In situations where we need strong financial support or months of planning and saving to put together a gaming system, finding more economical equipment with high purchase value can make a big difference. Fortunately, in the monitor sector, there are various products in the market that, in addition to providing the facilities needed by gamers, are also sold with a reasonable price tag. MSI Optix MAG237 gaming monitor is one of these products that is available in the market of our country at a price of about 8 million Tomans, and with specifications such as a 27-inch screen, 144 Hz refresh rate and support for the FreeSync standard, it can be an attractive economic option for many gamers.
Design and set of MSI MAG273 monitor ports
MSI follows a relatively simple and common process in the design of MAG series gaming monitors. In the front view of the MAG273 monitor, there is a 27-inch IPS LCD flat screen. The margins at the top and around the screen are very narrow; A theme that helps immerse the user in the content during the game and provides a suitable integration for use in a multi-monitor setup. On the border of approximately one centimeter below the display, the MSI name can be seen.
The dimensions of the MAG273 monitor, including the stand, are 228.63 x 447.12 x 617 mm and its weight is 5.1 kg. Although the 8-shaped metal base of the monitor takes up a lot of space on the table, thanks to its dimensions and design, it can support the weight of the monitor well, so that you can rest assured that the monitor is stable on the table. Both the arm and the stand come separately in the box, and you’ll need to use a screwdriver to assemble the monitor.
In the MAG273 model, MSI does not allow changing the height of the base or rotating the display, but the viewing angle of the panel can be adjusted between -5 and 20 degrees (Tilt). If you are looking for the ability to adjust the height of the base, another model of the same family named MAG273R will be a suitable option for you. The MAG273 monitor can also be attached to the wall using a standard VESA mount with dimensions of 100 x 100.
On the back panel of the monitor, the MSI logo and a five-way settings button draw attention in red on the all-black body of the device. While the settings on monitors are generally done with a few buttons, MSI mentions the five-way button as one of the strengths of its monitors, which of course, in our experience, really makes it easier to work with the monitor’s settings menu. Except for the base, all parts of the monitor body, including the arm and the back panel, are made of plastic, but the presence of different designs and textures on the body prevents visual uniformity.
The back of the monitor is decorated with several different designs to bring the product closer to the gaming environment in addition to creating visual contrast. An upside-down L-shaped section with a brushed metal design, a section with slanted grooves, a glossy plastic section with electronic circuit connections, and a simple section that covers most of the back of the monitor. Shiny plastic lines are also seen on the base arm.
The MSI gaming monitor receives an acceptable score in terms of build quality and body strength, and considering that the first target community of this product is gamers, it can also attract the attention of gamers in terms of design.
The ports of the monitor are located horizontally and downwards, on the back of the monitor, and provide gamers with a not so numerous but sufficient set. If you connect the desktop or console case to the monitor with any of the HDMI or Display Port cables, you can get a 144 Hz refresh rate with FHD resolution. You can see the type and number of monitor ports below:
- One Display Port 1.2a port
- Two HDMI 2.0 ports
- Two USB 2.0 Type A ports
- A port USB 2.0 Type B
- A 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Power port
MSI MAG273 monitor image quality
For its economic gaming monitor, MSI has considered a 27-inch IPS LCD screen with FHD resolution or 1920 x 1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The pixel density of the display is about 68 pixels. That is, the pixels that make up the content are clearly recognizable on the screen; Especially if you look closely at the display. Since the Taiwanese are marketing their product for ESports, parameters such as refresh rate and response time become doubly important. For this reason, the MSI gaming monitor compensates for the relative weakness in pixel density with a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a response time of 1 millisecond.
The MAG273 panel uses a matte coating to reduce light reflection, which will greatly help improve the visual experience. Image jumping or Flicker in displays causes fatigue to the user’s eyes and in common displays, it happens about 200 times per second. MSI says that thanks to the use of Anti Flicker technology in the MAG273, image jumps occur less often than conventional monitors to bring more comfort to the user’s eyes. The Taiwanese also claim that the amount of blue light emitted from the display has also been reduced in the Optix series monitors.
The MAG273 gaming monitor supports seven picture profiles for displaying SDR content and one profile for HDR content. Contrary to the common trend in the monitor settings menu, MSI has transferred the ability to change the image profile to the Gaming OSD program, and in order to be able to select and change the image profile, you must download and install the Gaming OSD program from the company’s website.
