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What Are Visual Artifacts? Everything you need to know

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Visual artifacts are abnormalities visible during a visual representation, such as in digital graphics and other forms of imaging, particularly photography and microscopy. Visual artifacts are often described when there is a video problem or a graphics problem when using a computer. In other words, we can say that visual artifacts are graphic imperfections in digital images, and the terms are assigned when there is a disturbance in the screen display due to hardware and software problems.

These artifacts can take different forms depending on the cause of the error, while these errors are subtle and may go away after disabling certain settings. These glitches don’t just appear in games or 3D applications, there is a chance that these strange colors and flickering effects appear on the desktop as well. These bugs also affect videos and websites. When it is due to hardware issues, it can apply to other issues as well. This includes video compression, grain or noise in digital photos.

What causes visual artifacts?

  • Since the term is most commonly associated with erratic performance in 3D applications like games, the main cause of visual artifacts is a problem with the graphics card. This is often due to overheating, where the card begins to malfunction when it exceeds its safe operating temperature.
  • This can also be a software issue caused by corrupted or incorrect graphics card drivers. You can use a system monitoring tool like MSI Afterburner to monitor your temperatures if you suspect that’s the issue (works with any graphics card). Other issues with the card, for example, anything other than a memory (VRAM) issue or a chip with a manufacturing defect, can also cause instability, which can lead to artifacts and crashes.
  • Compression artifacts are different, although they can resemble the visual distortions associated with hardware problems. This can occur with highly compressed content, especially very dark scenes, which are notoriously poor in performance when compressed with modern codecs.

Diagnosing graphics card problems

If you see visual artifacts when your computer is busy. If you’re playing a game, it’s time to diagnose the problem. We recommend updating your graphics drivers first, and then proceeding to diagnose and fix issues caused by overheating.

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Lucas Simonds
At Bollyinside, Lucas Simonds serves in the role of Senior Editor. He finds entertainment in anything and everything related to technology, from laptops to smartphones and everything in between. His favorite hobby may be collecting headphones of all shapes and sizes, even if he keeps them all in the same drawer.

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