View Full Version : Brief Freezes or Constant Lagging at Certain Places

13th Oct 2017, 6:19 PM
Might as well ask this here, since it got shoved to the side in the "stupid questions" thread.

On both my computers where I have Sims 2, I've been experiencing either constant lag when at a particular lot or temporary freezes whenever my camera pans to specific spots.

For example, it's become quite difficult to play at one of my Sim family homes due to moderate lag. I can recall that when I wanted to place a few flower beds, water sprinklers for the beds, and other flora around the house, things really slowed down. One of the community lots at downtown, The Hub, is another place I normally encounter both lag and freezes.

I want to assume it's not the amount of stuff within the lot, but rather it's certain objects in general that cause either issue.

Is Secorum the culprit, or is it something else? Are there any of the Sim objects I should avoid to not deal with either issue?

13th Oct 2017, 7:43 PM
Things that will help in figuring out your problem:
*Your computer specs? (RAM, OS, processor/speed, graphic card, etc.)
*Amount of CC in your downloads foder?
*Are you playing on big lots or small lots, and are the propped full with CC or just EAxis items?
*Graphics settings ingame (shadows on, reflections on, smooth edges, or anything else that is heavy on the graphics?
*Are your sims using lots of high-poly hairs?

Some things known for causing lag (list is by no means complete):
*Some creators are known for 50.000+ poly hairs. Also, some custom 4t2 and 3t2 items from certain creators are very high poly.
*Objects and CAS items with lots of big textures.
*Pools and mirrors (if reflections are on, and the reflection shaders are enabled - you'll know it's on if you see reflections in pools and on objects outside),
*various shaders
*various animated objects or effects (particularly if using shaders)
*Weather, particularly snow/rain/hail, and if temperatures cause sunburns or frostbite (the overlays for sims' skins).
*Creatures transforming
*visitors coming in and out of the lots
... Basically anything that causes a change on the lot or on individual sims can cause semingly random bursts of lagging or zhort-term freezing.

If you have a lot of CC on the lots, and play on moderate to large lots, you may get some lag depending on your computer specs. The computer I play on does get some lag and the occasional short freeze but I know that's mainly due to having a ton of CC and playing on big, CC-heavy lots, and all graphic settings on high (minus shadows).

If you can manage without shadows and reflections, turning those off helps a lot, because they're quite heavy on the graphics rendering. Smooth edges, too.

13th Oct 2017, 9:04 PM
Things that will help in figuring out your problem:
*Your computer specs? (RAM, OS, processor/speed, graphic card, etc.)
*Amount of CC in your downloads folder?
*Are you playing on big lots or small lots, and are the propped full with CC or just EAxis items?
*Graphics settings ingame (shadows on, reflections on, smooth edges, or anything else that is heavy on the graphics?
*Are your sims using lots of high-poly hairs?

My XP tower's specs are: 3 gigs RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4600, Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.8Ghz, , 2tb hard drive, Windows XP Professional: Service Pack 3
Laptop's are: 8 gigs RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Intel i7 Quad core @ 2.4Ghz, 600gb hard drive, Windows 10.

I know the specs aren't an issue, as even the game runs fairly smooth on my old XP despite its CPU being a single core.

I have just less than a gigabyte of CC on both machines. XP is a little over 900mb while my laptop is at around 890mb.

The lots I play on are not too big, and I don't have much CC in terms of objects at all. There's only ACR, the visitor controller, and the batbox on every lot. Honestly, the only CC would be whatever's on the Sims like hair and certain clothing. Fortunately, most of the CC clothing are simply recolors of existing Maxis attire, which I've done myself.

On both computers, shadows are turned off completely while reflections and smooth edges have been on. When my laptop used to have Windows 8.1, I followed a tutorial on how to fix some graphical issues like flickering textures. I don't fully recall since it's been awhile, but I need smooth edges on to prevent the flickering. On my XP that's less of a problem, although I still had to do a little configuring with my graphics card so the game can recognize it.

Now that you mentioned high-poly hair models, I have to assume that's the culprit. Also, when you mentioned big textures, does that necessarily mean whatever textures are quite busy?

13th Oct 2017, 9:34 PM
The Intel card can run newer games on very low settings, but I don't think it's meant for any heavy-duty gaming. TS2 is old, but the more you cram into it, the more demanding it gets. I'm no expert on cards, but the Intel cards tend to be integrated ones mostly meant for non-gaming tasks. The Radeon card may be an older gaming card (2008-ish, maybe?), so it probably should work fine for Sims 2.

3 GB may be a little in the RAM department, though, as the game needs at least 2 GB in addition to the OS and background tasks taking anything between 500 MB to 2 GB, depending on what you're running. It's also possible you've got too many background programs running, hogging memory. My gaming rig from 2009 has 4 GB, and I had to do the 3GB fix to make my game run smoother - but after a while of playing I do notice a considerable increase in lagging because the game hogs all available memory. The game runs okay, but if I try to open anything in the background (I play windowed), everything slows to a crawl.

You can easily test high-poly theory. Just put EAxis hair (they're very low-poly) on some sims and let them go about their business. If there's less lag, that might be the problem. You can check the polycount of CC hair with SimPE if you're curious.

Big files are also indicative of a heavy CC-item with big textures. Uncompressed files with one 512x512 texture are usualy roughly 250-400 polys, while an object with one 1024x1024 texture usually is around 1 MB. Compressed sizes will vary depending on the texture (big areas with one color = smaller size). If a hair has 10 MB per recolor file, it's got big and many textures.

Textures are very heavy on the RAM, and the bigger and more they are, the more resources the individual item will use. There are lots of polys and textures on a lot, and it adds up, particularly if you play for a while.

