that jut out towards the middle. Underneath this top triangular angled piece is two more LED strips. If you are set up near a wall, they do provide a nice glow effect. Towards the bottom, on the right hand side (when looking at the front) is a DisplayPort, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The stand is slightly angled as well and attaches to the monitor just below the LED strips. The middle section is hollow and is comprised of two angled pieces, allowing for some cable management. The feet on the stand are thin and angled out but provide excellent support for the monitor.
On the far right of the back of the monitor (when looking at the back) is a Kensington lock slot. On the far left is your power and menu control nub.
One thing to note. The Dark Matter 42771 does not offer any height or tilt adjustment. Other than that, it has a pretty decent design and solid feeling build quality.
The Dark Matter 42771 has a 27-inch FHD (1080p), 165Hz, IPS display panel. IPS is generally better for gaming with its wider colour gamut, better viewing angles, and (in the past) typically lower response time. While Monoorice doesn’t specify the colour gamut coverage on this model, I found the colours decent, especially for gaming. The 300 nits brightness was decent enough, but my gaming space is in the basement, so there isn’t much ambient light to interfere with the monitor. That being said, even with all the lights on, I had no issues viewing the content on the screen.
As far as the resolution is concerned, while FHD allowed for better frame rates during gaming (more on that in the Performance section), it did make for some jagged text when browsing the web or trying to do office tasks. It’s not the end of the world, but in my opinion, a 24-inch monitor is about as big as I’d go if you’re planning on using an FHD monitor for everyday or work-related tasks. But this is a gaming monitor, and the resolution, colour, and brightness were more than acceptable when gaming.
Like most monitors these days, some simple assembly is required. With the Dark Matter 42771, it’s pretty simple. First, push the button on the back of the monitor to pop the plate off. If you’re VESA mounting (75 x 75 compatible) the monitor, attach the monitor to your monitor arm using the exposed screws and holes. If not, the stand base attaches to the bottom of the base by way of two screws. Next, line up the back of the arm and the plate and secure it with two more screws. Finally, clip the plate back into the back of the monitor, and you’re good to go.
Ease of Use
Using the monitor is, as expected, super simple. Attach your DisplayPort (recommended) or HDMI cable to your computer or console. Plug the monitor into a wall outlet or power bar and press the control button to turn it on.
Like any monitor, the control pad can take some getting used to. Pressing the control pad toggles the monitor’s power and doesn’t select the currently selected menu option. Even after using the monitor for a while, I still found myself turning it off inadvertently.
Using the menu toggle, pushing it to the left brings up the source menu, pushing it up the display mode menu, pushing down the crosshair selection, and finally pushing it right brings up your standard menu. Moving the pad left lets you quickly select your input or exit the menu. Pushing it down toggles through the different OSD aim assist icons, pushing it right displays the main menu/acts as OK input when in the menu screen, and pressing it up lets you toggle between different profiles (standard, game, movie, web, text) or selects the menu when in the menu screen.
Once in the menu, there are many options you can view and adjust. The View Mode menu lets you select the Standard, Game, Movie, Web, or Text profiles. It also lets you set up three custom gamer profiles on top of the preset FPS1, FPS2, RTS, and Night Vision profiles. The Manual Image Adjust menu allows you to adjust sharpness, aspect ratio, and toggle adaptive-sync and MPRT. The Color Adjust menu is where you can set your Contrast, Brightness, Color Temperature, and Color Range. The Audio menu lets you adjust the volume of the 3.5mm audio jack, while the Input Select menu lets you pick between HDMI1, HDMI2, or DP inputs. Finally, the Setup Menu lets you modify the language and other OSD options and view the current settings of the monitor.
For the most part, once set up, I used the control pad to turn the monitor on or off, toggle between two display inputs, or change the profile mode. Overall, the monitor and on-screen menu were pretty easy to use and navigate.
When it comes to performance, the Dark Matter 42771, with its 165Hz IPS display panel and 1ms MPRT response time, is fantastic for gaming. Of course, it depends on your system specs, but you should be able to push some pretty decent frame rates with it. I was able to test it with a few different systems and received acceptable results across the board. While I have listed the graphics card used on each system, they did vary in chipset and RAM, but it should give you a decent enough idea of what average framerates to expect depending on your graphic card. All games tested were running at maximum settings.
|RTX 2080 Super w/ 8GB||RTX 3060 Laptop w/ 6GB||RTX 3090 Desktop w/ 24GB|
|Forza Horizon 4||129 fps||109 fps||216 fps|
|Gears 5||110 fps||68 fps||161 fps|
|Call of Duty: Warzone||130 fps||80 fps||155 fps|
|Heroes of the Storm||180 fps||100 fps||225 fps|
The monitor also worked great with the Xbox One X and Series X consoles on FHD/120Hz display settings. I had the monitor set up to DisplayPort on my PC and HDMI on my Xbox One X for use on both systems. Switching between the two was quick and easy and allowed me to use the monitor on dual systems.
The Dark Matter 42771 does have a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting your headset or external speaker if you wish. It doesn’t have actual speakers embedded within, but I didn’t have any issues when I connected a headset to it regarding volume or sound quality. On that note, this is just a mention, and this section won’t be scored as the monitor acts as a passthrough for audio.
Most 27-inch 1080p IPS gaming monitors with 165Hz refresh rates retail on Amazon for between $249.99 and $279.99. The Monoprice Dark Matter 42771, however, sells for $229.99 on the Monoprice website. Depending on the competitor you’re looking at, this could save you upwards of $50. Based on the gaming performance of this monitor, if you’re solely looking to game with it, you won’t be disappointed.
Even better, Monoprice offers a 30-day Money Back Guarantee, as well as a 1-year Pixel Perfect Guarantee on its monitors.
The Monoprice Dark Matter 42771 1080p IPS gaming monitor with 165Hz refresh rates is a great, affordable monitor for gaming. While it is excellent for gaming, as mentioned above, it’s not so great for productivity tasks. If you are looking for a more versatile monitor, check back soon as we’ll be looking at the Dark Matter 42892 27-inch QHD gaming monitor.
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Last Updated on October 23, 2021.