MSI MPG271QRX QHD OLED gaming monitor review: Another speedy OLED to consider

With so many fast OLEDs becoming available, it’s a great time for gamers looking for the best gaming monitors with the ultimate in performance and image quality. We’re seeing screens in multiple shapes and sizes, but one emerging category is 27-inch flat panels with QHD resolution. Since there are fewer pixels to move about than 4K, QHD affords higher frame rates. Most of them hit 240 Hz, but now, 360 Hz displays are becoming plentiful.

MSI’s entry is the MPG271QRX. Its 27-inch flat panel is a QD-OLED, which means wide gamut color, very wide as you’ll soon see. It also hits 360 Hz, runs both flavors of Adaptive-Sync and supports HDR10 with over 400 nits of peak output. Let’s take a look.

MSI MPG271QRX Specs

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Panel Type / Backlight Quantum Dot
Row 1 – Cell 0 Organic Light-Emitting Diode
Row 2 – Cell 0 (QD-OLED)
Screen Size / Aspect Ratio 27 inches / 16:9
Max Resolution and Refresh Rate 2560×1440 @ 360 Hz
Row 5 – Cell 0 FreeSync: 48-360 Hz
Row 6 – Cell 0 G-Sync Compatible
Native Color Depth and Gamut 10-bit / DCI-P3+
Response Time (GTG) 0.03ms
Brightness (mfr) 250 nits SDR
Row 10 – Cell 0 1,000 nits HDR
Contrast Unmeasurable
Speakers None
Video Inputs 1x DisplayPort 1.4
Row 14 – Cell 0 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB-C
Audio 3.5mm headphone output
USB 2.0 1x up, 2x down
Power Consumption 43w, brightness @ 200 nits
Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base 24 x 16.5-20.9 x 9.5 inches (610 x 419-531 x 241mm)
Panel Thickness 2.7 inches (68mm)
Bezel Width Top: 0.2 inch (6mm)
Row 21 – Cell 0 Sides: 0.5 inch (12mm)
Row 22 – Cell 0 Bottom: 0.8 inch (20mm)
Weight 18.4 pounds (8.4kg)
Warranty 3 years

This is the second 360 Hz OLED I’ve encountered, the first being Alienware’s AW2725DF. The MPG271QRX is also based on a Samsung Quantum Dot OLED panel. QD-OLED is currently the most colorful of all OLED variants. Indeed, my sample rendered over 109% of DCI-P3. That’s a difference you can plainly see when comparing it to other wide-gamut screens that hit around 90%. The bar is being raised, for sure.

A 360 Hz refresh rate means super smooth motion resolution. With no need for overdrive, OLED as a category is well suited for gaming. It is smoother at a given frame rate than LCD. To match the performance of even a 240 Hz OLED, you’ll need a 360 or 500 Hz LCD. The MPG271QRX delivers all that and low input lag as well. And its QHD resolution is a lighter load for PCs and consoles alike. Two HDMI 2.1 ports also support 360 Hz along with VRR and a 48Gbps data rate. Adaptive-Sync is supported on both FreeSync and G-Sync platforms. The MPG271QRX has not been certified by Nvidia at this writing.

As a premium display, the MPG271QRX offers a full suite of gaming aids, like sniper mode, aiming points, timers, and a frame counter. A cool-looking MSI logo lights up in the back with colored LEDs, and the styling is high-end gaming all the way, with molded-in accents and a stout stand.

The price is around $800, so it is a premium option. But as I’ve said about other OLEDs, once you’ve tried it, you’ll want it. My first impression of the MPG271QRX is no different. It looks as good as all the other OLEDs I’ve reviewed.

Assembly and Accessories

My sample arrived double-boxed with large blocks of crumbly foam inside. The upright, base and panel are substantial and assemble quickly without tools. Bundled cables include HDMI, IEC power and USB. There was no DisplayPort cable with my sample, which is unusual. It is the best way to connect the MPG271QRX.

Product 360

The MPG271QRX embodies classic OLED styling where the panel is attached to a component bulge. The panel is just 4mm thick with a metal backing. The bulge brings the total depth up to 68mm (2.7 inches) which is typical for a 27-inch monitor. The panel incorporates a graphene layer to aid cooling and there is copious ventilation around all sides of the bulge. Heat will never be a problem here.

The bulge features molded textures that form a dragon logo and a brushed finish that easily passes for metal. It’s heavy plastic, but it looks very high-end. The MSI logo sits atop the bulge and lights up in all colors of the spectrum. The color effect is fixed, but you can vary its brightness or shut it off if you wish.

