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Photoshop CS6 - Screen flickering when using brushes with new MacAir 2013

Jun 26, 2013 5:46 AM

Tags: #mac #bug #cs6 #macbook_air_13"_haswell_1.7ghz_8gb_512_ssd #screen_flickering_brush_cs6_compatibility_problem_with_new_macair_os_x _v10.8.4

Would the Adobe team please respond to the issues reported by several users:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/5449199

A number of users experience severe screen flicker in Photoshop CS6 when using any of the larger brush type tools (cloning, eraser, brush, spot healing, burning, and dodging).  As many on this thread are experiencing, it is awfull and unusable! The flicker is screen wide black boxes, sometimes the whole screen goes black.  It only seems to happen when we put the cursor over the image to edit.

 

Hardware:  MacBook Air 13", Haswell 1.7 GHz, 8GB, 512 SSD Software:

Photoshop CS6 v13.1.2 20130105.r.224, OS X v10.8.4 (and perhaps others)

 

Looks like a CS6 is not compatible with teh new MacAir. Please look into this and advise.

Adobe Photoshop Version: 13.1.2 (13.1.2 20130105.r.224 2013/01/05:23:00:00) x64 Operating System: Mac OS 10.8.4 System architecture: Intel CPU Family:6, Model:69, Stepping:1 with MMX, SSE Integer, SSE FP, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, HyperThreading       

 

Message was edited by: GSVAI

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2013 10:25 AM   in reply to GSVAI

    >> The flicker is screen wide black boxes, sometimes the whole screen goes black.

     

    What you're reporting is either a bug in the video drivers, or a bad GPU.

    In either case, Apple is the only party that can solve it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2013 5:15 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    This is also happening in the new Photoshop CC . I have seen a few people complaining about this on other forums such as Mac Rumors as well. I have the 2013 Macbook Air i5/8gig machine with Haswell.

     

    Everything else works great on this machine so this is clearly an Adobe issue that needs to be resolved asap.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 1:31 PM   in reply to babawich

    No, you most likely don't have other applications using the GPU in the same way.

    Especially if it happens in CS6 (and hasn't happened on other hardware), it means a bad video card driver or GPU.

    And since we haven't heard of that many people having problems, it might be bad batch of hardware.

    You really need to talk to Apple about this.

    We will try to pursue it with our Apple contacts.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2013 5:50 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Better solution. Why doesn't ADOBE talk to APPLE about it? If a few people are already posting about it in the forums don't you think that many others haven't even discovered the problem? I just installed it onto my first Mac which is the air today. I tested the problem just to see what others were talking about - I probably would have not encountered this problem anytime soon as I rarely use huge brushes.. Don't believe me?? Hmm why not look at these threads?

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5111828?start=0&tstart=0

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1602252

     

    Stop passing the buck and get it worked out. Thats what us and others who pay a ton of money every month to Adobe for Creative Cloud expect.

     

    Thank you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2013 10:05 PM   in reply to babawich

    Because we haven't seen the problem, and don't have any of the affected machines.

    Apple needs to know which machines are affected, and possibly test those machines.

     

    Apple does have known bugs with their cursor handling, especially in 10.8.x - but usually that just causes the cursor to disappear, and it happens in all applications.

     

    My guess is that in this case there is a certain revision of the GPU or driver code that has this problem, and it does not affect all machines (otherwise we would have seen it ourselves).

     

     

    But we cannot solve these video driver issues - as we do not have the source code to Apple's video drivers.  Only Apple can debug their video drivers (or pass it on to the GPU maker)

     

    I know it's easy to blame Adobe because the Apple bug shows up in Adobe software.

    But Adobe is not Apple, and Adobe cannot solve all of Apple's problems.

    Adobe relies on Apple's OS code working correctly, much like your car relies on a decent road to run on.  And you don't call Honda to fix potholes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 8:21 AM   in reply to Chris Cox

    It also appears to be doing it in CS 5 according to another person on Mac Rumors. They took a video of it doing it .. not very clear shot but thats what it does on my screen too.. if not a little worse. Here it is below:

     

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=463152160442512&set=vb.3240691143 50818&type=2&theater

     

    I am not trying to get into its an Adobe fault only however instead of us going to Apple it would be better if the company who makes the program goes to them and says look we have some reports of this can you look into it especially when others have said that Apple is pointing users towards Adobe. We would like this fixed as soon as possible. Surely Adobe has more sway as a company than a few of us on some forums or filing bug reports.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 8:38 PM   in reply to babawich

    When we file a bug with Apple that we cannot reproduce ourselves: Apple ignores it.

