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Can a VGA Cable Support 1440p?


These days, 1440p resolution has grown in popularity for gaming, streaming series, and high-quality editing.

With that said, you’ll notice that these capable monitors come with a selection of ports, and some of them include a VGA port.

In light of that, can the standard VGA cable support 1440p resolution? 

Original VGA cables have a maximum resolution of 640×480 (480p) and a refresh rate of 60 Hz for older computers. However, newer VGA cables can achieve 1920×1080 (1080p), and are capped at a resolution of 2048×1536, at the cost of lower quality.

Therefore, VGA cables cannot support true 1440p resolution on their own.

What is 1440p Resolution?

A video display resolution with a vertical resolution of 1440 pixels is known as 1440p.

Progressive scan, or non-interlaced, is denoted by the letter “p.” The vertical resolution of 1440 pixels is double that of 720p and one-third (33.3%) larger than that of 1080p. 

The display resolution of 2560×1440 pixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio is referred to as QHD (Quad HD) or WQHD (Wide Quad HD).

a range of TV resolution from HD to UHD

Quad HD is a graphical display resolution that ranges from 1080p to 4K and is often utilized in smartphone screens and PC and console games.

The size and type of the screen, along with its resolution, is one of the elements that influences the quality of a screen. When trying to understand VGA capabilities, it helps if you can grasp what resolution is about.

The measurement of a display in terms of pixels is defined by screen resolution. It is commonly measured in breadth and height.

A screen resolution of 720p, for example, has a dimension of 1280×720 pixels, giving you a total of 921,600 pixels scattered over the screen.

Previously, screen resolutions were generally between standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD). SD denotes a video resolution less than 720p.

The evolution of technology has enabled the attainment of HD-level resolution, paving the door for greater resolutions such as Full HD and Quad HD.

Full HD, often known as 1080p, has become the industry standard for most display devices such as monitors, smartphones, and televisions. Its 1920×1080 pixel resolution provides significantly more clarity and a better viewing experience than its predecessors.

Quad HD, often known as 1440p, is another well-known brand in the market.

The progressive resolution of 2560×1440 pixels distinguishes this monitor. As a result, it is the best display for gaming and other applications that need a high level of graphics rendering and processing.

Can a VGA Cable Support 1440p?

a blue VGA cable

Now that you have a more clear grasp on what 1440p resolution is, I’ve found that monitors manufactured for 1440p quality these days rarely have a VGA port at the back. It proves that VGA cables are old tech that is not strong enough to support 1440p. 

However, the fact remains that VGA can reach a maximum of 2048×1536 resolution at the cost of quality and being pixel-perfect.

At the same time, 1440p is defined by its quality and sharpness even at a 60 Hz refresh rate, which VGA cannot support. 

For example, when I tested my gaming laptop that supports 1440p, I connected an external 4K gaming monitor to my laptop that has a VGA port. 

As a video editor who has been experimenting with light, shadows, and colors for over a decade, I can tell the difference between the type of connection used and the cables’ quality that affects how the monitor displays colors.

VGA is adequate for casual users who only want to surf the Internet or view videos. I observe apparent banding in color shades and even in greyscale/monochrome picture editing.

When using VGA, The video adapter converts the CPU signal to VGA and sends it to the display’s VGA input. The conversion to VGA results in some quality loss, even at 1080p.

HDMI is a digital interface that can transmit both audio and video information and provides the best quality I’ve seen when reaching higher resolutions.

If your computer and monitor both support HDMI, and thus, support 1440p features, it is better to utilize them for color reproduction and sharpness, including pixel density.

What Is the Highest Resolution of VGA?

The maximum resolution of a VGA signal is determined by the signal source (video card, integrated chip, etc.) and the VGA cable’s quality. There is no bandwidth restriction because it is analog — everything relies on the source. 

VGA has a maximum resolution of 2048×1536 on most contemporary graphics cards. However, this varies by manufacturer, as you will need a graphics card that still has a VGA port to plug into.

If your signal source does not have a VGA port, you may have the option of purchasing a VGA-to-DP or -HDMI converter.

Even though it may achieve reasonably high resolutions and frame rates, it is an analog signal. With today’s LCD and LED displays, you’re unlikely to achieve a pixel-perfect image (thus the need for DVI, HDMI, or DP cables).

By purchasing a VGA converter,  you will be able to achieve higher resolutions as described by the name “converter,” which converts the VGA signal from analog to digital.

UGREEN Mini DisplayPort to HDMI VGA Adapter
Click image for more info

FAQ: Can VGA Do 2K, 4K?

2K resolution falls in the 2,000-pixel range and is considered to be high-definition quality.

Although the maximum resolution of VGA is 2048×1536, and it is unlikely to achieve real HD, it can still display at those resolutions if you have a video card and monitor that can support it.

4K resolution stands at 3840 x 2160 pixels. Therefore, it exceeds VGA’s capabilities and cannot be reached by VGA cables. 

If you have a graphics card and a monitor that supports 4K, then the only way you can achieve 4K resolution and maintain the quality with a VGA cable is to use a VGA-to-DisplayPort (DP) converter. 

Moread DisplayPort (DP) to VGA Adapter
Click image for more info

FAQ: Is VGA Capable of 1920×1080? 

Even though HDMI is superior to VGA in almost every way, VGA still holds its ground for 1920×1080 resolution at 60 Hz.

If you look after your VGA cable, it can maintain decent quality (still, not the best) at 1080p, as it translates its picture quality through the analog signal.

Therefore, I would recommend using it for typical work on a computer like online research, YouTubing, emailing, etc. I would not recommend it for gaming, watching high-quality videos, or for graphic design, video editing, and so on. 

Conclusion

As VGA slowly dies out, it is still capable of higher resolutions, but at the cost of quality.

As technology expands and improves, it allows us to add more detail into artwork, improve visual graphics and quality. And these improvements have to have supporting hardware.

VGA is still considered decent for 1920×1080 resolutions (currently the most common manufactured monitor resolution), and for normal and practical office work or study purposes.

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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