MSI Optix G27C4 Curved Gaming Monitor – should I buy one?

MSI Optix G27C4
(Image credit: MSI)

MSI is a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer that makes a broad range of products, many of which are gaming-related. That includes motherboards, graphics cards, gaming laptops and indeed monitors as in the case with this Optix model (two of these Optix offerings have previously made the cut for our best gaming monitors list, so they have pedigree, if you’re wondering).

The MSI Optix G27C4 is a curved monitor targeted at gamers, models which have become quite commonplace in recent times (you may have seen curved TVs, as well). The idea is a slight curve provides a more immersive viewing experience on a bigger screen, although this MSI monitor has a more pronounced curvature than many (more on that later).

This is a VA panel, and this helps it to deliver really punchy colors and contrast, plus a good viewing angle – and it’s no slouch when it comes to performance. In fact, the Optix G27C4 benefits from a very quick 1ms response time, and has a commendable 165Hz refresh rate, along with AMD’s FreeSync to boot. More on what all that means shortly, but the upshot is there’s a lot of slick technology here packed into this Full HD monitor which has a surprisingly cheap price.

While we haven’t reviewed the MSI Optix G27C4, we’re going to dissect the key features here, and tell you what they mean, then apply our expert knowledge to inform you whether this gaming monitor is as good a buy as it first looks. Furthermore, there is a chance that this panel could become an even more compelling bargain given a Black Friday discount, so keep an eye on our roundup of the best cheap monitor deals for Black Friday 2019 going forward.

The bottom line: A great monitor for gamers which combines impressive image quality – including very punchy colors – with a lot of nifty tech that helps to achieve smooth and immersive gameplay. Given the asking price the MSI Optix G27C4 is pitched at, it’s a very tempting proposition.

Pros: High refresh rate. AMD’s FreeSync technology to combat tearing. Really impressive image quality. Nicely priced for what you’re getting.

Cons: Only Full HD resolution. More pronounced curve may not be everyone’s cup of gaming tea.

Key specs

  • Screen: 27-inch 16:9 VA panel with 1500R curvature
  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Refresh rate: 165Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
  • Ports: 1 x DisplayPort (1.2a), 2 x HDMI (1.4b)

MSI Optix G27C4 Curved Gaming Monitor: everything you need to know

The Optix G27C4 has a more pronounced curvature than many of the other curved-screen monitors you’ll see, with a curve of 1500R. Exactly how much curve is right for you is kind of subjective, but it’s still only a relatively slight curve, and isn’t likely to be off-putting (still, you might want to see the monitor in person – or at least another 1500R model – if you’re at all concerned on this front).

The idea is that the curve provides a more immersive gaming experience, as we said at the outset, and to that end, the Optix G27C4 also runs with a ‘frameless’ display. In other words, it has vanishingly slim bezels (8mm) on three sides, which further adds to the immersion in terms of generating a more effective illusion that there’s no monitor in front of you (that ‘picture floating in the air’ feeling, with less distractions from the actual game you’re – hopefully – completely absorbed in).

So what are the other key points which are good – or indeed bad – about this MSI monitor?

Great for shooters: A 1ms response time is obviously a boon when it comes to responsiveness (there are those who argue these super-low response times are marketing tricks where VA panels are concerned, but nonetheless, reports indicate the Optix G27C4 provides a responsive screen with low input lag). The refresh rate of 165Hz means you can push up to 165 frames per second, assuming the GPU is capable of driving your favorite shooter – or other game – that fast. AMD’s FreeSync technology is also on-board to help keep the action fluid and prevent screen tearing and stuttering.

Resolution: While a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 might be seen as perhaps a little off the pace for a 27-inch monitor – it won’t look as sharp as a 1440p screen, obviously – it does mean that your graphics card stands a much better chance of making full use of that 165Hz refresh rate. And also, the colors are so vibrant, and overall image quality so good by all accounts, that you’ll likely forgive – or possibly not even really notice – any sharpness shortcomings. The lower resolution may, however, make itself felt a bit more outside of games, when working on the desktop for example (when you’re not too absorbed in fast-paced action to notice).

No HDR, no matter: You don’t get HDR support with this monitor, but that’s not surprising at this price level – and as we’ve already enthused, it has punchy colors and an overall great picture anyway, so you really don’t have to worry about the image quality here, HDR or no HDR.

Conclusion: MSI has produced a very impressive panel which offers a lot of positive points for gamers in terms of achieving smooth and fluid gameplay at high frame rates. With a temptingly low asking price for the tech on-board, this monitor is definitely one PC gamers should consider.

TechRadar is scouring every retailer and rounding up all the top deals over the Black Friday period, and we’ve put all the best Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals in easy-to-navigate articles to help you find the bargains you’re looking for.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).