Hi there! I've finally gotten myself into The Sims 3 after being a bit reluctant due to lack of werewolves, and I don't regret the change but I've found many problems when playing, and I wonder if it is due to my computer, stuff installed or just the game f***ing with me.
First of all, I *think* that my system meets the requirements, but the computer is a bit old (like 4 years, although I've been upgrading some components, like the graphics card), so it probably needs a little cleanup. these specs are:
I run Sims 3 with all the expasions and stuff packs up to Pets. I've installed most of the free Sims3Packs given by the Sims 3 Store for game promotions, plus a couple custom ones (there are like 300 items tops), plus around 120 packages in the Mod folder. I've checked all the packages, and they all work fine. I use AwesomeMod too.
I also use Game Booster to kill most of the computer processes and non-needed programs, including Windows Aero. The computer was rebooted not too long ago, a couple months.
I've been running the game on somewhat low specs , in window mode, and although that made the game playable (it used to freeze and crash all the time with the default specs), there are still some problems. The issues I've been experiencing are:
- General lag when sim moves to other lots, although I understand this because the city is big.
- Game freezes sometimes, but keeps the animations running. First time it happened made the game almost unplayable and I had to delete the world I was playing (and I hadn't done too much, just a couple hours playing in a cheapo non-cheated little lot). Now it happens sometimes, but not too often. It may be gotten better after I installed AwesomeMod, but I don't really know what I did well apart from using the "fixAll" command.
- CAS is a bit slow, but I assume it happens because of all the content I've installed.
So, that's all. I know I probably need to use any of those features to "pack" the extra content I installed, but apart from that, the game hasn't been being too awesome from the beginning. My graphics card and my CPU should do great, so what should I do to make it go better? More RAM?
What is the content that produces the greatest toll on the game performance? Talking about CAS stuff, lots, or buy/build mode. I could probably delete most of the stuff I have, but I don't even know how to check what do I use and what not anymore, since my girlfriend plays a lot too and she loves to customize. Is there a way to tell what content is being used currently in every world?
Also, wouldn't it help to repack the packages and Sims3Packs to put them all together?
You're actually under spec for playing TS3. The CPU is absolutely fine but, as you say, the graphics card is getting on, and the minimum RAM needed to play smoothly is 4Gig. You're not gonna get great performance with that machine.
As far as the specific problems go, there's not much you can do about the lag when moving through the world. As you say, the world is big and full of crap, and there's nothing to be done about that. You may find things improve if you stick to small custom worlds, such as Autumn Falls (as a random example).
The intermittent freezing is a very, very common problem. Some worlds are more prone to it than others, due to bad routing: among the EA worlds, Bridgeport and China are particular culprits. Fixes are available for some, such as this one for Bridgeport. You should also be using twallan's Overwatch mod to alleviate, inter alia, some lag-causing things such as abandoned cars. Further suggestions can be found at Game Help:Intermittent Freezeswiki.
Yes, CAS is slow by default even without CC, especially when you have so little RAM. CC doesn't help. It's possible for particular broken items to cause extra lag in CAS, but most likely it's just down to sheer quantity of content, both EA and custom.
No one type of content kills game performance generally - it's all relative. Any CAS content will hurt performance in CAS. Lots and worlds can, of course, cause freezing if they have routing problems (also be wary of placing lots exceedingly close together, as sims can try to route through a gap too small for them to walk through). High poly objects and, especially, hairs cause lag in Live mode. Lots and lots and lots of buy/build CC causes slow loading of thumbnails in the buy/build catalogue.
There's no way to check which CC is or isn't used, bar removing it all and then putting stuff back 'til you stop getting "Some objects are missing and were removed" messages when you load the world.
"On the page, punctuation performs its grammatical function, but in the mind of the reader it does more than that. It tells the reader how to hum the tune." - Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Well, I'm on a budget so I can't think about buying a new graphics card for now (I actually busted my laptop's screen too, and need a replacement), but as I read then the most "urgent" issue would be the RAM, I'd need to double it for the game to work fine. I guess that's easier since they're not too expensive...
About the normal lag, I don't really care too much about it, because well, it's "normal". I've been playing The Sims for some time and I'm already used to the game going slow on huge loads. I play in Sunset Valley, and I wouldn't like to restart my sim AGAIN (because I had to do already like 3 times). About the freezings, I don't really know how bad is the routing in Sunset Valley, but if that's the case then, I guess the only options are to fix it or just pick a different world.
For the mods I use AwesomeMod, Overwatch, Master Controller and the Error Trap. I don't really know whar to do with all those, specially the first one. I was actually thinking about taking that one off, and putting in more of Twallan ones, like the StoryProgression ones, but as I said, I'm new to them and I don't really know how to use them at their best to fix these issues.
So then, I guess I gotta buy more RAM, find a routing mod for Sunset Valley and learn to use those mods?