CES 2018: How the New MSI Monitors Light Up the Gameplay Experience

MSI has had a busy Consumer Electronics Show this year, bringing along its line of graphics cards and motherboards. But the biggest attraction from the hardware manufacturer has turned out to be its latest batch of monitors.

Shacknews recently had a chance to peruse MSI's various products at CES and was drawn in by the company's two monitors: the Optix MPG27C and Optix MPG27CQ. These are 27-inch curved monitors, both boasting a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. They're visually gorgeous, with the main difference being that the MPG27C maxes at 1080p resolution, while the MPG27GQ runs up to 1440p.

But what was particularly fascinating to us at Shacknews was the monitors' inclusion of SteelSeries GameSense. What this does is add and utilize five RGB lighting areas on the bottom of the monitor. While RGB lighting is a fun cosmetic idea for keyboards, the monitors are also using it for more practical purposes. The RGB lighting can be programmed via the SteelSeries Engine and customized to suit various purposes across a variety of games.

Several examples of the RGB zones' usefulness were cited during our time looking at the monitors. If time is running out in Overwatch, the right-hand zones will dim as the game draws closer to an end. Taking too many hits in PUBG? The RGB lighting can act as a health bar, giving players an idea of how close they are to death. Did you use up an Ultimate in Dota 2? The RGB zones can give an indicator of how much cooldown time remains before it can be busted out again.

In terms of resolution and specs, the Optix MPG27C and Optix MPG27CQ feel like standard monitors, though they truly impress when multiple monitors are placed side-by-side for a massive matrix display. As noted in the press release sent out earlier in the week, they come with two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort (1.2), one USB 3.0 Type B connector, and 2 USB 3.0 Type A ports.

But it's the practical application of RGB lighting that make these displays stand out. It goes beyond looking at a monitor as a high-definition display, but also looks at it as something that can enhance the overall gameplay experience.

No word on an exact release date for the Optix MPG27C and Optix MPG27CQ, but expect to see them sometime in early 2018. Expect a price point to be announced soon.

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