    ( NOTE - I have now reproduced the issue on my own machine, and am reaching out to Apple hardware folks to get this looked at)

     

    Apple needs to hear from customers who exerperience the problem, and needs details on exactly which systems have the problem.

     

    We will continue to research this, and if we find a system that reproduces it, then we can file a bug with Apple and have some hope that they might investigate.

     

    Also, thanks for the video - that is definitely a driver or GPU issue, though with that kind of flickering I'd also suspect the LCD driver circuits.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 8:32 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Does anyone at your company have the new 2013 air? I and others would like to know if it works correctly for anyone as we still have the return period. This is the new haswell gpu drivers that may be buggy but we need to know without being told to go back and forth. Any further research into this would be appreciated. I really want this resolved as I am loving my new Mac air and really do enjoy using the creative cloud.

     

    I found this issue after playing with the brushes and blur tool at a very large size.

     

    Thanks.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 8:58 PM   in reply to babawich

    Yes, we do - and can't reproduce the problem so far. (my guess is that the problem only affects some batches of machines)   We'll keep trying, though.

     

    But without a system showing the problem, I can't isolate the cause.

    It could be the driver, the GPU (or VRAM), or the LCD drivers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 9:20 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Chris,

     

    Thanks for trying. I just opened up Photoshop CC again to see if I could narrow it down with the brushes. I noticed that over 60px was when a lot of problems were happening but it also depended on the hardness of the brush. Sometimes it wouldn't do it unless I moved it up in size etc. and some of the other brush settings (can't think of the names but not the normal round ones)  did not appear to have an issue. Not sure what else I could do to help.

     

    I worry that it works on the machines you tested on but not right on ours.. shouldn't it be the same drivers for all? The LCD driver I could understand being a little different as Apple seems to have LG or Samsung. If it helps mine is an LG.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 10:55 PM   in reply to babawich

    It should be the same drivers, but things may have been updated for a new batch of chips, or the chips could be bad.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 7:54 AM   in reply to GSVAI

    Thanks - that would be great if we know what Apple says in the store. Its a bit of a drive for me to get one and mine is BTO so if there is an issue I will have to mail it back and wait for a new one. Holding out hope that its something simple like a driver issue that can be fixed!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 7:57 AM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Another video posted by someone else:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7bdy2qr4lm9py11/IMG_2355.MOV

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 11:40 AM   in reply to babawich

    That's not even a very large cursor - and not the sort of rolling/VBL like artifacts you could get from application timing issues with the GPU.  (and not much like a driver issue, either)

     

    Yeah, the more I see the more I suspect that this is a GPU/LCD driver problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 8:36 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    An update:

     

    I went to the Apple store and brought myself a more recent MacBook Air (13", 4/256 FYI, they were out of the 8/512 model).    I can't reproduce *exactly* what you're showing, but got the flicker to happen by resizing the cursor.    Also, while painting, the screen seems to stop updating except for the cursor -- not only is Photoshop unable to draw, but other applications stop drawing as well.  And a few times it hasn't even updated the cursor (while all other apps seem frozen).  That's not normal.

     

    When I see the flickering, I frequently see the menubar and other UI elements draw at the wrong location on the LCD, then black, then redraw in the correct location -- repeat in different positions and lots of "static" until I stop changing the cursor.  That's more evidence of a hardware or and odd driver issue.  The odd thing is: it doesn't happen all the time.  It's possible that the one we have at the office also shows the problem, but we didn't test long enough.

     

    I'm trying to reach out to my hardware contacts at Apple - but it's a weekend before a holiday, so we may not make progress immediately.

     

    One thing that would be useful here: the model of MacBook Air that you have that shows (or doesn't show) the problem. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 8:49 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Chris,

     

    Thanks for taking the time to grab one at the store. I have been following several forums and some people are saying the issue isn't always "consistent". Anyway another person shot a few videos that may be helpful to you if you have not already seen it. I am seeing pretty much the same issues:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6gX2ydkVz4&feature=youtu.be

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMH6EczMrSI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElofXqNnJ58

    The model I have is the i5/256 gig SSD and 8 gigs of memory. I ran some command in terminal and found that it is an LG brand LCD screen.

