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What is GPU Artifacting? How to Fix GPU Artifacting?

In the world of computers, Graphics Processing Units or GPUs have become a necessary part. Whether you are an artist, a gamer, a content creator, or someone who does similar “visual” work, you need a powerful GPU along with a CPU. Graphics Cards nowadays have all the bells and whistles such as several computational cores, 3D Processing Engines, Video Encoders and Decoders, AI Enhancement, Ray Tracing, and several other advanced features. But even such powerful GPUs are susceptible to problems, especially if it is an aging graphics card. One such common issue is GPU Artifact. What exactly is this GPU Artifacting? What causes it? How to Fix GPU Artifacting?

If you are curious to more about this topic, this guide is just for you. Here, we will discuss the meaning of GPU Artifacts or Artifacting. After that, we will see some common reasons that cause GPU Artifacting. Finally, we will take a look at simple troubleshooting methods on how to fix GPU Artifacting.

What is GPU Artifacting?

A Visual Artifact is an anomaly that occurs during processing or transmission of digital data. This can occur to both digital images as well as videos.

If the source of these artifacts is the graphics card or GPU, then we call it GPU Artifacts or GPU Artifacting. You might have noticed random lines or symbols appearing on the screen/display.

Or textures that are out of place and Screen Flashes. Even distorted color and random lights in games.

All these are GPU Artifacts. This list is very small and there are numerous ways, shapes, sizes, and forms it can occur.

Some other common GPU Artifacting scenarios are display of static noise, screen flickering, and black out of display.

While newer graphics cards do not display this behavior, you can notice GPU Artifacting in relatively older or aging GPUs.

If you play a lot of 3D Content, such as games or videos, you will notice these GPU Artifacts.

What Causes GPU Artifacting?

The cause of the above-mentioned GPU Artifacts can be either hardware or software. Let us now see some common reasons that cause these GPU Artifacts.


Heat is one of the worst enemy of all modern electronics, be it CPUs or GPUs. Hence, we see heatsinks, cooling fans, and other sorts of mechanical ways to transfer the heat out of these ICs.

If there is a problem with the heat transfer method such as improper contact, dried-up thermal compound, failed cooling fan, dust, etc., then the cooling system cannot transfer the heat from GPU out.

As a result, the temperature of the GPU rises and you can see a significant drop in performance (due to thermal throttling) and even GPU Artifacts.


If you are an enthusiast with top-of-the-line CPU and GPU, then you can push the performance of these components by overclocking.

You can tweak the clock frequencies and core voltages to extract a little bit more frames from the GPU. In fact, most gamers have tried to do this with their CPU and/or GPU.

Overclocking is definitely not a beginner’s ball game. You need to have proper cooling, motherboard (in case of CPU), and power supply to support this.

While overclocking may not be the main reason for GPU artifacts, it can definitely cause trouble.

GPU Driver

One of the common reasons for GPU Artifacting is graphics card drivers. Both Nvidia and AMD (the two main GPU manufacturers right now) test their drivers before releasing them to the public.

But sometimes bug creep into these drivers causing GPU Artifacts.

User Settings (Extreme Graphics Settings)

Similar to overclocking, the next one is also associated with the user rather than hardware or driver. Nvidia and AMD provide very utilities for their respective graphics cards.

Using these utilities, users can change different settings of the GPU including but not limited to overclocking, display settings, turning on or off certain features, setting fan curves, and many other parameters.

Also, each game or application has its own set of customizations for the GPU. One such common thing is the graphics level or intensity. Gamers, depending on their hardware and game, can set the graphics to low, medium, high, or ultra settings.

This will push the GPU to its maximum performance, especially if you always choose high or ultra mode. It can also be factor in causing GPU Artifacting.

Problem with VRAM

Video RAM or VRM is a type of RAM that has a close association with the GPU. You might have heard “12GB of VRAM”, “16GB of VRAM”, or something similar.

All these are VRAM values that are on the graphics card. Just like RAM is responsible to store the data of the CPU, VRAM on a GPU is responsible to store image data.

If there is any corruption of data in VRAM, then you will see color shifts, weird pattern, etc.

Issue within GPU

GPU Artifacts can also occur due to a hardware issue in the GPU itself. While this is very rare, it can happen.

Either a physical damage to the GPU, fault in the silicon, or a problem on the PCB, can all cause GPU Malfunction and Artifacting.

Software Bugs

As we mentioned in the “User Settings” section, software of the GPU or an application can also cause GPU Artifacts. This doesn’t necessarily have to be user settings but rather a bug in the software itself.

Incompatible Graphics Card

If you have an older GPU and you are trying to use it with a fairly modern CPU and operating system, then there could be potential incompatibility.

Either the hardware, drivers, or the software of such older graphics cards might not work as expected and can lead to GPU Artifacting.

Power Supply

Modern GPUs are power hungry. In fact, they are the highest power consuming components in a relatively high-end computer.

If there is an issue with the power delivery or the computer’s power supply cannot provide necessary power to the GPU, then you might get GPU Artifacts.

Can You Spot GPU Artifacting?

You can easily spot most of the GPU Artifacts that we mentioned earlier. Patterns, textures, off-place objects, color shifts, problem in rendering images, screen black-outs, etc. in graphics-intensive applications such as games, video editing and rendering, 3D Modelling etc.

How to Fix GPU Artifacting?

If you see any of the above-mentioned anomalies, then you need to pay close attention to the GPU as it is a clear sign of GPU Artifacts. So, how to fix GPU Artifacting?

Turn off Overclocking

If you are overclocking your GPU and you observe these GPU Artifacts, then the simple solution is to put everything to default settings.

While overclocking is fun, it is not ideal for the hardware to be under severe pressure all the time. You can even lower the performance and see if the GPU is still artifacting.

Keep GPU Temperatures in Check

Continuously monitor the GPU temperatures. Check if the fans are functional and are kicking in when the GPU temperature rises.

Try to fiddle with the fan curves. Also, if you have an older GPU, clean any dust from the fans and heatsink.

You can also reply the thermal compound to increase thermal conductivity between the GPU and the heatsink.

Update Drivers

Always update to the latest drivers. Both Nvidia and AMD frequently release drivers that fixes bugs and user-reported issues. Check their support page and update the drivers.

While updating drivers to the latest version is good, sometimes, the latest drivers can be the source to GPU Artifacts.

If you notice GPU Artifacting after updating the driver, then rollback to the previous version and see if you are still facing this issue.

Check for Physical Damage on PCB

If there is any physical damage to the PCB or its components, then you need to repair it or replace it (if it is still under warranty).

Beginners might find it difficult to disassemble the graphics card. So, we suggest you to contact any authorized service center or ask help from an experienced friend.

Make Proper Connections

Improper connections can also GPU Artifacts. Check all the connection with respect to GPU. This can be anything such as inserting the GPU into the PCIe slot, power supply connections, HDMI or DisplayPort cables and connections, etc.

Worst Case Scenarios

If there is a problem within the hardware of the GPU or VRAM, then you are out of luck. Contact the respective manufacturer of the graphics card and seek their help.


GPUs are very expensive components. They are very useful for all sorts of “computer image” related stuff. Be it to display content on to a screen, render 3D Images, videos, games, etc., you need a powerful graphics card.

There are several issues with modern GPU and one such common problem many users face is GPU Artifacts.

In this guide, we saw what is GPU Artifacting and also the causes of it. After that, we saw different troubleshooting tips and trick on how to fix GPU Artifacting.

We hope that this simple guide helped you in understanding GPU Artifacts and also how to fix it.

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