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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Video Cards | Video Display Standards ]

Color Graphics Adapter (CGA)

The first mainstream video card to support color graphics on the PC was IBM's Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) standard. The CGA supports several different modes; the highest quality text mode is 80x25 characters in 16 colors. Graphics modes range from monochrome at 640x200 (which is worse than the Hercules card) to 16 colors at 160x200. The card refreshes at 60 Hz.

Note that the maximum resolution of CGA is actually significantly lower than MDA: 640x200. These dots are accessible individually when in a graphics mode but in text each character was formed from a matrix that is 8x8, instead of the MDA's 9x14, resulting in much poorer text quality. CGA is obsolete, having been replaced by EGA.

Next: Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA)


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