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Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

by MyCatsNameIsMax
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Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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Hi Standard smile

 

I'm currently installing Sims 3 on my new desktop, and I was told that I had to manually cap the framerates when I start playing. I was hoping that someone could help me with that as I have no idea how to do it.

 

I'm also thinking that I would need to change some files to get the game to recognize my graphics card (from what I understand this needs to be done for all newer graphics cards?) and I would love some help with that as well Standard smile 

 

My graphics card is:

Radeon™ RX 5500 XT 8GB Evo

VEN_1002&DEV_7340

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help 

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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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@MyCatsNameIsMax  In theory, the built-in controls in the Radeon software that comes with your card might be able to cap fps.  I don't have the software in front of me right now, so I can't describt all the available options or where to find them.  But enabling v-sync in fullscreen mode would be the first option, and then manually limiting fps to the refresh rate of your monitor if v-sync doesn't help or if you prefer to play in windowed mode.

 

In practice, the built-in tool often doesn't effectively limit fps, although enabling v-sync can still help with screen tearing if you get it.  For AMD cards, the easiest third-party software to use is RivaTuner Statistics Server (free download), which works in fullscreen or windowed mode.  It's easy enough to use, set up a profile for TS3.exe (Origin install), or TS3W.exe (with the W, for a Steam or disc install), and manually set the fps limit to your monitor's refresh rate.  Most monitors still run at 60 Hz, but some run at 120 or 144.  Keep in mind that RTSS does need to be running in the background to work, unlike most other tools.  Don't X it out, just minimize it to the tray.

 

In any case, you'll be able to see the current framerates by bringing up the cheats console (ctrl-shift-C) and entering "fps on" without quotes.  Whatever your monitor's refresh rate, fps should never be above that.

 

If you need screenshots or more information on this, please feel free to ask.

 

As for getting your card recognized, that's not too difficult.  You'll need to edit two files within TS3's program files: graphicscards.sgr and graphicsrules.sgr.  By default in an Origin install, they'll be located here:

 

Program files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin

 

Other types of installs will place the files elsewhere, but they'll always be in \The Sims 3\Game\Bin

 

For anyone else reading, these instructions are specific to the original poster's card.  If you'd like help getting your own card recognized, please create your own thread and post the first 40 lines of your deviceconfig, found in Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3.

 

 

Spoiler

First, open graphicscards.sgr, and right at the top is the list of AMD cards, starting with this:

 

vendor "ATI" 0x1002
card 0x6798 "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"
card 0x6799 "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"
card 0x679a "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"

 

under the vendor "ATI" line, create a new line and add this:

 

card 0x7340 "AMD Radeon RX 5500 Series"

Save, quit, and open graphicsrules.sgr.  Hit crtl-F and search for 29?0, which will take you to these lines:

 

elseif (match("${cardVendor}", "ATI"))
if (match("${cardName}", "*HD 29?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*HD 36?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*HD 38?0*") or match("${cardName}"

[etc.]

 

Change the HD 29?0 to RX 5500 , but don't touch anything else, not even the asterisks.  This will classify your card as uber.  Depending on performance, you may need to turn down some of the in-game settings to high; it's impossible to say without knowing your specific model of GPU.

 

Still within graphicsrules.sgr, go back to the top, and look for this, 8-10 lines down:

 

if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 32
setb textureMemorySizeOK false

 

Change the 32 to a 1024, and put a # and a space in front of setb, so that the lines look like this:

 

if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 1024
# setb textureMemorySizeOK false

(While your card may have more than 1 GB of VRAM, the game can only use 800 MB.)  Save, quit, launch the game, and check deviceconfig again.  You should now see a [Found: 1, Matched: 1] value next to your card's name.

Let me know if any of this doesn't work.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.

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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

[ Edited ]

@MyCatsNameIsMax  In theory, the built-in controls in the Radeon software that comes with your card might be able to cap fps.  I don't have the software in front of me right now, so I can't describt all the available options or where to find them.  But enabling v-sync in fullscreen mode would be the first option, and then manually limiting fps to the refresh rate of your monitor if v-sync doesn't help or if you prefer to play in windowed mode.

