Make sure you read every step of the tutorial and the related threads Aikea Guinea talks about carefully and remember to backup your mods packages folder somewhere safe so you don't lose your CC . Also remember this only works on package files, your Sims 3 Packs already get combined into dbc files when you install them in game and stores them in your DCCache folder (except those that you extract to package format using the TS3 Pack Multi Installer).
Another small warning. I have found that this does not work well with some older CC so be careful.
The way I do it is having one for CAS changes, one for clothing, one for objects, and one for building materials. Mods that change game effects I try not to merge because they often need to be updated when a new patch or expansion comes out.
Yeah I thought the mods for game play such as nraas mods or awesome or any other often-needed-to-be-updated mod should stay separate. I suppose they don't take space much at all anyway. Thanks for the little information
After I combined most .package files (did it in a similar way like tilarium suggested), I got a very noticable speed increase in CAS. The switching between top, bottom, shoes etc used to be very slow for me.
The tool I linked is for packages exclusively, in fact. Note the title: "Custom Launcher with Package Management".
There's a second version of Granthes's launcher currently in beta test which supports both packages and sims3packs... seamlessly, in a way that's transparent to the player. That's at his forums here: http://sims3.the-prof.net/Forums/in...board,12.0.html But as a non-final version it has some quirks.
I don't know if it's just me, but I didn't noticed any improvement in my game after I merged the packages. I was really, really happy and surprised my game didn't exploded after I did it, but things just remained the same.
How much CC you need to notice a difference? I don't have that many Package-wise CC (lots of S3P-wise CC, though) but I do have large and complicated houses. I had something like 500mb in 300 packages and now 300mb in two packages. One package - Buy Mode - has 33mb and the other - Build Mode - has 266mb.
You wouldn't expect to see a performance improvement from merging Sims3Packs, since the game merges them anyway That is what installing with the EA launcher does.
With packages, the issue as I understand it has to do with the number of file handles that are stored in memory. So the problem is not related to how many MB of packages you have... it's how many separate .package files you have on disk. It's when you start getting hundreds of those that you start to get issues. Specifically, windows gives each program 256 file handles, of which about 50 are used by the game, so anybody with more than about 200 package files will start noticing a performance improvement from merging. (That info comes from Granthes, who knows as much as anybody about this )
What I like to do with the .sim3pack files is use the Multi Extractor Tool or I believe the s3ce (haven't tried it yet) and turn my .sim3packs into .package files. Then I merge the .package files in s3pe, but I am going to try the program that has been posted above when I plan to have a download overhaul again.
The only things I leave as .sim3packs are lots, worlds, and Sims. Other than that, I convert my files to .package files.
Also, I heard that some people don't merge their mods, but since I use so many, I do anyways and back a back up folder on my desktop.
Or you could just get real choosy about your downloads like me. I love window shopping and being in awe at what people have made, but I only download exactly what I went out to find when my game requires something. I think I still have less than 100 seperate downloads (but some of these are sets)