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MSI showcases new RGB monitors – function and form?

Having got a brief look at MSI's new gaming monitors at CES, the company was keen for reviewers to get a proper hands-on with the new products before stock hits the retail channel. With that in mind, KitGuru took a quick trip to Amsterdam to find out everything you need to know.

The specific monitors in question are the new Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ models – the only difference being resolution, with the former a 1080p panel and the latter a 1440p panel. The highlight feature of the new Optix range, however, is undoubtedly the bold RGB lighting integrated into the frame of the monitors.

Before you start moaning – ‘RGB is useless, it's a pointless gimmick, why would they do this' etc – it is worth saying that this RGB lighting has very definitely been included with functionality in mind. Primarily, this is done via the monitors' integration with SteelSeries Engine, and specifically SteelSeries' GameSense technology.

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In a nutshell, this lets a few popular games – including DOTA 2, CS:GO and Minecraft, with one very popular but as yet un-named game (no prizes for guessing which one) – interface with the RGB LEDs to provide in-game updates and alerts.

For instance, while playing CS:GO, you can configure one block of LEDs to act as your in-game health bar, set another to track your kills for the round/match, set another to show how much ammo you have and so on. It is really very customisable – almost any in-game ‘event' can be mapped to the LEDs. Each LED ‘block' is comprised of 8 individual LEDs as well, so these can be programmed as a block of 8 or on a per-LED basis.

Of course, you don't have to use the LEDs for any practical purpose – just having a gentle colour cycle effect going on still looks really good, even if it's not helping your K/D ratio.

Another impressive feature is the MSI Gaming OSD. This is a very simple but clever idea – instead of having to reach behind the monitor to tinker with the settings via the OSD, MSI has developed a piece of software to allow you to control the monitor's settings, all from your Windows Desktop. Not only is this much more user-friendly, but it also allows users to create and easily switch between different profiles. PUGB, LoL and CS:GO each have their own dedicated profile which automatically apply when you launch one of those games.

The actual display itself is also quite impressive in terms of its specs. There is obviously the choice of 1080p or 1440p resolutions, but both monitors share 1ms response times and 144Hz refresh rates to make for a compelling gaming experience. The panels use VA technology too, which provides better colour accuracy than TN equivalents, while also ensuring a wide, 178-degree viewing angle.

For those interested, the full specification for the MPG27C can be found here, while the spec sheet for the MPG27CQ is over here.

KitGuru says: Getting an up-close and personal look at the new Optix monitors has been great fun – even if you're not keen on RGB lighting usually, there's no denying the practicality behind this implementation. We will also have a review of the MPG27C very soon, so stayed tuned for that.

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