Problems Running PS CS6 with Dell XPS 8500 i7 Intel Quad Core Windows 8

I bought a Dell XPS 8500 Desktop, Intel® Core™ i7-3770 3.4GHz, running Windows 8 PRO.

It was configured as a really hot machine to run Photoshop CS6… which was choking on my  two-year old Windows 7 HP machine after I upgraded to the Nikon D800 and its 36 Mega Pixel files.  A Photoshop PSD file grew from about 200 MB typical with a Nikon D7000 16 Megapixel file to about 1 Giga Byte typical with the D800 files… Just a save operation took maybe 30 seconds…  So, I considered upgrading…

This was a built to order standard configuration Dell.  That is, it was a standard choice, I could buy, but was built and shipped after order.

The monitor and system came separately.

Full machine configuration is further down in article.

For a few days, I had the joys of using two monitors on my system.   Addicted.  Don’t know how I ever made do with only one monitor all these years.  Better living through technology now.

Dell?  They shipped the system without a cable compatible with THE STANDARD CONFIGURATION !!!  Said I had to buy my own cable to make the system work.  I found a spare cable in my stores…

Then the fun really began.

The video card, a 2GB AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 Graphics Card, has it turns out known issues with Photoshop CS6…  Adobe and AMD are working on it…

What I was experiencing was a flickering of my work space screen when I moved the mouse cursor…  It was a random flicker.  I found and downloaded the latest AMD drivers, which were hot off the presses 1/17/13… and still had the issue.

Found some videos and hints.

These let me know that this was a known issue.  And, these suggested in composite, that if I went into the Edit>Preferences>Performance>Advanced Settings pull down menus and turned my Graphic Card performance down to ‘Basic’ from ‘Advanced’ and unclicked the ‘OpenCL’ option, open and close the image file I’ve been working on, then this would resolve the workspace flicker issue… (The flicker would flash through various shades of grey backgrounds, including the white and grey checker pattern familiar to PS users.)

The flicker improved, but did not go away unless,  I disabled the GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) in the GPU Settings Menu of the Performance Window…

That is, hobbling my fancy new systems GPU would make it work a little bit, and disabling the GPU entirely would fix the flicker… WTF?

System doesn’t work with PS CS6… That’s the short version.  It was a Costco warehouse buy, so Costco took the system back.

This was not the only issue.  Certain other software, including Active Presenter, could not see a microphone which I attached to the system.  Even though the system claimed it could see the mike.   This was a simple mike that worked great on my Windows 7 machine.

Long story short… Windows 8 seems not to work with certain softwares we like to use with full functionality.  You may have to use a piece of software for a while to hit a glitch… So, just cause it seems like it’s working, it may not be.

Second, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 Graphics Card, at least on Windows 8 platform and perhaps just the card itself, has at least some issues with Photoshop CS6 and who knows what else.  As of this writing, I am aware of no fix for this, except not using it.  Then what’s the point of that?

Other issues with the Windows 8 machine?

I had this thing for like 3 days… The wireless keyboard was great.  The wireless mouse would work intermittently skipping.   Unless I had it very close to the system.  Now… the mouse did seem to work when hooked up to my Windows 7 machine, just fine… So, I had to use a wired mouse I had lying around…

Thank goodness Costco takes returns…  I did buy a second monitor to try out.  While I consider my options, perhaps switch now to Mac?  Hello Apple?




Processor & Memory:

    • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 Processor 3.4GHz Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 up to 3.90GHz
    • 24GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz (3 DIMMS)


    • 2TB (7200RPM) SATA Hard Drive
    • Blu-ray Combo Drive (BD-R, DVD+/-RW), Write to CD/DVD

Operating System:

    • Microsoft® Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)
    • Windows 8 is Beautiful, fast, and fluid (NOT)

Graphics & Video:

    • Dell S2740L 27-inch Full HD Monitor with LED (1920 x 1080)
    • 2GB AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 Graphics (HAS KNOWN ISSUES WITH PS CS6)


    • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
    • Dell Wireless 1703 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 +LE


    • Internal High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio with WAVES MAXX Audio
    • Dell™ AX210 USB Stereo Speakers

Keyboard & Mouse:

    • Dell™ KM632 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo (MOUSE FUNCTION IFFY, SKIPS)

Expandability (Total Slots):

    • Total Memory Slots: 4 DIMMs
    • 3x PCIe x1
    • 1x PCIe x16
    • 2x Sata 3
    • 2x Sata 2
    • 1x Mini-PCIe
    • 6x Internal USB 2.0

Top I/O Ports & Slots:

    • 2x USB 2.0 (One Powershare)

Front I/O Ports & Slots:

    • 2x USB 3.0 Ports
    • 1x 19-in-1 Media Card Reader

Rear I/O Ports & Slots:

  • 4x USB 2.0
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • Audio Jacks
  • RJ-45
  • VGA
  • HDMI

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