The Sims 3 on OS X has terrible graphics

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by equalsabracket, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. equalsabracket macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    I've been playing The Sims 3 for a few weeks on my Vista partition of my laptop (a unibody Macbook Pro, the first 15 inch one in the range). When i bought it today, i thought i'd install it on OS X to make it easier to go on than having to sit through the 5 minute restart-into-windows operation.

    So here are a few screenshots:

    The Sims 3 running on Vista.


    The Sims 3 running on OS X (same laptop remember).



    And the graphics options on OS X (you'll just have to take my word for it that they're all on maximum settings on windows too). High Detail Lots is 'Adjust the number of nearby lots that render in high detail.' so nothing to do with these graphics here.


    I'm sure you'll agree the graphics on OS X are appalling when compared to the graphics on Vista. I'm tempted to sit through the 5 minute restart-to-vista process because those graphics are terrible.
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    The only difference I see is the brickwork, but I'm not a gamer.

    Also, its the sims, not exactly a marvel of graphical work.....
  3. equalsabracket thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    Is there a place where there's big discussions about this where i can get tips on how to improve it/how to correct bugs etc.?
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Looks like standard LOD scaling based on view distance to me.

    I doesn't look like a big leap over Sims 2 in the graphics department.
  6. integrat.ethis macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    You're absolutely right. I installed it on OS X first and was horrified - it looked horrible and ran horribly (this is on the 9600). Most of the problem is that the OS X port doesn't support Edge Smoothing (anti-aliasing). Also, on Vista, you can turn on Anisotropic Filtering in your nVidia control panel. This will make textures further away retain their detail, rather than losing quality linearly with distance. I can tell from your screen that you didn't have this enabled even on your Vista screen - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you try it.
  7. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
  8. alkar macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    you know i was wondering what looked bad on OSX and now I see : the lack of shadows make the game really terrible.... And i'm using 10.5.7 + all updates + 8800 GT everything maxed... Not speaking about the game stutterring if you max everything, but i think it's the same on Windows too because of the engine streaming...
  9. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    There's this thing called Shader Model 2.0 / 3.0 or something. I'm not an expert at this but maybe OpenGL doesn't support that?
  10. alkar macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    sims 3 is only pixel shaders 2.0 anyway and OSX supports shadows of course ! It's just badly ported, end of story.
  11. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
  12. alkar macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    Yes I know it is transgaming, but Cider CAN display shadows, so I dunno wtf they did with this game... I'm sure they can fix this but they are too lazy
  13. Nintenmac macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2009
    Yeah I haven't been too impressed with the graphics quality in the sims 3, by the way is it normal for there to be a tearing effect while moving around and zooming in and out in the game (bad port over or bad graphics drives from apple) or is it hardware problem (UMBP 2.53Ghz 9600GT w/ 512mb vram, 4gb of ram, and 320gb HD at 5400rpm, runnning 10.5.7)? Sorry if I am hijacking this thread but it is kind of bothering me.

  14. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Apple gaming is history.

    Steve Jobs just doesn’t really care much about that industry and these days with Vista the sweetheart platform and all the Xbox / PS3 mega titles making the headlines…developers concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Even “baby games” that had a half-decent market in the Mac platform has shifted focus to the Wii.

    If you want good games on an Apple product, get an iPhone. That’s what’s makes the big bucks and so that’s where all the action is. LOL!
  15. integrat.ethis macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    The tearing is due to your framerate not matching up with your monitor's refresh rate. On Windows, you lock your framerate to your refresh rate using a function called VSync in your nVidia control panel. I'm not aware of a way to do this on OS X.
  16. smacky! macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2008
    i wouldn't go that far...

    the whole gaming industry is undergoing a paradigm shift (if minor) - hell, i read an article yesterday that had an analyst claiming it could even be the end of consoles being replaced cycle after cycle (due to the new services, new hardware displayed at e3, etc)! to say Apple gaming is dead is to ignore the fact that there are still (and continue to be) games made for the mac - poorly or not (and that's more of an industry issue than a purely mac issue as far as the quality of games go - windows users have JUST as many issues w/games as we do; hell, more even, due to the number of games!) - for that matter, you got bloggers/analysts galore saying PC gaming is dead!

    the next 5 years will be very interesting as far as gaming goes - i'm a laptop gamer, so i'm only so-so serious; but i do play a lot (Zero Hour, Madden08, CIV), and i mostly play on the OS X side than bootcamp - i only buy OS X games if i know they're semi-decent as far as the playability is concerned; graphics have almost always sucked in comparison to windows gaming (and i used to play Deadlock on my g3 back in the day), and so have the choices.

