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Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

by michelleealexis
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Original Post

Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Hello Everyone! So a weeks ago I purchased a Macbook Pro 2018 with these specs:

2.7GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
Retina display with True Tone
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
256GB SSD storage
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
Backlit Keyboard - US English

Anywho, I have installed windows on my mac through bootcamp and have downloaded all my EP's and base game for the sims 3 and am currently in the process of downloading my cc. I do have quite a few mods downloaded and some cc (all merged) with my Mods folder being 561 MB. I've experienced some lag in my game every now and then where it will freeze for 20 seconds then unfreeze. I was wondering if this is normal and will the sims 3 ruin my macbook? I gave my windows partition about 150GB of drive space. 

Message 1 of 13 (265 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

@michelleealexis  The short answer is no, TS3 won't ruin your computer, as long as you're careful.  But you do have to know that you can be careful.

 

The medium-length answer is that there are several issues you'll need to be aware of, not all of which can be fixed. TS3 will run better in Windows than macOS, for sure, but better is relative here.  If you pay attention to the details and make accommodations where you can, your computer will be fine.  I play on a MacBook Pro 14,3, in Bootcamp, without trouble, but I also don't push the game too far

 

The first issue is that your computer only has an integrated graphics chip, not a dedicated card.  This means that with all packs in play, you won't be able to run the game on the highest graphics settings no matter what else you do. Pets and Seasons may be especially challenging or even too much of a burden.  You may want to turn off or strictly limit inclement weather (rain, snow, sleet) and disable or cap the stray pet population—long-haired animals and wild horses are especially demanding on the graphics.  But how much you need to dial things down will depend on how your computer is running, as well as where you leave your other settings.

 

The lack of a dedicated card also means that the processor will need to pick up the slack.  Yours is an i7-8559U, which is one of the ultra-low-power models, designed to conserve power rather than run at full strength.  On the other hand, at 2.7 GHz base clock speed, it won't need to turbo to run the game.  You should still avoid any serious multitasking while playing though.  A browser window is fine; editing photos may not be.

 

On a related note, not all custom content is created equal.  Certain high poly count items will be more demanding in terms of graphics, and you may find that using those items slows your game down significantly.  You could experiment with no cc, and then with a few items on your active sims, to see if you get any lag.  Unfortunately, the only way to tell if your cc is causing a problem is to test it yourself.

 

The second issue is heat.  MacBook Pros have good cooling, but not what you'd get with a dedicated gaming laptop.  This is manageable, again as long as you're careful.  Be sure to elevate the laptop while you're playing, for example with a laptop tray or with books under the corners.  The bottom of your laptop is designed to dissipate heat very efficiently, but it needs to have enough airflow underneath to do its job.  The worst thing you could do is set your computer on top of a blanket while you play.

 

You could also use a monitoring app to track a number of stats, including temperatures.  You could even set alarms at certain temperatures, so you would know when to take a break.  I don't actually know whether this would be necessary or just for peace of mind, but it certainly wouldn't hurt, and the app I'm thinking of takes up hardly any resources to run.

 

Another potentially serious issue is your lack of free storage.  Windows itself takes up a lot of space, TS3's program files might be 40 GB with all packs installed, and the game folder with your saves and installed content will only add to the total.  How much depends on how much extra content you have installed, and how frequently you transfer extra saves and other files to external storage.  There are other ways to lessen the size of your game folder as well.

 

But the bottom line is that you need to allow Windows enough room to maneuver, or your game, and the entire partition, won't run properly.  We generally recommend leaving 40 GB free at all times, to allow for updates, temporary files, and a delay before the player gets around to moving extra content elsewhere.  You can get away with less free storage if you know what you're doing.  But anything less than 15 GB is asking for trouble, and even then you'd need to take steps to prevent Windows from trying to update automatically.

 

There are other, smaller issues you may want to be aware of, and steps you can take to lower the demands that TS3 places on your hardware.  If you're interested, I can give you more information, and expand on the above points.  Just let me know if you have any questions.  I will say that, having Bootcamped your own computer, you're probably well equipped to learn how to properly take care of your computer.  But it is possibly more work than you signed up for, so you might decide it's not worth the effort.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 13 (231 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict Thank you so much for the answer, it was very insightful! However, I do have some more questions. So far I've been playing my sims 3 game with all EPs except for WA, ITF, Showtime, and University Life. I personally have only noticed some lag here and there along with some freezing for 20 seconds but nothing too major. My graphics looks fine to me and I only allow myself to play 3 times a week max at 5 hours max and making sure to take a 30 minute break after every hour I play so I can allow my computer to cool down and also get other stuff done. I ordered a cooling fan that should be coming in the mail and it has pegs so my computer will sit at an angle. I also gave my windows partition 150 GB of hard drive space is that enough?

