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Old 22nd Sep 2014, 2:40 PM DefaultHelp buying a new computer for TS3 (All Expansion Packs). #1
bassoon_crazy
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I apologize this is a really common topic, and I tried to look through other topics, but I just want to give my specific circumstances here... I am truly clueless when it comes to what can run TS3 smoothly lol.

Let me start off by saying I have absolutely no interest in 'moving' to The Sims 4, so there's no need to factor that in here. I just want a PC that can run The Sims 3 as smoothly as possible... I do not know anything about computers anymore, I do not know which graphics cards are good anymore. I knew a lot back when The Sims 2 was released, but things have changed sooo much since then and when I look at graphics cards today I really know nothing about them. lol

The Sims 3 is barely playable on my current PC. I thought that maybe TS3 was a naturally laggy game and the problems i experienced were at least a little bit close to standard fare. However, then I ended up stumbling upon an LP (specifically this one ), and watching a little bit into it and it is night and day. The LPer complains about lag, and I'm sitting there thinking "You call that lag? Your game runs as smooth as butter!"... If my game ran like that I could actually play it. Lol.

I looked into the specs of her computer, but it's all foreign to me. As far as I know the Dell XPS Special Edition PCs are similar enough. lol But I don't know, because things are completely different from the early days of The Sims 2, when essentially higher numbered graphics cards meant better, and having an 'X' in front meant an even better line, IIRC. GTX 750 Ti (or whatever it is) is completely another language to me... I don't even know if it's integrated. xD

The truth is, I want to keep it simple. I don't want to have to build anything myself. I just want to be able to go out and find and buy a PC that will do this for me. I thought it would be simple enough, as The Sims 3 is now 'outdated', and everybody always says it is a game that doesn't require much, but then they turn around and say that modern high-end PCs can't properly run it?

If a Dell XPS Special Edition would do it, that would be great... Nice and simple. A little pricey, but I could probably handle it. I don't care about PC games beyond The Sims 3, so I shouldn't have to worry about upgrading for quite some time. And I already have a nice monitor, so I don't need to worry about that expense at all... Just the desktop itself.

Sorry, I know I'm long-winded, but I would appreciate any help. =)

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 5:04 PM #2
ajaxsirius
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The Sims 3 doesn't need a powerful PC to "run". But it needs a decent PC to "run decently". TS3 was poorly coded, such that you need a lot of power to overcome the laziness of the programmers. But they did program it so that it would technically run on a lot of computers.

What's your budget? I assume you're buying from the United States? Do you plan on doing anything else with your PC? I take it you'll re-use your old screen, mouse and keyboard? If so, what kind of screen? Do you need to buy a new windows license? Do you need a CD/DVD drive in your computer?
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 5:51 PM #3
bassoon_crazy
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So I did a little research myself, trying to figure out how graphics cards are nowadays. I found out immediately via this guide that the graphics card I have in my current PC is bad, and can only "Maybe" for the base-game, and "No" for everything beyond. D: (I knew it was not up to standards, and integrated, but geez)

I also was able to quickly eliminate a lot of options. Only the top-of-the-line Dell PC has a maximum settings card for The Sims 3... D: (and it's almost $2000! OMG. *cries*)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxsirius
The Sims 3 doesn't need a powerful PC to "run". But it needs a decent PC to "run decently". TS3 was poorly coded, such that you need a lot of power to overcome the laziness of the programmers. But they did program it so that it would technically run on a lot of computers.

What's your budget? I assume you're buying from the United States? Do you plan on doing anything else with your PC? I take it you'll re-use your old screen, mouse and keyboard? If so, what kind of screen? Do you need to buy a new windows license? Do you need a CD/DVD drive in your computer?