MSI says that the brightness of the display reaches 250 nits in the highest mode. We measured the brightness of the display in each of the image profiles with the default values of the same profile. As you can see in the table, the highest brightness can be obtained in the RTS profile and it matches the value promised by MSI. In the HDR mode, the brightness is about 225 nits, and compared to the SDR profiles, it does not show much difference.
|MSI Optix MAG273 gaming monitor brightness|
|Image modes / pattern white percentage||2 percent||10 percent||25 percent||50 percent||90 percent||100 percent|
Since we measured the highest brightness in the RTS profile, we also refer to the same profile to measure the contrast of the image. Taking into account the same default settings in the mentioned profile, we obtained the brightness of the full black image on the screen by 2.2 nits, so we reach a contrast of 113.6, which is considered an acceptable value for LCD displays. By setting the brightness to zero, we measured the lowest brightness produced by the MAG273 display at 20 nits, which is not considered optimal for working with the display in dark and dimly lit environments, and will definitely cause irritation to the user’s eyes.
Optix MAG273 panel lighting is Edge Type. That is, the light areas consisting of LEDs are placed around or around the edges of the panel and radiate light to the entire surface of the panel. Naturally, compared to modes such as Full-Array, lighting from the edge brings disadvantages such as light leakage from the edges and lower accuracy of black colors.
The monitor panel has a very good performance in covering color spaces. Except for the FPS profile, the other picture modes cover 100% of the sRGB base color space, more than 90% of the wider DCI P3 color space, and about 70% of the Rec 2020 color space. The accuracy of the produced colors is not very good, but in some profiles such as Cinema and RPG, the colors are produced more accurately and with an acceptable error. The Reader profile also has the most errors, which happens due to the warming of colors with the aim of filtering blue light. The colors of all profiles, with the exception of the Reader mode, are very close to neutral in terms of temperature and show only a slight tendency to be cold.
|Performance of MSI Optix MAG273 gaming monitor in covering color spaces|
|Image mode / color space||sRGB||DCI-P3||Rec. 2020|
|cover||mean error||cover||mean error||cover||mean error|
IPS panels have a wide viewing angle, and MSI says that the viewing angle of the MAG273 display is 178 degrees vertically and horizontally. Our experience also tells about the wide viewing angle of the MSI monitor, and this can make the Optix MAG273 an ideal option for use in multi-monitor systems. In addition, if you want to use the monitor for local multiplayer games, you will be comfortable with the viewing angle of everyone.
Another parameter that is very important for gaming monitors is low input lag. Based on the measurements, the input lag of the MSI monitor at the native resolution is about 3.4 milliseconds, which is considered a very good performance.
Gaming capabilities of MSI MAG273 monitor
At least on paper, MSI has considered several gaming features for the MAG273 monitor, and perhaps the most important of them is the Gaming OSD or Gaming On Screen Display software. The OSD software can be easily downloaded and installed from MSI’s website, and provides users with almost any configuration and customization feature imaginable. As we mentioned earlier, to change the image profile, you must do it through the OSD.
Activating functions such as Night Vision and Screen Assistant or even setting alarms on the screen, displaying the refresh rate in the image, determining the arrangement of open windows, determining the mouse speed and activating the virtual keyboard on the screen can also be done in the OSD. In order to enable the OSD software, in addition to connecting the monitor with an HDMI or Display Port cable, you must connect the system to the monitor through a USB 2.0 Type B port. Fortunately, the required cable will be provided in the product box.
The macro button or Macro Key is embedded as a shortcut key under the body and on the left side, which can be used as desired in the OSD. For example, you can specify that pressing a macro key activates a specific picture profile, launches the OSD program, or the Screen Assistant appears on the screen. Screen Assistant is actually the target indicator that is displayed in the middle of the screen, and it will be very useful especially for gamers who are interested in first-person shooter (FPS) games.
Another feature of the MSI gaming monitor is called Night Vision, and by activating it in the OSD, the black and dark parts of the screen will be brighter so that gamers can better see the details of the black parts in games. In fact, the Night Vision feature manipulates the gamma parameter of the colors so that the spectrum of dark colors leans more toward gray.
To reduce screen tearing or image fragmentation during games, most gaming monitors support variable refresh rate or VRR under AMD’s FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-Sync standards. With VRR, the refresh rate of the display changes according to the content to minimize the Screen Tearing phenomenon. The Optix MAG273 monitor supports the FreeSync standard and can change the frame rate in the range of less than 144 Hz.
With the Optix MAG273 gaming monitor, MSI is targeting gamers who are looking for an affordable gaming monitor. By offering essential features for gamers, such as 144 Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support, one millisecond response time, and of course low input lag, the Taiwanese compensates for the other weaknesses of the monitor, such as the low pixel density of the display. In terms of color accuracy and brightness, the panel has a less than ideal performance, but it is desirable and shows even more than the limits of an economical monitor.
On the other hand, fortunately, the economic label of the monitor has not caused the quality of the monitor to decrease. All in all, if you’re looking for a budget gaming monitor, you can definitely include the Optix MAG273 as an option on your shopping list.
- Good build quality
- Low input lag
- Full coverage of color spaces
- Support 144 Hz refresh rate
- FreeSync support
- High minimum brightness
- Low brightness HDR mode