If you want to play Sims 2, do it in Boot Camp! (Guide)

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Mercuric Oxide, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Mercuric Oxide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    (This mini-guide should help all Sims 2 players with either an iMac or Mac Pro as they have GPU's in the same series. MacBook Pro users can do the same, but download the nvidia drivers. Sorry MacBook and Air...
    I have a similar guide with Crysis, sadly the poor drivers in OSX requires the same measures to be used)

    So I've always seen threads complaining about Sims 2 performance, mainly from people with iMacs. I played a lot on my Powerbook G4, but could not play at high settings or with multiple Sims without lag.

    I recently got a Mac Pro ( 2 x 2.8 GHz, ATi HD2600XT, 6 GB RAM), and thought I might as well try the game out in OSX, as that setup would surely decimate it right?

    Wrong.

    I suffered the same stuttering many have with just a few sims, flashing blue textures, etc. The 2600 is by all means not a high end card, but it does blow away the recommended specs of the game.

    Either Aspyr did not optimize the game as best as it could, or Apple simply just doesn't update the video card drivers properly (I'm assuming a mixture of both).

    Anyway, so I got a copy of the PC version from my friend and decided to load it in Boot Camp.

    Although first, I updated the drivers through AMD by first installing:

    .NET framework 3.5

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...FD-AE52-4E35-B531-508D977D32A6&displaylang=en

    Restarting after the installation. Then installing the latest AMD drivers found here:

    http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html

    Selecting the drivers either under XP or Vista, not the bootcamp ones (which
    are always outdated).

    Another restart.

    Then downloaded some patches from EA:

    http://thesims2.ea.com/update/

    Now I didn't want to start all over from my Mac game, as I had backups from my Powerbook days, along with 2 GB of custom content. If you are willing to purchase the PC version (search Amazon, the PC versions are generally $10 cheaper, as well as Sims 2 + Nightlife pack for only $30), you can simply copy the entire folder in documents/EA Games to the PC side, as the save and content files are the same (make sure to reinstall your custom content with the package installer before running). This requires that your Boot Camp partition be FAT32 format.

    So I held my breath, and started up.

    Difference was night and day!

    I set the resolution to 1440 x 900 and I immediately went to my most intensive lot, a recreation of Gringotts from Harry Potter, 10 stories tall, with over 2000 regular and build items and 15+ sims. Mac Pro did not stutter once.

    Also, this is with max anti-aliasing (smooth edges, which is grayed out in the Mac version). Ever wonder why your sims were riddled with jagged lines, yet the box art showed them with cg-like smoothness? This quality is achieved with Smooth Edges.

    So yeah, not many have a Mac Pro, and of those who do, I doubt many play the Sims.

    So I had my roommate with the latest iMac test my method as well. He was able to achieve the same drastic results, as the iMac GPU (a watered down version of the Mac Pro GPU) still blows away the requirements, and the Core2Duo is more than adequate.

    So if you're willing to re-buy all the Sims 2 + Expansions and play them without crippled drivers, I hope this guide helps you. If you're not willing to pay for them again, and believe that paying all the money you spent should grant you the PC version as well , PM me for an *ahem* alternative method. And if not that, when the Sims 3 comes out, do yourself a favor and run it in Boot Camp.

    I hate to not support games on the Mac, but I can't pay more money to get half the performance.

    I will post comparison pics soon to show the night and day graphics advantage of Smooth Edges, which alone makes the game worth running in Boot Camp (and the iMac can handle it).

    Cheers

    (sorry for the long length, and if this was already common knowledge :eek: )
     
  2. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    AA item

    Here is the difference between items with Anti-Aliasing (Smooth Edges, which is disabled in the Mac version). Click the images for a larger view.

    Smooth Edged Item:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    non AA item

    Item without Smooth Edging. Click for better view, notice the jagged lines.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Your Sims with AA

    Click for a larger view to see how much smoother and higher detailed your sims look with Smooth Edging.

    If you've played the game, there's no need for me to post the non-AA sims, as you should be able to tell the drastic difference.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    ^All of the above pictures taken on friend's iMac 2.4 GHz ATi HD2600 PRO
     
  6. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Here is a sim on OSX, same resolution and max details as PC, but no AA (as the Mac version disables it). Click for larger view, and look closely at the outlines and edges of the character and clothing.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. SilversunStreak macrumors member

    SilversunStreak

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    #7
    That always really pissed me off. The stuttering and especially lack of AA. It wasn't implemented and the fact that Aspyr uses pictures from the Widows AA version is false advertising imo.:mad:
     
  8. Charzipan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
  9. brittanyismebb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #9
    Want to Play Sims 2 Too on my iMAC!

    Are you saying that you loaded Sims 2 in boot camp without installing Windows XP OS first....or does that just go with out saying?
     
