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Revisiting out past reviews of MSI gaming monitors, we can see a pattern in their color reproduction. Though they don’t support HDR, they do offer a wide gamut that falls comfortably between the sRGB spec, used for SDR, and DCI-P3 color, which is appropriate for HDR-enabled content. If you need the utmost color accuracy, look elsewhere. But for the rest, this approach works well. Color is visibly enhanced with sharp detail, and the image never looks overblown.
The MSI Optix G27C4 continues this same trend (also seen in the MSI Optix MAG271CQR and other Optix-series screens). It offers more saturated color than other SDR/sRGB displays. Some dollars are saved by leaving out speakers, USB ports and LED lighting. But in every way that matters -- including refresh rate, adaptive sync and effective overdrive -- the G27C4 is a gamers’ monitor. Although, the relatively low pixel density kept us from spending too much time in Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word.
Our wish for future versions of this monitor would be a selectable color gamut so sRGB mode could be a usable option and gamma presets that allow the superb contrast of the VA panel to be fully utilized. The monitor's light gamma tracking appears to be a design choice, but we’d prefer the ability to get as close to all industry standards as possible. For a more premium experience at 165Hz, it's worth checking out the Aorus CV27Q, which boasts higher resolution (1440p) and the USB ports and HDR support the MSI lacks but costs much more money ($430 at the time of writing).
If you are looking for a monitor that delivers more color than most sRGB displays, the G27C4 is a great choice. Gaming on it is a pleasure, and while it lacks high resolution and HDR, it delivers on everything else that matters.
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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.