Updated: 03/05/2023 by Computer Hope
CGA example

Short for color graphics adapter, CGA was an early IBM video adapter that replaced monochrome and was introduced in 1981. CGA has the highest resolution of 640 x 200, color depth of 4-bit, and supports 16 colors (24 = 16).

In the picture shown on this page, you can get a good example of the quality of what CGA could produce using its limited 16 colors compared to the original image. In our example, we have converted the original image to use the 16 colors shown in the below color palette.

Today, CGA is rarely found or used after being replaced by more advanced technologies like EGA (enhanced graphics adapter) and VGA (video graphics array).


Microsoft Windows only supported CGA up to Windows 3.0, but Windows 3.1 can use Windows 3.0 CGA drivers.

CGA 16 color palette

Code Color
#000000 Black
#0000AA Blue
#00AA00 Green
#00AAAA Cyan
#AA0000 Red
#AA00AA Magenta
#AA5500 Brown
#AAAAAA Light Gray
#555555 Gray
#5555FF Light Blue
#55FF55 Light Green
#55FFFF Light Cyan
#FF5555 Light Red
#FF55FF Light Magenta
#FFFF55 Yellow

Color, Color terms, Computer acronyms, EGA, Obsolete, SVGA, VGA, Video terms