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Good CPU for Sims 3

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December 11, 2012 1:17:58 PM

I'm getting a laptop but I wanted to put my Sims 3 games on it and run smoothly without it freezing. Will an 'Intel® Core™ I3-2328M processor (2.2 GHz, 3 MB cache)' be good enough for it?

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a b à CPUs
December 11, 2012 1:32:05 PM

That should be fine, i3s are good CPUs
December 11, 2012 1:50:19 PM

ahh right, thank you :) 
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December 11, 2012 3:04:36 PM

What's more important is the graphic card does the laptop come with. If it only has the Intel HD 3000 (integrated graphics), then that will limit the game performance. It generally best to go with a discrete graphics card like the nVidia GT 540m or GT 630m.

At the very least if you are going with an Intel CPU, then go with a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge CPU with the Intel HD 4000. In general, the Intel HD 4000 is about 35% more powerful than the Intel HD 3000.
December 11, 2012 3:39:23 PM

The Sims 3's CPU requirements are quite low. It will run smooth on a Pentium 4 3.0GHz. Intel HD Graphics 3000 is fast enough for the game, it only requires a Intel GMA 3-series video card.
December 11, 2012 3:43:27 PM

right.. well i found a laptop with that processor, 750GB HDD and 4GB RAM but I looked all over to find out what the graphics were and it didn't say - I looked on the internet for the same laptop but then couldn't find that anywhere. This is the link to the laptop - http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/lenovo-z580-15-6-laptop-me...
But i'm guessing it's integrated... i'm new to all this (you may have guessed) so if i got a graphics card, is it pretty easy to do? as in not having to take the entire laptop apart.. also will a graphics card stop it freezing so much and make my laptop not go slow again? (happened to my last one a few years ago) thanks :) 
December 11, 2012 3:44:26 PM

Yeah, you'll want a reasonable graphics card in the laptop. Something like a GT650m or an HD 7750m will work well.

The sims 3 also has some issue with really high fps if you have a computer that runs it smoothly and will make your computer run very hot and overheat. In the game, open up the cheats menu and type "fps", the number should be less than 60. If it's not, look for help on the sims site to fix the problem, as the heat can eventually kill the whole laptop. It gets worse the more powerful your computer is.

It's also worth noting there are some other tricks to the game that help improve performance (such as deleting caches) that need to be done periodically. Usually, you'll need to do this if your game freezes up while you are scrolling from one house to another (this behavior is a problem with how the game works, it will do this no matter how good your computer is).

The Sims3 ran very badly on a new PC I built for my wife (that was very powerful for the game), took a bit of research to find fixes to smooth it out (deleting caches and using an FPS limiting launcher), which is sad because the sims is a game that has a broad appeal outside of people who are generally gamers and/or tech savvy; yet they don't bother to fix serious problems that could damage peoples computers. Go EA.

edit: That laptop would probably have Intel HD3000 graphics (or possibly HD2000?). You can't upgrade the graphics in a laptop unfortunately. I would suggest finding one that advertises a Nvidia or AMD graphics chip, because if the laptop doesn't run the game well you are kinda stuck. The graphics card is responsible for drawing games on the screen, it won't prevent the computer from going slow when you are on your desktop; but it keeps games from looking really choppy, and will let you turn up the details in the game to look nicer.
December 11, 2012 4:04:57 PM

Did a little research, Win2k was right, the graphics requirements are a lot less than I expected.

There is an entry for Sims3 here: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-3000.379...

The IntelHd3000 will run the game smoothly at medium settings. (It's worth noting that the engine runs at 30fps internally, beyond that it's just redrawing the same scene over and over, so 30fps is smooth for the game.) So it seems the laptop would work fine for sims :) 

However any discrete card will run the game better than the integrated graphics on the i3-2328m as well. If you can find an i3-3### (such as the i3-3120m) it will have a bit better integrated graphics as well (and should stay around the same price range as what you're looking at), and may let you run the game on high settings.
December 11, 2012 8:57:15 PM

Thanks guys, I went to the shop to have a proper look at it and I think I will get it :) 
djscribbles, yeah I came across the fps thing today but i didn't know how to do that so thank you! aha. there's something called an fps limiter? do you know if it's like a free download or something? :') but all of that helped a lot :) 
'the engine runs at 30fps internally' - so when I go on the cheats menu, should it say 30fps if on medium settings if everything is going okay?
a b à CPUs
December 11, 2012 10:11:29 PM

I ran that game on the highest settings with a 8400gs. I even ran it on a original athlon fine. I think any system should do fine.
December 12, 2012 12:45:32 PM

Cindy-Lu said:
Thanks guys, I went to the shop to have a proper look at it and I think I will get it :) 
djscribbles, yeah I came across the fps thing today but i didn't know how to do that so thank you! aha. there's something called an fps limiter? do you know if it's like a free download or something? :') but all of that helped a lot :) 
'the engine runs at 30fps internally' - so when I go on the cheats menu, should it say 30fps if on medium settings if everything is going okay?


Yes. If it's always 30fps or more, that means the game is going to run smooth for you. As long as it's usually less than 60, it will probably be fine as well, but if it's always over 60, and especially if it's in the 100s, you should look up an FPS limiter (you can try enabling Vertical Sync in the game options, but this didn't fix the issue as it should have for me). The FPS limiter was free, and you should virus scan it when you get it, the one I used was called 3booter or something like that, and it had two downloads you had to do.

If you get a laptop with only intel integrated graphics I don't think you would need the fps limiter though, but it's good to keep an eye on it.

For deleting cache files, see this post: http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:Sims_3_De...
You know you'll need to clear your caches when the game gets really choppy when you move the camera around the world.
!