2nd Mar 2012, 10:56 PM
I read over the system requirements/recommendations (http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:TS3_System_Requirements) before playing The Sims 3 (with the Ambitions expansion pack), and it looks to me like it should be able to handle the game fine. I'm using an HP Pavilion dv6 laptop on Windows 7, 64 bit OS; 6 GB of RAM; Intel(R) Core i5 processor @ 2.40GHz. I spent a couple hours playing yesterday with all of the graphics/sound settings as low quality as possible to be on the safe side.
It ran fine, if a bit slowly, but my computer's fan was going pretty loudly and I noticed it was heating up a bit; I figured that that would be fine, since I also have an external fan that I always have going when I use my laptop. Now, using my computer today, the laptop's fan is running much more loudly than usual just for things like browsing around online or running my virus scanner. Since this morning, any time my laptop's turned on, the fan has been running loudly as if the computer's working abnormally hard.
I've had an older laptop's fan break and have to be replaced once before, so I'm a bit worried about this. Is my computer too weak to handle the game? Am I going to need to have the fan replaced?
--- eta ---
Sorry, I forgot to post my graphics information. I hope that this is all the necessary information.
3rd Mar 2012, 06:12 AM
General - Check Temps
In some cases, game bugs/crashes/general computer issues can be caused by your computer overheating. To ascertain whether or not overheating is a cause of your problem, please follow these steps:
Firstly, download and install HWMonitor (http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html). Run the program - you should see lots of numbers; if you don't know what any of them mean, don't worry - you don't have to. :)
With HWMonitor running, use your computer normally for twenty or thirty minutes - no games, just browsing the web, using IM, playing minesweeper etc - and at the end of the twenty or thirty minutes, take a screenshot of the HWMonitor window and save it.
Then do the same again, keeping HWMonitor open, while you play Sims for twenty to thirty minutes. If your game is crashing before the thirty minutes is up, just play until it crashes. If your computer is freezing, shutting down, or restarting itself, play for as long as you think you can before the freeze/shutdown/reboot, then quit the game. Take another screenshot of the HWMonitor window.
Finally, attach both screenshots to a post in this thread - you can upload them to photobucket or tinypic etc, or you can hit "Go Advanced" in the Quick Reply box and use manage attachments to upload them to MTS.
General - Integrated Graphics
The reason for your issue is that your computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements to play TS2/TS3.
In particular, you don't actually have a graphics card - you have integrated graphics, which is just a chip on your motherboard. Most laptops come with integrated graphics, as do some desktops; and while salesmen often claim that integrated graphics chips are just as good as real graphics cards, they're not.
Integrated graphics chips are designed for people who just use their computers to read email, type up documents, and play minesweeper - they are not suitable for high stress games like TS2/TS3. At the very least, playing TS2/TS3 with integrated graphics will mean the game looks terrible; at the worst, you could permanently damage your computer.
If you have integrated graphics, the other requirements - particularly minimum processor speed - go up to compensate. You can see the increases here (http://sims2wiki.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:System_Requirements), under "If you have a non-T&L capable video card...".
This FAQ contains tips on things you can do to improve your gameplay, and prolong the life of the integrated chip: Game Help:Onboard Graphics
This is MTS's recommended minimum system specs
for each EP/SP in The Sims 2: Game Help:System Requirements/MTS2 Recommendations
for The Sims 3: Game_Help:TS3_System_RequirementsBe aware that, even if you follow all the tips in the above article, you will probably have to upgrade or replace your computer to alleviate all problems.
I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood or we're looking at different things. The integrated Intel HD chips row has a Yellow "Maybe" for base game and Red "No"s for all addons; where does it say "it should be able to handle the game fine" for base game + Ambitions?
Is my computer too weak to handle the game? Am I going to need to have the fan replaced?Yes. And you may need more than to replace the fan - you may need to buy a whole new machine. Especially if the IGP is now partially fried (all the overheating may have already caused some permanent damage - signs on why the fans went into overdrive). The integrated graphics is soldered onto the motherboard, and there's no room in a laptop to replace it with a dedicated GPU.
This is why laptops with IGPs are not supported for Sims 3, and why there are Red "No"s for all integrated systems. Game Help:Your Computer is Like a Car
Bottomline: you should stop playing Sims 3 on that laptop. Sorry for the bad news. :(
The Check Temp guide is for you to monitor the temperatures when you use the laptop for non-Simming activities, so you know when an explosion is imminent and take precautions. ;)
3rd Mar 2012, 09:12 AM
You may also want to check your temperatures using the laptop without the cooling pad - hopefully you'll find that the cooling pad is indeed cooling things down and will want to keep using it, but sometimes those things can actually make overheating worse, so it's always worth checking.
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