<hardware> 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
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.
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