Due to heavy load on the GPU, artifacts appear on your screen as unwanted pixel colors, buggy textures, or glitches.
There are many types of artifacts. There will be times when you will see pink or green pixels on the corners and other instances where your image will be distorted with many glitches.
Artifacts appear when your GPU ages and you start seeing strange visual effects. Though it’s not just an issue with older cards, it’s not uncommon for GPUs to exhibit artifacts as well.
We need to find out about artifacts, why they occur, and what we can do to stop them.
What is GPU Artifacting?
GPU artifacting is a phenomenon that happens when there is an error in the computations assigned to your graphics card.
The effects of GPU artifacting can vary, including strange lines in the distance, weird textures that look out of place, and screen flashes. It is common for artifacts to be barely noticeable while playing a game, and they rarely impact how the game plays, but they can also create a nuisance that makes gameplay near impossible.
The first time I notice artifacting is when I am playing 3D games or watching videos. In severe cases, artifacting can lead to the computer crashing. Artifacts can result in static, flickering, or blocky images. They can also cause the screen to flicker or turn black.
Most of the time, these artifacts are caused by overworked hardware. When your hardware is stressed, it can produce strange visual glitches, ranging from harmless flickering pixels to distorted images.
What Causes GPU Artifacting?
GPU artifacting is caused by overclocking your graphics card. An increase in GPU temperature causes the majority of artifacts. As a result, the GPU won’t display any BSOD errors or initial crashes, but neither will the visual data be shown in its true form. Popups and flashes that aren’t supposed to appear on your screen are most common.
Cause #1: Overheating
It is common for GPU artifacts to be caused by overheating. When the GPU gets too hot, it can cause the graphics to distort or glitch. Dust buildup on the heat sink, insufficient cooling systems, or simply running the GPU too hot can all contribute to this.
There is no doubt that GPU artifacts can be annoying for gamers and damage the GPU over time. Therefore, it is imperative to prevent overheating, including cleaning the heat sink regularly and ensuring the GPU receives adequate airflow.
Cause #2: Overclocking (or using too high a graphics setting)
A GPU running too hot is likely to be the cause of artifacting in this case. In order to keep your pristine image stable, the GPU is forced to work above its paygrade due to your overclocking. Therefore, parts of the screen must be compromised in order for the GPU to handle the graphics settings you put on it.
Most gamers try to overclock their GPUs at some point. It is critical not to get greedy and overclock too much. This is because your GPU might be able to handle an upgrade a few spots higher than the online guide recommends.
The sound of your PC starts to roar as you play your favorite game. All of a sudden, you feel heat coming from your desktop tower as you turn up your PC settings to ultra. Your attention is piqued all of a sudden when the gorgeous game you were looking at suddenly starts looking weird. You don’t think anything of it, but suddenly it seems to be getting weird.
There are other potential causes besides overclocking.
Cause #3: Problems with power supply
It has been found that power supply issues are one of the most common causes of artifacting on GPUs. Power supply issues can lead to a variety of problems, from minor artifacts to complete system failures.
Artifacts occur when the power supply voltage is too low. There can be several reasons for this, but the power supply is often too weak to support the GPU.
There is also a common problem with too much voltage. This may be caused by a defective power supply or by an improper GPU configuration.
Cause #4: Problems with drivers
The most common cause of GPU artifacts is driver issues. A frequently seen symptom of graphics cards that aren’t working properly is flickering, black or white dots, lines, or squares.
When there is a problem with your graphics card’s drivers, it can cause the graphics card to produce artifacts. The graphics card’s drivers control how it interacts with the other hardware and software in your computer.
If that doesn’t work, try reverting back to an earlier version of the driver. Newer drivers can occasionally cause issues, so make sure your graphics card is running on the latest drivers.
Cause #5: Problems with VRAM
You may have heard of the term “VRAM” before, even if you weren’t sure exactly what it entailed. If you haven’t heard of it, you will probably see it soon.
When your card’s VRAM is damaged, it can cause slightly distorted images to appear. VRAM is what your card uses to record all kinds of data.
If you notice slight color shifts on your screen caused by VRAM artifacts, you’re likely to be experiencing VRAM artifacts. For example, when you view the sky in a game, thick lines may appear in gray or other colors.
In cases where VRAM is causing artifacting, deleting some of the data it uses can lower the load on your GPU. This could include games saved, unneeded, and so on. Overclocking is the fastest way to damage your VRAM if you don’t do this. If you don’t do this, you can permanently damage your VRAM.
Cause #6: Physical Damage
GPUs are crucial parts of a computer system, responsible for processing and rendering graphics/visuals. GPUs can be damaged, resulting in glitches in graphics.
A GPU artifact may be caused by physical damage. This can be anything from a simple scratch or dent to more serious damage, such as a cracked PCB or damaged solder joints. Damage to the screen can lead to visible artifacts such as lines, dots, or blobs. Damage to the audio system can sometimes lead to audio distortions like crackling or popping sounds.
A GPU artifact is not always caused by physical damage. Software problems, overheating, and power surges can also lead to GPU artifacts.
Let’s look at the major causes of GPU Artifacting below.
- Overheating of GPU
- Overclocking the GPU
- Loose or Damaged GPU cables
- Inadequate Power Supply to GPU
- Faulty Graphics Driver
- Incompatible Applications
- Old Graphics Card
- Faulty VRAM
- Damaged GPU
Is GPU Artifacting Permanent?
No, that’s not necessarily the case. You are pushing the GPU into unsafe territory when you begin to see artifacts. This is a move that may permanently damage the GPU.
How To Fix GPU Artifacting?
