Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between XGA and SXGA


Most standards that were established after VGA do not really add anything to the standard other than a higher resolution. The naming convention has turned into an indication of the maximum resolution that a device can support. XGA and SXGA are no exception, and they only differ significantly in their resolution. XGA stands for Extended Graphics Array, a standard established by IBM, to officially replace their aging VGA standards, and has a resolution of 1024×768. This resolution has become the standard for browsing online sites.

SXGA is super XGA, and it extends the resolution to a maximum of 1280×1024. The higher resolution results in a bigger space that can be used. The higher resolution also results in smaller images on an identical screen, making it less ideal for smaller screens. SXGA has been the resolution of choice for mobile phone cameras for quite some time, before being replaced with better resolutions. SXGA cameras are often labeled as 1.3Megapixels, which is obtained from multiplying the height and the width.

Another difference between the two is in the aspect ratio that each is using. XGA follows the already established 4:3 aspect ratio, or 1.333:1. This aspect ratio is pretty well established on standard displays, and the image will appear as it should, all the time. SXGA departs from the 4:3 aspect ratio and adapts a 5:4 ratio, or 1.25:1. Although this might not be a problem on newer displays, older CRT displays might suffer from distortion. This is due to each pixel being irregularly shaped. Instead of having square pixels, on a 5:4 aspect ratio, the pixels are stretched a little, causing them to appear rectangular. A perfect circle drawn on such a display would result on it appearing elliptical. Some software can compensate for this, and correct the distortion so that the image will appear correctly.

XGA is a resolution that you commonly see being used on CRT monitors, as it is better suited for the square display. LCD monitors, on the other hand, have a certain native resolution, to which the display would be optimal. Some of the earlier LCD displays had SXGA for its native resolution, though most of the newer LCDs have moved to much higher resolutions.


1. SXGA has a much higher resolution compared to XGA.

2. SXGA uses a 5:4 aspect ratio, while XGA has an aspect ratio of 4:3.

3. XGA is used more commonly on CRT displays, while SXGA is often used on LCD.

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