If you're on the lookout for a gaming monitor that's big, curved, has decent picture quality and a high refresh rate but isn't too taxing on your graphics card or wallet, MSI's new Optix G27C5 (opens in new tab) might be a decent option. The display is an update of last year's Optix G27C4 (opens in new tab) and, for the most part, keeps things exactly the same.
That may not be a terrible thing. In our MSI Optix G27C4 review (opens in new tab) in November, we praised the display's refresh rate, blur reduction and contrast, and we currently consider it one of the best gaming monitors in the 27-inch 1080p category.
Peeking at the spec sheet, the new G27C5 retains a 27-inch VA panel with 1080p resolution, along with 1500R curvature and 1ms response times, just like its predecessor. The refresh rate is still 165 Hz, and brightness and contrast also remain 250 nits and 3,000:1, respectively.
The only difference we can spot is in the color coverage. Whereas both displays cover 90% of the DCI-P3 space, the new C5 model drops sRGB coverage down to 113% from the C4's 120%. For the C4, MSI only specified that it uses a VA panel, but the C5's spec sheet lists a Samsung VA panel specifically.
What this all tells us is that although on the surface these two monitors seem the same, there may have been a change in MSI's supply chain that had the vendor use an alternate panel with different color coverage. Nevertheless, despite the lack of upgrades we appreciate that MSI is marketing this as a new model as opposed to simply using a different panel and telling nobody about the change.
For the gamers among us, the G27C5 comes with support for FreeSync, carrying a range from 48 Hz to 165 Hz to ensure your games play stutter and tear-free.
Display inputs consist of one DisplayPort 1.2 input and two HDMI 1.4 inputs, though using the latter will limit the refresh rate to 144 Hz (we go into other differences between the two ports in our DisplayPort vs. HDMI analysis). The stand looks unchanged from the prior model and supports -5 to 20 degrees of tilt.
MSI hasn't shared any official word on pricing, but we don't expect any changes from the current model's $250 MSRP. If you're impatient, the old G27C4 can be had for as little as $139 (opens in new tab).