MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor Review

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor Review
8 min read
19 November 2020

MSI has a new gaming monitor with some nice  features, the first of which is alphabet soup,   because this is the MAG274QRF-QD.

It’s got a 27 inch 16 by 9 IPS  panel with a 1440p resolution   and an anti-glare matte finish. It’s flat too,  so no curve here. MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewIt’s got a 165Hz refresh rate,   and MSI are claiming a 1ms GTG response  time. Combined with adaptive sync,   meaning you can use either FreeSync with a  Radeon graphics card or G-Sync with Nvidia,   it’s got some nice sounding features  for gaming that I’ll put to the test.MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor Review Personally I think 27 inches at 1440p is a great  sweet spot for gaming, 1080p at 27 inches is a bit   too stretched out in my opinion and the pixels  are less obvious to notice here comparatively. 

  It feels a bit smaller to me personally, but  that’s because I normally use 32” 4K monitors,   but yeah apart from that overall  the monitor was great to use.

I’ve tested colour gamut with the  Spyder 5, and got 100% of sRGB,   91% of NTSC, 96% of AdobeRGB and  90% of DCI-P3.

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewAt 100% brightness   I measured it at 366 nits in the center,  though the contrast ratio was just 710:1,   granted this is with the default of 70 out of  100 contrast setting so you could tweak that.

The monitor gives us three response time settings  in the on screen menu, normal, fast and fastest.MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor Review With the slowest normal mode, I’ve measured the  average grey-to-grey response time at 5.84ms,   though some transitions were slower  than the 6.06ms required for all to   occur within the refresh window. 

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewThings are a bit better now in fast mode,  the average grey-to-grey response time is   now lower at 4.17ms, but we’re still  a fair way from MSI’s stated 1ms,   so surely the fastest mode will  get us all the way there right? MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewUnfortunately I wasn’t seeing that, the  fastest mode was only a little faster at 3.86ms   on average, but I also found this mode to  introduce more overshoot and undershoot,   so given fast mode wasn’t  much different in response   time but had closer to no overshoot or  undershoot, it’s probably the way to go.

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewThis was hard to pick up on   camera, but in normal mode there was a little  ghosting, fast mode looked best to my eyes,   then fastest mode had a little inverse ghosting  trail, so yeah again, fast mode seems best.

In order to run the monitor at 1440p 165Hz you’ll  need to use DisplayPort, HDMI is limited to 144Hz,   as this is just a limitation of the HDMI  2.0b spec. You can do this with either the   dedicated DisplayPort output, or the Type-C  port, which also offers DisplayPort out,   and with Radeon graphics I confirmed  the FreeSync range is 48Hz to 165Hz.

Just visually, viewing angles looked fine to me  regardless of position, the specs note it’s good   for 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically,  which isn’t really a surprise with IPS. The bezels aren’t too thick, I measured  them at around 8.5mm on the sides,   but I honestly can’t say I really care too much  as I hardly notice them once I get into a game,   but that would be more important if  you have more than one side by side.

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewBacklight bleed wasn’t  looking amazing in this photo,   but the patchy spots aren’t big differences  to the rest, so I didn’t notice any problems   when actually viewing darker content,  but this will vary between monitors. It was while testing backlight bleed that I  noticed one of the pixels was dead on arrival,   unfortunately this can happen with any panel,  but to be fair this is an early review sample,   and MSI have confirmed that  they have a dead pixel warranty.

There’s more to it than just the panel though.  The stand has a matte black plastic exterior and   it felt sturdy enough. MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewThere’s also a hole  in the stand to help with cable management. In terms of adjustments we’ve got -5  to 20 degrees of up and down tilt,   -75 to 75 degrees of side to side swivel, which is  much more than most, 0-10cm of height adjustment   up and down, and it can be pivoted 90 degrees  in either direction if you prefer vertical.

MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewThere’s also a 100mm VESA mount on the back behind  where the stand connects if you want to attach   the screen to a different stand or monitor arm.  The included stand connects here too, but it’s   not a toolless installation like some others,  you’ve got to screw in two included phillips   head screws down the bottom, which isn’t really  a big deal given you’ll probably do it once.

Otherwise the back has a Kensington lock on the  right, and a single 5 way joystick for navigating   the on screen display, or OSD, on the left.  MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewWell, on the left if you’re facing the back,   when you’re sitting in front of the screen using  it it’s on your right. I found it easy to reach   and use, the OSD menu felt quite clean and I had  no problems looking through the available options.

If you install MSI’s Gaming OSD software  you can manage all of this and more through   Windows and use your mouse instead of the on  screen display, which is far easier. You just   need to connect the included Type-B to Type-A USB  cable to your PC for it to work, and once setup,   you can simply press the shortcut button on the  bottom left of the screen to open the settings.

   It can also be used as a macro key,  with a few different options available. MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewThe back also has some RGB lighting, but it was  pretty subtle. Even at night in a dark room I   only barely noticed it when sitting in front of  the screen. You can turn it off through the OSD   if you prefer, but if you want to customize the  colours and effects then you need to connect the   USB cable and get Mystic Light Sync going  which comes with the Gaming OSD software.

The I/O is on the back on the right and faces  down. MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor ReviewFrom left to right there’s DisplayPort 1.4,   two HDMI 2.0b ports, Type-C port which offers  DisplayPort output and 15 watts for charging   devices, 3.5mm audio output, USB 2.0 Type-B port,  two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and the power input.

A small 65 watt power brick is included, the  power supply isn’t built into the monitor.  MSI MAG274QRF-QD Gaming Monitor Review Other cables included are HDMI, DisplayPort,  and a USB Type-B to A cable which allows you   to connect the monitor to your PC, and this is  required to use the monitor’s Type-A ports as   a USB hub in addition to managing the  monitor through Windows as discussed.

Finally, let’s discuss pricing.  It’s   launching this month in various regions, I’ve  been told by MSI that in the US the expected   price will be $550 USD, while here in  Australia we’re looking at $860 AUD. This sounds reasonable, it’s the same price  as the Aorus FI27Q-P I previously covered,   which is also a 1440p 165Hz screen.

Personally  I preferred the design and look of the Aorus,   which is of course subjective, but the  panel in the MSI offers better colour   gamut and faster response time, so it could be  slightly better for both gamers and creators. So with all of that in mind, let me know  what you thought of the MSI MAG274QRF-QD   gaming monitor down in the comments.

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Comments (1)
  1. Alex

    I'm more interested in Qled gaming monitors like the odyssey g7, but it's expensive, so I'm waiting for a better price at same configuration, except 240hz, 165hz is enough

    2 years ago · 0
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