 

Anywho, the first question I have is if I keep playing will I see a reduction in my graphics or gaming performance and will I wear out my computer such as the CPU and or break my computer. My second question is what do you mean by certain high poly counts and how I can find out what CC has this. My third question is the app you were talking about that shows stats. 

Message 3 of 13 (117 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict Yes! Thank you so much for this information it was very insightful. I would definitely like some more information and I do have 150 GB of hard drive space on my partition for windows is that enough? I also use every EP except WA, ITF, Showtime, and University Life. I honestly so far haven't noticed much issues when it comes to gameplay except the occasional lag and freeze but it only lasts for about 30 seconds, however I do use quite a few intense mods and have CC so I am fine with it.

 

I would like to know what app you were talking about which shares the stats. My main question though is will the sims overtime ruin my computer in the long run? I only plan on playing max 3 times a week (however I have such a busy schedule I think I'll only be able to play on Saturdays) along with only playing for a max of 5 hours with a 30 minute break after each hour to allow my computer to cool down and restart. I also plan on getting my computer cleaned out regularly and will probably try to get my thermal paste changed when I feel needed. I would just like to know your opinion and insight on it all, Thank you!

Message 4 of 13 (203 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

@michelleealexis  You sound more tolerant of lag than a lot of people would be.  I don't know if I could stand a 30 second delay while playing unless it was due to my running a mod-enabled cleanup or something.  Still, even if you're fine with the lag as it stands now, it could always get worse.  So it's probably worth addressing at least some of the potential causes.

 

First, which world are you playing in?  Some are better made than others, and a few are basically unplayable in their default state, including the otherwise lovely Isla Paradiso.  (This world, at least, is fixable.)  How long have you played this save, in terms of sim-weeks?  An exact number isn't necessary, although you can get one by hovering your mouse over the game clock, but an estimate is fine.  (This game is brand new, this is generation 4 of a legacy on long lifespans, that kind of thing.) 
 
Another potential problem is a bunch of stray animals in a world that wasn't designed for them. Baby animals can’t use stairs, so they can get stuck on community lots, and wild horses can get stuck almost anywhere.  As far as graphics settings go, the two most demanding are water and high-detail lots. Try turning those down first to see if you get an improvement; I use “mirrors only” and 2, respectively.

 

If you use NRaas StoryProgression, that can cause lag even on the strongest systems.  Try dialing back the pace to slow or snail.  The SP add-ons can also increase the overall load; most people can't play with all of them.  Almost all other NRaas mods are either neutral or lower the overall demands of TS3 by cleaning things up.  As for other mods, I couldn't say without knowing which ones you're using.

 

It’s also a good idea to test a new save in a well-made world to get a baseline for what kind of performance your computer is capable of producing. The best worlds to test are usually Sunset Valley, Twinbrook, and Riverview, but since you have Pets in play, you might test Appaloosa Plains instead, since it's the most animal-friendly of the EA worlds.

 

Anyway, to answer your questions, the only reason TS3 could shorten the life of your computer is if it overheats.  The monitoring app I use is hwinfo, which is easy to read and allows you to set alarms at whatever temperatures you want.  You don't even have to install it—just download the portable version and launch it from your Downloads folder (or wherever) before you start playing.  It'll list the max and average temperatures over the course of each run, starting when you open it.

 

https://www.hwinfo.com/download/

 

(Be sure to click the green download button, not the orange one.)

 

You could play every day without worrying; the problem is if you play for too long at a time.  How long is too long is mostly dependent on temperatures, although it's probably a good idea not to play for more than a few hours at a time before taking a break.  Stopping after an hour is probably overkill; if your laptop is overheating, it'll happen sooner than that.

 

The other thing that wouldn't be good for your system is having too little free space on your hard drive.  I can't tell you whether 150 GB is too little, although it wouldn't be enough for me.  How much do you have free right now?  You can click on This PC in File Explorer; you should see total and free space for the Windows side of the partition.  Again, you can get away with maybe 15 GB free, but you'll need to put off Windows feature updates, i.e. the twice yearly OS upgrades that usually break something important, until you have more like 25 GB.  The simplest way to do this is to set all your internet connections, wifi and hardwired, to metered.  Then Windows won't download any updates, not even for its antivirus software, unless you allow it manually.