 

In practice, the built-in tool often doesn't effectively limit fps, although enabling v-sync can still help with screen tearing if you get it.  For AMD cards, the easiest third-party software to use is RivaTuner Statistics Server (free download), which works in fullscreen or windowed mode.  It's easy enough to use, set up a profile for TS3.exe (Origin install), or TS3W.exe (with the W, for a Steam or disc install), and manually set the fps limit to your monitor's refresh rate.  Most monitors still run at 60 Hz, but some run at 120 or 144.  Keep in mind that RTSS does need to be running in the background to work, unlike most other tools.  Don't X it out, just minimize it to the tray.

 

In any case, you'll be able to see the current framerates by bringing up the cheats console (ctrl-shift-C) and entering "fps on" without quotes.  Whatever your monitor's refresh rate, fps should never be above that.

 

If you need screenshots or more information on this, please feel free to ask.

 

As for getting your card recognized, that's not too difficult.  You'll need to edit two files within TS3's program files: graphicscards.sgr and graphicsrules.sgr.  By default in an Origin install, they'll be located here:

 

Program files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin

 

Other types of installs will place the files elsewhere, but they'll always be in \The Sims 3\Game\Bin

 

For anyone else reading, these instructions are specific to the original poster's card.  If you'd like help getting your own card recognized, please create your own thread and post the first 40 lines of your deviceconfig, found in Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3.

 

 

Spoiler

First, open graphicscards.sgr, and right at the top is the list of AMD cards, starting with this:

 

vendor "ATI" 0x1002
card 0x6798 "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"
card 0x6799 "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"
card 0x679a "AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series"

 

under the vendor "ATI" line, create a new line and add this:

 

card 0x7340 "AMD Radeon RX 5500 Series"

Save, quit, and open graphicsrules.sgr.  Hit crtl-F and search for 29?0, which will take you to these lines:

 

elseif (match("${cardVendor}", "ATI"))
if (match("${cardName}", "*HD 29?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*HD 36?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*HD 38?0*") or match("${cardName}"

[etc.]

 

Change the HD 29?0 to RX 5500 , but don't touch anything else, not even the asterisks.  This will classify your card as uber.  Depending on performance, you may need to turn down some of the in-game settings to high; it's impossible to say without knowing your specific model of GPU.

 

Still within graphicsrules.sgr, go back to the top, and look for this, 8-10 lines down:

 

if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 32
setb textureMemorySizeOK false

 

Change the 32 to a 1024, and put a # and a space in front of setb, so that the lines look like this:

 

if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 1024
# setb textureMemorySizeOK false

(While your card may have more than 1 GB of VRAM, the game can only use 800 MB.)  Save, quit, launch the game, and check deviceconfig again.  You should now see a [Found: 1, Matched: 1] value next to your card's name.

Let me know if any of this doesn't work.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 15 (334 Views)
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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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@puzzlezaddict Thank you, everything works perfectly Standard smile
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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

[ Edited ]
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@puzzlezaddictEverything worked fine at first, but now whenever I open Sims 3 with the files changed for the new graphics card, it gets stuck on some variety of a black screen after launching the game through the launcher. I've tried repairing the game and having it create a new folder in documents. This makes the game work but when I then change the files again it stops working. At first I could just go to desktop and then maximize the game again and it would work, but now it just freezes so I have to reboot the pc as I can't even close it with task manager. Hope you can help. 

 

Edit: one of the times it also came up with the message "Service initialization failed (0x065d0274)"

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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

@MyCatsNameIsMax  That is very strange.  The service initialization error isn't uncommon, but it  usually doesn't apply to situations where all you've done is edit the graphics files.  Are they still saving as .sgr files, as opposed to .txt or something else?  When you say repairing and spawning a clean game folder fixes the error, do you need to do both, or will just one of the two solve it, at least temporarily?  Please let me know either way—it would be interesting if editing the two files and also using a clean game folder helped.

 

I'm also wondering if you've had a recent system update, either Windows or your GPU driver, that's interfering.  Please run a dxdiag and attach it to a post.  Aside from updates, it might have more useful information about the crashes.

