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Toms hardware sims 3

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March 5, 2013 12:02:31 PM

Hello,

I'd like to play sims 3 on my computer but I'm not sure if I'll be able to upgrade it or not. I'm having problems with the game crashing and I'm wonding if I can install more RAM to fix the problem.

So, I have windows vista 32 bit. 2.2 GHz processing speed, 2 GB RAM, Intel(R) G33/G31 express chipset.

I wasn't sure if I could install RAM without switching to a 64bit operating system...

Sorry, I'm really new to all this! Is there a simple upgrate that would help my game run?

Thanks very much!

More about : toms hardware sims

March 5, 2013 2:44:57 PM

You barely meet the system requirements for the game.

http://www.thesims3.com/game/systemreq

I am guessing after a certain period of time of playing the game crashes. The best thing to do is install a graphics card. The Intel(R) G33/G31 express chipset uses some of your system RAM for graphics so you actually have less than 2GB of RAM for Win Vista and other programs. The Intel GMA 3100 graphics core is also extremely weak and is the absolute minimum for the game.

Upgrading the RAM can also help. Having 4GB installed should be enough for most people. However, Windows 32-bit will only allow you to use around 3.2GB - 3.4GB of that RAM due to technical limitations with a 32-bit operating system. But that will be fine for the Sims 3.

However, before upgrading the graphics card it is necessary to know the PC is a "standard size PC" or if it is a "slimline". It is also necessary to know how may watts the power supply (PSU) can provide. The best thing to do is to provide the brand name and model of your PC.

Generally speaking, the best graphics card for a 250w is the Radeon HD 6570, and for a 300w PSU it would be the Radeon HD 6670. Both are relatively inexpensive. Those cards generally range between $40 - $60.

RAM is also relatively inexpensive as well. Since you currently only have 2GB of RAM, I will assume that is a single stick of 2GB RAM. Another stick of 2GB of RAM generally costs between $25 - $30. Providing the make and model of your PC should help determine what type of RAM should be installed.
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March 5, 2013 2:55:24 PM

Thank you for your reply. I'm at work right now, so I'll get the rest of the information tonight.
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March 6, 2013 6:20:54 PM

jaguarskx said:
You barely meet the system requirements for the game.

http://www.thesims3.com/game/systemreq

I am guessing after a certain period of time of playing the game crashes. The best thing to do is install a graphics card. The Intel(R) G33/G31 express chipset uses some of your system RAM for graphics so you actually have less than 2GB of RAM for Win Vista and other programs. The Intel GMA 3100 graphics core is also extremely weak and is the absolute minimum for the game.

Upgrading the RAM can also help. Having 4GB installed should be enough for most people. However, Windows 32-bit will only allow you to use around 3.2GB - 3.4GB of that RAM due to technical limitations with a 32-bit operating system. But that will be fine for the Sims 3.

However, before upgrading the graphics card it is necessary to know the PC is a "standard size PC" or if it is a "slimline". It is also necessary to know how may watts the power supply (PSU) can provide. The best thing to do is to provide the brand name and model of your PC.

Generally speaking, the best graphics card for a 250w is the Radeon HD 6570, and for a 300w PSU it would be the Radeon HD 6670. Both are relatively inexpensive. Those cards generally range between $40 - $60.

RAM is also relatively inexpensive as well. Since you currently only have 2GB of RAM, I will assume that is a single stick of 2GB RAM. Another stick of 2GB of RAM generally costs between $25 - $30. Providing the make and model of your PC should help determine what type of RAM should be installed.




So Hopefully I have all the information I need. I have:

Standard size PC
Dell Vostro_200
Home Basic
Service Tag: JGMXMG1
Product ID: 89572-OEM-7332166-00096
Express Service code:42364843489
00144-337-771-266

Sorry to just throw a bunch of numbers at you! I wasn't sure exactly which ones were important :) 

Thanks for your help!
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March 8, 2013 8:45:54 PM

Okay if the case is at least 6.5" wide, then that means it is a "standard size case" which means you can install a full size graphics card. It seems the Dell Vostro 200 only has a 300w power supply and it has a PCI-e 16x version 1.0 slot where the graphics card is installed. Current graphics card are now up to PCI-e version 3.0. They are technically backwards compatible all the way back to PCI-e 1.0 slots, but most people who play games now have PCs with PCI-e version 2.0 slots , so I'm not sure if there are minor issues with sticking a current PCI-e 3.0 card in an old PCI-e 1.0 slot.


Currently the best performance card for a 300w PSU is the Radeon HD 7750 PCI-e 3.0 graphics card. The least expensive one after a rebate is $70. It is more than enough to play Sims 3. If and when Sims 4 is released it will also be able to play that as well. But I am not exactly sure if it will work in a PCI-e 1.0 slot. If it does not then you need to return the card and pay shipping as well. It also comes with a free copy (or a coupon to download a free copy) of Far Cry 3. It's much different from Sims 3, so if shooting and blowing things up is not your type of fun then just pass it along to someone else.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The next best performing graphics card for a 300w PSU is the Radeon HD 6670 which you can buy for $50 after rebate. It is a much less power card than the Radeon HD 7750, but it is still more than enough to play the Sims 3 and likely Sims 4. It is a PCI-e 2.1 graphics card and while there have been a few compatibility issues with old PCI-e version 1.0 slots, I have not found any incompatibility issues with Dell Vostro computers in general. For the extra $20 the Radeon HD 7750 provides around a 50% increase in performance which for a gamer is a big bargain, but you are not going to notice it the Sims 3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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March 12, 2013 7:52:24 AM

jaguarskx said:
Okay if the case is at least 6.5" wide, then that means it is a "standard size case" which means you can install a full size graphics card. It seems the Dell Vostro 200 only has a 300w power supply and it has a PCI-e 16x version 1.0 slot where the graphics card is installed. Current graphics card are now up to PCI-e version 3.0. They are technically backwards compatible all the way back to PCI-e 1.0 slots, but most people who play games now have PCs with PCI-e version 2.0 slots , so I'm not sure if there are minor issues with sticking a current PCI-e 3.0 card in an old PCI-e 1.0 slot.


