Help us improve Answers HQ! Take Survey No, Thanks

Sims 4 causes severe system lag (not in-game lag)

by Bluebellflora
Reply

Original Post

Highlighted

Sims 4 causes severe system lag (not in-game lag)

[ Edited ]

Since the 16 January patch my game has caused my Mac performance to drop significantly while it is running. Attempting to load any other apps or even just clicking on the Apple in the menu bar causes a delayed reaction, as if my Mac is struggling to keep up with the commands. This is especially bad when I am zoomed in on the game screen.

 

I've narrowed down the severe system lag to only when the game is minimised in the Dock. If the game is running in windowed mode in the background I can happily have loads of apps open and the OS manages resources as expected - smoothly and seamlessly. Once the game is minimised it affects everything else running including other minimised windows.

 

I have tested on three Macs:

 

2017 15" MacBook Pro

3.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

AMD Radeon Pro 560 4 GB

Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

512GB SSD

 

2019 27" 5k iMac

3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9

32 GB 2667 MHz DDR4

AMD Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB

512GB SSD

 

Mid 2012 15" MacBook Pro

2.6 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Intel HD 4000 1536 MB

480 GB SSD

 

And running the following versions of macOS either internally or on external bootable drives:

 

macOS 10.15.3 beta build (19D75a)

macOS 10.15.2

macOS 10.14.6

 

It happens on both Macs with AMD GPUs but not on the Mac with NVIDIA. It happens with CC and with a clean game folder. Also in a new clean install.

 

There are also annoying lines across objects in-game in full sunlight. These are worse on the Macs with AMD than the one with NVIDIA. These two issues seem to be interconnected but I couldn't say for definite.

 

Screenshot 2020-01-25 at 23.27.54.png

 

Screenshot 2020-01-28 at 22.25.40.png

 

Message 1 of 15 (460 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Sims 4 causes severe system lag (not in-game lag)

[ Edited ]

This evening, I installed Catalina (10.15.3) on an external SSD to test Sims 4.  Origin was freshly installed on the external, and a clean game folder spawned, but Origin recognized the Sims 4 program files on the internal drive and ran the game from there.  Specs of my Mac (the same as the first one Bluebellflora listed, other than a slightly weaker CPU):

 

MacBook Pro 15", 2017

Intel i7-7820HQ

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

AMD Radeon Pro 560

Intel HD Graphics 630

512 GB SSD, ~65 GB free

the external has ~180 GB free

 

I only own a handful of packs: EPs are Get Famous, Island Living, and Discover University; GPs are Strangerville and Realm of Magic; SPs are Moschino and Tiny Living.

 

I tested on both the default high and ultra settings, as well as with edge smoothing off and high, and post processing and uncompressed sim textures off and on.  I did not see any system lag when opening or switching apps via the dock or cmd-tab, even with two browsers and several other apps open.  I also didn't see any corresponding fps drops in-game.  However, when I clicked any of the dropdown menus across the top left of the screen, the Sims 4 screen itself froze in place.  But the game clock continued to run, and sounds continued to play out as normal.  When I closed the menu, the screen jumped ahead to reflect the elapsed in-game time.  There was no lag in the responsiveness of the system.

 

I also tested with another app in the foreground and Sims 4 open in the background.  In that case, opening a dropdown menu had no effect on the game, which continued to run unpaused regardless.

 

I also see the same lines across objects, again in high (first image) or ultra (second image) settings.

 

high2.png

 

ultra2.png

——————————————————————————————————————————

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 15 (417 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Sims 4 causes severe system lag (not in-game lag)

[ Edited ]

Update after some playing around and testing further:

 

I have all setting on the highest possible because I like my game to pop. If I change the 

RenderShadowsEnabled

value to false in the GraphicsRules.sgr file it instantly fixes the problems:

 

  • My system doesn't lag
  • I can happily tab between apps whilst the game is open
  • FPS jumps to 50-60
  • Overall gameplay is a lot smoother
  • The awful lines have disappeared (see screenshots in my opening post)

Changing the value back to true instantly brings the problems back. The downside is that my game does not look as good because of the shadow changes, not what I would expect from 4GB and 8GB GPUs.

