Display modes refer to the various characteristics and capabilities of a computer monitor: typically, they encompass the entire range of colours available for reproduction by a display, in addition to the screen’s maximum image resolution abilities in pixels – both vertical and horizontal planes.
1987 saw the introduction of an industry-wide, minimum standard for display systems in PCs – IBM’s Video Graphics Array (VGA). Despite their age, VGA monitors are still used today, though the number of colours displayed affects the maximum resolution outputted. 16 colours are offered at a resolution of 640 x 480 while a lower resolution of 320 x 200 provides 256 colours. 1990’s Extended Graphics Array (XGA) display offered an increase in both screen resolution and image colour: 65,536 colours at 1024 x 768 pixels – one of the most common and widely used resolutions today.
VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) then established an interface standard for Super Video Graphics Array (SVGA) displays. This display can generate and display up to 16 million colours at a resolution of 800 x 600 – however, supporting this extended palette is dependent on and limited by the amount of video memory a particular computer possesses.
Super Extended Graphics Array (SXGA) and Ultra Extended Graphics Array (UXGA) then followed, providing even greater user functionality at increased specifications: SXGA displays supported resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024 pixels while UXGA could accommodate resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200 pixels.
Used in PCs, D-subminiature connectors (also known as D-Subs or DB connectors) are a branch of miniature plugs and sockets available in a variety of pinout configurations. The most common of the DB-15 connectors is the High Density DE-15: with 15 pins spread across three rows, this female connector typically hooks up to an analogue VGA interface monitor in order to transmit video signals produced by a computer or graphics card.