View Full Version : Question about video cards
27th Sep 2011, 4:13 PM
Hi I was wondering if anyone has any of the following video cards:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 590, Nvidia GeForce GTX 570, Nvidia GeForce GTX 580. Do these cards work well with The Sims 3? I am thinking about getting a new card and these ones stood out the most. Right now I have the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295. So here is why I am thinking about getting a new card. Whenever I zoom in or out to a lot my textures seem to be taking longer to load. And when the textures do start to come in they are really blurry at first. This also seems to be happening more frequently. I am also noticing that sometimes some of my sims are invisible for a few seconds or so when I zoom in on them from the map view. I was also wondering if someone could explain to me why SLI mode is not supported in The Sims 3 and why turning off one of my GPUs was necessary. And will I need to worry about this with the cards I have listed above?
This is what I was told by Nichaedemus on The Sims 3 website:
The NVidia GeForce GTX 295 graphics card features two GeForce GTX 200 GPUs running in SLI mode on a single PCB. Unfortunately, SLI mode is not officially supported by The Sims 3 game at this time. As a troubleshooting step, you can try turning off one of the GPUs via the NVidia control panel before relaunching the game. If you are running a quad SLI setup, it is advised that you physically remove one of the cards as well. You can of course revert to older NVidia drivers that will work with your graphics card setup and the game, but this may cause issues when running newer expansion or stuff packs, or after performing a game update.
So can someone explain this to me because I don't get it. And did turning off one of my GPUs cause the increase I am seeing with the textures loading slower?
Here are my PC specs:
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
System Manufacturer: Alienware
System Model: Aurora
BIOS: Network:MBA v11.0.14 Slot 0400
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 975 @ 3.33GHz (8 CPUs), ~3.3GHz
Memory: 9216MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 9206MB RAM
Page File: 1856MB used, 21157MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
Chip type: NVxx
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_05E0&SUBSYS_064E10DE&REV_A1
Display Memory: 4069 MB
Dedicated Memory: 869 MB
Shared Memory: 3199 MB
Current Mode: 1600 x 900 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Native Mode: 1600 x 900(p) (59.978Hz)
Driver File Version: 8.17.0012.6658
Driver Version: 22.214.171.12458
DDI Version: 10
27th Sep 2011, 6:17 PM
What was the original problem you were troubleshooting? That's likely to be relevant.
27th Sep 2011, 9:39 PM
The problem I had was that I could not update my video driver to version 275.33. Before this version everything was fine. I could update my card without any problems. Then I installed Generations and updated my video card and the game crashed. At first the game started to load okay. But before it could reach the Generations loading screen, my monitor turned black and shut itself off. And even though my monitor was off, I could still hear the music playing. And since I couldn't get my monitor to turn back on, I ended up having to restart my computer just to get it to come back on. I could not figure out what was wrong at first so I uninstalled and reinstalled the games four different times before I read somewhere that it might have been because I updated my video card. What's strange and doesn't make sense to me is that I tested the games after installing them and the base game and Ambitions worked just fine. But when I tried to test Late Night it crashed just like when I tried to run Generations. So I ended up having to roll my driver back to a previous version to get Late Night and Generations to work. I thought maybe it was just something wrong with that version so I waited for the next one to come out. Unfortunately when I tried the next one, the exact same thing happened. That's when I posted on The SIms 3 website and was told about SLI mode not being supported. So I turned off one of my GPUs like this person recommended and it worked. I was able to update my driver without any problem. I hope you can help me because I am really confused!
28th Sep 2011, 4:30 PM
I could not update my video driver to version 275.33.Why this version?
The latest Nvidia drivers is 280.26. Have you tried after uninstalling the older one in Safe mode and reinstalling after restarting the system?
Read Nvidia boards if this 280 version has issues with the GTX 29x series? This version causes some issues for my GTX 460, have had to do some tweaking of the Nvidia options to reduce the black screens and "Have recovered..." messages, which I found on the Nvidia boards.
After the driver update, used same Options.ini or you had removed that prior to starting the game?
Ever done DEP changes? Are you using Launcher to start the game or ts3w.exe?
The crashes still occur with new user folders?
I was also wondering if someone could explain to me why SLI mode is not supported in The Sims 3 and why turning off one of my GPUs was necessary.And Sims series have always been
- 32bit games
- not multi-threaded (only recently do I see my multi-cores have spikes when playing TS3)
- not work well with SLI/XFire configs or dual chips on one PCB (the x9x series from Nvidia).
For the reason why, you'd have to ask EA. :) Their intention has always been to cater to the lowest denominator. So it is ironic that the high-end cards get poorer performance. All the reasons above is why we (MTS Staff) has always maintained that getting the top of the line system just for the purpose of playing Sims only is a waste of money, no matter if you can well afford it. The games are simply not programmed to take advantage of the extra horsepower.
Whenever I zoom in or out to a lot my textures seem to be taking longer to load.I believe this is normal, see http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=449940&highlight=zoom, especially if you had just deleted caches.
