MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review: Superfast quantum gaming monitor

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD provides a step up for gamers looking to upgrade

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD provides a crisp clear picture, with great motion and tearing protections. Brightness issues aside, the 1ms response time is a gamer’s dream and for the price you pay it’s hard to see how this mid-range gaming monitor wouldn’t fit in to all but the most high-spec of gaming setups.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Incredibly fast 1ms response rate

  • +

    Quantum Dot display

  • +

    Good customisation options

  • +

    Easily adjustable

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Low brightness

  • -

    No DisplayPort 1.4

Welcome to T3’s MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review. This affordable quantum dot monitor made it onto our best gaming monitors guide, I’m here to tell you why.

After spending some time with it, I guess my quick take would be this - In its price range this 27-inch monitor from MSI really stands out. It isn’t going to have all the bells and whistles of your dream gaming monitor, but it does provide some excellent, responsive gaming with great picture quality without breaking the bank.

You’ll find more options to build out your gaming setup, for every budget, in our guides. SO if you’re after the best gaming mouse, best gaming headset, best gaming keyboard or the best gaming chair for a reasonable price, I’d be sure to take a look. 

Of course, if you are looking for a display in 4K then you’ll want to see our best 4K monitors guide, too.

Shall we get on with the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review?

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Review: Design and Setup

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review

The back of the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Future)

Getting the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD ready to use was very easy. The base of the stand screws easily into the support, which then slots snugly into the back of the display. You only need two screws to secure it in place. Although, MSI do supply four which Is nice but made me panic for a moment.

There’s not really a lot to write home about in terms of this gaming monitor’s aesthetics. It a matte black plastic front, with its 2560×1440 screen surrounded on three sides by a thin bezel. At the base of the screen, a much thicker border with the MSI logo and power button.

At the back, it all looks very cool. It’s all sharp diagonals carved into the moulded plastic, applied with different textures, neon lights blazing across it and the proud red stamp of MSI’s logo sitting above the monitors similarly coloured mini settings joystick.    

I’ve never really lived somewhere large enough (or cat-free enough), to have a desk or monitor that’s not pushed directly up against a wall. It’s a shame then, that that’s where most gaming monitors seem to put most of the effort into design.

Of course, the casing’s not really what we’re here for. This monitor is super adjustable – it can be lowered, or raised from 0-100mm, swivels at 75-degrees either way, can be tiled between 5-degrees (down) and 20-degrees (up) and can pivot to 90 degrees.

It comes with a good range of ports, two HDMI 2.0’s, a version 1.2 DisplayPort, one USB-C, one USB 2.0 Type-B and two USB 2.0 Type-A. There’s also an earphone out slot. Now, there’s good and bad here. 

That’s actually a decent layout for most people but it’s a little disappointing not to get a DisplayPort 1.4. On the other hand, you get a USB-C which even some of the biggest and most expensive monitors in 2021 deign to leave out. Only you can decide what matters to you.       

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Review: Features & Picture

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review

Playing the Last of Us 2 on the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD was largely a dream

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s start by talking about that Quantum Dot technology, which works to provide really vivid colour accuracy. Indeed, this runs the colour gamut at 97% DCI-P3 and 147% sRGB. There are better monitors for this, but this punches in its price range.

I didn’t actually notice any screen tearing during my playtime using this monitor. The 165Hz refresh rate, coupled with G-SYNC and FreeSync capabilities obviously working well to reduce this. I’m not saying it won’t happen the more you push it, but for the average gamer, this is really solid. It also has a gamer’s dream response time of 1ms.

I can sometimes get a little… seasick when gaming on poorer displays. But that response time essentially means that motion on the MAG274QRF-QD is very smooth. The one downside I found here is in its brightness – 300nits which is decent but can be quite low for HDR. Even with the anti-glare coating, I found just a bit of sun behind me to be an annoyance.

It’s worth saying though, there are a ton of features in this monitor to customise your experience, you can also download MSI’s software to broaden that even wider. There’s a night mode, you can adjust the colours, track refresh rates, set up on-screen timers and it has several optimised settings for certain game-genres (FPS, Racing, RTS and RPG).

It does make things pretty easy, and I imagine if this is your first dip into buying a dedicated gaming monitor (or you don’t have the patience to learn how to configure one), having all these presets and features would be a huge boon.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD Review: Price & Verdict

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review

My wife wanted to play Spyro on the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD - you might laugh, but it's actually a great way to see how it handles colour

(Image credit: Future)

Our widgets will fill you in on the most up-to-date prices for the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD, but it’s aiming at a mid-range level of $400/£500. Really, it delivers on an awful lot. There are brightness issues and there’s a lot of competition at this level, but I do think that 1440p resolution, Rapid IPS, Quantum Dot display is well worth the cost.

It won’t suit those used to ultra-wide displays – in fact, it may feel small if that’s your comfort level. It’s also worth saying that if you’ve got an expensive new gaming rig, then maybe look around for a gaming monitor that’s a little more high-spec. But if you’re a gamer, who also has to work from the same monitor (indeed this should be great for video professionals), then this will deliver without busting your budget.

All in all, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a great mid-range gaming monitor that’s perfect for people who want an upgrade, are buying their first dedicated gaming monitor or indeed, can’t quite afford one of the premium tier models and want the next best thing.