 

As for the packs you're not using, every EP adds to the demands of the game.  But WA has a very light impact.  ITF is considered the third most demanding pack, some distance behind Seasons, although it's more stressful on the processor than the graphics card.  Showtime and UL are somewhere in the middle.  You may find that you get the best results by only running a few EPs at a time, but that will depend on what kind of performance is acceptable.  (All stuff packs are fine, all the time.)

 

Anyway, I'm happy to answer whatever questions you have.  Running TS3 well can involve a lot of experimentation, and some compromises, but it should be doable for someone who's thorough and pays attention to detail.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 5 of 13 (198 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict I am currently playing a custom world called Sunshine City (here is the link to the world: https://sims3customworlds.tumblr.com/post/86441645112/sunshine-city-original-post-here-download) 

 

In terms of how long I have been playing my save I would like to say about a week. I actually haven't gotten to do any real gameplay because I am still downloading my CC and making sure it doesn't cause any weirdness in my game (besides lag, of course.) Basically the save I have been playing is my "tester" family where I make sure whatever I download is working with my game correctly. 

 

Also, when you talked about overheating, if my computer does overheat and ruins my CPU can't I just get a replacement or can overheating damage my computer overall? Again, thank you so much for everything so far I feel like such a burden xD

Message 6 of 13 (107 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict The current world I am playing in and plan on playing is this world called Sunshine City (here is the link to it: https://sims3customworlds.tumblr.com/post/86441645112/sunshine-city-original-post-here-download) I would reckon it's a medium sized world but I am not for sure. 

 

In terms of how long I have been playing my save, I want to say about a week, though it's hard to pinpoint since I only use this save to test my CC and mods I download just to make sure it runs smoothly in my game. Once I have finished downloading the CC I want I will probably start playing with an actual family then but until then I currently use a "tester" family. 

 

I guess overall I am just really worried about my computer. If the computer overheats from the game what kind of damage will it do to my computer? Also thanks again for all this I feel like such. burden lol.

Message 7 of 13 (107 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict The current world I am playing in and plan on playing is this world called Sunshine City (here is the link to it: https://sims3customworlds.tumblr.com/post/86441645112/sunshine-city-original-post-here-download) I would reckon it's a medium sized world but I am not for sure. 

 

In terms of how long I have been playing my save, I want to say about a week, though it's hard to pinpoint since I only use this save to test my CC and mods I download just to make sure it runs smoothly in my game. Once I have finished downloading the CC I want I will probably start playing with an actual family then but until then I currently use a "tester" family. 

 

I guess overall I am just really worried about my computer. If the computer overheats from the game what kind of damage will it do to my computer? Also thanks again for all this I feel like such. burden lol.

Message 8 of 13 (179 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

@michelleealexis  You're not a burden at all; the people who respond here do so because we enjoy it.  And, of course, we're free to ignore posts we don't want to answer, which is not the case here.

 

I would definitely recommend testing in Appaloosa Plains, and Sunset Vally if you can get the stray pet population under control, just for comparison's sake.  I don't know anything about this custom world, or the creator, but some player-made worlds run better than others.  Size is one factor, but routing can also be an issue.  One common cause of lag is a stuck sim, somewhere in the world, that the game engine is tripping all over itself to try to reroute.

 

I totally understand why you'd be worried about your computer; I'm quite overprotective of mine as well.  Excessively high temperatures can damage the hardware, and in a laptop, most hardware can't be replaced.  But this only happens with extreme heat, not when the computer's just running a bit hot.  Modern hardware tends to list operating temperatures up to 70º (hard drives) to 90º (processor) Celsius.  It is of course better not to get too close to the limit, but that still gives your system a lot of breathing room.

 

This is where hwinfo can be so helpful.  If you run it while playing, what kinds of temperatures are you seeing for your hardware?  Do the numbers stabilize or keep rising?  (You can put your game in windowed mode to check.)  This is the best way to get an idea of what your laptop is capable of, and how long you can play without worrying.

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

I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 13 (168 Views)

Re: Will The Sims 3 Ruin my Macbook Pro? (running on Bootcamp)

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict Do you know which mods get the stray population under control? I've also noticed when I play in my custom world if I go around my town sims are not able to walk in some parts because it is "blocked" so I am wondering how I can fix that as well. 

 

Will the app that shows my stats show while I play the sims 3 or do I have to play my game in a windowed mode in order to see it? Thanks again!

Message 10 of 13 (162 Views)
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