Screen tearing is a visual effect that occurs when a display device attempts to load two frames into a single frame; it is typically seen in video games and movies. Screen tearing displays a torn look that is most noticeable on images of straight objects, such as poles or trees.
Screen tearing is the result of a display device being out of sync with the refresh rate of the video frames. This often occurs in games or movies that have heavy graphical processing that makes it difficult for the graphics processing unit to keep the system in sync. Multiple buffering is the most commonly used method to prevent screen tearing.