Unboxing and First Impressions Optix G27C4

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bomart264

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I was looking for a gaming monitor to replace my 7 year old Dell U24 and found this one still on sale at Walmart, pickup only, for $178. + tax -5% Discovercard cashback. https://www.walmart.com/ip/MSI-27-Curved-1920x1080-HDMI-DP-165Hz-1ms-FreeSync-LCD-Gaming-Monitor-Optix-G27C4/260894878  As of today, 12/18, my local Walmart has 1 left, YMMV. Yeah, it's only 1920x1080 resolution but 165Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time??, a Samsung anti-glare SVA panel, and supports FreeSync and G-Sync.
It's speced for 165Hz but MSI only supplies you with an HDMI cable. You will only get 60Hz. I was able to set it to 120Hz max in the nvidia control panel. I had to order a DisplayPort cable for $10. shipped.
The colors were slightly washed out and blacks are gray, but no dead pixels or backlight leaks.
The monitor has a sturdy metal stand but no height adjustment, only tilt.
There is no supplied full manual only a Quick Start guide. You have to go to MSI support to download it.
There's an excellent review of this monitor on Tom's Hardware site. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/msi-optix-g27c4
I hooked the monitor up to my Geforce GTX 1660 Ti with the DisplayPort cable. I had to open the Nvidia control panel to set the refresh rate to 165Hz and to setup G-Sync. It works with this monitor, even though it's not officially supported, but only with a DisplayPort cable. Colors still looked washed out and the blacks gray. I was seriously thinking about returning it. I set the color temp in the OSD as recommended by Tom's Hardware review to R 48, G 55 , B 57, and contrast to 69. This helped some but gamma as shown here http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/gamma_calibration.php was low, ~1.9-2.0. Tom's Hardware also found it low. I should be ~2.2 and there is no way in the OSD to change it. I ran the Windows Display Color Calibration, type calibrate in the search bar, and was able to get it to ~2.2. Colors look better and the blacks are a lot less gray.

The OSD has a HDCR setting. According to MSI this stands for High Dynamic Contrast Range and helps to set the correct contrast when you are playing in a room with high brightness so you can see some spots on your monitor better.
If I turn the HDCR setting to on it affects the brightness and grays out the brightness setting. It does not have any effect on gamma. MSI's specs state that it increases the contrast ratio. https://www.msi.com/Monitor/Optix-G27C4/Specification
Not to be confused with HDR, Tom's Hardware review states that this monitor is a DCI-P3 monitor and does not support HDR, and MSI's specs also state that it is not HDR ready. HDR explained: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/what-is-hdr-monitor,36585.html  
I'll try running with HDCR on and off and report back, or does anyone have an opinion on which is better for gaming.

My Verdict
Pros: Price
Games look very good but requires OSD tweaking and setting gamma to 2.2.
165Hz refresh rate, FreeSync and G-Sync but only with a DisplayPort cable and a capable video card.
Samsung anti-glare SVA panel
High contrast 3,000:1
Free game, The Surge, when you register it on MSI's website
3 year warranty

Cons: No speakers or USB ports (not a con for me)
No full manual supplied, have to download it from MSI support page. Must be a cost saver since most companies are now doing this.
Not very bright, 250 nits max rated
No gamma adjustment in the OSD
NO DisplayPort cable supplied. C'mon MSI if you are advertising this as 165Hz at least supply the cable to achieve it.
No height adjustment, only tilt. Fortunately with my desk and chair the monitor is about the right height for me.
Response time is advertised as 1 ms but that's GTG so actual is probably higher.

One last thing. The monitor seems like it's fairly sturdy but as shown on the "not to do" supplied placard, I would not pick it up by grabbing its sides. Also leave it, as shown, in the styrofoam packing when attaching the stand.
 

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knee264

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I just got 1 from walmart. 175$, as it was a return. I have my laptop hooked up to it via displayport. I have the monitor at 144hz. I noticed the screen isn't very bright whatsoever. So it degrades the quality. Yes I have the monitor at max brightness via NVIDIA control panel.

My AOC monitor looks much brighter. for a 1440p @60hz.
 
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