LAS VEGAS, NV — A good chunk of premium gaming monitors feature RGB lighting, but the feature is almost always a superfluous flourish and not something very useful. That could all change with MSI's new Optix series.

The MSI Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ are the first gaming displays to utilize SteelSeries' GameSense technology, which allows you to fully customize the five RGB panels on each monitor's front bezel. According to MSI, these zones can be programmed using the SteelSeries Engine software to do things such as react to in-game timers or cooldowns or alert you to your Discord chat notifications. There are also customizable RGB lights along the display's rear panel, should you want some extra glow while gaming in the dark.

These futuristic monitors both feature an 1800R curvature and 178-degree viewing angles, as well as a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time for (hopefully) lag-free gaming. The 1-ms number is MPRT (Motion Picture Response Time) figure, more than likely indicating it is some form of blur-reduction mode. The MPG27CQ sports a 2560 x 1440 resolution, while the MPG27C features a 1080p screen.

The MPG27CQ Sports a 400 nits brightness, 3000:1 contrast ratio, and covers 100% NTSC and 110% sRGB whereas the MPG27C has a somewhat mediocre 250 nits brightness and the same contrast ratio and color gamut coverage. Both monitors carry the same inputs and USB ports with one DisplayPort (v1.2), and two HDMI ports (v1.4). There are two USB 2.0 ports as well as one USB 2.0 Type-B for PC to Monitor. Audio connections consist of one earphone out, one microphone in, and one audio combo jack for microphone and line out to the monitor.

If implemented right, the Optix's lighting capabilities could be a game-changer -- just imagine seeing a big blinking light every time your Overwatch character's special attack is ready, or a glowing red alert that lets you know you're in the final seconds of a battle. Of course, that kind of functionality is up to developers and avid tinkerers, so we're eager to see what folks do with it when the new monitors arrive sometime early in 2018.

Neither model has a set price yet nor did they mention availability, but we're expecting something in the higher end given the fancy lighting feature.

MSI Optix MPG Monitors
Size / Curvature 27" / 1800R
Panel Type VA
Resolution FHD (1920x1080) WQHD (2560x1440)
Pixel Pitch 0.3114(H) x 0.3114(V) 0.2331(H) x 0.2331(V)
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Brightness (nits) 250 400
Contrast Ratio / DCR 3000:1 / 10000000:1 3000:1 / 10000000:1
Refresh Rate 144 Hz
Response Time 1ms (MPRT)
Video Interface 1 x DisplayPort (1.2) - Up to 144 Hz
2 x HDMI (1.4) - Up to 120 Hz 
USB Ports 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x USB 2.0 Type-B (PC to Monitor)
Audio Interface 1 x Earphone out
1 x Microphone in
1 x Audio combo jack (Mic in and Line out to Monitor)
NTSC / sRGB / Display Colors 100% / 115% / 16.7M
Surface Treatment  Anti-Glare
Adjustment (Tilt / Swivel / Height) -5° ~ 20° / -40° ~ 40° / 0 ~ 120mm
Vesa Mounting 100 x 100mm

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Andrew E. Freedman contributed to this report

Source: MSI

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  • bobeedee - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Are these things designed by a 15 year old? The only things missing are a RGB skull on the stand and a name like "GENOCIDE".
  • Sttm - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    I'm amazed their is not an RGB projector in the back to display a color changing dragon on the wall.
  • shabby - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    No, but they're designed for 15 year olds...
  • Sttm - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Maybe if you buy one this year, by 2020 you could actually get your hands on an AMD GPU that can play games at 144 FPS!
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    APUs can always play games at 144 FPS. It just must not be current or last generation ones.
  • Qasar - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    too bad monitor refresh rate.. and FPS.. are not related.... even my radeon 7970 can do 144 fps in a few games.. Starcraft 2 starts out at 150+ but as the game progresses... drops to about 70-80... my 1060.. does 144 fps easy in sc2.. and WoW.. and my refresh rate is " only " 60 hz .....
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    The specs of the CQ model looks pretty nice (never mind the gamer styling and LEDs), but after using WQHD on my 25" DELL I would not want to go back to lower PPI.
  • romrunning - Friday, January 12, 2018 - link

    I'm surprised that with a new product launch in 2018, they couldn't at least had USB 3.0 ports (3.1 Gen2 hub would be even better).

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