13th Oct 2017, 10:50 PM
Just tried having reflections turned off and smooth edges set to low on both computers. For my XP, there is still bits of lag when loading into a lot, but afterward things seem to run slightly better. Unfortunately for my laptop, with smooth edges turned down, I get the walls flickering dilemma as I pan the camera around. I have to keep smooth edges set to more as a result.

In regards to the amount of RAM my XP currently has, years ago when I was upgrading the behemoth I was told that 3 gigs of RAM was the best it can handle. I think this relates to the type of motherboard I have, which hasn't been updated in years. I just now read that computers during XP's era can run at 4 gigs and no more, however the computer may not recognize it being 4 gigs.

Actually, my XP doesn't run big programs in the background at all anymore. Also, I don't run anything else while playing the game except windows media player occasionally. Ever since I retired the computer from the internet entirely, I removed a lot of software that used to hog up my CPU, especially my firewall and various antivirus programs. Since then, everything's been running smoother and memory usage is very low when idle. I normally run Sims 2 on windowed mode for both computers as well.

(Lol, was watching a toddler throw a fit at the Magical Mystery's toy while I was keeping an eye on my task manager.)

14th Oct 2017, 12:33 AM
Could be XP, my choice for sims 2 is Windows 7. Plants and fences do take a lot of juice and are known for causing lag on struggling computers. My own is struggling a bit and I have something like 16 RAM, but it's my processor I have been told and my old graphics card. So my guess is that it's your hardware, I would tread carefully, turn setting a bit lower and be careful of high polys.

14th Oct 2017, 12:55 AM
From what I know, XP can make do with less than 500 MB RAM, as opposed to the newer systems that uses from 1 to 2 GB.

My first laptop had XP and 512 mb RAM, probably an integrated card as well, and managed to run the game, though with quite a bit of lag and using "virtual RAM" (from the haddrive, I think). XP was a whole lot more forgiving, as Sims 2 was made in the XP era, so having an OS the game was made to work with kinda kelped on the situation.

And just keep in mind there may be a little bit of lag no matter what you do, unless you have some insane setup for a gaming rig (maybe even then - the game is rather old and may have some issues with background stuff happening off-screen when it lags). I've gotten used to the lag for my game. I even got used to the lag on the old laptop (until a few months before it stopped working - took 5 minutes to put down a floor, and I mean from I clicked to something happened on the screen). Even windowed mode may cause a little bit of lag. I often find that if the game suddenly lags unexpectedly there's a stray or sim crossing the front yard, or some other thing happening off-screen.

Out of smooth edges and reflections, the visually best is to have smooth edges on and instead turn off reflections. I think it's also possible to turn off certain shaders (the one for the proper reflections, maybe? Possibly also the one for bump maps?) depending on what you need. It depends on your play style. If you can make do with lower graphics, that will probably help, but if you can't, you may need to live with a little bit of lag.

14th Oct 2017, 1:43 AM
I've adapted to the usual lag myself, with the things you've mentioned like when a Sim becomes sunburned or frostbitten, for example. I also know some freezes are normal, like when a Sim phones an adoption center (either human or pet). The game is just taking that time to produce new Sims or pets so there would be something to choose.

I know the one hardware that would be struggling with rather large games on my XP is its CPU, even though Sims 2 was originally designed for single core CPUs. My graphics card would be the least of its problems.

14th Oct 2017, 2:01 AM
most often cause of freezing I would guess would be computer activity.
before running game, might end various processes in window's task manager; leave alone the processes ran by "SYSTEM", "NETWORK SERVICE", and "LOCAL SERVICE". also leave alone the processes named "explorer.exe" and "taskmgr.exe". and before running game, quit any other game/program.

14th Oct 2017, 2:36 AM
Have you tried turning some other things off, I tend to turn off steam before loading sims 2.

14th Oct 2017, 6:26 AM
Programs like Steam and Skype are usually not open whenever I start up either computers, but on my laptop they haven't been much of a problem unless they're downloading something.

I now believe that whatever CC hairs I do have may also hinder my game performance due to high poly count. At one of the community lots, the spot that always gets a temporary freeze is where there's a store clerk with a CC hair. I'll dig around in my CC folders to find and export these hair meshes from SimPe to check how many polys they have.

However, since I am now aware of the culprits, I am plenty content to have some lag from these CC's. Also, I won't do it on my laptop, but I'll make the game non-windowed mode on my XP tower to see if that helps, too. I prefer to keep the graphics up high for most settings but I can adapt to not seeing reflections.

Edit: So I checked the very CC hair that store clerk has, yet the poly count is actually not too high at around 8k. I would assume it's the particular texture used for the Sim's hair instead.

As far as polys go for Sims 2, what amount is considered fairly high for hair?

14th Oct 2017, 8:41 PM
I've had a set of objects with roughly 200.000 polys between them (on one tile), and didn't notice any lag. It was a small lot, though. I think it more comes down to the collection of objects and textures. Having a few high poly items on a lot shouldn't be a problem - but the more you put in, the more likely you'll start having some problems. What's too much? Depends on what the computer setup can handle, and how much you're willing to deal with in terms of loading times, lagging and graphic issues. The more polys and textures, the more the computer has to render.

0-5000 polys for one item (that takes up one tile) is rather low-poly, and rarely cause any problems. 5000-10.000 depending on the item is in the medium scale. Over 10.000 for a one-tile item starts getting into the high-poly area. Just keep in mind that there are several parts to a sim (clothes, hair, accessories), and that all of them count. Also, if an object uses more than one tile, you can accept more polys.