Difference Between RGB and VGA (With Table)

Whenever we are talking about technologies related to electronic displays, RGB and VGA are the most discussed technologies. RGB and VGA are somehow similar as both are related to a computer display, but have a lot of differences. It is important to understand both of the technologies so that we can select, discard or use them in our daily life accordingly.


The difference between RGB and VGA is that RGB is a color model and stands for Red Green Blue, it is used in a wide variety of applications whereas VGA is a video standard that stands for Video Graphics Array and is only used for interfacing displays.

The full form of RGB is Red Green Blue, these are known as primary colors and these primary colors are mixed in various proportions to get the desired color. It is not limited to only displaying interface but has many applications wherever any colorful image is formed.

The full form of VGA is Video Graphics Array and it is mainly used to interface any electronic device to its display. It is an old technology that uses analog signals to give video signals to the display, hence the quality of the output signal gets reduced as compared to the input signal.

Comparison Table Between RGB and VGA

Parameters of ComparisonRGBVGA
Full FormRed Green BlueVideo Graphics Array
DefinitionIt is a color model.It is a video standard.
SignalRGB with H and V sync signal.Analog signal
Cable TypeThree-pin cables are coded with different colors.In VGA cable there is block having 15 pins.
UsesIt is used in electronic displays, photography, lighting, computer image processing.It is used to connect electronic devices like computer and projectors to a display unit.

What is RGB?

RGB gets its name using the initials of Red Green Blue. It is a color model in which these three colors are known as primary colors. These three primary colors illuminated at a different intensity to produce a wide variety of colors that could be count up to millions.

It is used for various purposes. Wherever there is a light source emitting different colors, we can find it useful. The most common use of RGB is in computer displays but can be seen in different fields like photography, lighting, image processing, software editing, and many more.

It uses different methods to display different colors. In hexadecimal form one color has 256 values, so combining all three colors we have a 256×256×256 combination that is 16777216 different colors. Where the highest values of all colors give white color or display and the lowest values of all color give black color or display.

In computers or different kinds of monitors, an RGB cable is used. It has three different cables coded with RGB color. Whether it is CRT, LCD, or LED all displays work on basic principles of RGB hence being very old technology it is commonly existing technology also in today’s world.

What is VGA?

Video Graphics Array commonly known as VGA is a video display standard developed in 1987 by IBM. It was developed to create a standard of video interference. In this video standard color depth, resolution and transmission are defined. It uses analog signals to transfer the data hence it works for lower quality and lower resolution of the video display.

It provides different types of colors and resolutions for various cases. For text mode, it provides resolutions of 720 by 400 pixels. But in graphics mode, it only provides 16 colors at 640 by 480 pixels resolution, and to get more colors we have to lower the resolution like it can provide 256 colors at a lower pixel resolution of 320 by 200 pixels.

Now it is developed into many new standards that provide more Colours and resolution like SVGA. As it is only used to bridge display to different electronic devices it has limited use. In a VGA cable there are 15 pins in a block, divide into three rows having five pins in each row.

VGA is a very old technology suppressed by its newer versions like SVGA but it is still known as VGA. With the new technologies in the market, VGA is becoming too obsolete now.

Main Differences Between RGB and VGA

  1. RGB is a color model used to produce different colors by intermixing the primary colors. But VGA is a video standard used to interface computers and display.
  2. RGB defines the displayed color of the device. On the other hand, VGA defines color depth, resolution, and transmission of the displaying unit.
  3. RGB is a concept developed way back before computers that are still applied in many fields, whereas VGA is obsolete technology developed by IBM in 1987 to standardize the video interface.
  4. RGB uses RGB signals besides a horizontal and vertical sync signal. In contrast, VGA uses an analog signal to process the data from a device to a display.
  5. RGB uses three-pin cables to process Red Green Blue color. While VGA uses a different cable having a block at the end embedded with 15 pins.


In this technical world, there is a continuous demand for growth and change in older technology. Innovations will keep coming and keep replacing the older ones but some of them remain with us from starting their invention. RGB and VGA being a part of this technological world have many similarities but many more differences.

RGB being a color model is completely different from VGA. It works on the basic principle of mixing primary colors to make varieties of colors. Even after it is an older technology it is still in use. It is used in display units, lighting, photography and these days it is also used to improve the aesthetics of the keyboard, mouse, and other devices.

In contrast, VGA is a video interface standard. The main purpose of VGA was to standardize the display interface hence developed by IBM in 1987 for their computers but later adopted by other companies too. As it is an older technology and has fewer features it is replaced by other innovations.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1429962/