     

    Hopefuly someone can figure it out or at least tell us if we have a bad batch so we can get a replacement. I don't want to bother getting a new one sent yet if it could have a good chance of having the same issue.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 9:59 PM   in reply to babawich

    Thanks for the pointers - and I hadn't seen that last video yet.

     

     

    And here's my 60 seconds of oops: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJAY6Xo0JzI.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2013 8:24 AM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Update from Brisbane, Australia:

     

    I bought a 13" MBA 4GB 256GB on Wednesday - which I plan to use whilst on location shoots; as soon as I read about this problem, I tried it out and can confirm that flickering occurs (and even at times the screen completely darkens) at certain brush sizes relative to the zoom amount (ie: a large brush size with the canvas zoomed out, or a small brush size with the canvas zoomed in)
    Went to the Apple Store yesterday and explained to them the situation - the genius told me to back up my MBA then come back today so they can replace it. There'd still be chances of the new MBA I'm getting to be faulty but hey, if later on, they confirm that it is a GPU problem, I'll be able to return the new one too and get a new new one.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2013 11:56 AM   in reply to Chris Cox

    After more testing, I went a couple of hours without glitches, then this:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl8D2nKAHKQ&feature=youtu.be

     

    It looks like the backlight is turning off in some cases, and the display driver is picking up garbage or offset data in several cases.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 3:41 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Chris,

     

    Did you ever hear back from any Apple Engineers? Would like to know if this can be resolved soon.

     

    Thanks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 4:10 PM   in reply to babawich

    I think there is an issue with how the mba wakes up from sleep. I can't reproduce the problem after boot or reboot, but easily after waking my macbook from sleep by changing the brush size with the square bracket keys while leaving the brush in the canvas.

     

    It happens on both PS C6 and CC

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 4:52 PM   in reply to babawich

    No, I haven't heard back from Apple engineers yet.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 6:41 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Just wanted to share this https://discussions.apple.com/message/22383256#22383256

     

    I just got a Macbook Air, while I was waiting for it to arrived I got news from MacRumors that Photoshop was having this flickering, so I tested it and those were the results.

     

    Have no idea. I will hate to return the Macbook Air but I depend a lot on Adobe software.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 7:32 PM   in reply to alfnewlayer

    alfnewlayer wrote:

     

    Just wanted to share this https://discussions.apple.com/message/22383256#22383256

    As I said before, I think that the drivers for the new gpu or some other new component might not work well after waking up from sleep.

     

    My experience is

    boot -> open Photoshop -> change brush size -> no problems,

    boot -> put mba to sleep -> open Photoshop -> change brush size->flickering

     

    Apple might be at fault here, because the fact that the macbook was in sleep mode shouldn't normally affect the behaviour of an application.

     

    I haven't tested long enough to be sure of it, but keeping the mba from sleeping after boot may be a temporary fix if someone needs to do some work with a certain brush size.

     

    My hardware configuration is i5/8gb/256gb with lg panel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 7:31 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    I brought my MBA to the apple store: they swapped it out for another one.

     

    The new one exhibits the same problem.

     

    I've done a little (emphasis little) testing on one image which is 223.5Meg in size.

     

    Using a brush in quick mask mode it seems to consistenly exhibit the bug with a brush size of 1938 or higher and not with 1937 or lower.

     

    I'd be interested to know if these magic numbers are consistent across machines.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 11:48 AM   in reply to Mike Howard\'s Screen name

    my experience is also as ojinooo.

     

    My experience is

    boot -> open Photoshop -> change brush size -> no problems,

    boot -> put mba to sleep -> open Photoshop -> change brush size->flickering

     

    seems to be a problem when it goes to sleep and wakes up.

     

    if I restart it or connect it to an external monitor it starts working again, no flickering.

     

    Just got the Air today, I bought it from apple.com and will give it a few days.

     

    Everything else works perfect. I was kinda of just hoping for an update/solution.

