List of monochrome and RGB palettes

List of monochrome and RGB palettes

:::"For a full listing of computer's color palettes, see List of palettes"

This list of monochrome and RGB palettes includes generic repertoires of colors (color palettes) to produce black-and-white and RGB color pictures by a computer's display hardware, not necessarily the total number of such colors that can be simultaneously displayed in a given text or graphic mode of any machine. RGB is the most common method to produce colors for displays; so these complete RGB color repertoires have every possible combination of R-G-B triplets within any given maximum number of levels per component.

For specific hardware and different methods to produce colors other than RGB, see the List of 8-bit computer hardware palettes, the List of 16-bit computer hardware palettes and the List of videogame consoles palettes. For various software arrangements and sorts of colors, including other possible full RGB arrangements within 8-bit color depth displays, see the List of software palettes.

Each palette is represented by a series of color patches. When the number of colors is low, a 1-pixel-size version of the palette appears below it, for easily comparing relative palette sizes. Huge palettes are given directly in one-color-per-pixel color patches.

For each unique palette, an image color test chart and sample image (truecolor original follows) rendered with that palette (without dithering) are given. The test chart shows the full 256 levels of the red, green, and blue (RGB) primary colors and cyan, magenta, and yellow complementary colors, along with a full 256-level grayscale. Gradients of RGB intermediate colors (orange, lime green, sea green, sky blue, violet, and fuchsia), and a full hue spectrum are also present. Color charts are not gamma corrected.


2-bit Grayscale


In a 8-bit color palette each pixel's value is represented by 8 bits resulting in a 256-value palette (28 = 256). This is usually the maximum number of grays in ordinary monochrome systems; each image pixel occupies a single memory byte.


Most scanners can capture images in 8-bit grayscale, and image file formats like TIFF and JPEG natively support this monochrome palette size.

Alpha channels employed for video overlay also use (conceptually) this palette. The gray level indicates the opacity of the blended image pixel over the background image pixel.

Regular RGB palettes

Here are grouped those full RGB hardware palettes that have the same number of binary levels (i.e., the same number of bits) for every red, green and blue components using the full RGB color model. Thus, the total number of colors are always the number of possible levels by component, "n", raised to a power of 3: "n"×"n"×"n" = "n"3.

3-bit RGB


Systems with a 9-bit RGB palette use 3 bits for each of the red, green, and blue color components. This results in a 83 = 512-color palette as follows:


9-bit RGB systems include the following:

*Atari ST
*Sega Genesis videogame console

12-bit RGB


Systems with an 18-bit RGB palette use 6 bits for each of the red, green, and blue color components. This results in a 643 = 262,144-color palette as follows:


18-bit RGB systems include the following:

*Video Graphics Array (VGA) for IBM PS/2 and IBM PC compatibles

24-bit RGB


The 4-bit RGBI palette is similar to the 3-bit RGB palette but adds one bit for "intensity". This results in each of the colors of the 3-bit palette to have a "dark" and "bright" variant giving a total of 23×2 = 16 colors.

This 4-bits RGBI schema is used in several platforms with variations, so the table given below is a simple reference for the palette richness, and not an actual implemented palette. For this reason, no numbers are assigned to each color, and color order is arbitrary.


The 4-bits RGBI palettes are used by:

*Color Graphics Adapter (on the IBM PC and compatibles)
*EGA, VGA and Microsoft Windows as their default 16-color CGA-compatible palette.
*MOS Technology VDC (on the Commodore 128)
*ZX Spectrum (with two black, black with bright is the same as black without bright)

3-level RGB


Most modern systems support 16-bit color. It is sometimes referred to as Highcolor (along with the 15-bit RGB), medium color or thousands of colors. It utilizes a color palette of 32×64×32 = 65,536 colors. Usually, there are 5 bits allocated for the red and blue color components (32 levels each) and 6 bits for the green component (64 levels), due to the greater sensitivity of the normal human eye to this primary color. This doubles the 15-bit RGB palette.

The 16-bit RGB palette using 6 bits for the green component:


The Extended Graphics Array (XGA) for IBM PS/2 also uses the 16-bit RGB palette.

It must be noticed that not all systems using 16-bit color depth employ the 16-bit, 32-64-32 level RGB palette. Platforms like Sharp X68000 or the Neo Geo videogame console employs the 15-bit RGB palette (5 bits are used for red, green, and blue), but the last bit specifies a less significant intensity or luminance. The 16-bit mode of the Truevision TARGA/AT-Vista/NU-Vista graphic cards and its associated TGA file format also uses 15-bit RGB, but it devotes its remaining bit as a simple alpha channel for video overlay.

ee also

*Palette (computing)
*Indexed color
*Color Lookup Table
*Color depth
*Computer display
*List of home computers by video hardware

External links and sources

* [ HTML Color Codes] Dynamic color palette with HTML color codes information

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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