This article is about the computer display standard. For the 640×480 resolution, see display resolution. For the 15-pin video connector, see VGA connector. For a full list of display resolutions, see Graphic display resolutions. For other uses, see VGA (disambiguation).
Video Graphics Array (VGA) refers specifically to the display hardware first introduced with the IBM PS/2 line of computers in 1987, but through its widespread adoption has also come to mean either an analog computer display standard, the 15-pin D-subminiature VGA connector or the 640×480 resolution itself. While this resolution was superseded in the personal computer market in the 1990s, it is becoming a popular resolution on mobile devices.
VGA was the last graphical standard introduced by IBM that the majority of PC clone manufacturers conformed to, making it today (as of 2010) the lowest common denominator that almost all post-1990 PC graphics hardware can be expected to implement down to the lowest level of hardware registers, obviating the need for any device-specific firmware or driver software (while all VGA compatible hardware has on-board firmware as well, the only standardized API of that firmware was created for 16-bit real mode and can't easily be used by newer 32- or 64-bit operating systems). For example, the Microsoft Windows splash screen, in versions prior to Windows Vista, appears while the machine is still operating in VGA mode, which is the reason that this screen always appears in reduced resolution and color depth. Windows Vista and newer versions can make use of the VESA BIOS Extension support of newer graphics hardware to show their splash screen in a higher resolution than VGA allows.
VGA was officially followed by IBM's Extended Graphics Array (XGA) standard, but it was effectively superseded by numerous slightly different extensions to VGA made by clone manufacturers that came to be known collectively as Super VGA.
Today, the VGA analog interface is used for widescreen resolutions including 1920×1080. However, there can be picture quality degradation when compared to using a DVI or HDMI connection, especially on larger sized LCD/LED monitors or TVs. How discernible this quality difference is depends on the individual's eyesight. Blu-ray playback at 1080p is possible via the VGA analog interface, if Image Constraint Token (ICT) is not enabled on the Blu-ray disc.
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