Super Video Graphics Array or Super VGA (SVGA)

Super Video Graphics Array, or Super VGA (SVGA) , is a set of video standards superior to VGA, designed to offer better resolutions than VGA.


VGA is the acronym that corresponds to the English expression Video Graphics Array. It is a graphic system that the American company International Business Machines ( IBM ) introduced in the late 1980s and which became, by its popularity, a kind of standard for personal computers.

The graphics card VGA has a unique integrated circuit that, in its original version, can display palettes 16 and 256 colors. These video cards have a refresh rate with a limit of 70 Hz and are able to display a total of 800 pixels horizontally and 600 lines.

Those first cards had a memory of 256 KB and enabled a resolution of 320 x 200 (using 256 colors) or 640 x 480 (using 16 colors). Importantly, the VGA standard could emulate all the modes that came before it, such as MDA , CGA, and EGA . It should be noted, on the other hand, that the VGA connector, present in a large part of PC monitors and video cards, has 15 pins.

Emergence of the SVGA

After the VGA boom, an evolution known as Super VGA or SVGA began to develop. The IBM format that officially replaced it, however, is the Extended Graphics Array ( XGA ). Super VGA was first defined in 1989 , in its first version it supported a resolution of 800 × 600 pixels and a color palette of 16.7 million (True Color), but the amount of colors it can display simultaneously is limited by the amount of video memory installed in the system. Then a 1024 × 768 pixel version followed.

All kinds of models from different manufacturers such as ATI , Compaq , Tecmar , Trident Microsystems , etc. also came out.

SVGA standards are developed by a consortium of monitor and graphics manufacturers called VESA.

SVGA monitors are capable of displaying 16 million colors at 800 x 600 resolution on 14-inch monitors and up to 1200 x 1600 at 20 inches. Super VGA is falling out of use for other technologies like DVI .


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