MSI Optix MAG271CQR Gaming Monitor Review: Vivid and Versatile

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.


At this writing, the MSI Optix MAG271CQR sells for $400. That makes it a little pricier than some 27-inch QHD monitors, but not as costly as premium ones. The bang-for-the-buck quotient is high with a subtle but beneficial curvature, super-colorful image and fantastic gaming performance.

Though color doesn’t adhere strictly to the standard, it’s manipulated in a positive way. The resulting image is bright and saturated without looking blown-out or cartoonish.

We only have two wishes for the MAG271CQR. One would be the addition of an sRGB mode for those seeking perfect color. Given our test results, we speculate that an instrumented calibration may not be necessary. We’d also like improved gamma. If the monitor came closer to the ideal 2.2 luminance curve, it would look even better. It presents an excellent picture, but there’s potential for improvement. Indeed, you can find better image quality from other QHD, 144Hz monitors, including the Razer Raptor 27. But although that monitor has some of the best image quality we've ever seen, it's also much pricier ($700 at the time of publishing). 

Once we started gaming, the speedy and smooth video processing took center-stage. The MAG271CQR makes the most of its 144 Hz with one of the lowest input lag scores we’ve recorded. That, coupled with FreeSync or G-Sync (unofficially), make it a great choice for gamers running a wide variety of hardware, and you don’t need a premium graphics card.

With all this versatility, if you’re looking for a 27-incher to outfit a mid- to high-priced gaming rig, the MSI Optix MAG271CQR should be on your short list.

Image Credits: MSI, Tom's Hardware

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

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.