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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Review: Widest Color Gamut Yet

The largest color gamut we’ve measured to date

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD
Editor's Choice
(Image: © MSI)

We were mightily impressed with the MAG274QRF-QD’s grayscale, gamma and color performance. Not only does it deliver the largest color gamut we’ve measured, it boasts some of the best out-of-box accuracy as well.

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

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

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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

Looking at the first grayscale chart, it’s clear there is no need for calibration. There are no visible grayscale errors whatsoever with only the 100% brightness step exceeding an error of 1 Delta E (dE). That’s professional-grade accuracy. Gamma is a tad light with a 2.13 average, but in actual usage that wasn’t a visible issue. Gamma tracking is true with no deviations to speak of.

Calibration improves the DeltaE number a bit, but there is no visual benefit to adjustment.

Comparisons

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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

There isn’t much to say here besides, wow! A 0.74dE default grayscale measurement is among the best we’ve ever recorded for any monitor. A calibrated value of 0.37 is also one of the lowest in our database. The MAG274QRF-QD’s grayscale performance is superb. 

Gamma tracking is also very tight with just 0.06 separating the highest and lowest values. The curve is a tad light with a 3.18% deviation (2.13 value) but this does not detract from the super-saturated color we observed. If we’re being picky, we’d ask for a few gamma presets so we could select a slightly darker option.

Color Gamut Accuracy

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

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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

Here is the star of the MAG274QRF-QD’s show: its large color gamut. We’ve created our charts using the DCI-P3 reference and you can see that all three primaries exceed the triangle’s perimeter. Green, red and magenta are slightly off in hue, but those errors were not visible in content. Saturation targets track linearly, so there was no clipping of detail either. 

Content created in smaller gamuts like sRGB will look very saturated, but by and large, the MSI’s image is just really colorful. HDR content looks great with these added hues, even though HDR contrast is not tremendous.

The second chart shows calibration doesn’t change the result much. In fact, the average error is a tad higher, though still well below the threshold of visibility. This is excellent performance.

Comparisons

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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With a final average gamut error of 2.23dE, the MAG274QRF-QD is one of the better monitors we’ve tested but amazingly only manages fifth place in this group. That speaks volumes about the quality of today’s gaming monitors. You don’t need to buy a high-end screen to get accurate color. Even the value-priced Pixio PXC327 manages a low score of just 1.65dE.

Here is the graph everyone will be talking about. The MAG274QRF-QD has the largest color gamut we’ve ever measured. With 112.19% coverage of DCI-P3, it will look vibrant and saturated all the time. And we mean all the time. sRGB coverage is a staggering 166.33%. That’s because there is no sRGB mode available. That might be an issue for color purists; any color-critical work will require the use of a software profile.

  • Kridian
    $562!? (NewEgg)
    muaaahahahahahaaaaa!
    Reply
  • JoBalz
    Kridian said:
    $562!? (NewEgg)
    muaaahahahahahaaaaa!

    I was just looking at other gaming monitors that use Quantum Dot technology displays. This one is one of the least expensive listed as using this tech.
    Reply