• Panel Type: VA
  • Display Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Connectivity: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Response Time: 1ms
  • Viewing Angle: 178°(H), 178° (V)
  • Dimensions: 612 x 560 x 266.5 mm
  • Weight: 5.6kg
  • Pros:
  • Smooth 144Hz
  • Great colour
  • FreeSync
  • Cons:
  • None

One Screen Glory

Have you been living with an old and decrepit CRT monitor that only supports 4:3, or even a 17-inch LCD that only goes up to 1280×768? Ok maybe your life isn’t that bad, but you have a 23-inch that has started to give you problems. Then it’s high time to get a major upgrade that will last you for years to come.

If you need help to decide then you’ve come to the right place, because right now we have the MSI Optix MAG271CR Curved LED Gaming Monitor in our test lab. The Optix is a 27-inch monitor using a VA panel, which is known to provide greater contrast than both TN and IPS panels, but with lower colour accuracy and reproduction than IPS panels. Another advantage of VA panels is the capability to have low response times, which makes the Optix’s 1ms response time possible.

Games like CS:GO and Doom require gamers to see enemies in the dark, so you will definitely benefit from the contrast provided by VA panels. That’s definitely the case with the Optix, as we were able to make out the silhouettes of our enemies much more clearly with it than on other panels. Furthermore, the Optix features both FreeSync and a 144Hz refresh rate, which provides incredibly smooth gaming. We enjoyed the increased fluidity especially in FPS games like Overwatch and CS:GO, but it’s always great to see smooth and fluid animation in RPG games as well.

You can control the Optix using a 5-way stick OSD that makes the fiddling for buttons non-existant, unless you’re looking for the easily found power button at the bottom right of the monitor. We aren’t always fond of curved monitors because they jack up prices unnecessarily, but curved monitors do provide a slight difference for your FOV. And if used with multiple monitors, it does create a more immersive viewing experience for the user. The curve on the Optix is done well, with no distortions found at any of the edges and sporting an almost bezel-less design creates an enjoyable experience.

CHIP CONCLUDE: An amazing gaming monitor to look at if you’re looking to go up from a 60Hz monitor, it performs well under all situations but due to its curved nature you may have to pay more.

(previously published in issue August 2018)