  10. wcalderini macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    #10
    To play at native Resolution (1680 x 1050)

    For those of you who want to play full screen at native screen resolution (1680 x1050 on a 20 inch iMac) you can do the following modification in Windows XP to make it work.
    Note that this modification must be done to the LAST current expansion pack
    (whichever one your game is currently loading in) you are playing and must be done to all future ones unless EA starts to add it on their own in future versions.

    BTW I can't take credit for figuring this out, but I did see it on a forum somewhere in the past and thought I would pass it on.

    Path: Program Files/EA Games/The Sims 2 Bon Voyage/ TS Data/res/config

    Open the “Graphic Rules SRG” file in notepad.
    Scroll about 3/4 down until you see a section headed by “option ScreenModeResolution”
    On the 4th Paragraph down (setting $High) change the last 4 digits in the top 2 subheaders
    from 1600 to 1680 on (uin:prop maxResWidth) and from 1200 to 1050 (uin:prop maxResHeight)

    Save changes to the SRG file. Close window

    Fire up the game.
    Go to your graphic display settings (in game) and it will list the 1680 x 1050 as a screen size option.
    Click it and play native.

    Good Luck.

    WRC
    [​IMG][/IMG]

    if the above image does not show you can download a pdf I made here:
    http://idisk.mac.com/logaine1-Public?view=web
     
  11. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    No, you need Boot Camp and Windows. By alternative methods, I was referring to other ways of obtaining the PC version of the Sims 2 if you had already shelled out all the money for the mac version.
     
  12. Steve1496 macrumors 6502a

    Steve1496

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #12
    It is really disappointing that Aspyr doesn't enable Anti-Aliasing on their ports, but the gameplay is the same. You shouldnt be experiencing the flashing blue textures...I've never seen that. However I will agree that the game is smoother in Windows than Mac OS X, by a good amount. I still havent heard if EA is making a Mac version at the same release time with the Sims 3...let's hope they do (or at least stop having Aspyr handle the ports)!

    Check out the Sims 3 teaser site if you haven't already. More info coming March 19. Also check out the article from the Games For Windows magazine scans, if you can get the site to load.

    Steve
     
  13. brittanyismebb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #13
    Another Question

    Why did you say, "Sorry MacBook" users? Wont Sims 2 work on MacBook using Boot camp?
     
  14. wakka092 macrumors 6502

    wakka092

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #14
    Yes, any game will run on a MacBook using BootCamp, but the MacBook has integrated graphics (Intel x3100 ?) and the iMac, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro have dedicated graphics cards made by Ati and NVIDIA.

    A integrated graphics chip will use up your system's memory (up to 256 MB) and will not provide a fraction of the performance of a dedicated graphics card, which has about that much memory and have far greater power.
     
  15. katielondon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #15
    I've been running the Sims 2 on OSX on a MacBook Pro for a year or so. Recently, the fact that new expansion packs take such a long time for Aspyr to port, and that they're much worse quality than the Windows version has really started to aggravate me. I want to support Aspyr, but I'm sick of having my gameplay compromised, so I've decided to install Bootcamp. I'm not exactly happy about the ridiculous amount I've had to pay to upgrade to Leopard, or to by XP (I decided not to go OEM), or to re-buy all the titles in PC format (I assume you were talking about torrents when you said 'alternate methods' but I'd prefer to own them), but your thread has been very helpful. The bit that totally threw me, however, was this bit:

    Although first, I updated the drivers through AMD by first installing:

    .NET framework 3.5

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

    Restarting after the installation. Then installing the latest AMD drivers found here:

    http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html

    Selecting the drivers either under XP or Vista, not the bootcamp ones (which
    are always outdated).

    Another restart.

    Then downloaded some patches from EA:

    http://thesims2.ea.com/update/

    What the heck is AMD? And what are drivers? And why do I need them?

    Also, this bit threw me too:

    Now I didn't want to start all over from my Mac game, as I had backups from my Powerbook days, along with 2 GB of custom content. If you are willing to purchase the PC version (search Amazon, the PC versions are generally $10 cheaper, as well as Sims 2 + Nightlife pack for only $30), you can simply copy the entire folder in documents/EA Games to the PC side, as the save and content files are the same (make sure to reinstall your custom content with the package installer before running). This requires that your Boot Camp partition be FAT32 format.

    I definitely would like to keep my current game. I've built a hell of a lot of houses and characters, and I really don't want to start all over again, but what does FAT32 format mean? It's going to be a lot of work to switch all of this over, and I really don't want to make any mistakes, so if you could possibly explain what these bits mean that would really help me. I'm sorry if I sound like a total moron, I don't know a huge amount about computers, and I tend to learn as I go along, so layman's terms would really help!
     

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