The stand is solid and has full ergonomics. The height adjustment is 4.4 inches, and you get 30 degrees swivel, 5/21 degrees tilt, and a 90-degree portrait mode. Movements are smooth and firm, with the premium feedback expected from a monitor at this price point.

Underneath the center of the panel is a joystick with two flanking buttons. One toggles power and the other activates a desktop control app if you’ve made a USB connection. Further underneath are the inputs. You get two HDMI 2.1 and one each of DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-C. All support 2560×1440 resolution up to 360 Hz with Adaptive-Sync and HDR. The USB-C port also supports charging up to 90 watts. Additional USB ports include one upstream and two down, version 2.0, for peripherals. Headphones can be plugged into the 3.5mm audio jack, but there are no internal speakers.

OSD Features

Pressing the MPG271QRX’s joystick brings up a comprehensive OSD with just about everything one could need for gaming and image control.

In the first menu, G.I., are the KVM settings along with a selection of aiming points and a sniper mode. The crosshairs can be a fixed color or set to change with content in real time to maintain a contrasting color. Optix Scope is a sniper mode with three window sizes and three magnifications.

The MPG271QRX has a confusing approach to picture modes. First, in the Gaming menu, are a series of presets that correspond to different game types. Suggestion: stick with Premium Color or User. Then, in the Professional menu, there is another list of presets aimed at productivity. Suggestion: go with User for the full native color gamut or sRGB for the smaller space.

Back to the Gaming menu, Night Vision is a shadow detail enhancer; you won’t need it. A.I. Vision is a subtle dynamic contrast option; you won’t need that either. The MPG271QRX has typical OLED contrast, which is vast. It also has accurate gamma, so it won’t need help in the shadow detail department. Additional options activate a frame counter, countdown timer, and Adaptive-Sync toggle.

The Image menu has three fixed color temps and a user mode. I suggest you stick with the Normal option. It is possible to calibrate the MPG271QRX but choosing Customization cuts light output by half. Luckily, color is on-point out of the box, so you won’t need to make any adjustments for the sake of accuracy. Also here are the two HDR modes, True Black 400 and Peak 1000 nits. The best choice is True Black because it has near-perfect tone mapping.

The joystick can be programmed to quickly access frequently used settings like aiming points, brightness, and picture modes. The final menu, MSI OLED Care, has many options for panel and pixel refresh and other methods of preventing burn-in. OLED burn-in is possible, though difficult to achieve. You can turn on features to detect taskbars, logos and image borders. The MPG271QRX will reduce output in those areas of the screen. With so many ways to maintain the panel, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a problem.

MSI MPG271QRX Calibration Settings

I wish I could tell you how to calibrate the MPG271QRX, but unfortunately, I can’t recommend that you employ the custom color temp option because it cuts light output by half. It’s also true that no adjustments are necessary. A calibration data sheet is provided with each sample and in my case, the numbers matched up perfectly, even down to the measured color gamut volume of 109%. Stick with the Normal color temp and just adjust the brightness to taste and you’ll be fine. Use either Premium Color or User in the Game menu and set the Professional option to User. That is all. My brightness settings are provided below.

In HDR mode, the True Black 400 mode provides the most accurate luminance tracking, grayscale and color gamut.

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Picture Mode Premium Color/User
Brightness 200 nits 65
Brightness 120 nits 34
Brightness 100 nits 26
Brightness 80 nits 19
Brightness 50 nits 7 (min. 31 nits)

Gaming and Hands-on

I’ll get my gaming comments out first. The MPG271QRX performs just like every other fast OLED I’ve reviewed. It’s glassy smooth, incredibly responsive and stunning to look at. OLED as a category is such a tight race that differentiating them comes down to the tiniest things.

The 360 Hz refresh rate is certainly an extra point. The MPG271QRX is a tad quicker than the 240 Hz screens I’ve played on. If you’re looking for every possible advantage, 360 Hz is where you should start. I was able to turn with lightning speed. Once I had the mouse movement in muscle memory, an about-face became second nature. Run-and-gun maneuvers are a breeze on the MPG271QRX.

Frame rates stayed consistently over 320 fps when playing on a GeForce RTX 4090-equipped PC. I saw 345 fps a few times. There is no blur whatsoever. Detail remains consistently sharp in both foreground and background. When you get close to an object, you want to explore its fine textures. The sense of depth is palpable. The MPG271QRX delivers a convincing 3D experience. Shadow areas were well rendered, and I never felt the need for the Night Vision option. The option to change the aiming point color on the fly was interesting. On paper, it seems like a good idea, but I found it distracting in practice. A fixed red or green worked best for me.

