The expression ‘have your cake and eat it too‘ is perplexing in the sense that what the hell else are you going to do with cake? Nevertheless, if the sentiment was to be baked into a PC monitor built for esports, it would be MSI’s Optix MAG274QRF, a decked-out display that is on sale right now.
Normally priced at $399.99, it’s marked down to $354.99 at Amazon, the lowest it has ever been at the retailer, according to a peek at CamelCamelCamel’s price tracking history. It’s still not cheap, but is a good price for the specifications.
MSI 27-Inch Rapid IPS Gaming Monitor | 1440p | 165Hz | G-Sync Compatible |
$399.99 $354.99 at Amazon
This monitor has the speed for competitive gameplay in esports titles, with the image quality inherent in IPS screen technology. It’s also a G-Sync Compatible monitor.
The 27-inch 1440p (2560×1440) display is powered by what MSI calls a “Rapid IPS” panel. IPS displays typically offer better visuals than TN panels, but are not always as fast. In this case, however, it boasts a 1ms response gray-to-gray (GtG) response time and a 165Hz refresh rate. And it is G-Sync Compatible to boot.
That means smooth visuals that can keep up with burly graphics cards pumping out triple-digit framerates, combined with the image quality characteristics of IPS, including wide viewing angles (178 degrees horizontal and vertical).
Less interesting is the HDR-Ready stamp, given the ho-hum 300 nits brightness level. That’s fine for competitive gaming, but not high enough to do HDR content justice on an LCD screen. HDR hardly matters for esports anyway, so no biggie there.
As for connectivity options, it offers up a single DisplayPort 1.4 input, two HDMI 2.0b ports, a USB-C port (DisplayPort Alternate), and a built-in USB 2.0 hub (two ports).
One word of caution—don’t confuse this monitor with MSI’s Optix MAG274QRF-QD. They are practically the same, except the “QD” variant is a slightly upgraded model with quantum dot technology, resulting in 97 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space rather than 94 percent. That extra 3 percent also carries a hefty premium—while not yet available on Amazon, it sells for $449.99 at Newegg and B&H Photo.
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