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MTS Summer Movie Night - posted on 13th Jun 2018 at 10:07 PM
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#1 Old 3rd Jul 2011 at 5:59 PM
Default Sims 3 and RAM
I'm just looking for clarification. I'm thinking of getting a new computer in a few months and I'm a little confused about how Sims3 uses RAM.

I've been reading in posts that Sims3 has a 4Gb cap on using RAM.

1. Does that apply to 64bit systems?

2. So you have 8Gb of RAM (or more) and there is at least 4Gb free on the 64bit computer, will Sims3 use up 4Gb of of that RAM or hover around 2Gb. I've gotten the game up to 2.5Gb on my current 32bit computer (although when it does that it won't save).

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#2 Old 3rd Jul 2011 at 6:03 PM
Sims 3, when patched, does not have the limit on the amount of RAM it uses. Unpatched, it needed a tweak to get it to recognize more, but that has no longer been the case since around 1.17. Running with a bunch of ram -not- on a 64 bit system doesn't make much sense, anyway, since it's not going to be able to use it in any case.

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#3 Old 4th Jul 2011 at 3:28 PM
Sims 3, after all is said and done, is still a 32-bit application. The reason why it is installed in the "Program Files (x86)" path and under the wow6432blahnode bits in Registry.

The advantage a 64-bit system and OS provides, is the fact that the OS and Sims 3 do not have to share the 3GB RAM (or however much RAM amount you have) like in a 32-bit system.

Not only Sims 3, but I believe all 32-bit applications are limited to the RAM amount the application would recognize by its architecture, even if you have 12GB or a whopping 24GB of RAM. The application simply won't be equipped to utilize it.
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#4 Old 4th Jul 2011 at 11:05 PM
Is there a way to tell what the app's architecuture's limits are?

Even so, I haven't done a lot of programming, but I was not aware there was even a way to specify an architecture limitation in the code. Are you speaking perhaps of the programming language itself? Because the Sims is probably written mostly in C/C++ I would assume, with maybe some C# thrown in as well and that is used for 64bit app's as well as 32bit. Or is it a compiler option?

My cat taught me how to fetch. I throw the toy, she shows me where it landed, and I fetch it.
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5th Jul 2011 at 2:39 AM
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#5 Old 5th Jul 2011 at 3:12 AM Last edited by ellacharm3d : 6th Jul 2011 at 2:33 AM. Reason: a cautionary note
Let me quote from this lifehacker article (emphasis in quote mine)
In any 32-bit operating system, you are limited to 4096 MB of RAM simply because the size of a 32-bit value will not allow any more. On a 32-bit system, each process is given 4 GB of virtual memory to play with, which is separated into 2 GB of user space that the application can actually use at a time.
The "4GB cap" phrase being thrown about is by people not realizing virtual is not the same as physical memory. They really should know better, since they play Sims, after all.

If an application is not programmed to take advantage of the 64-bit architecture, and use 32-bit data types for 32-bit memory spaces and processing, then upgrading to 64-bit OS or adding more RAM for the sake of this 32-bit app alone has little benefit. Especially if the aim to upgrading is to utilise the increase in RAM. You do get a boost from the RAM upgrade when you multi-task while gaming or increase saving/loading times a tad bit just because the game does not have to swap back and forth between HDD, pagefile, and RAM too many times.

But if the aim is to upgrade RAM to 4GB while still having 32-bit OS, IMO that is a waste of money.

Perhaps this article can explain better than I can. And they use Sims 3 as an example, too! Always a bonus to see pretty graphs.
To put in perspective, you see how the improvement after 4GB RAM is negligible? More than 4GB RAM does not benefit the game at all, but the tasks you do outside the game while gaming at the same time. Simply because it is a 32-bit app.

ETA: a word of caution though. That 100FPS? This is run on a test machine with an overclocked AMD Thuban processor and a SuperTalent SSD, which at time of writing of the article must have cost @USD2000 or thereabouts, maybe even higher.

I would not even suggest our members to try all the tweaks provided in that article. If they are not Tech-savvy, I've seen people doing more harm than good when they are told to do what they have no earthly idea about and follow guides blindly. That is if they read each instruction and follow them to the letter. Problem is people nowadays skim, rather than read, and end up doing all the wrong things.

Here's another article from lifehacker explaining the role of RAM in 32-bit vs 64 bit OS. And I quote:
More RAM Will Not Make Single Tasks Faster

Other than the specific applications that hog your RAM, if you think bumping your RAM from 3GB to 8GB is going to increase the speed of a regular application-like a video game—you should think again. The only thing that additional RAM does is allow your computer to do more things at once, not actually make it faster. So if you normally have a few dozen windows open before you launch your video game, you'll see some speed improvement by upgrading, or you could just close a few apps.

The recipe of not creating a bottleneck is to have a 64-bit OS, on a 64-bit capable processor, using 64-bit drivers with 4GB or more RAM and a mid-range and above dedicated GPU.
That's the hard limit I meant when I mention architecture, actually. It is all in the hardware.

32-bit systems (CPU+OS) are all limited by the 32-bit cap and not having the other supporting hardware (ie an IGP and have 2GB RAM for example, horrors!), make things worse. If I take the time to correct all the misconceptions in the BBS about all this, I'd never get outta there.
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#6 Old 5th Jul 2011 at 4:30 PM
Useful articles, thanks. One concern I had was running other programs while playing sims and the 64 bit will be perfect for that. I wasn't too concerned about speed or fps, i'm just looking for better ways too play larger households in big lots while running other apps. It looks like 64 bit with minimum 8gb and the usual swap file will go a long ways in accomplishing this. It's certainly not the cure-all I was hoping for, but when I get my new system I'll try to remember to update this thread. It'll be 3 or 4 months though.

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

My cat taught me how to fetch. I throw the toy, she shows me where it landed, and I fetch it.
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