The MPG271QRX’s huge color gamut increased the sense of depth. HDR tone mapping is very accurate, so the image always had a natural appearance. It’s possible for a monitor to go too far and take on a cartoonish look, but that was not the case here.

Back to the Windows desktop, I found the MPG271QRX well-suited for non-gaming tasks. A flat 27-inch display is the bread-and-butter choice for an office, so if you need to get work done between frag sessions, this monitor will get you through comfortably and efficiently.

I noted that 200 nits brightness was too much for long work or play sessions. I use this level for testing and most LCD panels are fine left at that setting. But after reviewing several OLEDs recently, I’ve settled on 120 nits as a more practical output level for SDR content. HDR is always best viewed at the monitor’s peak capability and the MPG271QRX’s 450 nits is perfect for bright highlights without any harshness.

Takeaway: The MPG271QRX is an ideal display for work or play. It’s the perfect size for most office environments and its responsive gameplay is matched only by other fast OLEDs.

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The MPG271QRX is one of two 360 Hz monitors in the comparison group along with Alienware’s AW2725DF. At 240 Hz, we have Acer’s X27U, Corsair’s 27QHD240, Asus’ PG27AQDM and AOC’s AG276QZD.

Pixel Response and Input Lag

Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

Though the refresh rates are the same, the MPG271QRX draws a full white screen in 3ms versus the AW2725DF’s 4ms. Both screens are super smooth, and I am hard-pressed to see a difference between them when gaming. Even the slower monitors are smoother than LCDs running at the same speed. Eliminating strobing and overdrive has a significantly positive impact.

In the lag test, we see a glut of screens at 19ms, which is super-fast. That’s what’s needed for pro competition and any of these monitors can qualify. The Corsair might prove too slow for the best players, but if you have a MPG271QRX on your desk, you will have one of the fastest monitors that currently exists.

Test Takeaway: The MPG271QRX delivers typical OLED gaming performance which is better than a premium LCD running at any speed or resolution. You’ll need 360 or 500 Hz just to get in the ballpark of what any OLED running at 240 Hz or higher can achieve. Until the next revolution in display tech occurs, this is as good as it gets.

Viewing Angles

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

When viewed at 45 degrees to the sides, the MPG271QRX shows no reduction in light output and a slight shift to red. This is typical performance for the OLED and QD-OLED monitors I’ve tested. The top view is a little less bright and also shows a red shift. Neither angle shows any change in gamma, which means no detail is obscured when viewing off-axis.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I’ve seen solid uniformity results from nearly all the OLEDs I’ve reviewed. The MPG271QRX is well under the 10% mark, where I consider any variation in brightness to be invisible. I measured a 10% field pattern because 0% screens can’t be measured by any known instruments. This is excellent performance.

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To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

I have observed that QD-OLED panels give up some peak brightness to their non-QD counterparts. But the MPG271QRX’s 248 nits is still plenty of output for an office or media room. The variations seen in the above chart indicate different approaches to engineering. Any OLED is capable of 400 nits in SDR mode, but that choice increases power consumption and shortens panel life. It also increases the possibility of burn-in. Running at a lower level is more practical for the long term. Black levels are, as usual, unmeasurable, as is contrast. All OLED panels are equal in this regard.

After Calibration to 200 nits

The MPG271QRX doesn’t appear to vary brightness with content, so I was able to set 200 nits using a full-field pattern. This makes no difference to black level or contrast measurements. ANSI or intra-image contrast is also unmeasurable.

Test Takeaway: I can’t overstate how much better OLED image quality is over LCD. The MPG271QRX’s true 0% black levels mean the image appears three-dimensional. It’s as if one sees into the monitor rather than looking at an image rendered on a flat surface.

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The MPG271QRX comes out of the box with a precise factory calibration. I was able to replicate the results on the enclosed data sheet. This is fortunate because my attempt at calibration resulted in a reduction in light output.

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests use Calman calibration software from Portrait Displays. We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

You can see in the MPG271QRX’s default grayscale chart that there is no need for adjustment. The Gaming mode is set to Premium Color and the Professional mode is set to User. You’ll see the same result if Gaming is set to User. This is a bit confusing, but the takeaway is to leave the image controls alone. Just set the brightness to taste.

If you want sRGB color, visit the Professional menu and choose that option. It has a slight gamma issue at 10-20%, where the values are too light in tone. This issue is hard to spot in content because contrast is so high. Grayscale is without visible error though, so the mode is completely usable and suited for color-critical applications.

Comparisons

The MPG271QRX’s grayscale error value is the same before and after calibration since I did not calibrate my sample. This was due to its 50% drop in light output and because I couldn’t improve either visually or measurably. Don’t take the final sixth-place result as a negative. The MPG271QRX is very accurate.

