January 31st, 2015


Retrofuturistic Simming Machine

After my 4-core Black Beast got the Reboot While Rebooting Loop of Death, I have done my simming on a zombie 3-core AMD machine with parts from older machines, running Windows Vista. It had a small, early SSD in addition to its hard drive. I used the SSD for virtual memory only, and it made a big difference: For playing The Sims 3, it was almost like having 25 GB of memory instead of 4. Slightly slower memory ... there was a brief moment when I moved my viewpoint to a different part of town and all the furniture was gray and lacking detail, then it filled itself in. But the system was very responsive. And then it died the Reboot While Rebooting Loop of Death.

So I decided to test my theory that modern PCs are ridiculously overpowered except for the hard disk, which is still spinning at the same speed as 20 years ago. (Although the capacity of modern hard disks is amazing, the speed is not.) So I ordered a custom-built PC with a Pentium (did not know they made those still) dual-core processor, on-board Intel graphics, no hard disk, 240 GB SSD and 8 GM RAM. It looks like a too long shoe box, uses little power and makes barely any sound. It has room for Sims 2, Sims 3, Sims 4 and lots of save games, what more can one ask of a computer? Right, speed! It loads The Sims 3 much faster than anything I have seen, loads games a little faster, and saves a little more slowly the first time and faster the next times. Jumping to other parts of the neighborhood is fast, and there is very rarely any lag when playing. I haven't tried it with a huge neighborhood full of people yet, will try to remember posting if I get around to that.

Oh, and it costs a little over half of the last PC I bought. ^_^