NVidia card with Sims2

By Jendowoz
Mar 2, 2007
  1. Hi there,

    I am new here and have introduced myself. I hear this is a great Techie site. I have been having an issue since I bought a new computer that was set up for Neverwinter Nights 2. I was advised to get a NVidia GeForce 7950 GT for this game.

    It plays beautifully with that any other game but when I play Sims2 there is a problem. The game plays for awhile then it freezes and the computer re-starts itself. Usually when there are a few things happening at once. For eg., (If you know the game) AI is kicking in the radio is playing, and I give several other orders. Also when you get in a taxi or car to go to a Community Lot. This is happening all too regularly to ignore and I feel it must be a Sims-related issue. I have done a search here and found lots about the DirectX issue but not this as yet. There is a history of the NVidia cards not being compatible with Sims2 play, but is a card that is recommended that can be used.

    This is what I have done so far:
    - uninstalled and re-installed all Sims2 games and expansion packs. Removed from registry too with guidance.
    - played without CC (custom content) and with in case it was a download issue.
    - reduced the graphics accelerator to half
    - played with the graphics options lower
    - reduced the screen size and resolution
    - used the 'boolprop useshades false' option which reduces certain advanced graphic options.
    - upgraded all drivers for the processor and graphics. Unsure if the motherboard which holds the sound however is the latest, but I would assume it was since the computer was only bought in November or December.

    All of these in various combinations to no avail. I am a moderator on the sims site and am supposed to help people with their game play but can't do this while this issue persists. I have added my computer specs below, hope this helps.

    I really hope you can provide me with some things to try as it is becoming extremely frustrating. There is a history of the NVidia cards not being compatible with Sims2 play, but is a card that is recommended that can be used.

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp.060411-1541)
    BIOS: BIOS Date: 08/21/06 20:34:40 Ver: 08.00.12
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
    Memory: 1024MB RAM
    Page File: 425MB used, 2036MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode
    Driver Name: nv4_disp.dll
    Driver Version: 6.14.0010.9371 (English)

    kind regards Jendowoz
  2. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    Try kicking up your page file size. Click start, control panel, performance and maintenance, adjust visual effects. Click on the advanced tab and go down to virtual memory and click on change. Adjust the page file size to the amount that is recommended, click set and try that.
  3. Jendowoz

    Jendowoz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Sghiznaneck

    In control panel there is The NVidia control panel then it has the headings [I3D settings[/I], Display and Video and Televion. Inside the 3D settings it has performance (set SLI settings and monitor temperature levels) and appearance (Adjust image settings with preview) no perfomance and management option.

    In NVidia settings on the task bar there are performance and quality settings which in turn have Image settings, Antialiasing settings and Anisotropic filtering.

    In control panel there are an nView Desktop Manager which has 'effects' as one of the tabs in there with these 3 options, none of which are checked. Make windows minimise and maximise faster, make windows transparent when dragged, and enable task bar transparency. Other tabs include 'Desktop' 'management', 'profiles', 'windows', 'applications', 'Desktops', ''User interface', 'zoom', 'hot keys', 'mouse' and 'tools'. So if any of those are what you mean please let me know.

    So am not sure where to find performance and maintenance. There doesn't seem to be a category called that in either control panel or in the NVidia settings.

    Thanks for replying so quickly it is much appreciated.

    regards Jendowoz
  4. criteria

    criteria TS Rookie

    Control Panel is what he is referring to.....

    The instructions were for the Windows XP control panel and not for the Nvidia configuration applet. If you go to Control Panel and switch to "Category View" which appears on the left navigator section (if you don't have it already selected), you will find the Performance Management applet that was mentioned above. This will allow you to manipulate the amount of virtual memory your PC uses when running the game (and other programs). Give it a try!
  5. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    2 quick questions. Are you using the old nvidia control panel or the new one? Do you have overclocking options (Clock Frequency Settings) in the control panel, and/or are you overclocking your card?
  6. Jendowoz

    Jendowoz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Criteria and Sghiznaneck,

    Thanks for that criteria, that helped me locate what I had to do. I did that and the recommended was lower than what it was on, so should I change it to the recommended anyway and try it? Luvhuffer, not sure what you mean, I am really no techie I can follow instructions well but not sure what you mean by your question, could you explain it a bit more for me thanks. I know I sound clueless but I really need specific instructions, thanks.

    When I manage to get an error message it comes up with this: "Direct 3D returned an error: D3DERR NOT AVAILABLE! The application will now terminate", thought it may help.