There are no issues worthy of complaint in the gamma tests either. Values track tightly with a variation of only 0.04, good enough for first place. The deviation from 2.2 is just 1.82, actual value is 2.16. That’s a tad light but you won’t see that error when contrast is this broad.

Color Gamut Accuracy

Our color gamut and volume testing use Portrait Displays’ Calman software. For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

QD-OLEDs bring the color, and the MPG271QRX is the very best in the genre. You can see how much extra red and green is present in the default gamut chart. Saturation points are all a bit past their targets, but there is no loss of detail since the progression is linear. Most wide gamut screens can’t fill the green primary, but the MPG271QRX can. Hue points are also on-target, so there is no need for calibration.

The sRGB gamut comes up a tad short in the red primary but the 20 to 80% points are closer to the mark. Other colors are nearly perfect so the MPG271QRX is well suited for color grading work. The overall error is just 1.14dE which is pro-level accuracy.

Comparisons

The MPG271QRX’s last-place finish in the color test is by no means a negative. The other screens were calibrated, and 1.71dE is well below the visible threshold. If you lined up all six monitors, the MPG271QRX and AW2725DF would stand out thanks to their larger gamuts, especially when showing content dominated by red and green. They are clearly out front in the volume calculation, with around 110% coverage of DCI-P3. It truly doesn’t get much better than this.

Test Takeaway: The MPG271QRX is a front-runner in the gamut volume metric along with the AW2725DF. QD-OLED is a significant advancement in display technology, even when compared with typical OLED. It is supremely accurate too with a factory calibration that is verified for each sample. With the MPG271QRX’s premium price comes premium image fidelity.

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Our HDR benchmarking uses Portrait Displays’ Calman software. To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.

The MPG271QRX responds automatically to HDR10 signals from games or video with two special picture modes, True Black 400 and Peak 1000 Nits. Stick with True Black, it’s the default. It has the best color and luminance accuracy and will ultimately deliver the best image.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

If brightness is a priority for you, the top three screens have higher peak output than the MPG271QRX, but they have no more contrast. Black levels are the same. The brighter screens might have a little more punch in the highlights, but the QD-OLED panels will have more saturated color. It may be worth doing your own side-by-side comparison to find a preference. In this group you can have extra color or extra brightness but not both.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

The MPG271QRX has visually perfect HDR grayscale tracking and a nearly flawless EOTF trace. Shadow areas are a tad dark but not enough to obscure detail. The tone map transition is at 60% which is correct for the measured black and white levels. In the color test, everything is over-saturated, which lends a lot of punch and impact to HDR content. It isn’t strictly accurate, but in practice, it looks very good. Tracking is linear up to the 90-100% points, preserving detail rendering in highlight areas. Hues are on target for all primary and secondary colors. The Rec.2020 test shows the same behavior with an end to the color saturation fun at around 90% for red and 80% for green. Blue makes it up to around 95%.

Test Takeaway: The MPG271QRX has a LOT of color available for HDR content. It tracks well with accuracy that’s similar to what I observed and measured in SDR mode. With true black levels and infinite contrast, it’s the best possible way to enjoy HDR content. And this is true of every OLED I’ve reviewed. The MPG271QRX has more color than others though which puts it a little ahead of the curve.

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After reviewing several OLED displays in short succession, I’m finding myself addicted to them. The combination of deep contrast and rich color is compelling even when I’m just looking at Word, Excel and Photoshop. The image is truly three-dimensional. It feels like I’m looking into the monitor rather than at it.

Gaming is also a completely different experience. I’ve played on many fast LCDs that refresh as high as 540 Hz. They are excellent monitors but not as much fun as an OLED. The fact that there is no motion blur means that moving images have the same resolution as static ones. 240 and 360 Hz refresh rates create input lag so low that I can’t perceive it.

(Image credit: MSI)

The MPG271QRX is another excellent monitor in a category filled with excellent monitors. At this point, the differences are so small they are almost non-factors. Here, you get 360 Hz and an extra wide color gamut courtesy of Quantum Dot technology. It isn’t super bright, but it is more than bright enough. It delivers superlative HDR and is color-accurate with no need for calibration.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The only flaw I noted was the MPG271QRX’s 50% reduction in light output when selecting the custom color temp option. It can be calibrated, but losing that much brightness was a problem for me. Fortunately, there are no visible color errors in the default picture modes, so this issue is not a deal-breaker.

At this writing, the MPG271QRX is around $800, so it is not a budget display by any means. But it is so capable for both work and play that it’s easy to say you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re shopping for a flat 27-inch OLED, the MSI MPG271QRX is definitely worth checking out.

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