In a typical desktop setup, a monitor is connected to the central processing unit (CPU) via a cable. In almost every computer, the VGA (video graphic array) cable does this. That said, the video resolution you see on your computer also depends on the type of cable you’re using. A VGA cable can support resolutions up to 640 x 480, while an SVGA (super video graphic array) cable can support resolutions up to 1024 x 480.
However, you’ll also find certain SVGA cables that support resolutions higher than the 800 by 600 standard. That said, since both of them are marginally similar, are VGA and SVGA interchangeable?
Read on to know the answer.
Are VGA and SVGA Cables the Same?
Pretty much, but there are a few differences.
Here’s a comparison between VGA and SVGA cables.
|Factor||VGA (Video Graphic Array)||SVGA (Super Video Graphic Array)|
|Connectivity||These cables can be connected to different devices such as monitors, computers, laptops, TVs, or several other devices related to video.||SVGA cables can be connected to these devices, too. But nowadays, the modern HDMI cable has replaced SVGA cables since VGA cables have become almost obsolete.|
|Affordability||VGA cables are more affordable than SVGA cables since they’re foil shields.||SVGA cables are comparatively pricier since they are thicker, have better shielding, and in some cases, they can also be gold plated to ensure the male and female ports have better conduction.|
|Uses||VGA cables are the standard for image production or for channeling video. This cable ensures that the visual output is at a viewable resolution. IBM developed this standard.||SVGA cables are also a display standard, but they can support a higher resolution. NEC Home Electronics developed these cables.|
|Configuration||VGA cables have 14 pins. The 1st and 3rd rows have five pins, and the second row has four pins. The second row also has a hole in the middle.||SVGA cables have the same configuration.|
|Visual Memory||VGA cables have a visual memory of 256,000.||SVGA cables have a visual memory of 1,024,000.|
|Cable Length Durability||VGA cables aren’t suitable for longer distances since the signal quality can deteriorate. However, you can use a signal enhancer or a repeater to improve signal quality.||SVGA cables are best suited for long distances.|
|Maximum Resolution||The maximum resolution of a VGA cable is 640 by 480 pixels.||The maximum resolution of an SVGA cable is 800 by 600 pixels.|
|Number of Wires||Some VGA wires have 15 wires that support lower resolutions.||An SVGA cable has nine wires and three coaxial cables. These cables have ferrite cores and a braided shield.|
|Screen Compatibility||You’re going to need a screen that supports 256 to 262 colors and an analog converter for the cable to work.||Whether you have a screen that supports 16 million colors or 256, both can work with an SVGA cable.|
Can You Use an SVGA Cable In Place of A VGA Cable?
SVGA cables are backward compatible, but there is one thing you need to consider. There are two types of sockets:
- The DVI-I, and
- The 15 Pin D-Sub
A few older TVs may have a 15 pin D Sub SVGA/VGA connection, but a DVD player may not have the same port. That said, when IBM didn’t respond for a long time for a replacement for the VGA cable, third party contractors created the SVGA table.
IBM took notice of this, and released the official replacement of the VGA cable known as the XGA cable. But which cable works better? XGA or SVGA?
Which Is Better XGA or SVGA?
XVGA cables produce an image with a higher resolution, creating a sharper screen picture. Compared to XGA cables, SVGA cables have a lower resolution and produce a less color-accurate image. It’s also worth mentioning that both of these cables have a similar aspect ratio (4:3). However, XGA cables can support a resolution of up to 1,024 by 768 pixels, while SVGA max out at 800 by 600.
So which one should you choose?
The SVGA cable is excellent for people looking for an affordable solution for their projector. If you need a low-resolution image for PowerPoint presentations or for watching a video in SD quality, you should buy an SVGA cable. Sure, you can buy an XGA cable in this case, but there’s no need if you’re only going to use it to project PPTs or PDFs.
The XGA cable, on the other hand, is the perfect fit for people who are looking for an HD solution that isn’t too HD.
For instance, if you want an HD projector so you can watch photographs or play games, an XGA cable is a better choice. That said, you will pay more than an SVGA cable. If you’re looking at these cables purely as an investment, it’s better to go with one with the highest resolution (XGA). That’s because by getting an XGA cable, you’re solving the problems of today and tomorrow.
Technology can be confusing, particularly when dealing with different cables that decide the quality of the picture you see. In a case like this, never be discouraged by the information in front of you and take time to understand the differences. The differences between VGA, SVGA, and XGA cables are slim, but the minor differences can add up to make a huge impact if you take a leap from the first generation to the last generation.
So if you can afford the highest-end option, go for it and enjoy the experience.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.