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Urgent laptop help

by rangelpoo

Original Post

Urgent laptop help

★★★★ Novice

Hello Sims Community,


My laptop died yesterday. Actually, it still works but won’t charge any longer. I think this was a Sims 4 related death because the battery area got super hot over the last few days. The laptop (an ASUS) was about six years old and died doing what it loved.


But anyway, I need a new laptop ASAP.... like I want to order it tonight. I need the laptop for other things besides Sims. Like the job I have in order to buy Sims games.  Can someone help with some recommendations? I only play Sims 4 though have, on occasion, played CIV. Wouldn’t be heart broken to not play that anymore.... bonus points if the specs could handle Sims 3 but also not a dealbreaker. 


Im looking to spend around $1k with the Microsoft office suite included (there’s that job again) and a gaming computer that doesn’t scream Gaming Computer in its aesthetic. My boss could probably handle a backlit keyboard, but nothing too crazy. If it could less than $1k that would nice but I’d rather go another few years without buying another machine


Any suggestions?

Message 1 of 9 (194 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

@rangelpoo  It might be possible to replace the battery and get your old Asus off life support, if you want to try.  Barring that though, you'll want something with at least an Nvidia 1060 to be sure that the laptop will always handle TS4 on ultra settings.  The 6 GB card would be better; the 3 GB version may or may not be quite enough for all packs on ultra by the time the game is finished.  There are only a few models available for under $1k, but it's certainly doable.


For example, this Dell has a good processor and a 1060 6 GB.  It's only $800, so you could buy Office and still have enough money to upgrade the 8 GB RAM or swap out the large secondary mechanical drive for a faster solid state drive.  (A decent 512 GB SATA SSD might run you $70-80, and of course Windows will be on the small SSD already installed.)  And who would claim that a Dell looks too much like a gaming computer?


Also, Amazon offers the same model in a bundle with Office 365 Home for $99 more, but I don't know if that would be cheaper than buying Office separately, or if that's even the version you need.  Still:


Just because I found it, this is essentially the same computer as above, but with a graphics card throttled ever so slightly (performance is a couple of percentage points down) to keep heat and power use low.  It has a single 256 GB SSD, but again, at $800, you could add a second drive if you wanted.


If you'd prefer an Asus, this is the only one I saw with a 1060 for under $950.  It has the 3 GB variant, and just a single 256 GB SSD, but at $700, you'd have even more room in your budget to upgrade.


If you want something a bit better and can stretch your budget, this one is $930.  It's a Dell again, with the newer version of the processor the others have (slightly better benchmarks, not worth a huge investment to upgrade) and a better graphics card (definitely worth the money if you can spend it, but TS4 won't notice a difference).  It also has a 512 GB SSD, so you probably wouldn't need to add another drive.


And yes, all of these would run TS4 on ultra as well.  You'd want to limit your in-game frame rates, but that's very easy to do (and you could come see me in the Sims 3 section if you had any trouble with it).


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 9 (186 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

★★★★ Novice

First, thank you so much for your thoughtful response! I’m not going to lie, after seeing some of your other answers I had hoped you would see my question.


Now, you’re going laugh. My weekend of stress related to this dead battery issue would have been totally avoided if I had checked to make sure the computer was still plugged into the wall. That’s right, the damn AC adapter was unplugged. HOWEVER, in my defense, the computer still struggles to charge and will only charge if the cord and the thing that plugs into the computer are held at just the right angle. It wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility that it had breathed its last. So the computer is on its last legs but it appears there is still some life in the ole girl yet.


All this means I won’t be storming over to Best Buy tonight, but it’s in the near future. I’m definitely not tech savvy as the whole unplugging issue should demonstrate, so the idea of having to do any of my own upgrades is terrifying. Perhaps it would be worth it to go with the more expensive computer? That being said, I’m not particular about my graphics quality. According to the sticker on my computer I have a nvidia 610M and until a few hours ago I didn’t even know that an Ultra setting existed on the Sims. I’ve been blissfully playing away at Low and Low Medium everything, none the wiser. It would appear I’m missing out. 


So given my ignorance about all things tech AND apparently my very real ignorance about game settings, would you still make the same recommendations? 




Message 3 of 9 (174 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

@rangelpoo  That's definitely better news than before.  (And your laptop sounds like my iPhone 5, which is similarly picky about the angle of the charging cord.  But at least it helpfully makes angry chirping noises at me when it's not satisfied.)  A battery and its cord can be replaced fairly easily, and probably for not too much money.  I guess that the question is whether you want to go to the trouble.  If the laptop is otherwise running fine, you might get enough time out of it to make the small investment worth it.


On the other hand... running a Sims game on ultra settings is a whole different experience.  So is running Windows off a solid state drive, if you're used to the slow mechanical drives that used to be standard.  When you're ready for a new laptop, I can certainly look for models that wouldn't require any upgrades on your part, or at most clicking a RAM stick into an open slot.  (It's really easy, I promise.)


If you're not overly picky about graphics, you could get the next card down, an Nvidia 1050 ti.  That card will run all TS4 packs on ultra now, but with the new expansions coming out in the next couple of years, you might need to dial things back down to high.  But there's a big gap between the performance of the 1050 ti and the next cards down.  And Sims 3 doesn't run particularly well on anything lower than a regular (not ti) 1050, so that's probably where you'd want to set the floor.


