MSI Optix MAG272CQR Review: Decent Speed, High Contrast

Another MSI value performer

Editor's Choice
(Image: © MSI)

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Our HDR benchmarking uses Portrait Displays’ Calman software. To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.

HDR Brightness & Contrast

If you want super bright HDR, VA isn’t quite there yet. But the MAG272CQR isn’t the dimmest HDR monitor in our comparison group, and 376 nits is enough to get the job done. With black levels that are similar to what we measured in SDR mode, contrast isn’t any higher. There is no dynamic contrast feature available here. 

The top three screens are IPS but feature variable backlight control, where effectiveness depends on content, so in some cases they will look better than the VA-based MSI. But since there is no modulation of the backlight going on, you’ll never see any artifacts either.

Grayscale, EOTF & Color

The MAG272CQR’s HDR grayscale tracking exhibits similar behavior to SDR with a slight blue tint visible through most of the brightness range. There are no adjustments available to tweak it, so the HDR image is a tad less dimensional than it could be. The EOTF luminance curve is right on the money though with tight tracking below and above the tone mapping transition point at 65% brightness.

HDR color is very good with all measurements on or near their targets. MSI has bumped up the inner saturation points to provide more punch and that tweak can be seen when playing games or watching HDR video.

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.