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Iggysaurus
28th Dec 2011, 12:07 PM
Update (01-18-2012): So, I thought should update this post for anyone researching the 6990m in regard to TS3. I did end up buying the Clevo P150HM from Malibal I listed below. It plays TS3, and other games, very well. I can play with max settings in 1920x1080 resolution and get 60+ FPS (be sure to use an FPS limiter); of course, the HUD and text are small since it's a 15" screen—the graphics are clear, but the text is blurry. But that is to be expected with an HD screen. (I do wish there were a way to scale up the size of the HUD, though.)

One quirk I encountered that probably everyone with an ATI/AMD card has known for awhile is that you can't set the anti-aliasing mode in CCC to 'adaptive multi-sampling' or the plants will have a box around them and generally look awful. You can set it to MSAA or SSAA and it will be fine.

Another issue I had was that the CPU was rated a 2 in the DeviceConfig (the 6990m is rated a 5, for reference). Looking at the GraphicsRules.sgr, the game seems to rate the CPU solely based on the lowest clock speed. So my other CPU which is an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.4 GHz was rated a 3 and my new i7-2670 was rated a 2. I know TS3 can only utilize two cores, but the i7 is still an improvement, considering the dynamic clock speed. So because the lowest clock speed of the i7 is 2.2 GHz, the game sees that as categorically worse than 2.4, neglecting the fact that the i7 clocks up to 3.1 GHz. So anyone with the Sandy Bridge i5s and i7s that have Turbo Boost are probably having their CPUs under scored by the game, and thus, underutilized. (The CPU score affects the amount of sims in a club, among other things.) However, you can easily tweak the GraphicsRules on your own, so it's not that big of a deal.

Overall, the 6990m is a great card for playing TS3. Definitely think it was worth the cost of the upgrade from the GTX 560m. (Upgrading to the 580m was $400+ more; unjustifiable, in my opinion.) This is my first ATI card and I'm very pleased. Of course, EA and other game manufacturers seem to make their games for NVIDIA cards—hence the "no-fluff" debacle—but the relatively reasonable cost of ATI cards outweigh any downside for me. And, I have to say, my experience with Malibal was very positive and would recommend them as a vendor to anyone looking for a desktop-replacement notebook.

TL;DR: The 6990m is capable of playing TS3 and its EPs well (60+ FPS) on max settings.

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I'm looking to buy another laptop soon. I'm thinking about a Malibal Lotus P150HM (http://www.malibal.com/boutique/pc/configurePrd.asp?idProduct=279) with this configuration:
Core i7-2670QM – 2.2 GHz, 3.1 GHz
AMD Radeon HD 6990m, 2GB VRAM
8 GB RAM

However, the Sims 3 system requirements and the MTS GPU compatibility (http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:TS3_System_Requirements) page do not list mobile chipsets, so I want to make sure this card does indeed work with TS3. I know it says the desktop 6990 is a "maybe" (Why? The dual GPU?) but since the single-GPU 6990m is more comparable to the 6870, is it in the clear?

If anyone who has the 6990m can weigh in here, it would be greatly appreciated. I want to run this game ideally with max settings (1920x1080 resolution) and all EPs (including future EPs) and possibly SPs. A cursory Google search for "sims 3 radeon hd 6990m" didn't yield too many helpful results. I've read the benchmarks (http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6990M.57308.0.html) for this card, and it is capable of running more powerful games well, so I would hope TS3 would play well, too. The other games I play, and might play, are compatible. TS3 can't be that badly coded, right? Right?!

And I've read the fluff problem was fixed with the 1.29 patch for ATI/AMD GPUs, but I want definitive confirmation, because I don't want to get this high-end mobile card and find out it can't render fluff but my weaker onboard graphics card can.

(NB: A desktop is absolutely out of the question. I know it's a better option for gaming but I don't even have a desk in my apartment, much less room for a desktop. And I'm a casual gamer, if even that, but I want a fairly future-proof (2–3 years) setup.)

ajaxsirius
28th Dec 2011, 1:01 PM
Very nice machine. You seem to have all the information you need to make an educated decision, save for a definite yes from an actual owner of a 6990M. Unfortunately I can't help you there and I think the chances of you finding one here are rather slim. I'd check notebook specific forums and ask there. Good Luck!

Iggysaurus
28th Dec 2011, 2:27 PM
I think you're right about checking with a notebook forum. I've run across a couple in my research. Just hope I won't be laughed at for asking about Sims; I know there tend to be a lot of hardcore gamers in those forums! ;) Good advice, thanks, ajaxsirius!