Multi-Color Graphics Array
(View for All Systems)
MCGA is part of the category Display Hardware Supported.
Multi-Color Graphics Array (MCGA) is a graphics standard that was introduced by IBM in 1987. It was essentially a cost reduced version of VGA that was (mostly) backwards compatible with CGA while adding 320x200 256 color and 640x480 2 color graphics modes. MCGA was built into the motherboard of the IBM PS/2 models 25 and 30 along with the Epson Equity 1e; no stand-alone MCGA cards were produced and the Epson Equity 1e is the only non-IBM computer to feature MCGA graphics. MCGA was not backwards compatible with EGA which gave it the odd distinction of being able to display 256 colors while also being incompatible with an earlier 16 color standard. A number of games that only used 16 colors solved this problem by supporting MCGA 256 color mode but only used the first 16 colors of the default palette (which closely resembled the 16 CGA/EGA colors) while leaving the remaining colors unused. Sierra, Lucasfilm, along with several other companies used this technique.
MCGA could display a total of 262,144 colors with 256 colors being the most that could be displayed at one time.
|40x25 Text||16 colors|
|80x25 Text||16 colors|
|320x200 graphics||4 colors||Unlike CGA, the 4 colors could be freely selected.|
|320x200 graphics||256 colors|
|640x200 graphics||2 colors|
|640x480 graphics||2 colors|