Laptop Mag Verdict
Aimed at esports gamers, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD gaming monitor is fast, colorful, stylish and not too hard on your wallet
Excellent viewing angles
Low input lag
165Hz refresh rate
Fast response time
Oversaturated colors (out of the box)
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The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is fast, colorful, stylish, and not too hard on your wallet, making it an excellent all-around gaming monitor that supports both AMDFreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. The all-black nearly bezel-less 27-inch monitor is ergonomically friendly, highly adjustable, easy on the eyes, and built for speed with 1ms response times and a 165Hz refresh rate to ensure buttery smooth motion and image quality. And at $369, it doesn’t break the bank.
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD pricing and configuration
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD costs $369. For the price, you get a 27-inch 2560 x 1440-pixel panel with a 165Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync and G-Sync support.
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD design
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD’s 27-inch, WQHD flat panel is encased by only a thin band of black plastic on the sides and top. There is an inch-wide bottom bezel housing the MSI logo and angular gamer molding that looks like armor plating. The monitor is attached to a sturdy stand with a trapezoid-styled metal base plate which is covered in black plastic. The panel tilts up and down between 5 to 20 degrees, rotates left and right with 75 degrees of rotation in either direction and pivots up to 90 degrees, allowing users to switch between landscape and portrait orientation.
The backside of the panel holds MSI’s programmable Mystic Light RGB lighting. It's a very subtle homage to its gaming pedigree. MSI offers a more refined take on the lighting than competing gaming monitors but provides a nice amount of reflective color against your desk wall if that is something you enjoy.
A small red joystick sits in the lower-right rear corner for controlling the on-screen display (OSD). Along the bottom of the screen sits the power button. The MSI Optix MAG274RF-QD measures 24.2 x 21 x 8.1 inches and weighs 13.4 pounds. In comparison, the Razer Raptor 27 measures 24.2 x 15.4-19 inches and weighs in at 21 pounds With the Dell 24 S2417DG measuring 21.28 x 7.09 x 19.44 inches and weighing in at 13.4 pounds.
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD ports
The MSI Optix MAG274RF-QD’s ports are located on the left side of the back of the display. There, you’ll find the power jack, a DisplayPort input, two HDMI inputs, a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a= USB Type-B port and two USB Type-A ports.
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD display
The MSI Optix is a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440-pixel rapid IPS flat-panel with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and a 165Hz refresh rate for silky tear-free gaming. The support for both AMDFreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync technology helps prevent artifacts like screen tearing, stuttering, and input latency during video playback and gaming. this is achieved by synchronizing the panel’s refresh rate with your systems graphics card. Both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync radically improve your monitor performance, making sure your display and GPU play nice, so that you can enjoy the best experience possible. You can learn about how this technology works here.
It all came in handy when I started playing Borderlands 2 with its super colorful pen-shaded graphics. After a few minutes of slaughtering a few bandits, bruisers, and spider creatures, and blowing off the head of a vicious little grenade-wielding marauder who was throwing grenades at me, I was taken with the display. Not only is the panel gorgeous with rich, beautiful hues, it’s redonkulously fast! All the character’s movements were buttery smooth and when racing around in the armored Runner gunning down monsters, the speedy refresh rate ensured there wasn’t any noticeable ghosting or motion blur.
Watching the 4K Loki series trailer, I found myself once again captivated by the screen’s vividness. The greens, blues, reds, were absolutely stunning. The color really popped as the trickster god picked up the glowing crystal blue Tesseract and vanished into a blue-black smoke.
I could see the fine creases in his tan-colored prison jumper thanks to the defined details. And despite viewing the trailer in Console mode, which automatically downscales 4K content, I never noticed any difference in sharpness or vividness.
The only time I had any qualms with the Optix was when I edited videos in Davinci Resolve 17. Although the finer details were on point, the colors toed the line of being oversaturated, which encouraged me to calibrate and adjust the colors. Afterward, the monitor provided a highly accurate color experience and work environment.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD had some interesting scores in our lab results. It scored an average brightness of 281 nits which put our unit below the Dell 24 S2417DG (284 nits) and Razer Raptor 27 (296 nits).
During our color reproduction test, the MSI scored a vivacious 179.3% of the sRGB color gamut beating Razer’s 162.1% and Dell’s 122.8%.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD works right out of the box and doesn’t require any additional software. However, if you want to make a few tweaks here and there, you have the MSI Gaming OSD software which offers five picture modes, four are dedicated to different game modes. I found that the default user-mode was the best to use, requiring only that you adjust your brightness and color level preference. There is also a Night Vision option that allows you to tweak shadow details for better viewing. You can also adjust the response time adjustment and make use of the three-level overdrive, which allows pushing the monitor’s response time speed which further eliminates ghosting and trailing. I enjoyed the Fast setting the most.
There is a frame rate tracking mode that will let you know the frames per second you’re gaming at. The software also provides three image modes for reading, movie watching, or office work. There’s an Anti-Motion Blur option, a Dynamic Contrast, and Image Enhancement, to improve image sharpness.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD 27-inch monitor is an excellent choice for all your gaming needs. It comes with a crystal-clear 2560 x 1440-pixel IPS panel that features a 165Hz refresh rate, native FreeSync support, and is G-Sync compatible The response time results in a smooth, tear-free-motion, and it has low input lag for when you’re playing fast-paced first-person shooters. Best of all, you get all of these features for only $369!
There are a few downsides to the MSI. While I appreciate the vibrant colors, they look oversaturated out of the box, and the black levels aren’t as good as what you’ll find on a pricier monitor. If you’re looking for an upgrade, consider the excellent Razer Raptor 27. But if you’re on a strict $400 budget, you won’t find a much better monitor than the MSI Optix.
Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.