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Flashing monitor in CS5

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2010, 05:47 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Flashing monitor in CS5

Hello,

I need some help. I am using photoshop CS5 design premium. My OS is 10.6.4. These are the specs for my mac pro.
Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 3.2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
Memory: 16 GB
Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B05
SMC Version (system): 1.25f4
Hardware UUID: 0613ACB3-FECF-5AE8-9CBA-353B667E52A0
The video card is NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

The monitor is a 30 inch cinema display.

I am having a strange issue in photoshop CS5. After a few hours of using photoshop the monitor starts flashing a greyscale pattern over the entire monitor. The pattern is horizontal bands that starts with grey at the top of the monitor and get progressively darker becoming black at the bottom of the screen. The banding is semi-transparent and I can see through it to the file and desktop beneath the pattern. The pattern pulsates very fast and is kind of hypnotic. It does not go away and I quickly get the dreaded spinning beach ball and there is no way to escape without manually shutting down the computer as I can't force quit photoshop or move to another application. Other times when I double click on a file to open in photoshop, the file appears scrambled and I can see the palettes inside of it all jumbled up, but this doesn't happen too frequently and more often I get the flashing gradient pattern that goes from black to white that I described earlier. The problem occurs with different files and is not confined to one user. It can start from asking photoshop to do the simplest thing like duplicate a file or create a new document.

These are the steps I have taken so far to troubleshoot the issue:
I have had Apple replace the video card but the problem still reoccurs. I have uninstalled and reinstalled CS5 and that did not solve the issue. I have run an extended hardware test which my computer passed. I have installed the update to photoshop which came out last week.I think it is called 12.0.1.

The technician who replaced the video card mentioned that Adobe still uses an older technology that scrambles the files all over the computer. I am wondering if this is causing the problem.

What can I do? I am desperate. Adobe does not acknowledge the problem when I call or blames it on a faulty video card. The problem only occurs when I run Adobe CS5. It did not occur in CS3 which I owned before upgrading.

Please help. Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:14 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

Have you tried disabling OpenGL? It's in performance prefs.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:23 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

I haven't yet. Kind of didn't want to as I thought OpenGL was one of the main enhancements to CS5 or was that also around in CS4? I will give it a try as Adobe wanted me to disable it too. Still the NIVDIA GeForce 8800 GT is supposed to be powerful enough to run CS5 so I shouldn't have to, right?
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:46 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

It's actually a pretty weak card (at least in terms of OpenGL). Adobe engineers recommend at least 1GB of ram on the vid card, and capable of DirectX 11 (it doesn't actually use DirectX, but the internal hardware is the same for OpenGL). More is better. Especially for that monster monitor. The recommended config for that monitor is 2 highend graphics cards linked together, or one of the newest ones with multiple internal pipelines.

I know these specs are much higher than the specs on the Adobe sales page, but they also recommend 1GB of computer ram, so compare that to reality and that's the same disparity from their vidcard recommendations.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:50 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

Thank you Doug. I am kind of pissed now that Apple sold me this video card when I told them I wanted something powerful enough to run photoshop.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:55 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

Well, there's "running" and then there's RUNNING

I don't mean to make light of your situation, I've been through similar myself many times. In fact, I'm going through it right now, only about audio components.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:13 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

Some other things I've run into considering vidcards:

Some computers are too small to handle highend vidcards
MOST computers are too small to handle multiple vidcards
Some vidcards require a higher voltage than typical consumer computers can handle
MOST highend vidcards run extremely hot, and can cause heating problems in some computers, esp. in pairs
The 30" Cinema display is about the hardest monitor on the market to fit with a vidcard

You've undoubtedly seen the term "workstation" bandied about. There's only about 4 things that differentiates a workstation from any other computer, but being able to handle highend vidcards is top on the list. The Mac Pro is an OK workstation, better in these regards than most consumer PCs, but you still need to take the above points into consideration.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:37 AM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

So what video card do you recommend or think I should add to the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT that I currently have?
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:57 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

First of all, verify that the card is the problem. But I'd go with a Nvidia GTX400 series or or AMD HD 5000 series IF THEY FIT (I don't know Macs). Check the bus type, card length and height, connector type, and if it has special voltage or cooling requirements.

But most of all, check with a Mac-savvy person (hopefully one will chime in here). You're in NYC, so you should be surrounded with shops that can help you. You might even be able to cart your Mac in to verify everything.

Or, if you can stand it, just buy this:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...or_mac_us.html
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:14 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

Adobe engineers recommend at least 1GB of ram on the vid card, and capable of DirectX 11 (it doesn't actually use DirectX, but the internal hardware is the same for OpenGL). More is better. Especially for that monster monitor. The recommended config for that monitor is 2 highend graphics cards linked together, or one of the newest ones with multiple internal pipelines.

Doug, I was wondering where you got this information from and if you could provide me with a link to it? Thanks.
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