    But that's a given, as far as i'm concerned, in exchange for the ease of use dependability, and pure processing power i ask for by buying a mac. IDK why so many people who buy macs are surprised it doesn't game well; and you're right that Jobs doesn't take it seriously - we're all aware of that. S'why there's no mid-range tower! (among other reasons)

    but an iTablet or w/e they'll eventually call it? and if someone made an RTS touchscreen game? I would be SO all over that...i'm there w/you on the iPhone gaming frustration, the lack of interest, the 'now we're into gaming/now we're not' thing, but to say it's dead is to also ignore the fact that folks have ALWAYS made games for the mac - they're just usually not as many/cool/hardcore/etc. - damn, man! take a look at InsanelyMac's Cider Mad Scientists! You think THEY care Jobs doesn't care about the industry or that EA won't port Kane's Wrath? Hell no! (s'probably just as well - even tho' the port 'they' made was almost flawless, the game still kinda sucked, so there ya go.)

    IDK; i play a lot - i have fun, but yes - it's not nearly as much fun as an $900 rig expressly made for playing games (which would gather dust most of the time, since i do more graphics than game). And i do have to admit, Project Natal actually has me considering an XBox for the very first time; now if they can make some decent games...

    and that's probably the MOST frustrating aspect of Apple in regards to gaming; if ANY co. could make interesting/mindblowing/not what you'd expect-type games, it would be Apple!!!!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes:
  17. Ol3s macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2008
    L'viv, Ukraine
    Technically it is dead, games are released on mac to satisfy mac users out there, no mac-exclusive games are being made, the games on mac are not expected to make a large profit, mac games do not compete with any other platforms. If mac gaming actually existed, EA would have a bigger interest and stop using cider, more exclusives would exist etc.

    It is quite interesting that mac games are actually created considering the probability that they will be failures. It is also interesting that mac games are actually made to satisfy gamers not to make profit (except for EA who just use cider, therefore probably making profit no matter what taking into account how little work needs to be done in comparison to native porting)
  18. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    I don't much care for these lackluster Cider-ized ports, but thanks to the Intel switch, that's all we're going to get from anyone other than Blizzard.
  19. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    There was this discussion in another thread about MMO's. The 2 main ones that are probably the most profitable...have a mac version. That's WoW and EVE.

    And if you look here for Free-Play's really tough to find one...but there are some "browser" games that might work. LOL!
  20. alkar macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
  21. asbjornu macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    World of Warcraft and Portal are great examples of games that run excellent on OS X. But they are written in a way that takes advantage of OpenGL so they run smoothly. EA only writes for Windows and DirectX and leaves it to TransGaming's Cider engine to port the code to OS X binary and interject all DirectX operations to OpenGL operations.

    Since DirectX and OpenGL are widely different, a clean and efficient port between the two is impossible. And the result is the terrible performance seen in Sims 3, which doesn't even run smoothly on a 27" quad core i7 with 8GB RAM.

    It's almost criminal that EA takes money for the poor job they've done at porting Sims 3 from Windows to OS X. It almost feels like I'm beta testing the game when I'm playing it, because it's performing so poorly and has so many bugs that mentioning all of them would take more time than I have in a day.

    Seems like EA puts a lot more money into licensing deals, partnerships, sponsorships, music, etc., than into developing the actual game. Sad.
  22. Paulyboy macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2007
    The Sims 3 is actually the worst Cider port I've seen for whatever reason. Other Cider ports I've played, like the Dragon Age games, are better. Not equal to their Windows counterparts but certainly better than The Sims 3. The Sims 3 is perfectly playable on my 2009 I7 iMac but it clearly looks and runs better on my friend's middle of the road Windows HP laptop.

    I have no idea why The Sims 3 is so crippled when the Dragon Age games, for example, are not.

  23. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    you had to bring up a 2 year old post for this....?
  24. karilynn macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2011
    Saint Paul, MN
    Hahaha :)

    I do have to say though, World of Warcraft runs beautifully on OS X and it has ever since I started playing in 2004. :eek:
  25. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    WoW was made native from the start... it is not a Cider port. Cider can run decently, but Sims3 was rushed and never fixed well. Cider is different because its basically a wrapper around the Windows version, so you are actually running the Windows version with an extra compatibly layer it has to run through while playing.

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