    I may as well ask this question too, since you have been so helpful. I bought the Sims Life Stories which is a totally separate game to Sims2 and when I go to install it I get past putting in the key code/serial number, the agreement screen comes up that you have to agree to and it is blank, but I press yes anyway then I get this message:

    "Installation cannot continue because this game requires DirectX 9.0c or higher to be installed on your system" then gives the web address to go to get it. As you can see by my dxdiag above I have this already. My son has a similar set up to me except he has intel and I have Athlon, and yet it works for him. I thought it may have been a faulty disc but if it works for my son then something is not right. Hope you can help, thanks guys.

    regards Jen
  7. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    Have you undated your drivers? If not then go to and download the most recent ones. It that doesn't help or you already have them then try using Omega Drivers.
  8. Jendowoz

    Jendowoz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I went there and they only had options for the 8 and 6 series. Mine is 7950 and couldn't find that one.

    regards Jen
  9. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Jendowoz...sometimes this stuff sounds like rocket science, but it's pretty easy if you have patience. I'm gonna walk you through this. The first thing I want you to do is open up Notepad. Then I want you to copy what I write and paste it into the open notepad window. Then hit save as, and name it globalnvtweak.reg. Save it where you can find it easily. OK? It will be a registry file with the tumbling blue blocks. Here is what you should copy:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Defaults]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Defaults\Overlay]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Devices]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Devices\VEN_10DE&DEV_0332&SUBSYS_080110B0&REV_A1&INST00]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Devices\VEN_10DE&DEV_0332&SUBSYS_080110B0&REV_A1&INST00\DisplayModes]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\Devices\VEN_10DE&DEV_0332&SUBSYS_080110B0&REV_A1&INST00\DisplayModes\Schemes]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\NVDisplayPanelServer]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\OemConfigurations]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\State]

    "LastCommandLine"="detect 2"

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\State\DXVersion]

    Now, go to that file and double click on it. It will ask you if you're sure you want to enter the info into the registry. Say yes. This will open up the adjustments for clock settings and other features in the nVidia control panel. Now right click on an empty spot on your desktop and hit NVIDIA Control Panel. When the control panel opens you will either see standard view or Advanced View on the tool bar. Make sure you are on advanced view. Click on change overclocking configuration under performance. Check the My own custom clock frequencies. Scroll down to the bottom of the overclocking licensing agreement, and the i accept button will activate. Hit that. You are back in the panel. Check the box that says always run fan at highest speed. Now hit the button that says find optimal. It will analyse your system and find the highest stable clock settings. Uncheck the use these settings till i reboot button. Click on the apply button. If the overclock license thing pops up again redo what you did before. click on the 3d settings and go back to
    there. Click on appearance/adjust image settings. 3 options. #1 let the 3d app decide. Good for general use. #3 use my preference emphasizing You check that and it opens the slider. Quality end will give you the best look. Performance will give you best performance FPS etc. We'll use that for now. #2 Use advanced 3d settings. These give you the ability to program settings for various games. I wouldn't go there quite yet, it will be a bit over your head at this point. Click back to the main page, and hit Display then change resolution attributes. Set your refresh rate to the highest one shown. Hit apply, bail out of there go fire up the sims, and let me know how it goes. Also, you might want to go check out the site The Guru of 3D. Lots of good stuff for graphics applications. Oh, if the registry stuff I gave you is a little scary for you, then you can download Forceware Coolbits 2.0 here. It's not as extensive, but a good option as well and the registry file is already compiled. Actually you could do that and that would let me off the hook if you do something wrong, and your house blows up from the registry file. <g> Anyway post back if you have questions

    Edit: You know the newest drivers aren't always the best. I'm running a 7800GT and I get the best bench marks off of the 84.21 drivers. 120 FPS on AquaMark3 benchmark.
  10. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

  11. Jendowoz

    Jendowoz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    HI Luvhuffer,

    I'll do as you suggest, I trust you guys, but before I do, I just have a few questions, if anything goes wrong is it easily reversible? What is this actually going to do? Is it customising the card's performance to be more or less accelerated or making it work faster or whatever? I just need to understand what it is doing because if it works you guys could be famous! LOL. Thanks for your prompt reply, I really appreciate it. I am corresponding with one of the game designers (one of the perks of being a Sims2 moderator I suppose) who is working with a NiVidia representative and they are working on a driver from what I understand. Who knows how long that will take, I would think designing a driver would not be a quick fix that is for sure.

    regards Jen
  12. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Jendowoz Ya I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Been playing car mechanic all day. I thought about all the stuff I posted to create the registry file for you. I wanted to remove the possibility that you might do something wrong compiling it, so what I did I uploaded it to my site in a zip file. Just open and expand the file and double click on it and you will be good to go. Having said that, we are talking about PC's (personal confusers) and any changes should have files backed up. I have been using this file for quite some time. On my 5900XT, my 6600GT and now my 7800GT. What I was saying about the newest drivers aren't necessarily the best, let me give you an example With the 93.71 drivers you are using, I get 116.438 FPS on the aquamark3 bench mark. With the 84.21 drivers I am using now, I get 129.417FPS. Here's the deal with global tweak. There are all these features available in the vid cards, that just the normal drivers don't utilize. With programs like Global Tweak and CoolBits they become accessable. Anyway, here's the globaltweak file. It won't hurt your system. The one thing I ask is to please scan it with your anti-virus program. The fact that you don't know me should make that mandatory anytime you download something off the web. Just good practice to get used to. And remember, post back if you have more questions
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Try re-installing DirectX 9.0c with the latest updates as well. Also, try using older driver versions like 89.91 which is the most stable IMO.
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