Difference Between SVGA and VGA

Video graphics connectors are used in computers, televisions, and projectors. There are various types of these connectors. They are very essential for video outputs. Since the need for streaming and projecting videos have become very crucial, these connectors have also become ubiquitous and modern devices are manufactured with these connectors.


The main difference between SVGA and VGA is that the resolution of SVGA is greater than that of VGA. SVGA has a resolution of 800 x 600 but the resolution of VGA is 640 x 480. SVGA is an enhanced version of VGA and gives high-quality output. SVGA cables are also thicker than VGA cables.


The abbreviation SVGA stands for Super video graphics array. They are meant for videos with better quality. The monitors with these SVGA connectors can display 16 million colors. The resolution can be high as 1200 x 1600 on a 20inch monitor screen. But the resolution is low on a 14-inch screen. It is succeeded by the XGA.

VGA connectors have been used since 1987. They are very famous and have been used in different devices like televisions, Personal computers, and projectors. IBM was the designer of this once revolutionary connector. Some devices are still manufactured with these connectors but many new inventions like DVI and HDMI have replaced this VGA connector in many places.

Comparison Table Between SVGA and VGA

Parameters of Comparison SVGAVGA
Developer NEC home electronics IBM
Resolution 800 x 600640 x 480
Type of output It supports the video and images with high quality and resolution Resolution of the output must be low
Year of Development19881987
Cable sizeThese cables must be thicker than the VGA cableCan be thin

What is SVGA?

SVGA was released in 1988. Its predecessor was the VGA connecter of IBM. The SVGA is nothing but the advanced or enhanced form of VGA. After the launch of VGA in the 1980s, some manufacturers made graphic cards like VGA but with some additional features. These cards became popular among people and they started calling it Super VGA for its extra abilities.

However, the term super VGA was not official and only locally used by buyers. But, in 1988 this term has become quite common and this name was used for a card called the SuperVGA HiRes by Geona. With the advent of this card, software developers were forced to develop specific drivers suitable for these cards. Since it was a tiresome process and many developers didn’t support it. As a result, these cards faced downfall and were not common.

The video electronics standards also attempted to solve this crisis and manufactured an extension with unified standards called the VESA bios extension. This served as a common software interface., Initially the SVGA had a resolution of 800×600 but then it was increased and it can display 256 colors.

With the growth of technology, the SVGA has also been updated. Now the SVGA monitors can display unlimited colors. But this is only a theoretical assumption. Though the monitors can display many colors the SVGA chip restricts it and only allows it to display 256 colors. SVGA is the best choice for gaming applications because of its capacity to offer high resolution.

What is VGA?

The VGA connector has 15 pins arranged in three rows. These connectors were most common and popular in the 1980s. Almost all the devices like monitors and televisions manufactured during that time included this connector. This comes with an RGBHV signal. VGA has modern and old models. Both these models scan the monitor several times. So the monitor must be a multisync type.

This interface does not support the actions like connecting or disconnecting the output device while working. Though these are the instructions given, this action can be done which don’t cause any adverse damage to the hardware. A single VGA cable can support VGA cards with different resolutions. Though there are no specifications for the quality of cable to be used, using a high-quality cable is ideal.

Cables that are short and thin may cause defects in the output quality. Ghosting of the output may also occur in some cases if the cable is long or the signal termination of the equipment is not perfect. Adapters are used to convert the VGA into any other type of connector. But HDMI cannot be adapted into VGA because of the lack of analog signals.

Extenders are used to improve the strength of a signal obtained from the VGA port. Since they help to improve the quality of output these extenders are called VGA boosters. Many other successors of VGA are available now but VGA had been the default connector that was supporting many models of PC.

Main Differences Between SVGA and VGA

  1. SVGA was designed by NEC home electronics. SVGA was designed by adding a few features to the preexisting VGA model while VGA was developed by IBM.
  2. SVGA is very impressive and can support videos and images of high resolution whereas, VGA is suitable for smaller images and videos with fewer resolutions.
  3. The computer graphics requirement of SVGA is high because it can display a large number of colors. But, VGA can display only a very few colors.
  4. Devices supporting SVGA are surplus in number even now but there are only limited devices available that support VGA
  5. SVGA requires a memory of 512k to 1024k but, VGA can work with storage of 256k.


Both these types of connectors were famous in the late 1980s. They were used in all the devices manufactured from their year of production till 2000. But after which they have been replaced with other modern connectors. The devices with these connectors can be seen even today. Adapters are used to convert these types of connectors to the other types supported by modern devices.

SVGA was developed as a superior version of VGA. It can display many colors and the resolution of the output is also quite higher. But the memory requirement of SVGA is higher. But it can also add supplementary memory. Although both these have been commonly used during the initial stages they are greatly replaced by other connectors like HDMI now.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/392312/
  2. https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/6490/64900U/Development-of-SVGA-resolution-128-directional-display/10.1117/12.704725.short
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