SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array), introduced c. 1990, is not a firmly outlined standard. The features of each SVGA board are decided only by the manufacturer.

However, all video cards bearing the SVGA label have two things in common:

  • They must have full VGA support.
  • They must support screen modes beyond those in the VGA standard, i.e. above 640x480x16.

Since there is no standard defining what an SVGA card must include, drivers must be loaded to enable the card to function at screen modes not included in the VGA standard. In the beginning, the only option for was to use proprietary drivers, but an effort has been made to provide a standard, universal driver, called VBE, the VESA Bios Extension. Most modern video cards support VBE, which is now in version 3.0, eliminating the need to load specific drivers for SVGA screen modes. However, to get the full performance out of a card, it is often better to use the most recent version of the manufacturer's drivers.

SVGA cards connect to a monitor through a 15-pin D-type connector. The pinout is the same as a standard VGA card, but is listed here as well, in the interest of completeness.

1 Red 1 5 2 Green ____________ 3 Blue / o o o o o \ 4 Gnd \ o o o o o / 5 Gnd \o o o o o / 6 Red Gnd ---------- 7 Green Gnd 11 15 8 Blue Gnd 9 Not used 10 Gnd 11 Gnd 12 Not used 13 Horizontal sync 14 Vertical sync 15 Not used