I don't really have a budget. However I'd say anything over $1000 is getting just a bit too pricey for me. Although I could still manage it. I just would feel a bit ripped off spending that much on a PC I'm upgrading to solely to be able to play an outdated "low end" game at maximum settings

But it would become my new 'main' PC, which I use for a lot of things, but mainly internet/videos. As I said, I don't want to get too complex here... I'm not into building PCs, I have no idea what in the world to even do with the inside of them. lol I just was wanting something pre-built. Coming a new license for Windows 7 (or 8 if I have to. Ugh.). A CD/DVD-drive is a must-have, considering I buy new CDs on a frequent basis and add them to library and iPod/iPhone. A new keyboard and mouse is also a must-have at this point. They're a bit...wonky now. xD

Oh, and yes, I'm from the USA.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Last edited by bassoon_crazy : 22nd Sep 2014 at 6:07 PM.
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 7:26 PM #4
ajaxsirius
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Here's what I've got for you. Go to NCIX.us by following each link below. Add the items to your cart by clicking the red "Add to Shopping Cart" button and then checkout. They will assemble, install Windows 7 and ship to you.


Total 11 items: $966.39 +tax.

It's a really good system for the price, especially considering that it's pre-built and comes with a 256GB SSD (!). Keyboard and mouse are not included since you can shop around for those and buy them seperately.

If you still find it too pricey, we can cut corners here and there. But I find it's really good value as it is. It'll play anything you want that's out now, and it'll load The Sims fast thanks to its SSD. The GPU is entry-level gaming, but I don't think you need a more powerful one just to play the sims.
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 7:52 PM #5
bassoon_crazy
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Thanks for all of the help! =) I'll certainly think about it.

The problem is that from what I've read (it's not extensively researched on my part, though, considering earlier today when I made the topic I knew nothing. xD) the nVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti video card may have some issues running Island Paradise and Into The Future. The first one I own, and the second one I certainly plan on getting. So I think, just to play it safe, I'd have to step it up to another card, like the 760? Although, you probably know better than I when it comes to this. I'm pretty much speaking from what I saw on a Wiki. lol

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 8:05 PM #6
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Well, the wiki is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules ;]

I haven't actually used a GTX 750 Ti (I use a more powerful GTX 670) so I can't tell you 100% for sure if it can play those two expansions.

The next step up from the GTX 750 Ti would actually be the R9 270X I think, then would come the GTX 760.

There's an ASUS Radeon R9 270X here on sale for $199.

The GTX 760 is about $240.
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 11:21 PM #7
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Yeah, I had seen that they both seemed to be in that 'sweet spot' range. I still think that it's better to play it safe and go with a higher one, like the R9 270X. It would be able to run The Sims 3 at maximum graphics, right?

Anyway, just thinking here... I went through and added all of them to the basket (with the R9 270X instead of the GTX 750 Ti), however, the case you recommended is out of stock. Are there any others you would recommend?

Also if the 760 would actually run better, I might be able to do that (although in that case, I would want to know which type and brand you specifically recommend).

Lastly, is this a complete PC... It will be able to be hooked up to the internet by ethernet, or run wireless internet? Sorry, I just am completely new to "building" a PC. It kind of freaks me out... lol

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Last edited by bassoon_crazy : 23rd Sep 2014 at 12:50 AM.
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 5:17 AM #8
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The R9 270X should run the sims 3 at maximum graphics. I definitely think the GTX 760 is more than what you need, since it's quite similar to what I have. However I've never actually used it or the R9 270X (I can't buy all the cards >< ), so when I say the R9 270X should run the sims 3 at max and that you don't need to pay extra for a GTX 760, that's an educated guess based on reviews, the card specs and what other people have said.

It's a complete PC yes, but you'll have to connect using ethernet. If you want it to connect wirelessly, you'll have to either buy a WiFi add-in card to put inside the computer, or buy a dongle. Both are sold seperately.

This case is reasonably priced if you take advantage of the manufacturer's mail-in rebate: Corsair Carbide Series 230T Window Black Gaming Case ATX 3X5.25 4X3.5 Front USB3.0 Audio No PSU $69.99. Just too bad the other is sold out.
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 10:47 AM #9
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Hm... Does the front of the computer tower really light up like that with that case? D:

Also, do I need a CPU Cooler?

Sorry for all of these questions... I'm asking because I'm fairly certain right now I'm going to go with this.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 1:41 PM #10
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Yes, it should. Is that... a good thing or a bad thing? D:

The CPU comes with a standard CPU cooler. You don't really need one of the fancy ones. They're like $60+ each...

