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Old 14th Jan 2017, 8:18 PM DefaultComputer shutdown after 10 mins on Sims 4 - upgrade or new computer needed? #1
Anniemaniac
Original Poster

Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 137


I haven't played Sims 4 in about 2 years. But, with the new toddlers I couldn't resist giving it ago and I have to say, for how little I was able to play, I enjoyed the game a lot more than I did when it first came out.

After about 10 minutes of playing, my computer screen suddenly went blank. I thought my computer had shut down but it was still on. I left it for a few minutes thinking it would shut down but it didn't, it continued running but the screen was black. Eventually I held down the power button to shut the computer off and when I turned it back on again, the screen came up all black with a thick white line running horizontally across it. I switched the monitor over to another old screen I have to see if it was the monitor or the computer but I coudln't get any picture to come up at all (I don't know if it was the computer or not because the new screen I tried hadn't been used in well over 3 years). I then decided to try once again with my original monitor and this time when I turned the computer on, the screen worked. However, I did notice that my computer was very laggy when it was first turned on and took a good few minutes to really settle. As of right now, my computer is fine again. Something similar happened to my computer a few months back when I tried to play RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 - suddenly after about 10 minutes of play, my entire computer shut down and when I turned it back on again, it was -painfully- slow and laggy for a good 30 minutes.

I've ran my computer specs through CanYouRunIt and everything but my graphics card it coming back okay, but I've read on here that that scan isn't necessarily reliable so I'm not sure what to think. Could someone give their opinion on what the problem is here - I'm assuming it's the graphics card but I know nothing about computers - and advice on whether I could get away with an upgrade or if I need to replace my whole computer. Worth noting is that I bought this computer ~2.5 years ago refurbished (from a reputable company). Here's my comp's specs:

Win 10 64bit
Intel i7-2600 CPU @3.40GHz (8 CPUs)
8192mb ram
Nvidia GE Force GT 545m 7106mb memory.

Hopefully I've included everything necessary, but please let me know if you need any other information.

Cheers.
Old 15th Jan 2017, 5:08 PM #2
Nysha
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It sounds like your graphics card probably overheated. Your graphics card should be alright in theory, but it clearly isn't - the problems you described are typical of graphics card failure.

Have you been monitoring your component temperatures? If not, I'd suggest you download HWMonitor and keep it open while you play TS4 or RCT3 for a few minutes. Don't push the time - you'll need to stop playing before the screen goes black again. Then, check what the current and maximum temperatures are that HWMonitor is reporting for your graphics card, and post them here.

You should also upgrade your graphics drivers, if you haven't already.

What model is your laptop? Some laptops come with two graphics processors - the graphics card, and onboard graphics as part of the CPU. If your computer is using the onboard graphics instead of the graphics card when you're playing games, that would definitely explain the problems you're having! If this is the cause of the problem, you should be able to fix it by selecting "High Performance" in the nVidia control panel, which should be accessible via the up arrow button next to your computer clock.

When was the last time you cleaned your laptop's vents?

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Old 15th Jan 2017, 9:32 PM #3
Anniemaniac
Original Poster

Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 137


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nysha
It sounds like your graphics card probably overheated. Your graphics card should be alright in theory, but it clearly isn't - the problems you described are typical of graphics card failure.

Have you been monitoring your component temperatures? If not, I'd suggest you download HWMonitor and keep it open while you play TS4 or RCT3 for a few minutes. Don't push the time - you'll need to stop playing before the screen goes black again. Then, check what the current and maximum temperatures are that HWMonitor is reporting for your graphics card, and post them here.

You should also upgrade your graphics drivers, if you haven't already.

What model is your laptop? Some laptops come with two graphics processors - the graphics card, and onboard graphics as part of the CPU. If your computer is using the onboard graphics instead of the graphics card when you're playing games, that would definitely explain the problems you're having! If this is the cause of the problem, you should be able to fix it by selecting "High Performance" in the nVidia control panel, which should be accessible via the up arrow button next to your computer clock.

When was the last time you cleaned your laptop's vents?


Cheers for the reply. For the record, it's a desktop - sorry, should have clarified that! I do have HWMonitor but didn't think to run it or pace myself with TS4 since it had worked fine in the past without issues and I'd all but forgotten about the RCT3 issue as it was a couple of months ago now. I opened up the case and did a good cleaning out again (did one when RCT3 crashed - was dusty as, no wonder it crashed) and there wasn't much dust but there was a fine layer over a lot of the components so with some compressed air and a some cotton buds and a paintbrush I removed as much as I could. I also turned the settings down on TS4 to medium - didn't realise they were all set to high! I also updated a few drivers and it all seems to be working now!

