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Upgrading video card (current one conflicts with Sims 2)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 2, 2008 3:03:16 AM

The video card in my friend's computer is an ATI Radeon 9600XT. Her computer setup is about 3 years old. She likes to play the Sims 2, but the game consistently crashes intermittently. (Note that her system apparently meets full requirements.)

After upgrading the ATI video card drivers tonight, we cannot run the Sims at all. Now we're considering replacing the video card - preferrably to an NVidia brand. The set price limit is $200.

I'm also thinking of doubling her 1GB of memory to 2GB.

Does anybody have any suggestions on a video card upgrade, and/or possibly any similar experiences with crashes in the Sims 2? Any information is appreciated. Thanks!
June 2, 2008 3:53:52 AM

8800gs will be fine for Sims 2. You can get one for about 100 bucks after MIR off of newegg.

but if it's crashing, you'd be better off checking the PSU and the cpu + card fan to see if they're clogged with dust. If you're that intent on changing the card, now is the right time to buy. There are a lot of good cards in the $100-200 price range, which is amazing. Also, another gig of memory would probably only cost like 30 bucks, so you might as well. It won't hurt.

edit: she'd also probably be able to play The Sims 3 when it comes out on that card pretty well.
June 2, 2008 4:29:30 AM

Not knowing the other system spec's and the fact the system is 3+ years old it may have other issues....PSU or MB age related.
Look at the spec's for the game.
More RAM will not make it run better and the 8800GS card will not either.

You have some other problem that cuases the system to crash (PSU/MB).
Try running CHKDSK,cleaning and defragmenting the REGISTRY and then the HD in that order (never defrag without running CHKDSK first!).
a c 358 U Graphics card
June 2, 2008 7:42:12 AM

The 9600XT can handle the Sims 2 without any problems. I gave away my old ATI - AIW 9600XT to someone who plays The Sims 2 on a 17" widescreen monitor.

It is possible that she never done any type of maintenance on her PC. I recommend the following:

1. Uninstall the ATI drivers, then reinstall. Also, if she had an nVidia card before and she did not uninstall those driver, then do so. Having both ATI and nVidia drivers can cause instability.

2. Check your hard drives (the OS and the hard drive where the game in installed on). Double click My computer, right click the C: Drive. Choose Properties, then select Error Checking. Check off the two boxes "Auto fix system errors", and "Scan & recover bad sectors".

Since the OS drive will be scan, Windows will tell you that it will need to reboot the PC because a full scan has to be done before Windows is loaded. Depending on the size of the hard drive (and if there are any errors), this can take from several minutes to over 1 hour.

3. Defrag the hard drive(s).

4. Run anti-virus.

5. Download a program called "CCleaner" and use it to clean out unused registry keys. When it asks if you want to back up those registry keys before deletion, click yes.

6. Reinstall the game. I think the saved games are in the My Documents folder so just back that up somewhere. I think that is also where user installed clothing, household items, etc are installed to.

7. Worst case scenario, reinstall Windows.

Adding 1GB of RAM should make her system "feel faster", but I suspect that since the Registry is over-bloated, that extra 1GB of RAM won't do anything.
!