27 inch high refresh rate monitors have become more mainstream thanks to more efficient and powerful graphics cards, making 1440p more affordable to the masses. With that in mind, today I’ll be looking at the Cooler Master GM27-FQS, a 165Hz 27-inch monitor with QHD resolution. Gaming monitors in this space often represent the sweet spot for both visual clarity and speed, so how does the GM27-FQS stand up to the competition? Let’s find out.
Cooler Master GM27-FQS – Specifications
|Screen Size||27″ (16:9)|
|Screen Resolution||2560 x 1440|
|Refresh Rate||165 Hz|
|FreeSync / G-Sync||Yes / G-Sync Compatible|
|Color Depth||8 Bit|
|Color Gamut||DCI-P3 90%|
|Response Time||1ms (MPRT)|
|Video Inputs||1 x DisplayPort 1.2|
2 x HDMI 2.0
1 x USB-C
|Other Inputs||USB 3.0 x 3|
What’s In The Box?
The Cooler Master GM27-FQS contains all you need to assemble and connect your monitor out of the box.
- Cooler Master GM27-FQS Gaming Monitor
- Monitor stand
- USB-C lighting cable
- Power supply
- HDMI cable
- DisplayPort cable
If I can only describe the Cooler Master GM27-FQS with one word, it would be “skinny”. The top part of the panel measures only 7mm thick. The bezels are thin too, measuring only 7mm on the top and sides, and 13mm at the bottom.
At the rear, you will find the usual suspects: the I/O and navigation buttons. The I/O is easy to get to and a cable management clip is included that can be mounted on the stand, however it feels like an afterthought and janky. For video inputs, you get two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2 and a USB-C. A 3.5mm headphone output along with 3 USB 3.0 ports complete the I/O side of things.
The navigation buttons of the GM27-FQS are situated on the right edge behind the screen, arranged vertically. Though I would prefer a joystick instead of individual buttons especially when I want to access the OSD without going over to look at the rear side of the monitor.
Looking from the front, the overall aesthetic is minimalist, with only a small Cooler Master logo imprinted on it. The stand itself emits a soft diffused RGB light which is addressable via the MasterPlus app from Cooler Master. It needs to be powered on via a USB-C cable, which can be connected to one of the USB ports behind the monitor itself.
The stand mounts at the lower side of the panel, making the screen sit higher. The stand is also height adjustable with tilt, swivel and 90 degrees rotate to turn it into portrait mode. Despite the plethora of adjustments, the stand feels sturdy. Definitely a plus point for me.
Out of the box, the display of the Cooler Master GM27-FQS is great and accurate. For better accuracy however, I would suggest selecting the DCI-P3 colour gamut as opposed to sRGB. Other than that no further calibration is necessary to get the best image quality possible.
Thanks to the IPS screen, viewing angles are excellent with minimal distortion and the colour only shifts slightly towards a greenish hue when viewed from side to side. However, the contrast is also expected from an IPS screen, with a rated 1000:1 ratio.
The Cooler Master GM27-FQS is a versatile monitor for both work and play. I used it to edit photos and am pleased with how the pictures are displayed on the standard setting. With just one tweak, I was able to get as close to reference as I can get for a monitor of this price point. Watching videos on this is also a delight, as the monitor renders brightly lit scenes beautifully. Doing this in the dark however might annoy some users as blacks will appear as dark gray unlike VA or OLED panels. The headphone jack comes in handy too as the monitor does not come with built-in speakers, of which most users would not bother to use anyways.
This is where I think the Cooler Master GM27-FQS really stands out. Despite having no G-Sync certification, the adaptive sync works just as fine regardless when I paired it with AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards. There is also backlight strobing as an alternative to adaptive sync. Running it at low is sufficient to most gamers as it delivers the best between motion blur reduction and brightness. Gaming at 165 Hz feels smooth and even in competitive shooters that runs at over 300 fps I was able to keep up with the competition and score kills, barring any skill issues of course.
Overall, 27 inch monitors are the sweet spot for gaming and the company nails the formula out of the gate with the Cooler Master GM27-FQS.
Sure, there are larger monitors that can be had at this price point, but going larger than 32 inches is not for everyone as our eyes need to travel more to see everything going on. The resolution is crisp and clear, and the 165Hz refresh rate makes the entire user experience so much smoother. It’s just so satisfying to see every element on screen tracking so nicely and smoothly.
For content creators, the monitor would be a good choice too because the colours are pretty accurate out of the box, particularly useful when colour grading is needed. When it comes to gaming, I don’t notice any screen tearing or ghosting. Blacks are decent, and light bleeding are kept to a minimum too.
To learn more about the Cooler Master GM27-FQS, check out the official website here.