When a graphics processing unit (GPU) begins to experience “artifacting,” it is usually the first sign that the GPU is failing. Though many other causes might lead to GPU artifacting, overheating is the main cause.

When a GPU overheats, it can cause the video signal to become distorted. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including visual artifacts such as flickering or static on the screen or even a complete loss of video signal.

GPU Artifacting
Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Artifacting

In some cases, artifacting can be caused by dust or other debris buildups on the GPU’s heat sink or fans. The GPU may overheat as a result of this improper cooling. Artifacting can also be caused by hardware problems, such as faulty RAM or a defective graphics card.


Main Points

  1. GPU Artifacting is often noticed while playing heavy games or editing videos. 
  2. The main causes of it include outdated drivers, improper hardware fixing, and overheating of GPU.
  3. Cleaning the GPU and tightening loose connections can help fix the problem.
  4. Different Programs are available online to have a stress test of your GPU.

What Is “Artifacting” In GPUs?

Artifacting is a visual defect that can occur in a GPU. It manifests as distorted or corrupted graphics on the screen. Artifacting can be caused by a wide range of issues, such as hardware faults, overheating, or outdated drivers. In some cases, artifacting can be temporary go away on its own. However, in other cases, it can permanently damage the GPU.

Artifacting is often first noticed when playing 3D games or watching videos. Sometimes, the artifacts can take many different forms, such as static, flickering, or blocky images. Artifacts can also cause the screen to flicker or turn black. In severe cases, artifacting can lead to the computer crashing.

So what causes these artifacts? In most cases, it’s simply down to overworked hardware. When your GPU is pushed to its limits, it can start to produce strange visual glitches as a result. These can range from harmless flickering pixels to full-blown image distortion.

What Causes GPU Artifacting?

GPU artifacting is a common problem that can occur for various reasons. However, it happens mostly due to overheating. The image on your screen may appear distorted or pixelated if your GPU becomes overheated.

Other common causes include using outdated drivers, defective or incompatible hardware, or running too many programs simultaneously. 

If you’re experiencing the problem, you should first check to see if your graphics card is properly cooled. If it’s not, try increasing the airflow around your computer or adding additional cooling fans.

Overheating

Overheating is among the most frequently observed causes of GPU artifacts. When the GPU overheats, it can cause the graphics to distort or glitch. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as dust build-up on the heat sink, an inadequate cooling system, or simply running the GPU at too high of a temperature.

GPU Artifacting
A screenshot showing Overheated GPU

GPU artifacts can be annoying for gamers and perhaps permanently harm the GPU. Therefore, it is important to take measures to prevent overheating, such as cleaning the heat sink regularly and ensuring adequate airflow around the GPU.

Power Supply Issues

When it comes to artifacting, one of the most common issues is with the power supply. Power supply issues can cause all sorts of problems with a GPU, from minor artifacts to complete system failures.

Power supply issues occur when the voltage is too low. There are several reasons why this may occur, but it frequently results from the power supply not being strong enough to support the GPU. Because of this, you will experience artifacting.

Too much voltage is another frequent problem. This may occur if the power supply is defective or is not configured properly for the GPU. Either way, this can lead to serious artifacts on the screen.

Driver Issues

Driver issues are a common cause of GPU artifacts. A common indication of the graphics cards not working properly is artifacts appearing on the screen. These anomalies take the form of flickering, black or white dots, lines, or squares.

Driver issues often cause GPU artifacts. The drivers for your graphics card control how it interacts with your computer’s other hardware and software. If there is a problem with the drivers, it can cause the graphics card to produce artifacts.

To prevent this, make sure your graphics card is running on the latest drivers first. They are often available for download from the company’s website. Try going back to an earlier driver version if that doesn’t work, as newer drivers can occasionally lead to issues.

Physical Damage

The GPU is one of the most crucial parts of a computer system; its work is to process and render graphics/visuals. However, GPUs can be susceptible to damage, leading to graphics artifacts.

One of the many reasons behind GPU artifacts is physical damage. This can include anything from a simple dent or scratch on the GPU itself to more serious damage, such as a cracked PCB or damaged solder joints. In most cases, physical damage will result in visible artifacts in the form of lines, dots, or blobs on the screen. Audio distortions like crackling or popping noises can sometimes result from physical damage.

Physical damage is not the only cause of GPU artifacts, but it is certainly one of the most common. Other causes can include software issues, overheating, and power surges.