No problem about the questions Ask away!
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 1:55 PM #11
bassoon_crazy
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Oh, well it just might be kind of distracting. I have my PC in my bedroom right by my bed. Lol.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 4:27 PM #12
ajaxsirius
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You can have it replaced if you find it distracting later on. It's really simple. I could even talk you through it I think.

EDIT: Or I could go looking for one without lights.
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 4:43 PM #13
bassoon_crazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxsirius
You can have it replaced if you find it distracting later on. It's really simple. I could even talk you through it I think.

EDIT: Or I could go looking for one without lights.


If it were simple to find one, that would be really nice! It just seems weird to me to have that showing. Lol. Yeah, sorry, I'm picky!

If it's not simple to find something else that will work, that's fine, too. I can deal. However, I really want to get this ordered within the next couple of hours before I have to go to bed and the deals run out. D:

EDIT: One more thing... SD card slot/part. Is it possible/easy to get one? My current desktop has that, and it's really helpful to me as a (hobby) photographer. If not, that's fine... Cameras can still be hooked up by USB, but it would be really nice to keep this SD card slot feature.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Last edited by bassoon_crazy : 23rd Sep 2014 at 5:23 PM.
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 5:33 PM #14
ajaxsirius
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Here's a case with no lights in the front. I didn't choose it at first because it was slightly more expensive is all.

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Gaming Case ATX 3X5.25 4X3.5 Front USB Audio No PSU $79.99

That slot part is doable. Are there any specific SD/SDHC Cards you are using? How about Compact Flash?
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 5:39 PM #15
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I see and understand. Thank you for trying to save me money. =)

All of the SD cards I use are all the standard size ones, so I suppose that keeps it simple? lol

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 6:25 PM #16
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 6:55 PM #17
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Okay, that makes it perfect, and it's inexpensive!

Thank you so much for the help. I put the order in! I was a bit wary of the idea of a custom built desktop, but I realize that my very first desktop ten years ago was put together by a company that was very similar. It couldn't run The Sims 2 very well, but that's because I ended up having it built close to minimum specifications. Lol

Anyway, I really can't wait to be able to actually PLAY The Sims 3... Thank you so much for walking me through this all and answering all of my questions, and giving me a company that will put it all together for me. =)

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 25th Sep 2014, 10:24 AM #18
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Once you have your PC and you've played with it, I'd love to hear how everything worked out!
Old 23rd Oct 2014, 5:47 PM #19
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Like OMG... I just finally got the PC Tuesday and for various reasons couldn't get the game installed until today, and it runs AMAZINGLY! The utter lack of lag is just unbelievable to me... It's like I'm playing an entirely different game. I honestly don't even know HOW to play it like this. xD

ONE PROBLEM, though. The game says that it doesn't recognize the video card (Radeon R9 270X, in case you forgot). The graphics seem to be running fine, but how can I get the card to be recognized?

EDIT: So that problem remains, but also it wasn't as lag-free as I originally thought. Even when taking some settings down, the lag is still really bad when there is snow on the ground or it is snowing. I thought this system would be able to handle it... The lag is almost as bad as on my last computer with snow. I don't know if this has to do with the graphics card not being recognized?

Please help. I spent a fortune on this PC, and I should not have to turn snow off.

PS. The kind of lag I'm facing is where the bushes and trees still look like they're moving, but the time and Sims are frozen. It happens every seven or so Sim minutes. >.<

It's a recurring problem now, even with the snow melted and turned off. It's making the game unplayable.

My observations today (10/24/14): It [the lag] seems to be cyclical. It may be related to the weather, but I'm not certain. Because sometimes I've had long amounts of rain and snow without this particular lag coming into effect. When it isn't lagging, the game runs amazingly, but when it does go into this lagging mode, it is what I would say less playable than on my old PC (just because it freezes so often).

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Last edited by bassoon_crazy : 25th Oct 2014 at 1:50 AM.
Old 25th Oct 2014, 5:26 AM #20
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Try this:

Quote:
1st step
Include the GPU in the Graphics database.
Edit the file: Video Cards.sgr
Include the line: card 0x6811 "AMD Radeon R9 200 Series"

Where 0x6811 is the ID of my board.
If your board has a different ID, use them instead.