     

    I can imagine how stressful it could be for those who can't return the Air. Maybe just wait for apple to hopefully resolve it

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 3:37 PM   in reply to alfnewlayer

    Hmm I restarted and had no issues.. Then put it to sleep, started using it.. and the flickering started again. I will have to do more testing.. to be sure though. Chris any thoughts while you were testing? I thought I remembered it doing it before sleep too but not today.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 4:56 PM   in reply to babawich

    No, I need to talk to Apple about the issue -- without details of what's going on in the driver or the hardware, I can't make any more detailed guesses about the cause.

     

    We have made attempts to inform Apple of the issue.  That's all I can say for now.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2013 11:01 AM   in reply to GSVAI

    I took my laptop to the Apple Store two days ago because of this problem, and they called me today to go and collect it. The guy confirmed the problem and told me I should wait for an update from Apple or may be also from Adobe. No more details on when it should come up or anything else.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2013 11:49 AM   in reply to Mike Howard\'s Screen name

    Follow up:

     

    I called Apple Tech support & submitted my findings to them - including an iPhone video I too showing the flicker.

     

    The apple tech ran a remote screen capture session with me to try to capture the flicker. I experienced flicker during the session and during a Quicktime screen recording, but the they did not (nor was there any flicker in the Quicktime recording). The results of this session and (I believe) my iPhone video have been forwarded to Apple Engineering.

     

    It looks like we should expect a fix 'one of these days real soon now' - or sooner. It's clearly something which occurs under extreme load. It's also clear that wedging diagnostic software (or a screen recording program in) distributes the load enough to resolve the flicker - while slowing the machine down signficantly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2013 11:37 PM   in reply to Mike Howard\'s Screen name

    thanks for the info, I been playing with photoshop on a external monitor I'ts been great overall but I do ocasionally experience some type of half a second white flashes, when moving Layers, specially group layers, this is in the external monitor.

     

    This got me thinking about the option I have of returning the MacBook AIr. I'm in love with the Air don't get me wrong, hoping that the update does come and solves the problem, that's what I prefer. I will hate to return a almost perfect machine, but anyways what do you guys think, should I keep it or return it. any suggestion will be appreciated thanks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2013 8:20 AM   in reply to GSVAI

    Hello I'm an unfortunate new owner of Mba 13" 2013, and also experiencing the same flickering problems again and again... I've been checking different forums / discussions, still stuck with my machine, but i wonder why isn't there any discussions update since 4/5 days now... Does it mean that everybody found out solutions (with updates, patches, from apple or adobe) since then or simply just turned back the faulting Macbook Air to Apple to get money back and wait?

     

    Thank you, Two days left before the end of the 14 days return policy...don't know what to do. Don't have any clear news...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2013 8:53 AM   in reply to petersillions

    @petersillions - apple is aware of the problem and engineering is working on it - according to the senior applecare tech I talked with.

     

    My experience is that the issue is triggered when the brush size exceeds some fixed threshold. I get flickering when using quick mask and the brush size is greater than 1937 pixels. I haven't experienced problems with other tools, but I don't do a lot of things on the MBA that use a large brush.

     

    If yours is acting similarly, you should have a useable machine if you keep our brush sizes down.

     

    You should also know that Apple swapped out my original MBA (purchased next day after announcement) after seeing the flicker at the genius bar. The new one exhibits the same problem.

     

    If you do decide to keep the machine, then you probably should report the issue to apple. Be prepared to argue a little because the flickering does NOT show up when diagnostic software is running - so they cannot capture it using remote tools. I've tried catching it on iShowU & Quicktime. The apple tech tried using their screen charing and that failed. I sent them an iPhone video 'just to make the point'.

     

    Good luck either way you decide to go.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated

    Just wanted to say to everyone I ended up returning my New Macbook Air for a Macbook Pro 13. Glad I did even though it was a difficult decision. Was in love with the Air and was running out of time, if your using Photoshop the Macbook Pro seems more solid, no flickering from day one. You can read more here https://discussions.apple.com/message/22427735#22427735

     

    thanks for sharing and the support. good luck to everyone.

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2013 1:19 AM   in reply to GSVAI

    Apple has released an update to the MacBook Air 2013 that fixes this very issue: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1672

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2013 10:30 AM   in reply to Pierre Courtejoie

    After a week of testing this myself: the fix works.  And the other drawing hangs/glitches are cleaned up as well.  Photoshop CC and CS6 are now working quite smoothly on my MacBook Air.

     
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