View Full Version : Should I buy this laptop for TS3?
19th Aug 2011, 1:06 AM
I am thinking of buying the Dell XPS 15, the reason being the spec's don't seem too bad for the price (I don't have endless amounts of cash to splash out with unfortunately).
These are some of the laptop spec's:
Operating System: English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
Processor: 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2410M processor 2.30 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz
Hard Drive: 500GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
Video Card: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M Graphics Card
Is this laptop good enough for the Sims 3 + expansions? I'm not sure on the video card, I've been looking on youtube and it seems to play games like Crysis and CoD very well, do you think it'll be able to handle the Sims 3 at medium/high settings? (If it's gonna be at low settings I won't bother)
EDIT: Forgot to mention it's DDR3 (I'm not very clued up on computer tecnology :lol: )
ALSO if I do go for this, would it be worth upgrading to the GT 540M for an extra £60?
19th Aug 2011, 3:51 PM
Both GPUs are a No. Both having only 96 Cuda Cores.
525M: "The gaming performance of the GT 525M is similar to the GT 425M as the clock rate differs only by 7%" from source (http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-525M.43889.0.html)
540M: "the 540M is about 10% faster than the GT435M using DDR3 graphics memory." from source (http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-540M.41715.0.html)
And since both the 4xx series cards they are referenced from are tagged with Maybes and Nos (see SysReq link in my signature), the conclusion is that the 5xx series cards won't do much better.
Also, see http://www.modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3617700&postcount=10 and any of the still open threads on these pages or some that were just Archived that have a lot of info on how to choose a card suitable for Sims.
Other than the GPUs, other components are fine - on low-med settings.
One more note - Dell have a reputation for churning out "hot" laptops - they don't handle heat well and shorten your laptop's lifespan; compared to those recommended laptop brands in the sticky.
19th Aug 2011, 11:27 PM
Oh dear xD
I'm actually surprised, after reading http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-540M.41715.0.html it reassured me that the 540M was suitable (implying the game was playable on High), I guess not. I'm getting frustrated looking everywhere for laptops as I one want one that will play TS3 + expansions preferably on high, but everything I've asked about seems to be way off the mark.
I don't particularly want to splash out on alienware or something like that, but I'm thinking I may have to.
Are there any laptops somebody could recommend? (I live in the UK)
20th Aug 2011, 8:15 AM
It must be a laptop?
Most laptops meeting the Sims 3 requirements cost upward of £500-£900 for "low-entry"; £800-£1500 for "mainstream-gaming". And for that kind of money, I'd rather buy a desktop so I can upgrade a few years down the road. :) Laptop upgrade options are limited to HDD and RAM. Some brands like Cleve/Sager offer GPU upgradess but depends on their laptop lines.
But looking at Dell's XPS 15" offerings, both the models offer only "entry-level" GPUs which would be good for low-med settings but not high. Even the 17" models only have GT 555M.
If you look at the "Greens" (my signature - SysReq link), most "good" models start from the mid-line mark, ie GTX 560 and above. Note that laptop models would perform lower than their desktop counterparts of the same series.
20th Aug 2011, 8:03 PM
Thanks for your help. I'm considering a desktop now, even though I would still prefer a laptop for portability reasons. Still, I can see the advantages of a desktop.
I'm currently looking at Asus, but their laptop spec's aren't that different from Dell unfortunately - the higher ends of both these brands seem to use GT 5**M cards :( I may take the plunge and buy something, and if it doesn't perform well enough with TS3 I can always return the machine and look for something better (more expensive).
20th Aug 2011, 8:08 PM
If you're not gaming while being mobile, you can consider a desktop+tablet combo. :)
Comes up to the same budget as a single, good, "gaming" laptop, I suspect. Which most "gaming" caliber laptops are monstrously heavy Desktop-replacements, anyway. So, where's the mobility in that? ;)
20th Aug 2011, 10:19 PM
I'm a little confused... The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 seems to play TS3 (High Settings) better than the Geforce GTX 580M according to http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-5650.23697.0.html
I've seen the ATI HD 5650 in many laptops that are considerably cheaper to the likes of Alienware with GTX 580M's.
So would it be worth purchasing a laptop with the ATI 5650? IDK whether to go by notebookcheck or not.
EDIT: I've found this laptop: http://h40059.www4.hp.com/uk/homelaptops/product.php?id=LM758EA&experience=direct
That laptop seems to match everything displayed in this screenshot:
I'm still not certain though. Especially at 132.4fps at High.... It seems too good to be true from that graphics card
21st Aug 2011, 7:41 PM
Mid-range GPUs with a 15" laptop screen should be sufficient, but still not all settings can be set to high, just because the GPU's hardware won't be able to handle that high setting. Not over long periods, at least. So you would need to adjust your "all high settings" requirements. :) (Just so you know, certain "high" settings seems superfluous and only manage to lower performance with no visible graphical improvement to my eyes, YMMV)
And it won't be as hot as high-end GPUs on the same 15" chassis could get.
I'm leery on going by FPS numbers on Benchmark charts as the hardware is not the same with just a GPU swap and different settings. I mean my idea of low and their idea of low settings may differ. Also the comparison is skewed just because there is no common baseline. All those FPS numbers differ when you include CPU, RAM, GPU settings and Sims 3 settings options.
Whichever combo of CPU+GPU you choose, I'd plug in the values and the combination of terms like "Sims 3" "issues" "problems" in a search and see what pops up. Or plug in the model number on their support forums and see how many and what sort of issues other people are having.
I already found one - http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Display-and-Video/Graphics-Problems-with-ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-5650/td-p/714229 Which is the problem for ALL laptops - the OEMs are slow in updating their drivers and you cannot update from the manufacturers' sites (AMD, Nvidia) directly, as it is blocked due to some special notebook+keyboard+GPU features each OEM provide. In fact some of them never gets a driver update by the OEM after its release, and I've had lots of occasions to use hacks to update laptops' GPU drivers to fix graphical issues.
21st Aug 2011, 10:50 PM
Hmm, I'm glad I have someone with your knowledge making me aware of these issues. I went through Hell with the Sims 2 eventually, so I'm being very cautious. I'm having second thoughts about a laptop now. I'd rather be safe than sorry, and I had no idea that laptops in general were so unsuitable. I'm gonna look at building a desktop, or possibly a high-end gaming laptop (if the "parentals" are willing to contribute) lol But like you mentioned in an earlier post, gaming laptops are very bulky and heavy, so it kinda defeats the purpose of choosing a laptop.
Thanks for your help and advice, I guess it's now a case of me doing some research and finally making a decision.
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