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MSI Optix MAG272CQR Review: Decent Speed, High Contrast

Another MSI value performer

MSI Optix MAG272CQR
Editor's Choice
(Image: © MSI)

In the MAG272CQR’s User picture mode, image accuracy is good but could be better. A set of precise RGB sliders can get you to greatness, but you’ll have to apply our special tweak to match our results.

Grayscale & Gamma Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests use Calman calibration software from Portrait Displays. We describe those our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

At the monitor’s default settings, measured grayscale errors create a blue tint that is visible through most of the brightness range. The error is small but flattens the image a little. To maximize quality, select the user color temp, max the RGB sliders, then calibrate as we did. That will take the MAG272CQR to a very high standard, as seen in the second chart above, where there are no visible grayscale errors as the Delta E (dE) is under 3.

In either case, gamma tracks 2.2 well. There are tiny dips at 10% and 90% brightness, but they  are of no visible consequence.

Comparisons

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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

A 4.92dE out of the box is large enough grayscale error to call for calibration. It isn’t a huge issue, but excellence is possible with a few adjustments (see our recommended calibration settings on page 1). In the second chart above, you can see that all the monitors benefit from some calibration love, except the MSI MAG274QRF, which looks exceptional out of the box.

Gamma tracking is very good for all the screens, so the MAG272CQR’s fifth place finish in the last two tests above isn’t a big deal. This is an impressively tight group of gaming monitors.

Color Gamut Accuracy

Our color gamut and volume testing use Portrait Displays’ Calman software. For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

We’ve compared the MAG272CQR’s color gamut measurements to the DCI-P3 standard. Like most extended color screens, green is a little under-saturated. MSI has taken the further step of reducing the inner red targets to keep SDR color from looking overblown. This is an effective way to use a wide gamut for all content. You’ll see on page four that the HDR gamut targets are still right on point. This is also a great way to eliminate the need for an sRGB mode, which we didn’t miss.

Though we find the default gamut measurements satisfactory, calibration (second chart) makes them even better. Every color is right on its hue targets and very close to ideal saturation.

Comparisons

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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG272CQR

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The MAG272CQR’s 1.60dE average color error post-calibration is only eclipsed by the Dell’s 1.01dE result. All the monitors come in under 3dE, which is the point where issues become visible to the naked eye. The MSI costing less than $400 is further testament to its high price-to-performance ratio.

Gamut volume falls a tad short of the other screens with the MAG272CQR covering 85.67% of DCI-P3. That is an average number among all the extended color monitors we’ve tested, but the other panels in the comparison group have a little more saturation. The top-finishing MSI and the Gigabyte are the only two gaming monitors in our database that exceed 100% of DCI-P3.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.