Currently the best performance card for a 300w PSU is the Radeon HD 7750 PCI-e 3.0 graphics card. The least expensive one after a rebate is $70. It is more than enough to play Sims 3. If and when Sims 4 is released it will also be able to play that as well. But I am not exactly sure if it will work in a PCI-e 1.0 slot. If it does not then you need to return the card and pay shipping as well. It also comes with a free copy (or a coupon to download a free copy) of Far Cry 3. It's much different from Sims 3, so if shooting and blowing things up is not your type of fun then just pass it along to someone else.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The next best performing graphics card for a 300w PSU is the Radeon HD 6670 which you can buy for $50 after rebate. It is a much less power card than the Radeon HD 7750, but it is still more than enough to play the Sims 3 and likely Sims 4. It is a PCI-e 2.1 graphics card and while there have been a few compatibility issues with old PCI-e version 1.0 slots, I have not found any incompatibility issues with Dell Vostro computers in general. For the extra $20 the Radeon HD 7750 provides around a 50% increase in performance which for a gamer is a big bargain, but you are not going to notice it the Sims 3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



So after a bit of research, I think I'll be going with the first choice the 7750. Would it be helpful (necessary) to upgrade RAM as well at the same time? Would you know what kind of RAM would be best for my computer? Thanks!

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Best solution

March 12, 2013 12:34:34 PM

More RAM should help improve performance. Based on what sims 3 players say, the more expansion packs installed the more memory intensive the game becomes. Additionally, having only 2GB of RAM can affect the overall performance of your PC anyway. Your Dell uses DDR2 667MHz or 800MHz RAM. The price difference is negligible to non-existent so might as well just buy DDR2 800MHz. If your PC currently has DDR2 667MHz RAM, thenthe DDR2 800MHz RAM will just slow down to match your existing RAM.

RAM works best in pairs of sticks so if your 2GB of RAM is from a single stick, then just add in another 2GB stick of RAM. If you have 2 x 1GB sticks, then add in another pair of 1GB sticks of RAM. The motherboard should have 4 RAM slots at least according to the manual. An alternative is to simply remove the two 1GB sticks of RAM and install 2 sticks of 2GB RAM giving you a total of 4GB.

Because you do not have a 64-bit operating system you will only get about 3.2GB to 3.4GB of RAM available for usage. Below are links for a pair of 1GB sticks of RAM and a pair of 2GB sticks of RAM. Assuming you have 2 sticks of 1GB RAM, then buying another pair of 1GB sticks of RAM is the cheaper option.

Two x 1GB sticks of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Two x 2GB sticks of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 13, 2013 5:40:40 AM

jaguarskx said:
More RAM should help improve performance. Based on what sims 3 players say, the more expansion packs installed the more memory intensive the game becomes. Additionally, having only 2GB of RAM can affect the overall performance of your PC anyway. Your Dell uses DDR2 667MHz or 800MHz RAM. The price difference is negligible to non-existent so might as well just buy DDR2 800MHz. If your PC currently has DDR2 667MHz RAM, thenthe DDR2 800MHz RAM will just slow down to match your existing RAM.

RAM works best in pairs of sticks so if your 2GB of RAM is from a single stick, then just add in another 2GB stick of RAM. If you have 2 x 1GB sticks, then add in another pair of 1GB sticks of RAM. The motherboard should have 4 RAM slots at least according to the manual. An alternative is to simply remove the two 1GB sticks of RAM and install 2 sticks of 2GB RAM giving you a total of 4GB.

Because you do not have a 64-bit operating system you will only get about 3.2GB to 3.4GB of RAM available for usage. Below are links for a pair of 1GB sticks of RAM and a pair of 2GB sticks of RAM. Assuming you have 2 sticks of 1GB RAM, then buying another pair of 1GB sticks of RAM is the cheaper option.

Two x 1GB sticks of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Two x 2GB sticks of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for all your help!
Oh one more thing, I noticed that the video cards you suggested, said that you need minium 400w power supply. According to what you looked up for my computer, you said I had 300w power supply. Is this a concern? Thanks!
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March 18, 2013 9:55:57 AM

The Radeon HD 7750 has been test to only consume 43w of peak power and it will be fine for a 300w PSU. Additionally, Dell tends to underrate their PSUs (which are of at least average quality), so your's may actual be capable of producing 325w or so.
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March 18, 2013 9:55:58 AM

The Radeon HD 7750 has been test to only consume 43w of peak power and it will be fine for a 300w PSU. Additionally, Dell tends to underrate their PSUs (which are of at least average quality), so your's may actual be capable of producing 325w or so.
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March 18, 2013 10:33:00 AM

Lastly, it seems that the Sims 3 have a certain issue with video cards...

The Sims 3 only displays a max of 30 Frames Per Second on the screen regardless of how powerful the card is. But it will use the graphics card to it's fullest extent internally. So if the graphics card is fast enough to render 60 FPS, then it will do so even though only 30 FPS will ever be displayed on the screen.

This doesn't cause a performance issue. But it does make the Radeon HD 7750 work more harder than is necessary which means it uses more electricity and produces more heat. The following site discusses the issue in more detail and it also provides a solution.

http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,1...
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