Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SVGA and VGA

vgaSVGA vs. VGA

Super Video Graphics Array (also known as SVGA, or an Ultra Video Graphics Array) is an all encompassing term defining a variety of computer display standards. Originally, SVGA was an extension of Video Graphics Array (also known as VGA); however, it was then defined by the Video Electronics Standards Association (or the VESA), which is an open consortium set up to promote interoperability and define standards. Basically, SVGA usually refers to a higher resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.

VGA is antiquated computer display hardware. Used functionally in the IBM PS/2, VGA has become widely identified as an analog computer display standard, the 15 pin D-subminiature VGA connector, or the 640 x 480 resolution which it displays. This was the last graphical standard which IBM produced, and to which the majority of PC clone manufacturers conformed. What this basically means is that VGA is the lowest common denominator that all PC graphics hardware supports before a driver specific to a particular device is loaded.

SVGA had an initial resolution of 800 x 600 four bit pixels – meaning that each pixel could be any of 16 different colors; however, the resolution was upgraded almost instantaneously to 1024 x 768 eight bit pixels (and so on as the software became more sophisticated). In theory, however, there is no limit to the number of different colors that are capable of being displayed as far as the monitor itself is concerned. The output of both the SVGA and VGA card is analog; however, the internal calculations which the card performs in order to come to the output voltages are all digital. There is no change necessary to increase the number of colors an SVGA display system can reproduce; however, the video card must be able handle much larger numbers, and might need to be redesigned.

VGA referred to an array as opposed to an adapter, as it was implemented as a single chip from the time of its conception. This replaced the Motorola 6845 and dozens of discrete logic chips covering the full length of the ISA boards of the MDA, CGA, and EGA. There are several specifications of the VGA – it consists of 256 KB of video RAM, it contains 16 color and 256 color modes, it has a 262,144 value color palette (meaning there are six bits each for red, green, and blue), it has a maximum of 800 horizontal pixels and 600 lines, it has a refresh rate of up to 70 Hz, and it also supports split screen features.


1. SVGA is an extended version of the VGA; VGA is now an outdated computer display hardware which was the standard by which the majority of PC clone manufacturers conformed.

2. SVGA has an upward resolution of 1024 x 768 eight bit pixels; VGA has a 16 color or 256 color mode.

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1 Comment

  1. Can I connect an emachines model 500PW, product number E15T4W monitor to a HP 503 n running windows xp with a vga/svga cable?

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