Review: MSi MAG272CQR

Cinema experience for gaming

Large, sharp and curved. MSi MAG272CQR for home warriors and desktop strategists.

Our verdict

Fast enough for everything. The curved screen gives good empathy.
WQHD costs a little extra. No G-Sync.
  • Size: 27 ”
  • Panel type: VA
  • Resolution: WQHD (2560 x 1440)
  • Response time: 1 ms
  • Update speed: 165 Hz
  • Contrast ratio / brightness: 3000: 1/300 nits
  • Sync: AMD FreeSync
  • Connection options: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C (for DisplayPort), 2x USB, 3.5 mm stereo minijack
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) and weight: 79.0 x 47.5 x 21.4 cm / 5.9 kg
  • Web: msi.com
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Price: £ 449

When it comes to gaming screen resolution, the standard is still the old Full HD (1920 x 1080) standard. Because for gaming, speed comes before anything else. But it does not look nice, and if you have a fairly fast graphics card – like Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or higher, it may pay to sacrifice a little extra on a sharper image.

MSi MAG272CQR is a 27-inch screen in WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels). The resolution has not been at the expense of speed. The screen has a refresh rate of 165 Hz. The response time is 1 millisecond.

Gaming screens are the latest bastion for the curved panels that are virtually extinct in the TV world. Photo: MSi

The screen is curved, which gives a greater feeling of being inside the action itself. Gaming screens are the latest bastion for the curved panels that are virtually extinct in the TV world. Because in gaming, the short distance means that the argument that it should be the same distance from the eye to all parts of the screen, actually holds. The panel is not from MSi’s own production, but is sourced from Samsung, from which we have previously tested curved PC screens.

The MSi MAG272CQR can be adjusted vertically and the screen can be tilted back and forth. It can not be adjusted horizontally, but it is not a problem once the screen is placed on the table.

There are two HDMI inputs and two DisplayPort inputs; one of them a USB-C port.

You have to look for the operation a bit, and you first fumble in vain along the underside of the screen, where you only find the on / off button. The control turns out to be hidden in a small red button on the back that acts as a joystick. Then everything seems completely logical, and you can quickly find your way around the extensive menus.

Night vision and night setting

For those concerned about night sleep, there is an “Eye Saver setting” that reduces the content of blue light in the image. A commendable thought, but as the picture thus turns yellowish from the lack of blue light in the panel, the menu item serves mostly to reassure the family members – but will not be used. On the other hand, there is a built-in limitation of invisible blue light in the panel, which makes more sense. There is also a “Night Vision setting” that brightens the shaded areas so that it is easier to spot enemies hiding in shooting games.

MAG272CQR supports AMD’s FreeSync to prevent screen tearing – that is, when the individual screen lines come out of sync – at high speeds. This is good news for owners of fast Radeon graphics cards, but to no avail for the majority of gaming machines that use graphics cards from Nvidia. Nvidia’s G-Sync is not supported. In practice, however, I did not experience any problems with screen tearing during the test, even though I use PCs with Nvidia cards.

Mysterious light

MSi calls the RGB lighting “Mystic Light”. It’s not that mysterious, but consists of a series of color schemes and animations that can be run on the light strip at the back of the screen. The lighting can also be controlled with MSi’s gaming app. To be an RGB light show, this is in the discreet layer, but then the flashing light at least does not distract anyone but your opponents.

MSi calls the RGB lighting “Mystic Light”. It consists of a series of color schemes and animations that can be run on the light strip at the back of the screen. Photo: MSi

Playing on the MSi screen instead of a regular flat screen in Full HD is a luxury experience. Even though the panel curves only a few inches in depth, it still gives a feeling of being enveloped, and it increases the feeling of being a part of the game. The extra resolution also means that the graphics are razor sharp – if the game supports WQHD resolution. Because when you get a game on the screen that is displayed in Full HD, you suddenly discover how much more grainy it was. 1920 x 1080 resolution can work on a 15 “or 17” screen on a laptop, but at 27 inches the pixelation becomes clear.

On the other hand, the difference between whether the refresh rate is 144 Hz or 165 Hz is most for connoisseurs. Both are sufficient, but it is a technical challenge to get the high-resolution panel to handle the high speed.

Conclusion

MSi MAG272CQR is a screen for those who want to give a little extra for the visual experience. The WQHD resolution gives a slightly sharper and more beautiful image than Full HD, and it is comfortable when you are literally enveloped by the large 27-inch screen.

I would have liked to have replaced the mysterious RGB light on the back of the screen with G-Sync support, but the screen on the other hand was fully capable of keeping up with the hardships. It costs a little extra – but certainly less than the graphics card in your PC. And it will probably serve you for a long time.

Photo: MSi

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