 

https://help.ea.com/en-us/help/pc/how-to-gather-dxdiag-information/

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 5 of 15 (234 Views)
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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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@puzzlezaddict  I've been playing around with it for a bit and I don't think editing the graphics files is the problem. Repairing the game through Origin does not fix anything, but spawning a new game folder does fix the problem. I tried going in and out of the game to see when it would stop working and the problem seems to start when I change the graphics settings in game. I don't know if it is because I set them too high (I set most of them to the highest setting) or if it is a specific one that causes the problem (I haven't tested that yet, seems like it might take a while to go through them all). I've tried this both with the graphics card unrecognized and with the graphics files changed to recognize it, the problem happens with both. 

 

I did update some things in Windows Update when I got the computer this Tuesday, and I guess the GPU driver was also updated that day. The game doesn't crash as such it just freezes (or seems to do so as the mouse is sometimes still there and moveable) so I have to either reboot the computer or sometimes I can ctrl+alt+delete and sign out so it forces the game to close. If I just leave it be, it stays on the frozen black screen. 

 

Edit: the black screen happens when launching the game but also when exiting it after having changed the in game graphics settings.

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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

@MyCatsNameIsMax  Just to clarify, you should never change your graphics settings anywhere except the Main Menu, and you should always quit and reload afterwards.  (The exceptions are fullscreen/windowed, resolution, and high-detail lots, which can be changed on the fly.)  Changing while a save is loaded can cause all sorts of graphics problems, up to and including crashing or freezing.  So playing with the settings could account for the problems.

 

Having said that, your dxdiag does list errors both with your GPU driver and with the Radeon control software.  These could just be the result of your messing with the settings.  But if changing options at the Main Menu, quitting, and reloading still leads to freezing/crashing, it's possible that the Radeon software is attempting to impose what it deems optimal settings on the game, and your manually overriding those settings is the issue.  (Nvidia's GeForce Experience does the same thing, offering to "optimize" settings, and it's always been a problem with TS3.)

 

I don't have the control software in front of me right now, but if yours has a profile for TS3.exe, you could try turning off any options for optimizing or managing graphics settings or whatever Radeon calls it.  You can access the control panel by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Radeon-something.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 15 (207 Views)
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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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@puzzlezaddict  The graphics settings that I have been changing is in the main menu of the game, not in any files or Radeon software or anything. I only "played" with the settings in the main menu after the game started having problems to see if these settings were the cause of the problem. I spawned a new sims 3 folder, launched the game and then changed the settings to what I wanted in the main menu, then exited the game as it recommends and it would freeze while closing or when I tried to launch the game again afterwards. I kept doing that to see which settings were causing problems (disabling in game store, memories and such or the graphics settings). I was not in a save while doing it as I haven't really been playing yet and currently have no saves (I just let the 1 save I had be deleted when spawning a new game folder as I had not been playing for long and didn't care if it was saved). This was also how I found out that changing the graphics files was not causing the problem, as when I spawn a new folder the graphics files go back to not recognizing the GPU and the problem was still present.

 

I just tried looking at the Radeon software, I'm not quite sure how it works or what it does, so I haven't changed any settings from the default they were when the software was installed. But I just now disabled the ones that were enabled for Sims 3. One was surface format optimization (sounds like this could be some of what you are talking about?)

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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

@MyCatsNameIsMax  Wait, your GPU goes from recognized to unrecognized when you just spawn a clean folder?  That doesn't sound right at all.  A game repair would do this because the repair replaces the altered .sgr files with their original copies.  But there's nothing in the Sims 3 folder in Documents that should have anything to do with this.

 

Please let me know if disabling any Radeon optimization settings helps.  If not, there's an experiment I can suggest: repair, clean folder, let your card be unrecognized, and see whether you can change any of the graphics settings without getting more crashes.  If you can't, it's the Radeon software, and we can try to troubleshoot that further.

 

If you can change the settings, then apply only the texture memory fix (the last one listed), not the other two steps, and let me know whether you can tweak the settings without the game crashing.  (You'll know the texture memory edit worked when deviceconfig lists it as 1024 rather than "32 MB <<OVERRIDE>>.")  I'm curious whether it's the fact that you're altering an .sgr file at all, or whether it's specifically having your card recognized and/or the game applying the default ultra settings.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
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Re: Sims 3 graphics card/framerates

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@puzzlezaddict Oh no it doesn't go from recognized to unrecognized by getting a new folder, it's just me getting confused :D

It's definitely the Radeon Software causing the problem. The game works with all the settings disabled but stops working as soon as I turn them on again. However I don't know if its a specific setting or all of them.
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