Artifacting: What Is It? (As Well As How To Avoid It)


Artifacting is when random graphics anomolies and any unwanted visual side effects that appear on a computer when you are trying to play a game. These can look like random flashes or strobes, incorrect colors or incorrect textures.

What causes artifacting

Arifacting is usually caused by memory overclocking. But it can also happen even if you don’t overclock and are playing a graphically intensive video game. Changing video settings usually fixes artifacting.

When you overclock memory causing the memory to be unstable, the computer will render artifacts because the memory is not being able to keep up with what it’s being told to read and write.

Anti Aliasing

This type of artifacting looks like shimmering. It is when textures appear to be moving off in the distance in video games. It looks very similar to moonlight reflecting off of the ocean. It almost looks like waves on a static texture.

This is usually caused by anti aliasing which can also cause jaggered edges. Just change your anti aliasing settings and see if it fixes the issue.

Super sample anti aliasing and multi sampling anti aliasing are some of the best settings to use as they are very powerful but will need a strong GPU to run.


DLSS can cause a ghosting effect.

DLSS is an Nvidia feature which can bring out more detail in your video game but it can cause ghosting.

This happens because DLSS is comparing what you see in the game to what an ideal image should be. Sometimes this causes a smearing effect and is often worse at lower resolutions.

This is not the same as screen tearing which can be fixed by enabling vsync to fix the GPU output.

Dots and Pixels

If you see geometric shapes, random dots or pixels that shouldn’t be there then it can be a few things.

Either it’s just because your hardware isn’t working well with a particular game or your drivers may not be updated. If you have overclocked your graphics card then you should revert it back to default and see if the issue fixes itself.

Also check if the GPU is connected properly and seated properly. You can also check for dead fans in the GPU and any dust. Try and upgrade the card firmware and even plug it into another PC to test if the GPU is the problem.

If nothing fixes your issue then you might have a dying GPU. If you just bought the component then it’s probably time to send it back in and claim your warranty benefits.

How to avoid artifacting

Avoiding artifacting can be done in numerous ways depending on your situation.

The first thing you should do is make sure you are playing video games that your hardware is capable of. Also make sure you are not running settings or Nvidia features such as DLSS that your GPU can’t handle.

This problem is amplified with a higher resolution when gaming.

You can turn on features such as Vsync or increase your anti aliasing settings to fix small artifact problems.

Larger and more noticable artifact problems can be fixed by reverting your GPU settings if you have overclocked and by making sure the hardware is seated and connected properly.


Artifacting is super annoying and can cause you to worry. Often times small artifacting is normal and just a problem that can be fixed with some visual settings tweaks.

However, large artifacting problems could be due to a dying graphics card.

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.