Message 3 of 15 (395 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Sims 4 causes severe system lag (not in-game lag)

[ Edited ]
Champion

@Bluebellflora 
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015); 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5;AMD Radeon R9 M390 2 GB; Catalina 10.15.2
Settings: windowed, no retina disabled, ultra graphics
I own all packs

I do think I'm seeing lag in my (system) computer in general that I didn't before - even when I hover over icons in my doc (slight hesitation). I have been noticing in-game lag in this time-frame. This lag did not seem to lessen if I changed my graphics from ultra to high.

I found the game plants both from build/by and from debug had the lines in the direct sunlight but not shade. However, if you notice in the screenshots not all items from build/buy are doing this (notice the mailbox), plus the 'live' plants in the garden (my harvestable ones) don't have lines. Neither do the (debug) trees.

 

Edit:
A few more bits of info...
I play in windowed mode and with retina disabled. 

FPS info:

  • With true in RenderShadowsEnabled on medium, high, and very high graphics (per default ), the FPS with a lot in live mode averages in the low to mid 20s. In build mode the average seems 25-30, so a bit higher.
    With retina enabled: Live = av 10ish
                                     Build = av12ish

     

  • With false in RenderShadowsEnabled on medium, high, and very high graphics, the FPS with a lot in live mode averages more mid 30s to low 40s. In build mode the average was a bit higher - mid 40s.
    With retina enabled: Live = av mid-20s
                                     Build = av10ish

As an aside note...
When I tested with retina enabled and the with the settings at true (the default for medium, high and very high), there was a noticeable increase in lag in-game plus it even froze my game to try to exit. I had to force-quit.

 

live plants.jpgnormal objects.jpg


SheriGR ☕ –  I don’t work for EA.
Me Too – if you also have this problem – first post on thread has this button
XP – for helpful comments (& to help others 'level up')
Mark As Solution – to help others find the answer to the issue now & in the future
Message 4 of 15 (355 Views)
Highlighted

Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

★★★★ Novice

My computer specs:

  • Macbook Pro, Early 2015
  • 2.7 GHz, intel core i5
  • 8gb RAM 1867 MHz DDR3
  • Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB

Game Version: 1.60.54.1220

 

I'm back with the same issue that I thought I'd fixed in my last post, and this time I think it's the game. I have already done a factory reset of the game and Origin. I have tried to repair the game through Origin. I started a new save file on a new game with no mods, no tray, no saves, and not even my Options.ini file added in. The lag is pretty significant even though there's nothing added to the game (graphics on low as well, though i usually play on high or very high with few issues). When I add in just one save file and try to play it (again no mods!) it is much worse. Completely unplayable again- the sims take forever to move and the game takes forever to load. Couldn't find another thread of someone having this exact problem on Mac but if there is one please link me to it. Very desperate here.

Message 5 of 15 (402 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

@kimofry12

Could you screenshot your in-game graphics options and add it to a post here? Also, how big is the save file that you reference? Is your Mods folder completely empty apart from the Resource.cfg file?
Message 6 of 15 (376 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

★★★★ Novice

The save file is 23.6 MB. No, I haven't put any mods at all in yet.

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 12.14.44 PM.png

Message 7 of 15 (347 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

@kimofry12

23.6 MB is pretty big, that probably won't be helping much. Disable retina and see if if improves the lag.
Message 8 of 15 (338 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

★★★★ Novice

I tried it with a new save game too though and had the same issues. Like I opened the game before transferring my own save file, created a random new sim and played in a household with only that sim. Still had the same issue.

 

How do I turn off retina display? I'm not finding any info for that online.

Message 9 of 15 (332 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Extreme Lag After Tiny Living Patch

@kimofry12

It’s the little check box next to Retina display in your in-game options.
Message 10 of 15 (330 Views)
Twitter Stream