I do plan on downloading CC and getting EPs though so I'm a bit wary of pushing the card too far - do you think it's worth getting a new graphics card? If so, could you suggest a decent but reasonably-priced one?
Old 16th Jan 2017, 4:17 PM #4
Nysha
Née whiterider



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Oh, that's odd! Did you build the desktop yourself? Why did you get a laptop graphics card for it?

I'm glad you've got things working, in any case. As far as CC - just based on its specifications your graphics card should be able to cope fine with TS4 and CC... but since you've already had problems, you'll probably have more problems with more CC. If you do go for CC, avoid super high poly stuff, such as many popular creators' hair meshes.

If the temperatures appeared to be in normal range, I wonder if the problem might be that your graphics card is being underpowered. I've never worked with laptop graphics cards so I honestly don't know how to calculate their power requirements. Is this something you looked into when you bought or built the computer? (It also may just be that the card is worn out - it is six years old after all)


If you decide to get a new graphics card, you'll want to look at the table of supported cards here. If you're on a budget I'd suggest getting a card not from the most recent series, but the couple before that - so for a nVidia card you'd be looking at a GeForce 8X0 or 9X0, for AMD you'd be looking at a Radeon 3X0 or 2X0. Where within the series you buy depends on what else you want to be able to play: TS4 is quite forgiving, but if you play other games, you'll need to check their requirements.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Old 19th Jan 2017, 2:13 PM #5
Anniemaniac
Original Poster

Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 137


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nysha
Oh, that's odd! Did you build the desktop yourself? Why did you get a laptop graphics card for it?

I'm glad you've got things working, in any case. As far as CC - just based on its specifications your graphics card should be able to cope fine with TS4 and CC... but since you've already had problems, you'll probably have more problems with more CC. If you do go for CC, avoid super high poly stuff, such as many popular creators' hair meshes.

If the temperatures appeared to be in normal range, I wonder if the problem might be that your graphics card is being underpowered. I've never worked with laptop graphics cards so I honestly don't know how to calculate their power requirements. Is this something you looked into when you bought or built the computer? (It also may just be that the card is worn out - it is six years old after all)


If you decide to get a new graphics card, you'll want to look at the table of supported cards here. If you're on a budget I'd suggest getting a card not from the most recent series, but the couple before that - so for a nVidia card you'd be looking at a GeForce 8X0 or 9X0, for AMD you'd be looking at a Radeon 3X0 or 2X0. Where within the series you buy depends on what else you want to be able to play: TS4 is quite forgiving, but if you play other games, you'll need to check their requirements.


Sorry for the late reply. I didn't build it myself no, and I had no idea the graphics card was a laptop one! Wish I'd known that because I wouldn't have spent £700 on this computer otherwise.

Thanks for the info re: CC - will steer clear of high poly stuff until I can get a better computer. Will look at your link for graphics cards but I've just been offered a full time job so I may just spoil myself and buy a whole new computer. I will definitely be sure to check out that link anyway though to give me a good idea of what sort of card I should be going for in a new computer. I've heard that buying the parts and building the computer yourself can work out cheaper - is this usually the case? If so, how difficult would you say it is to build your own PC (I'm not great at assembling stuff)? Bear in mind, I know literally -nothing- about computers so I'm not sure if buying the parts and assembling it myself would be too advanced for me - don't wanna mess it up obviously because I couldn't afford to replace/repair any stupid mistakes.
Old 19th Jan 2017, 2:47 PM #6
simmer22
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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It could also be an overheated CPU. If the CPU detects too high temperatures, it can freeze, shut down or restart the computer to protect itself.

In the future, if the computer complains after only 10 minutes of playing a game, there are one or more problems that needs fixing ASAP, before you even think of trying to run any demanding game again.

If you have the opportunity, ally yourself with a computer geek who's experienced in tinkering around with computer components. Building your own computer can give you a great computer, but only if the computer parts are put together properly. Some parts won't be compatible, so if you don't know squat about computers, it's always good to have someone else who knows more (and don't always trust the staff at places that sell computers, like in electronic stores - in my experience, a lot of them don't know squat, either). A lot of the pre-built computers from electronics shops and the like will also have a lot of nagware and other annoying programs that clog up the computer, so if you can get one with a clean Windows version, that would probably be best (if you go for one of those, re-installing Windows from scratch before doing anything else is a very good idea). You can get good deals on the web, and some of the better sites can help set up a custom computer that fits your needs, in an acceptable price range.
Last edited by simmer22 : 19th Jan 2017 at 3:07 PM.
 


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