So to answer your question, yes, my recommendations would change a bit.  Eliminating the models that would need an extra hard drive leaves only the first and last laptops, plus whatever I could find with a 1050 ti.  The other point is that sales can change quickly.  The two Dells might not be avaliable at those prices, or at all in the case of the first, and there might be other options that enter the picture.  Right now, the newer graphics cards (the 1660 ti in the last Dell linked, plus the 1650 I haven't mentioned) are just beginning to drop in price, but who knows what the market will look like in even a month or two.


The bottom line is, I'm happy to look for options for you whenever you're ready.  Now that I know exactly what you want, it should be easy for find something that works for you.


(And I'm flattered, but there are plenty of people who could do the same thing.  That's how I learned in the first place.)


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 4 of 9 (149 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict You are being too modest! Your advice has been spot on and came in just the nick of time. Had this been a real emergency your answers would have been just what I needed when I needed them.


Now that I know I have a little bit of time, I might just wait and see if the prices come down a tad. If the old lady can hold out, I might even be able to check out the Black Friday sales. I’ll definitely be in touch! Any help I can get would be much appreciated.


Thanks again,


Message 5 of 9 (140 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict The time has come. My computer has breathed its last. I was hoping you could help me select a new machine.


I'm still not looking for top of the line. Just something that would let me play Sims 4 on high setting with all the expansions and a few mods. I dont play any other games


I was looking at this one? ttps://


I'd like to keep it under $1k with the Microsoft office suite included.


I appreciate your help. You've been so fantastic 



Message 6 of 9 (80 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

[ Edited ]

@rangelpoo  At least you got a couple more months out of your laptop, and, as expected, the market has changed a bit, with the newer Nvidia 1650 now available at much cheaper prices than before.  So you can definitely do better than the Dell you've linked, even in the same price range.  Aside from the good but not great graphics card, the Dell has a two year old processor, and not the strongest one available back then.  There was a large improvement in performance between the 7th and 8th generation Intel processors, so it's definitely worth getting a newer version.  (The 9th-gen CPUs are only a small improvement.)


Even taking into account that you don't want to do your own upgrades, there are still plenty of options depending on precisely how much you want to spend.  Since you don't want a computer that looks too much like a gaming laptop, I'm listing a few options for each level, in case the otherwise best overall is just too obvious (looking at you, MSI) and you want to go in another direction.


For the same price as the Dell you found, you could get an Nvidia 1050 ti, which is somewhat stronger than the regular 1050.  The cheapest option is the HP, at $648; the Dell and MSI are both $700.  (MSI makes better gaming computers, but it's not like the Dell would break in a year or anything.)  The HP has a bit more RAM, which is nice, but it also has a slower mechanical hard drive with Intel Optane memory to accelerate it.  This will be much faster than a mechanical drive without Optane but still slower than the solid state drives of the other two, although the small SSDs won't hold much more than Windows.  Still, Sims 4 will just as well on the large 1 TB HDD.


Laptops with an Nvidia 1650 start at $760 if you include the MSI rebate, or even lower if you're willing to buy the Lenovo below from a third-party seller on Amazon.  (It was $700 from Amazon proper last week, but it's back-ordered and more expensive now.)  All of these have the same hardware, including a 512 GB solid state drive, which is plenty of room for Sims 4 and your work files too.  (And maybe Sims 3, if you feel like going back to it.)  The MSI comes in 15" and 17" versions.

(Here's the very long link to the page for Amazon's sold out Lenovo.)


This is a high-end version of the above laptops, with the same 1650, plus a combination 256 GB SSD/1 TB HDD.  Its processor is significantly stronger than the others as well, although Sims games wouldn't be able to use the extra power.  I'm including it just because it's a very high quality laptop that would normally be much more expensive.


Finally, depending on what version of Microsoft Office you have, you may be able to simply transfer your license to your new laptop instead of buying a new copy.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 9 (61 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict thanks so much for your incredibly thorough response and the multiple options you have identified on my behalf. I think I’m going to go with the Lenovo. You seem pretty confident that I can run my Sims 4 on a decent setting on that machine and that’s what matters the most to me. It looks like I can buy just the laptop for around $700 and then pick up the regular Office 2016 software for a song on Amazon. That’s what we use at my current job so I’ll upgrade to 2019 later when I have to.


Plus, I’m a sucker for that blue keyboard!

Message 8 of 9 (51 Views)

Re: Urgent laptop help

@rangelpoo  The Lenovo laptop will run all current Sims 4 packs on ultra graphics settings with room to spare.  It may or may not quite run all future packs on ultra settings (assuming all packs installed together), depending on how the game develops in the next couple of years.  But a mix of high and ultra settings should always be fine.  And Sims 3 should run on ultra settings with no adjustments necessary, other than an outside tool to cap in-game frame rates.


It's definitely a nice looking computer as well, plus not too flashy.  The fast solid state drive will also be a major bonus if you're used to Windows running on a mechanical drive.  I hope you enjoy it.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 9 (35 Views)

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