A lesson learned the hard way, and after spending a very good amount of money. Never, ever, ever buy generic VGA cables.
None of my operating systems could recognize my monitor or its native resolution, which led me to use a very nasty combination of tricks on Ubuntu (xrandr) to get the monitor to work at its native resolution over the gold plated $10 cable (it was actually a branded cable, but worse than OEM cables), and just setting the next best resolution in Windows.
When you need a good VGA cable, buy an old one that came bundled with a monitor over ebay, or try to convince the salesperson to try it for you at the store (almost impossible to achieve, I know). I wasted > $30 over this issue and an old $2 cable fixed the whole issue.