Have you ever noticed strange and inexplicable noise or image distortion on the screen of a stationary monitor or laptop? Usually all these phenomena are called artifacts. What are video card artifacts, what is the reason for their appearance, and how to deal with their constant manifestation, then we will try to figure it out thoroughly. But in order to fully understand the whole picture, it is necessary to immediately decide which side effects belong to the category of graphics chip artifacts, because some phenomena can be caused by monitor malfunctions.
What are graphics card artifacts: a general understanding
There is no doubt that undesirable effects associated with the unstable operation of the graphics adapter are referred to as artifacts.
Most often on the screens you can notice the appearance of color or black and white horizontal or vertical stripes, offsetimages in the visible area of the screen, blurring the picture, out of focus, displaying the picture not in its entirety, but in the form of several fragments scattered across the screen, etc. Graphic effects can also be accompanied by focusing the backlight at one point or in the form of a decrease in illumination at a certain parts of the screen, not to mention all the other possible phenomena such as the monitor turning off spontaneously or going into standby mode at the most inopportune moment.
Causes of side effects
As for the causes of side effects, it is impossible to name absolutely all of them. However, if we approach their classification from a scientific point of view, conditionally all the root causes can be divided into hardware and software. Hardware failures include malfunctioning of the graphics accelerator or its imminent failure, improper operation of the video card cooling system, lack of power, excessive overheating of the device, loose cable connections to the monitor (in the case of stationary PCs), etc.
Program failures most often include problems with the functioning of drivers and related control programs, flaws in software such as computer games, overclocking the video chip using software methods, and much more.
How to check a video card for artifacts?
Detecting the appearance of unwanted effects is quite simple. The simplest method, as many have probably already guessed, is visual, because it is enough to look at the screen of a monitor or laptop to immediately see the appearance of distortion oreffects that should not occur in the normal operating mode of the accelerator. By and large, such phenomena can be noticed even at the stage of loading the operating system, since the video card is directly involved in the transfer of control from the primary I / O system to the boot loader and the OS kernel.
However, according to most experts who have encountered troubleshooting such problems, this is far from the most reliable method of troubleshooting.
To make sure that something is really wrong with the video card, it is best to use special programs like VMT, GPU-Z, TestVideoRAM and the like. First of all, attention should immediately be paid to the temperature of the GPU. If it exceeds the threshold of 80 degrees Celsius, which is the maximum upper limit for most accelerators, immediate action must be taken. Among other things, it is desirable to perform several basic tests, which are provided, for example, in the TestVideoRAM application. Together, you will get a result explaining the appearance of undesirable effects along with the cause of such a phenomenon.
Now let's assume that the main causes of failures are at least approximately established. How to treat graphics card artifacts? You should start by fixing hardware failures.
First of all, if we are talking about stationary computer monitors, check the tightness of the cable connection coming fromgraphics adapter to the monitor connector (usually VGA or DVI cables).
If it's overheating, immediately disassemble the stationary system unit or laptop case, and then remove the dust accumulated there. Pay special attention to the cooling system of the accelerator itself (meaning a discrete video card installed in a separate slot). It also does not hurt to check the current supplied to the card. It is possible that the power supply has too little power, as a result of which the graphics chip simply does not have enough power. Finally, look at the video card itself and inspect it for physical damage. If something is found, it will either have to be taken in for repair or changed (as practice shows, it is easier to buy a new device than to repair an old one).
Note: if your computer has two graphics chips installed (discrete and integrated), before performing any of the above steps, switch the BIOS to use a device other than the one that is currently the main one. For example, if you find artifacts of an NVIDIA video card or a similar discrete chip, change it in the settings to an integrated adapter (usually these are sections like Primary Graphics, Onboard Devices or something similar). If the situation is just the opposite, switch to a discrete card. It's just that you can't replace the integrated chip soldered into the motherboard on your own.
Questions about updating drivers and important platforms
Now let's see what video card artifacts are and why they appear, in relation to software components (control or service). This primarily concerns control software called drivers.
The simplest and most effective solution in this situation is to update your drivers. It is not recommended to perform such operations through the Device Manager (in any case, Windows will only find the most supposedly suitable software, and only from its own stationary or online database), but it is better to download the updated driver directly from the official resource of the device manufacturer, and then install it yourself. To simplify the steps, you can also use automated programs that will find and install the most current driver versions without your participation (Driver Booster, DriverPack Solution Online, etc.).
However, even such actions can sometimes have no effect. How to remove video card artifacts if the proposed option did not work? The reason for the unstable operation of the graphics chip, as it turns out, may not be drivers at all, but some important components of additional platforms directly involved in ensuring the full functionality of the video card.
In this situation, it is highly recommended to upgrade to the latest supported version of all platforms like DirectX,. NET Framework and C++ Redistributable. The last component can be presented in the system in several modifications (thissometimes required for different programs and games installed on the computer), and you should never delete previous versions!
What should I do if artifacts appear after updating drivers?
Now let's assume that graphics card artifacts appeared on the monitor screen after updating the driver package. Yes, indeed, this happens quite often and is usually associated only with the fact that the updates themselves have many so-called bugs. In this case, the drivers should be rolled back to the previous version.
And here the easiest method is to use the "Device Manager", in which you should go to the properties of the graphics adapter and click the appropriate rollback button on the driver tab.
Troubleshooting PC games
Finally, a few words about removing video card artifacts in games. "Glitches" of the games themselves are not taken into account, especially when it comes to pirated versions and assemblies. In such a situation, it is better to delve into the graphics and video settings in the game itself, slightly lower the screen resolution or FPS level. As an additional tool, you can also use utilities to optimize graphics accelerators for computer games, in which you can choose a game from the list of the most popular ones yourself.
How to get rid of factory overclocking?
So, what are graphics card artifacts, and how to deal with them, figured out a little. It remains to note the last factor. The fact is that some graphics chips are already released in overclocked form and usually inin the name have the designation "Ti".
To reduce the load on the card during operation or when playing resource-intensive games, the easiest way is to use applications like MSI Afterburner or NVIDIA Inspector, only the graphics chip will not need to be overclocked, but reversed by lowering the temperature of the accelerator, the frequency of the video memory (Memory Clock) by lowering the voltage on the GPU (Core Voltage) or by adjusting other important parameters.