No display is perfect, but some get more things right than others. Finding the right balance between video processing performance, contrast, color saturation, color accuracy and resolution is not always easy. It’s not hard to find this balance at the premium end of the price scale, but finding it in the midrange is somewhat rare.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD strikes that balance. It combines excellent gaming performance with superb image accuracy and a huge amount of color. Plus, it sells for a reasonable price ($420 (opens in new tab)as of this writing) that delivers a lot for the money.
There are plenty of fast 27-inch gaming monitors out there, and the 1440p class is particularly well-represented. But none of them offer the massive color gamut the MAG274QRF-QD delivers. With 112% coverage of DCI-P3, it is the most colorful monitor we’ve ever tested. Color is so saturated that it partially makes up for its contrast, which still can’t compete with VA. That color is also exceptionally accurate out of the box. It not only makes our calibration-not-required list, but manages better numbers than many monitors produce after calibration.
The only flaw in this otherwise wonderful dish is its lack of an sRGB mode. Any extended color display should have an option for sRGB to better match content mastered to that spec. If you’re looking for accurate sRGB color, the MAG274QRF-QD doesn’t have it. But in practice, it looks fantastic showing all content and even outside the confines of industry specs, it delivers a beautiful image.
At the other end of the scale, video processing is equally superb. The MAG274QRF-QD makes the most of its 165 Hz with lightning-quick response and low input lag. You’ll need a significantly higher refresh rate to see better performance. The only flaw is the included backlight strobe feature that produces a parallax artifact.
If you believe there’s no such thing as too much color, the MAG274QRF-QD hits the marks while hitting a sweet spot for gaming performance.