The Cooler Master GM27-CF is one of the first attempts at gaming monitors by the popular brand that’s mostly known for its amazing cases, cooling solutions, and peripherals. This model offers a popular format for gamers which makes it sellable, but it also places it in a very competitive segment. Let’s see if the Cooler Master GM27-CF will shine or if its competitors are still better options.
Cooler Master GM27-CF Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Refresh Rate: 165Hz (Overclockable to 200Hz)
- Response Time: 3ms
- Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Speakers: Yes (2 x 3 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-5°/+15°)
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot: No
- VESA: Yes (75 x 75)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, 3.5mm Jack x 1
- Dimensions: 24.26” x 20.79” x 8.39”
- Weight: 11.31 lbs
Design and Features
The Cooler Master GM27-CF sports a unique and sophisticated aesthetic that would place it nicely beside the brand’s premium cases like the latest Cosmos C700M. The housing has a matte black texture that combines with a gunmetal stand and base for that minimalist look. The display is almost bezel-free on three sides, giving you a maximized view of the curved display.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF’s proportions are a bit more modest than similar-sized competitors thanks to the shape of the base and the placement of its pillar towards the rear. The cabinet sticks out due to the sharper 1500r curve, but the product manages to stay below 9 inches of depth. It won’t be intrusive on your desk, plus, the base is hollow so you can place small items or peripherals in it to help keep your desk neat.
The build quality of the Cooler Master GM27-CF is great thanks to the use of decent materials and good overall design. There is a slight wobble, but we think its due to the small attachment point more than loosey-goosey joints. We also didn’t notice any uneven gaps or seams on the monitor, so its fit and finish are excellent.
One thing we dislike is the Cooler Master GM27-CF’s use of OSD buttons instead of an easier to use joystick. We get that most brands opt for the simplest designs and solutions to meet a price point, but brands like Samsung are already using joysticks throughout their monitor line. The OSD has four buttons at the bottom bezel, and it may take some practice to get used to.
Another interesting characteristic of the Cooler Master GM27-CF is its trio of LED strips at the rear which cast a decorative glow on your setup. The issue is that they only glow in purple, so it may clash with your setup if you are using different colors. You can set it to flicker or turn it off via the OSD, which we think many gamers will do if they dislike the color.
The stand on the Cooler Master GM27-CF offers tilt, swivel, and height adjustments to make it easier for you to get a comfortable view angle. We like the metal design and color of the part which gives the product a more sophisticated flair. You can swap it out with VESA mounts that have a 75 x 75 adapter, but we think it’s only necessary for multi-display setups or if you absolutely need to save space.
The I/O layout on the Cooler Master GM27-CF includes DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, and HDMI 1.4. There are no extras like USB ports, but you do get a 3.5mm jack for audio passthrough. We would love to have more options in this aspect of a gaming monitor, but it’s a minor complaint especially if the product is priced to compete.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF is rounded up by a pair of 3-watt speakers which can get decently loud. However, they lack the detail and power needed for the product’s primary purpose where explosions, effects, and crisp background notes are common. Most users will opt for headsets anyway, but having built-ins are always nice for some instances such as work from home use where conference calls happen all the time.
Display and Performance
The Cooler Master GM27-CF sports a 27-inch VA panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 165Hz to 200Hz refresh rate, and 3ms response time. The wide gamut display has a 300 cd/m2 backlight and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. This model doesn’t offer HDR, but the focus on it is its ability to boost its refresh rate considerably.
1080p or full HD in a 27-inch display gets a lot of complaints due to the looser pixel density which can result in some fuzziness or blurring. However, screens like this are great for gaming where visibility is crucial. You only need to sit at a good distance to avoid seeing some pixelation while enjoying the high framerates most GPUs will be able to produce at this resolution.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF reaches 120% of the sRGB gamut and around 89% of DCI-P3 to enable it to provide richly saturated colors. However, default accuracy is dismal with the deltaE average reaching as much as 4.8. The poor gamma skewed the hues to a noticeable degree with some looking too dark or too washed out.
You can improve the Cooler Master GM27-CF’s output with minor tweaking and lower its dE average to around 2.9 which is more acceptable. Using a colorimeter will yield substantially better results, dropping the dE to 0.08 which is one of the best calibration results we’ve seen. However, the added cost of the gadget just to meet that score isn’t practical, especially if you are going to use this monitor exclusively for gaming.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF’s backlight peaks at 329 cd/m2 while its contrast sits at 3085:1 at around 20% brightness. The screen can give deep blacks and great color definition which is great for graphics-intensive games like Modern Warfare. The monitor also won’t look washed out when used with the lights off like most IPS and TN variants.
Panel uniformity for the Cooler Master GM27-CF could be better since there are light leaks at the bottom and upper edges of the display. They aren’t as noticeable when color images are on screen, but dark scenes or all-black images will reveal clouding on the affected quadrants. Take note that this aspect varies wildly between units due to manufacturing tolerances.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF’s motion handling is great as far as VA panels are concerned if you set its overdrive to the Fastest level. The extra refresh headroom provided by the overclock to 200Hz helps by providing smoother motion, but it actually increases some of the limited blurring you will see on the screen. This makes the added 35Hz a novelty instead of something you can utilize since the default refresh is more suited for fast-paced play.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF is a FreeSync gaming monitor with a functional range that starts at 48Hz all the way up to 200Hz. It also supports G-Sync, so it’s a practical monitor that won’t get binned when you swap GPU brands. Input lag sits at 3ms at 200Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays or “de-synced” instances.
Thoughts on the Cooler Master GM27-CF
The Cooler Master GM27-CF offers fantastic vibrancy and a very high refresh rate that competitive gamers require for fast-paced play. However, the default setting of the monitor showed dismal accuracy results, while the overclocked refresh rate doesn’t provide any considerable benefits. We love the design of the monitor, but the LEDs could use the touch of RGB to make the product more enticing.
The Cooler Master GM27-CF is a good monitor if you put in the work to tweak it and balance its color issues. It can provide fantastic visuals especially for games like Borderlands 3 or the Doom Eternal where the color pop enhances the environments and effects. The flaws and limitations will make many turn to more established offerings, but its Cooler Master’s first attempt, so there is room for improvement.
- Attractive Design
- Wide Gamut Coverage
- Free-Sync and G-Sync Compatible
- Low Input Lag
- Great Motion Handling
- Poor Default Accuracy
- 200Hz Doesn’t Add Considerable Benefit
- LEDs Limited to Purple
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.