Screen tearing is a frustrating phenomenon that only occurs when your Video card or GPU is rendering images at a different rate from the monitor to the display.
which means that GPU and monitor are not properly synced.
Another term that comes into play here is the refresh rate. The refresh rate of the monitor refers to the number of times a new image is displayed per second which is measured in Hertz.
So some monitors are of 60Hz, some 240Hz, etc which means the monitor displays up to 60 or 240hz images per second.
This indicates that sometimes the graphic card in your system sends an image when the refresh rate is still in process, disturbing the balance between the refresh rate and the frame rate and causing screen tearing to occur.
When this happens, it will look like one image is at the top and a different image is at the bottom which creates a tearing effect in the middle.
This can be especially frustrating when you’re in the middle of an intimidating game.
However, there are some reasons why the GPU of the system could be acting that way causing screen tearing, there are also some ways in which you can fix the screen tearing yourself and some ways in which you can prevent it from happening in the future.
What Causes Screen Tearing
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Screen tearing is not something to worry about as long as it starts interfering with your work on the monitor.
Remember that screen tearing doesn’t necessarily mean the monitor is of poor quality.
- One of the main reasons is the unbalancing of the frame rate and the refresh rate of the monitor which could happen because of a poorly configured graphics adapter.
- Another reason could be that you weren’t aware of some very common available software which is freesync, v-sync, and g-sync.
- Your monitor’s refresh rate isn’t matching with the FPS. This happens when the FPS is lower than the hertz of the monitor causing multiple frames to occur together.
How To Fix Screen Tearing
There are mainly two ways in which you can fix screen tearing on your monitor:
1. Enabling V-Sync
V-sync is available in all electrical devices and if you’re not aware of it, then you are basically living under a rock.
V-sync is a technology that significantly limits the output of frame rate to suit that of the refresh rate.
V-sync can be enabled on your video graphics card easily by going through the settings on your computer. If you’re playing a game, then you can also switch on V-sync in the game settings.
If you are using a freesync monitor, then check out our article on how to enable GSync on a freesync monitor.
2. Updating Or Reinstalling The Graphics Driver
Sometimes, we may forget to update the graphics driver which can be the reason why screen tearing is occurring.
If you use Windows 10, 8, or 7 then you can check for updates by:
- Clicking on Control Panel.
- Searching for device manager and clicking on it.
- Selecting Display Adapters
If an update is available, then you can immediately get it updated. Otherwise, you can try uninstalling and then reinstalling the graphics driver to stop screen tearing.
How To Prevent Screen Tearing Issue?
Future screen tearing can easily be prevented with the help of the latest developments introduced after V-sync which are Freesync and G-sync.
Both these technologies use adaptive V-sync technology.
Freesync introduced by AMD helps greatly by syncing the monitor’s refresh rate and the game’s frame rate.
It reduces screen stuttering to a great extent in video games especially. You’ll need an AMD card to be able to use Freesync.
G-sync launched by NVidia gets rid of screen stuttering by drawing new frames after the completion of the previous one. Unlike Freesync, it is not cheap but costs a few extra bucks.
Gaming monitors already come with screen tearing technology that will reduce the issue to almost zero. However, you can also check out the best monitor for Nintendo Switch and the best monitor for graphic design.
Therefore, now we know what screen tearing is and the reason why it can occur. Understanding the reason can help us figure out a method to fix screen tearing from the two methods described above.
We also took a brief look at two important technologies like freesync and G-sync which are known to reduce screen stuttering.
Screen stuttering is a common issue and is not something to panic about. Usually, the above methods are able to fix the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is screen tearing normal in gaming?
Screen tearing is not normal if it starts occurring very frequently and disturbs the game. It usually occurs at the most intense moments in the game.
However, it can be fixed by using V-sync, G-sync, and Freesync technologies. Since screen stuttering occurs due to the graphics card, changing the graphic driver settings also helps get rid of the problem.
Can an HDMI cable cause screen stuttering?
It is possible that a bad HDMI cable can cause late transmission of frames of the gaming graphics on the monitor which results in a screen lag.
This can lead to screen tearing. To prevent this, a good quality HDMI cable should be used in place of the previous one.