28th Sep 2011, 10:15 PM
Hi I am updated to 280.26 but I had to turn off one of my GPUs to be able to update it. I tried to update it without turning off one of my GPUs but I still got the same crash and loss of my monitor's signal. Fortunately I am not having anymore crashing problems since turning off one of the GPUs. Yes I have all the files set in DEP. And I am using the launcher. Sorry I am not sure what you mean by "After the driver update, used same Options.ini or you had removed that prior to starting the game?" And by the way thanks for the link to the thread about the textures! I was told on The Sims 3 website that the slow loading textures were normal and it didn't bother me at first. But now I am a little worried because it seems to be taking longer and longer for my textures to load. Do you have any idea why it might be taking longer for my textures to load? I have been deleting the cache files a lot more lately. Thanks for your reply!
I was just checking out Nvidia's forum and I was wondering, do you think it might be best if I just revert my driver back to a previous version? I think the driver version I could run without having to turn off a GPU was 266.58. Is it really that important to keep the driver up to date if I am having these issues?
29th Sep 2011, 3:27 PM
I didn't read up much on 29x issues on the Nvidia boards, but I went and loaded it up again after seeing this thread the other day - appears that the dual-chip and SLI configs are not recognized by the Nvidia Control Panel and in Device Manager in the 280 and 275 series of updates. The last good one for this card series being the last 26x release (iirc). Some claimed the latest Beta 285.38 has some improvements.
But you had better read the threads yourself as I tend to skim threads that has no bearing on my situation and may have recall wrong information. :)
Driver discussions - http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showforum=213
2xx series section - http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showforum=200 (I recall seeing more than one thread on the 295 card with lots of views and replies, which to me signals a major issue)
The Options.ini file in Documents/EA/TS3 has some settings for graphics, so after certain graphic driver updates, sometimes just making the game regenerate a new one ensures the settings are reset and thus forces the redrawing of the graphical features based on new info.
Doing DEP changes but using Launcher to start the game is not really using the DEP tweaks you made, just so you know.
Delete cache files only when you have issues, otherwise you're not utilizing the concept of caching. :)
Are you monitoring temperatures?
It is up to you which driver version you settle for, but I'd read up on those boards if I were you. Some of those drivers have temp issues and more, apart from the disabling of one chip issue on the 295 card.
29th Sep 2011, 11:01 PM
Hi so about the Options.ini file, do I delete the file in order for the game to regenerate it? My PC temp is currently at 25 Celsius. I tried reading those posts on Nvidia's website but, I really don't understand them. They are a little too technical for me :rolleyes: .
30th Sep 2011, 5:29 AM
Yes, delete the options.ini and the game would regenerate it at next load of the game. You'd have to redo all your preferred settings, of course, as all of it would be reset to Defaults.
Well, I interpreted them as best I could without really translating each thread word-for-word, in my post above. But if you want to get to the meat-and-potatoes of the underlying issue and its cause, I'm afraid you'd have to read them yourself with a Technical dictionary and search engine on hand.
Which is still what I do when they throw acronyms at me - using Dictionary and Search Engines. :) For example, when I came across "TDR" - which I found out is what the Tech folks there labeled the issue (http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=65161) I've been having since updating to driver 280.26. It is the term used to describe a black screen freeze and autorecovery issues (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=tdr+nvidia+windows+7) when Windows spout errors like "Display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered."
Not having proper information might just make the issue worse when you do all the wrong things in an attempt to correct it. ;) If you have a specific thread you'd like more explanations on, link it here, and I'll help as best I can. But I cannot possible read every single thread there myself to help you with this. Sorry.
1st Oct 2011, 12:06 AM
Hi I just have one more question for you. I hope it's okay if I post it here. I noticed when I brought up my Nvidia control panel and then clicked on the System Information link it says "DirectX Support: 10"
Does this mean that my card does not support DirectX 11? Should I install DirectX 10 instead?
Thanks for your help :)
By the way I did roll back my driver to 266.58. And so far I think my performance has improved slightly.
1st Oct 2011, 6:57 AM
Posting here is OK.
DirectX is limited to the card's hardware, yes (I think, I'm not 100% certain though). But the DirectX program is backwards compatible - even if you install the 11 version, it would only utilise the drivers for the 10 version that the hardware recognize. So, there's no need to uninstall. Anyway, Microsoft only has one runtime installer that includes all versions (that is current) - much like the EA SuperPatcher for Sims 3.
Not brave enough to try the Beta 285.38? I've been using it for a day now (after monitoring the threads since its release) and my TDR issues are gone, even without the workaround I did before. And watching avis, mkvs and mpgs now is smoother without freeze frames and audio cutouts (all issues I had on the previous WHQL 280.26, well less freeze frames but the audio issue is totally gone).
2nd Oct 2011, 12:37 AM
Okay I will give that version a try. So what's the difference between beta and WHQL drivers?
Never mind I figured it out :faceslap:
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