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Checking Your System Specs For Sims 2
Your Specs
Sims2 is a big game. The game is so big and so powerful that even people with very modern hardware can find that the game is slow at times. I myself know.

So here's a short editorial to allow you, the player, to see if your system meets the minimum requirements to play Sims 2 at something decent.

What To Do
We're going to use a slightly older program called AIDA32. Although it's been discontinued for the best part of the last 18 months, it's still a very valuable tool. It tells you everything about your computer.

Because the tool's official site is now closed, we're off to Major Geeks, a good store of programs for people who spend too much time in front of their computers. Which includes me, hence why I know about it :)

Download AIDA32 from here:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download181.html. Just click a download link and when asked, save it on your desktop.

A few seconds/minutes/hours later (speed permitting), extract the downloaded file to a new folder on your desktop. In XP this is easy, just right click, choose Extract and keep clicking Next. Everybody else can Google for Izarc and use that.

You'll have something that looks like this (this is Windows XP). Double click on the file shown.

The extracted AIDA32

AIDA32 loads and looks over your system

AIDA32 has loaded.

What you need to do now is click on Computer on the left, then click on Summary. You'll see something that looks like this (these are from my own computer):

AIDA32 knows - not everything

On this screen, make a note of the following elements for your own computer:

Operating System
CPU Type
Motherboard Name
Motherboard Chipset
System Memory

Video Adaptor (you may have more than one of these)
3D Accelerator

N.B. if you see a "Unknown" motherboard and/or Chipset, don't worry about it. You can still figure it out in the next section.

When done, scroll down to see the next page, like this:

Rest of my details.

Look for Disk Drives, make a note of what you have and then look further down at Partitions. This tells you how much space you have on your drive.

All this information comes in useful if you post on the Knowledge Base with a "my computer is slow" question, you see.

Unknown Motherboard?

If AIDA32 says it doesn't know what your motherboard is, it's because either your computer is too new for AIDA to recognise it manually, or you have some obscure brand of board inside your computer.

Not to worry, just click on DMI in the AIDA window, then click on Motherboard. There's your motherboard name. From here it's just a case of Googling to find the chipset, which isn't actually necessary for this task but can be useful in solving other issues.

My motherboard's real name isn't "Unknown" after all!
Let's Check
Now, let's check that my own computer system meets the minimum specification for the original Sims 2 game:

Sims 2 Minimum Spec Needed to playNeil's Computer Spec
800 MHz processor2,000 Mhz processor
256 MB of system memory768Mb system memory
Windows 98Windows XP Home
3.5 Gb of free Hard Disk Space58.3 Gb free
A supported Video CardRadeon 9600: Listed so okay

My computer exceeds all the specifications so I'm good to go.

University adds one extra requirement over the original game: If you have a non-T&L capable video card, such as Intel Extreme Graphics or Radeon VE series, then you need at least a 2.4 GHz processor. Which is a polite way of saying get a better graphics card.

You'll notice that I exceed all the minimum specs by at least a factor of two. It's always a good idea to have a system that's too overpowered than a system that's too underpowered. Memory is the best way to increase performance, plus it's never been cheaper.

Obviously none of this "check the specs" stuff applies when you're browsing the shop so it might be an idea to read the cards next to the PC and ask if it's heavy gaming capable. Or learn how to build your own computer, then you can build it however you like.

So now you know how to tell how decent your computer is. Comes in useful for all the knowledge base posts of "how can I tell how good my computer is if Sims2 doesn't work?". Enjoy.

Written at 01:20 2005n Friday 19 August 2005 by Neil.

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