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What Is a VGA Socket?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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A VGA socket is a port on a computer, usually found on either a motherboard or a video card on a motherboard, used to connect that computer to a video display device. While VGA technology was once the standard for computer video connections, limitations in image quality has led to a number of other standards being developed that still continue to utilize physical VGA connections into the 21st century. A VGA socket is typically blue in color and has 15 connection ports into which 15 pins are inserted when a VGA cable is used to connect a computer to a monitor.

Video graphics array (VGA) was once a standard for computer graphics displays, and not only referred to the standard itself, but also to the VGA socket and cable used to connect devices utilizing this standard. There are a number of technological advantages this standard has over other, previous standards for image display quality. VGA standards are able to display at a resolution of 800x600, which is low when compared to standards that came after it, but higher than previous resolutions. It can also display 256 colors, much greater than previous standards that often displayed only 64 colors. VGA standards are still used by portable devices and older computers.

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The VGA socket, however, is the physical connection utilized by computers and monitors, which was first established for use with motherboards and video cards that used VGA standards. Even as the standards have improved over those in the 1990s, the VGA socket remains in use for reliable connections between a computer and a display device. Since a computer can use these standards and this connection to display a VGA image prior to the operating system on that computer taking over, startup screens for computers are often displayed in 800x600 or 640x480 VGA quality.

A VGA socket is the “female” end of the connection between a display device and a computer’s motherboard or video card. The cable used to connect the two devices is black in color and has a “male” end with 15 connections, arrayed in three rows of five pins. A computer’s VGA socket is blue in color, allowing it to stand out, and has 15 ports for the pins on the cable. This type of cable typically has a screw on either end of the connections, which can be inserted into the housing of the VGA socket and tightened to hold the cable securely in place and maintain a strong connection.

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