2nd step
Change the max resolution that the game can run.
That could be the problem that you are dealing because if your monitor has a higher resolution than the max resolution configured in the game you will fallback to the base resolution 800x600.
Edit the file: Graphics Rules.sgr
Search the entry: option ScreenModeResolution
Below this entry you will see the folowing code:

setting $Low
uintProp maxResWidth 800
uintProp maxResHeight 600
uintProp defaultResWidth 800
uintProp defaultResHeight 600

setting $MediumButDefaultLow
uintProp maxResWidth 1280
uintProp maxResHeight 1024
uintProp defaultResWidth 800
uintProp defaultResHeight 600

setting $Medium
uintProp maxResWidth 1280
uintProp maxResHeight 1024
uintProp defaultResWidth 1024
uintProp defaultResHeight 768

setting $High
uintProp maxResWidth 1600
uintProp maxResHeight 1200
uintProp defaultResWidth 1024
uintProp defaultResHeight 768



Change all the settings maxResWidth and maxResHeight with you monitor resolution.


Optional:

You can change the variables Low, Medium, High in the begging of this file to 3
This will configure all the 3 settings to use the High configuration.


source
Old 25th Oct 2014, 12:51 PM #21
bassoon_crazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxsirius
Try this:



source


The ScreenModeResolution module does not exist in my graphicsrules.sgr file.

The first step also did not help the game read it.

EDIT: I followed the instructions by the OP in the original post and that got the game to read it (according to the DeviceConfig file or whatever it was called). However, the default settings are still very low. There are subtle wavy lines going across my game window some of the time (as has been since the beginning), and the lag is still very present.

Darn... Should have just trusted myself and bought the Geforce GTX 760 instead, because I know that it runs the game well.

I'm so angry I'm about ready to send this entire PC back. What a waste of money. Unless this can be fixed? But the wavy lines and the constant lag are killer. I shouldn't be dealing with this.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Last edited by bassoon_crazy : 25th Oct 2014 at 2:26 PM.
Old 25th Oct 2014, 2:51 PM #22
ajaxsirius
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If it doesn't exist try adding it in the same format as the other modules. Make a backup of the file you're editing first though.

Unfortunately I don't have the Sims 3 installed at the moment so I can't open the file myself to take a look. If one of the other people reading this could help out that would be very cool.

Alternatively try sending a message to Dr_Manhattan, the poster who posted the solution and ask if they can help since they are using a R9 270X as well and they got it to work.
Old 25th Oct 2014, 8:21 PM #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxsirius
If it doesn't exist try adding it in the same format as the other modules. Make a backup of the file you're editing first though.

Unfortunately I don't have the Sims 3 installed at the moment so I can't open the file myself to take a look. If one of the other people reading this could help out that would be very cool.

Alternatively try sending a message to Dr_Manhattan, the poster who posted the solution and ask if they can help since they are using a R9 270X as well and they got it to work.


I don't do coding. lol. I just don't.

I sent them a PM, but I noticed that they haven't signed on in months. They also only have the base-game listed, and I noticed that every EP has a GraphicsRules file... So this is even more confusing, am I supposed to change it for all of them?

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Old 26th Oct 2014, 2:32 PM #24
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Don't think of it as coding. Think of it as editing a word document Since you're just copying and pasting a few lines.

Anyway check your PMs. I'll send you my email address. PM me a copy of your GraphicsRules.sgr file and I'll see if I can edit it myself and then email it back to you. That way you can just take it, paste it where it belongs and see if it works again. Just make sure to make a copy to keep as backup.

EDIT: I've been reading up on your problem and seeing how other people with the R9 270X managed to get it to work. Can you try this for me?

Quote:
For me, the settings were for low quality at first (even though, I got Found and Match 1). At the main screen, I went into the options menu and changed EVERYTHING to what I wanted (1920x1080, everything on high, including lots, etc, etc). I clicked ok, required a restart for settings to take place (or it recommended it), it asked me if I wanted the settings to stay, Yes, I restarted. Once I got back in, all settings were as I had made them.


source
Last edited by ajaxsirius : 26th Oct 2014 at 3:20 PM.
 


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