MSI MPG27C Curved 144Hz Gaming Monitor Review
Published: 16th May 2018 | Source: MSI | Price: |
Unfulfilled potential. If we had to sum up our experience with the MSI MPG27C then that would be our phrase of choice.
It's isn't entirely the fault of MSI though. The problem with these proprietary software solutions are both the paucity of games they support and the difficulty of creating new ones. The Razer Chroma supports very few titles. Corsair's CUE is the same. The Steelseries Engine is no different. The fact it's extremely hard to code support for other games, and constant changes to the hardware that utilise these control software bundles, means that almost nobody bothers. If your game isn't compatible out of the box, as CS:GO and DOTA are here, then you're pretty much out of luck. It reminds us of the times before USB and DirectX where there were loads of competing formats and none of them ever gained any traction. Until the industry agrees to a similar universal specification then the community will never expend their energy on creating reactive profiles for ephemeral formats. As soon as there is a 'game to peripheral' format that is as ubiquitous and reliable as the Steam Workshop or Nexus mods, then these cool ideas will remain excellent on paper and pointless in reality. MSI need to come up with a way end users can easily create gaming profiles and then after making some effort themselves to create a few more they could essentially sit back and let the end users build the library of game support. Id have made a shift light for Project Cars 2 if I could have done. In reality there is no game 'support' for the bulk of possible purchasers, just a novelty item you may download the game for just to try it out.
Away from that side of things there is a very good idea here with the GamingOSD software. We've often bemoaned the "press this button four times, then that one twice, now this" method of tuning your display, so MSIs decision to go for a software solution has to be applauded. Hopefully other manufacturers will take note and implement this system in their future displays. It's so much easier to get everything how you want it using the GamingOSD and mouse than it will ever be when using buttons built into the bezel.
The display itself is excellent. Curved panels don't make much sense on televisions but on monitors they really enhance the experience. The curve helps to stop what few reflections there are whilst also immersing you closer into the action. When manufacturers were attempting to force 3D upon us we knew that high definition was actually the way forwards, and the prevalence of 4K media and rapid adoption of the format proves this to be true. What has that got to do with the MPG27C you ask? Well it's a 144Hz display. In a world where we're all trying for ever higher frame rates, if you've been sticking rigidly to 60Hz then you can't appreciate the revelation that a higher refresh rate brings. Trust us though, if you've got the hardware to make the most of it then the MSI MPG27C can really bring new smoothness to your visuals and a more responsive gaming experience.
We often bemoan the quality of stands that come supplied with monitors but the MSI offering is very good, letting you adjust the monitor for maximum ergonomic comfort. Two HDMI ports and DisplayPort handle the video side of things, whilst USB ports and audio through ports handle all the rest. There are good blacks and rich colours available and the anti-glare coating works beautifully in conjunction with the curve and wide gamut to make all your images really pop. Lastly the thin bezel and RGB lighting allow the MPG27C to look good from every angle, not just front on. It's just a shame that there are so few compatible applications to make use of the lighting, and that it is all-but impossible to create your own.
If you ignore the extraneous elements and focus just upon the quality of the display then the MSI MPG27C is a monitor guaranteed to please. Just be aware that you're paying a price premium for additional features that you'll never really use. Perhaps in future MSI can divert some of their software engineers to creating profiles for the most popular titles and a simple user-creation system for all the others. If that isnt a big enough priority for them then we would argue maybe it shouldnt be a priority for you to purchase one......
Its an innovative idea hence the award below, but it feels like its been rushed to market or just not seen as a priority. A little more commitment could have made this from just another monitor into something amazing. Pity really.