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Matching Terms:  display standards

Computing Dictionary

ibm and others have introduced a bewildering plethora of graphics and text display standards for ibm pcs. The standards are mostly implemented by plugging in a video display board (or "graphics adaptor") and connecting the appropriate monitor to it. Each new standard subsumes its predecessors. For example, an ega board can also do cga and mda.

With the ps/2, IBM introduced the vga standard and built it into the main system board motherboard. VGA is also available as a plug-in board for PCs from third-party vendors. Also with the PS/2, IBM introduced the 8514 high-resolution graphics standard. An 8514 adaptor board plugs into the PS/2, providing a dual-monitor capability.

Graphics software has to support the major IBM graphics standards and many non-IBM, proprietary standards for high-resolution displays. Either software vendors provide display drivers, or display vendors provide drivers for the software package. In either case, switching software or switching display systems is fraught with compatibility problems.

 Display    Resolution Colours Sponsor        Systems
 MDA            720x350 T          2           IBM     PC
 CGA            320x200          4           IBM     PC
 EGA            640x350         16           IBM     PC
 PGA            640x480        256           IBM     PC
 Hercules   729x348          2   non-IBM        PC
 MCGA            720x400 T
            320x200 G        256                PS/2
 VGA            720x400 T
            640x480 G         16
 SVGA            800x600         16        VESA
 XVGA           1024x768        256        (IBM name: 8514)

T: text, G: graphics.

More colours are available from third-party vendors for some display types.

See also mda, cga, ega, pga, hercules, mcga, vga, svga, 8514, vesa.