How To Spot Artifacting In GPU

If you’re seeing strange patterns or visual artifacts in your games or other graphics-intensive applications, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your GPU. Various problems, like overheating, driver faults, or hardware flaws, might result in artifacts.

Typically, artifacting will be easy to identify. However, your GPU is likely the culprit if you see strange colors or patterns that don’t make sense. In some cases, artifacting can also cause your screen to flicker or freeze up completely.

Additionally, pay attention to the GPU for any odd noises. Finally, touch the GPU to see if it feels unusually hot. If you notice any of these signs, your GPU may be artifacting, and you should take steps to fix it.

How to Fix/Avoid GPU Artifacting

If you see strange artifacts on your screen, don’t panic! Your graphics card is likely the culprit. Below are a few steps you can take to prevent it from happening. 

Check For Dust And Clean If Necessary

Numerous factors can lead to the problem, but dust is one of the most common causes. If you think that dust might be the cause of your GPU’s artifacting, you should first check for dust and clean it off if present.

GPU Artifacting
Cleaning a GPU to fix Artifacting

To check for dust, simply visually inspect your GPU and look for any accumulation of dust on the surface. If you see any dust, use a blower to blow it off. Once you’ve removed all the visible dust, re-boot your computer and see if the artifacting has stopped.

Check For Lose Connections

If your computer displays strange artifacts on the screen, it could be a sign that the graphics processing unit (GPU) is loose. Check all of the connections, and tighten them if necessary to resolve this.

Start by removing the computer’s power cord from the back. Then, remove the screw that holds the GPU in place. Carefully pull the GPU out and inspect all of the connections. With a screwdriver, tighten any of them that are loose.

Re-attach the GPU and tighten it into place once you have checked and tightened every connection. See if the artifacts are still there by turning on your computer and plugging in the power cord.

Check Graphics Card Settings

It’s a good idea to check your graphics card settings before you start troubleshooting other potential issues.

In most circumstances, accessing the Control Panel and selecting the “Display” category will allow you to view your graphics card’s settings. Next, seek a selection that says “configure” or anything similar, such as “graphics options.” Click that option and then select the tab labeled “3D” or “Advanced.”

Once you’re in the 3D or Advanced settings area, look for an option that allows you to change the quality of textures or shading. Try changing the screen’s resolution if it doesn’t fix the issue. A lower resolution may not look as good, but it can help eliminate artifacts.

Update Drivers

If your graphics card is displaying artifacts, it’s likely because the drivers are out of date. Updating your drivers should fix the problem.

Determine the brand and model of your graphics card first. This information is often located in the manual’s Specifications section. Once you know that, visit the company’s website that made your card and look for the Drivers section.

After downloading, install the drivers according to your OS. Restart your computer when installed. Afterward, open up a game or any other program that uses 3D graphics and see if the artifacts are gone.

Check For Hardware Issues

Confirm that all of the wires connecting the graphics card to the monitor are properly plugged in. Next, make sure your graphics card is properly seated in its slot. If it’s not, remove it and re-insert it, making sure it’s snug and secure.

Run A Stress Test

Artifacts are a common issue with GPUs. If you’re seeing them on your screen, your GPU is likely overheating. However, a stress test is a good way to see if your GPU is overheating or not.

To run a stress test, you’ll need to download a program like Furmark or OCCT. After downloading the application, choose the “stress test” option.

Stress
Stress Testing a GPU

If your GPU is overheating, you’ll see artifacts on your screen during the stress test. To fix this, you’ll need to increase the cooling on your GPU. Increasing the number of fans or employing a more effective cooling method can help.

What Does GPU Artifacting Look Like

When a GPU (graphics processing unit) starts to go bad, it can show signs of “artifacting.” This is when strange patterns or images start to appear on the screen. GPU artifacts can look like squares, lines, or other shapes. They can be any color, usually red, green, or blue. Artifacts can sometimes be little visual noise, but they can also sometimes be a sign of a more significant issue.

GPU Artifacting
GPU Artifacting In Apex Legends

Stuttering

GPU Artifacting can look like stuttering in several ways. For instance, it can cause frames to appear out of order or “dropped.” This can cause a scene to appear choppy or jumpy, as if the frame rate is low.

In addition, artifacts can also cause flickering or flashing in textures or colors. This can give the impression that the image on the screen is “stuttering.” Finally, artifacts can also cause the screen to freeze for a brief moment. This may cause the game to appear to “hang” or “lag,” and can be extremely frustrating for gamers.

