Cooler Master GM27-CF 165Hz Monitor Review: High Performance, High Value

High refresh and great contrast for only $300

Cooler Master GM27-CF
(Image: © Cooler Master)

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When considering the purchase of a budget gaming monitor, it’s important to prioritize the features that impact gameplay the most. Invariably, some things must be sacrificed to keep price down. What you’re willing to sacrifice determines the experience you’ll ultimately have. Adaptive-Sync and fast refresh have the most obvious effect on first-person shooters and sports games. And closely behind that is contrast and color accuracy. 

(Image credit: Cooler Master)

The Cooler Master GM27-CF checks all the right boxes to achieve balanced gaming performance and good value. Fast refresh comes in at a reliable 165 Hz, and contrast comes from an excellent VA panel that delivers a dynamic range of over 3,000:1. Black levels are excellent, and the picture pops with all material. An extended color gamut covers 85% of DCI-P3 and though that is larger than the sRGB space most content is created for, the extra saturation worked well in gaming, video and workday applications.

However, to get the most out of the GM27-CF, you’ll need to apply a few tweaks (see our recommended calibration settings on page 1). At minimum, the gamma should be changed from 2.2 to 2.0. And dialing in our recommended RGB and Contrast values will further improve the picture.

This is a budget monitor and will likely be paired with a budget system running a mid-priced video card, making its 1080p resolution appropriate. The 1500R curvature, meanwhile, didn't do much for the experience. This monitor is all about performance. The curve is just a little bonus.

Cooler Master is new to the monitor game, and we’re impressed with its first effort. For the price, the GM27-CF delivers excellent gaming performance, solid image quality and a good build. Shoppers looking to finish a budget gaming rig will certainly want to check it out.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.