There are many Methods to Fix GPU Artifacts, Some of the best are mentioned below:
Make sure there is no dust and clean if necessary
A GPU’s artifacting can be caused by a variety of factors, but dust is one of the most common ones. To eliminate dust from your GPU, first check for dust on the surface and clean it off.
When you see any dust on your GPU, blow it off with a blower, then re-boot your computer and see if any artifacting has disappeared.
Lower The Temperature
It has been determined that the leading cause of GPU artifacts is the temperature rise. To fix the issue, you could consider lowering the temperature of your graphics card. To do this, you can lower the in-game settings so that your GPU is not overloaded.
You can also improve airflow on your PC case by installing more fans. Consider getting a PC case that has a spacious design to promote better airflow. Heat can be generated inside a PC case by bulky components, resulting in a higher overall temperature. It could be beneficial to install aftermarket CPU fans to dissipate more heat.
Update Your Drivers
To fix this issue, you simply need to update your drivers. The easiest way to do this is to download GeForce Experience and use it to update your system whenever you play a new game. When you update your drivers, you keep your system ready to handle the load that you’re about to load on it with the new, graphics-heavy game you’re planning on playing.
Every time you download a new game, you can check to see if new drivers are available in the GeForce Experience program. This also applies to VR games.
As sometimes NVIDIA only releases their latest drivers on their website, you won’t always see the most up-to-date drivers here, but 99% of the time, the driver available there will be sufficient to keep your system running smoothly.
You may need to do some more in-depth housekeeping if your drivers are up to date and artifacts are still plentiful.
Underclock Your GPU
Graphics cards can exhibit artifacts due to high clock speeds. Thus, underclocking or running the clock at the manufacturer’s suggested speed can resolve this issue. The MSI Afterburner application allows you to underclock your GPU.
Underclocking your GPU is quite simple once you open MSI Afterburner. In order to make the changes, you only have to move the slider to the left of its default position.
But there’s a good thing for our viewers that we got a complete guide specifically on How to underclock GPU using MSI Afterburner with steps.
Check For Lose Connections
You may have a loose graphics processing unit (GPU), which will cause strange artifacts on your screen. Check all of the connections, and tighten them if necessary.
Firstly, disconnect the computer’s power cord. Next, remove the screw holding the GPU in place and carefully pull it out. Tighten any loose connections with a screwdriver.
Ensure that every connection has been tightened and re-attach the GPU. Turn on your computer and plug the power cable in to check if the artifacts remain.
Replace Thermal Paste
Your graphics card may need to be tweaked a bit more if underclocking it doesn’t solve the artifact issue. If it does not fix the problem, try changing the thermal paste.
Over time, the stock thermal paste hardens. In this case, you can lower the temperature of your graphics card by reapplying it with a good-quality thermal paste.
To apply the new thermal paste, you will have to remove the GPU’s fans and heatsink.
Analyze Your VRAM Situation
You can’t take your GPU to a computer store and ask them to fix the VRAM (aside from reducing the amount of data used on it). If your issue is with the VRAM, there isn’t much you can do. Instead of fixing individual chips inside the cards, they usually recommend replacing the entire card.
There are ways to lessen the load, but if the VRAM is the problem, sometimes it’s only a matter of replacing the card.
Stress Test Your System
GPUs are known to produce artifacts when they overheat. However, a stress test can tell if your GPU is overheating.
Download an application like Furmark or OCCT, and then click on the “stress test” button after downloading it.
You’ll see artifacts on your screen during a stress test if your GPU is overheating. To fix this, increase the number of fans on your GPU or use a better cooling method.
Best Programs To Test For Artifacting GPU
|NAME||Compatible Platform||Paid/Free||Stress Capacity|
|3DMark||Android, Windows, macOS||Paid||Very High|
|Heaven Unigine||Windows, macOS||Free||Very High|
|Paessler||Windows, macOS||Free||Very High|
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Do Artifacts mean your graphics card is dying?
This depends on several situations. If your GPU is brand new or it is still considered good according to whatever year you are using it then there might be some issues. But, If your GPU is old then maybe it’s time to replace it.
Graphics Card artifacting but not overheating?
This issue can be solved by using the other two methods shown above. If not then you might need the help of an expert.
Is my GPU artifacting? How do I know?
You are experiencing GPU artifacting if you cannot recognize anything on the screen correctly. On most portions of your display screen, GPU artifacts often appear as checkered patterns.
Is Bad RAM a cause of artifacts?
Artifacts on your display screen can be caused by bad RAM in rare circumstances. BSODs and PC restarts are both common symptoms of faulty RAM.
How to Avoid Artifacting?
Using a lower clock speed or the manufacturer’s default speed will help you avoid artifacts. It is best to avoid overclocking a single-fan graphics card when you have an entry-level video card, otherwise, you might end up with artifacts.
Can dust cause GPU artifacts?
Having dust on the GPU fan or heat sink will result in higher temperatures as it absorbs more heat. Increasing temperatures cause the GPU to overheat, which causes artifacts to appear. So, you should use a compressed air can to get rid of the dust.
This concludes the three most effective methods of fixing GPU artifacts. If none of these solutions work for you, then some of the MOSFETs on your GPU might be faulty.
If your GPU is under warranty, you should send it back to the manufacturer for repair. You should replace your graphics card if the warranty period has expired for your GPU.
There are several reasons why GPU artifacts occur; in most cases, it is an overheated graphics card causing the problem. Reducing the heat could resolve the problem. However, a faulty graphics card occurs in fewer cases.
The following video tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on dealing with artifacts on your graphics card.