8514 Display Standard

IBM introduced the 8514 Display Standard in 1987; about the same time as VGA. The companion monitor (model 8514) was also sold by IBM. The pair (8514/A Display Adapter and 8514 monitor) comprise the 8514 Display Standard and is generally regarded as the first mass-market video card accelerator. It was certainly not the first in the industry, but others before it were largely designed for workstations. Workstation accelerators were programmable; the 8514 was not; it was a fixed-function accelerator and could therefore be sold at a much lower price for mass-market use. The card typically had 2D-drawing functions like line-draw, color-fill, and BITBLT offloaded to it while the CPU worked on other tasks.

The basic modes the 8514 were designed to operate at were…

1024×768 pixels at 256 colors and 43.5 Hz interlaced.
640×480 pixels at 256 colors and 60 Hz non-interlaced and other regular VGA modes. The 8514/A card was only responsible for the 1024×768 graphic mode. All other modes were created using the VGA hardware on the computer’s motherboard and then the video was fed through the adapter card to the monitor which was connected to the adapter card. 8514 did not support an 800×600 pixel mode even though you might think it could.
Note the difference between interlaced and non-interlaced display and the frequency above. While the 8514 displayed a much higher resolution screen than most other mass-market solutions of the day, the use of an interlaced display was unusual.

8514 was replaced by IBM’s XGA standard which we’ll talk about later on this page. For now, we’ll get back in sequence with VGA…