Screen Tearing

GPUs sometimes have screen tearing issues. Several things can cause it, but the GPU is often responsible.

When you see screen tearing, it is usually because the GPU is not able to keep up with the demands of the game or application you are running. This can be due to a number of factors, including your GPU not being powerful enough, your settings being too high for your GPU, or your CPU not being fast enough to keep up with your GPU.

Driver issues or bugs can also cause screen tearing. It is important to ensure you have the most recent GPU drivers if you experience screen tearing. You can usually find these on the website of your GPU manufacturer.

Texture Flickering

GPU artifacts are usually seen as unexpected visual corruption of textures and geometric shapes. Moreover, they can manifest as flickering, flashing, blockiness, or distortion of textures and images. In some cases, the entire screen may go black or white. A wide variety of issues causes artifacts, but the most common is hardware failure.

When a GPU artifact manifests as texture flickering, it is usually due to an issue with the video memory or the GPU itself. The problem can be caused by a faulty connection between the two components or a problem with the video memory chips. It could be necessary for some situations to replace the video card completely.

Why You Should Care About Artifacting In Graphics Cards

Artifacting is a common problem with graphics cards. It can cause your screen to display strange colors or patterns, and in some cases, it can even damage your hardware. 

In the beginning, artifacting can indicate that your graphics card is failing. If you see strange colors or patterns on your screen, your graphics card may be overheating or otherwise malfunctioning. A faulty driver or bad software can also cause artifacting.

In any case, if you see artifacting on your screen, it’s important to troubleshoot the problem as soon as possible.

Artifacting While Overclocking GPU

To increase your game performance, consider overclocking your GPU. However, artifacts may appear on your screen if you don’t perform it correctly. 

When you overclock your GPU, you’re essentially pushing it harder than it was designed to go. Your screen may become unstable and exhibit artifacts as a result. However, the key to avoiding this is to gradually increase the clock speed.

Start by increasing the clock speed by a small amount and then running some benchmarks or games to test stability. If everything looks good, slowly increase the clock speed until you start seeing artifacts. At that point, back off slightly, and you should be good to go.

Is There A Certain Type Of GPU That Is More Susceptible To Artifacting?

There are different GPUs available in the market, and all of them are designed in different ways. However, the problem can occur no matter what type of GPU you have installed in your system. 

Best Programs To Test For Artifacting GPU

NAME Compatible Platform Paid/Free Stress Capacity
Furmark Windows Free Extremely High
3DMark Android, Windows, macOS Paid Very High
AIDA64 Windows Paid Very High
Heaven Unigine Windows, macOS Free Very High
Paessler Windows, macOS Free Very High

Conclusion

In conclusion, artifacting can be a major problem with GPUs. You must understand the root reasons for this problem and how to resolve it.

GPU artifacting is caused by a number of factors, but the most common is overheating. When your GPU gets too hot, it can start to experience problems with its circuitry. This may result in artifacts showing up in your games or other graphically demanding software. If you want to prevent this from happening, make sure that you follow the steps mentioned by us religiously. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GPU artifacting?

Artifacting is when your graphics card produces visual artifacts on your screen. These artifacts can be caused by various things, including overheating, driver issues, or hardware problems.

What does GPU artifacting look like?

Artifacts on a GPU typically manifest as distorted or corrupted images on the screen. This can happen if the GPU is overheating or if there is some sort of hardware issue.

Does artifacting mean my GPU is dying?

Artifacting means that your graphics card is failing and will stop working if you don’t troubleshoot the problem properly. 

Can screen artifacting be caused by a loose GPU?

Yes, screen artifacting can be caused by a loose GPU. Screen artifacting is one of many issues that might arise if the GPU is not properly seated in the socket.

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Ali Rashid Khan is an avid gamer, hardware enthusiast, photographer, and devoted litterateur with a period of experience spanning more than 14 years. Sporting a specialization with regards to the latest tech in flagship phones, gaming laptops, and top-of-the-line PCs, Ali is known for consistently presenting the most detailed objective perspective on all types of gaming products, ranging from the Best Motherboards, CPU Coolers, RAM kits, GPUs, and PSUs amongst numerous other peripherals. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll find Ali meddling with mechanical keyboards, indulging in vehicular racing, or professionally competing worldwide with fellow mind-sport athletes in Scrabble at an international level. Currently speaking, Ali has completed his A-Level GCEs with plans to go into either Allopathic Medicine or Business Studies, or who knows, perhaps a full-time dedicated technological journalist.