Author Topic: How-To: Get Sims 3 to Recognize a New Graphics Card  (Read 81144 times)

Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Get Sims 3 to Recognize a New Graphics Card
« on: June 22, 2016, 02:51:00 AM »
** The attached files are the graphics.sgr files for Sims 3 ** Click here for more information on the zip file.




You’ve bought a shiny new computer or laptop. Or you just put a brand new graphics card into your computer. You install and boot up Sims 3, only to see the dreaded warning:

Sims3_Unrecognized.jpg

For the most part, this message is more annoyance than hindrance as most gaming level cards will still allow you to change whatever settings you like. But for others, it can set the graphics level lower than the card allows, and the message is rather annoying.

This how-to is designed to help get Sims 3 to recognize your new graphics card so you no longer see these messages when loading the game. To test this process I am using a laptop with a GTX 960m graphics system, Windows 10 and Sims 3 1.67 installed from DVD. The process is very similar in Windows 8 and Windows 7. There are similar instructions for Mac OS X, however that is beyond the scope of this how-to article.

There are three parts to this tutorial. This post will go over determining your graphics card’s hardware ID. Part two is about editing the Sims 3 files to recognize your new card, using the GTX 960m as an example. And the final post is confirming everything works and any notes or “gotchas” to look out for.

Disclaimer: Please read through these instructions carefully before following them. It will instruct you to alter files on your computer which may result in your game displaying incorrectly. While I will make every attempt to help you fix any problems you may encounter, ultimately I bear no responsibility for your system or game display glitches if something should go wrong.

It is strongly recommended you back up any files before editing them. If you’ve installed Sims 3 to its default folder (see below) you will need to copy the files to a temporary folder before you can save any changes. We’ll go into more detail on that in part two.

Note: This how to is only an example of how to edit the graphics files. It shouldn't matter what type of graphics card you have. It works regardless if you have an AMD or Nvidia graphics card. We have Nvidia graphics cards so that is what we used for our example.

Default Folders
The default folder for a Sims 3 install is determined by two things - whether you installed the game from disc or from Origin, and whether you are using the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. The default folders are listed below:

32-bit Windows
DVD: C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\
Origin: C:\Program Files\Origin Games\The Sims 3\

64-bit Windows
DVD: C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\
Origin: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\

You will want to make note of where you installed Sims 3 as we will be editing two files from Bin folder inside this folder. For example, I changed the folder while installing Sims 3, so my install folder is C:\Games\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\.

Part One: Determining Your Graphics Card

The first thing you want to do before anything else is to determine how Sims 3 sees your graphics card internally. For this, we need to look at a small text file in your Sims 3 folder located (default) at C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\. This file, named DeviceConfig.log, contains the information we need to note for part two. Double-click the file in File Explorer to open it in Notepad.

Sims3_DeviceConfig.jpg

* If you don’t see the .log extension on DeviceConfig.log, check online for instructions on how to display file extensions in Windows. It can help you find the file you want much easier.

In DeviceConfig.log, there are three sections we want to take a look at. The first section is at the top of the file and has the section title of === Rating info ===:

Quote
=== Rating info ===
GPU: 5 GPU Memory: 1 CPU: 3 RAM: 4 CPU Speed: 2694 Threading: 3
Adjusted CPU: 3192 RAM: 16295 Adjusted RAM: 15783 Cores: 4

The most important part of this is the GPU rating in the second line - GPU: 5. This tells Sims 3 what level it expects your graphics card to perform on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).

The next section we want to check is the === Graphics device info === section:

Quote
=== Graphics device info ===
Number:          0
Name (driver):   NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Name (database): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M [Found: 0, Matched: 0]
Vendor:          NVIDIA
Chipset:         Vendor: 10de, Device: 139b, Board: 11381462, Chipset: 00a2

There are two pieces of information we want here. The first is the device’s Name (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M). The second piece we want is the ID of the card (139b).

The final bit of information we need to note is the amount of texture memory the game is detecting. This is a couple lines down from the Chipset line above:

Quote
Texture memory:  32MB <<OVERRIDE>>

If the number here doesn’t match how much memory your graphics card has, or has the text above displayed, make note of that and we’ll adjust it in part two.

So, once we’ve noted the information in the DeviceConfig.log file, you should have something like this noted for part two:

Quote
GPU: 5
Name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Device: 139b
Texture memory: 32MB

The information here will be different depending on your graphics card. For example, an AMD R7 270 may look like this:

Quote
GPU: 5
Name: AMD R7 270
Device: 1313
Texture memory: 32MB

Part two is next.

Flynn




Information on Attached Zipped Graphics Files

If you'd rather just download the files to help your card recognize the game, see file attached (Sims 3 SGR Files (CPU Tweak).zip to this post. KhaineGB edited the list to be used with several different types of video cards.

How To: Download and install the graphics files:

1. Download the zipped file from here and copy to:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin

2. Unzip it and overwrite what's there, it's fine this is to help get the game to recognize the graphics card.

3. You may need to load the game to main menu and exit to make the Config.log file be aware of the change.

4. The Config.log file should be able to say "Found: 1, Matched: 1" After this, the game should recognize the game.

-- To unzip (extract) files or folders from a zipped folder, locate the zipped folder that you want to unzip (extract) files or folders from. To unzip all the contents of the zipped folder, right-click the folder, select Extract All.

Everything You Need to Know About Zip Files
https://www.howtogeek.com/178146/htg-explains-everything-you-need-to-know-about-zipped-files/
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Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Get Sims 3 to Recognize a New Graphics Card
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2016, 03:10:57 AM »
Part Two: Editing the Files

In part two, we’ll locate the two text files we need to edit. Then we’ll add the information noted at the end of part one so the game can recognize your graphics card. Finally, we’ll make sure Sims 3 can use more of the memory on your graphics card.

The quickest way to find where your game files are located is to right-click on The Sim 3 icon on your desktop and select Properties.

Sims3_ShortcutProperties.jpg

Click the Open File Location button. This will open the location of The Sims 3’s executable file in Windows Explorer/File Explorer.

Sims3_BaseGameBinFolder.jpg

The two files we want to edit are GraphicsCards.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr. Right-click each file in turn and select Copy from the menu. Then right-click in an open area of the File Explorer window and select Paste from the menu. You may be prompted to verify the paste by UAC if you are in the Program Files (x86) folder. Once completed, you should have something that looks like this:

Sims3_BaseGameBinCopy.jpg

Right-click each of the - Copy files and rename them to something like GraphicsCards.orig.sgr and GraphicsRules.orig.sgr.

Sims3_BaseGameBinRename.jpg

Highlight GraphicsCards.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr and Copy/Paste them to your desktop. Then right-click the newly copied GraphicsCards.sgr and select Properties. We’re going to make it easy to edit these files with Notepad. Note my .sgr files are already set to Notepad in the picture below. When done with these steps you’re .sgr properties will look like mine.

Sims3_EditNotepad1.jpg

At the top of this window, click the Change button. You will be prompted to select a program to open the .sgr files.

Sims3_EditNotepad2.jpg

If Notepad doesn’t appear in the initial list, click the More apps link and Notepad should appear in the list. Click Notepad and then click the OK button. Back on the .sgr properties page, click the Apply button followed by the OK button. Now, when you double-click the GraphicsCards.sgr file, it should open in Notepad.

We only have one change to make in the GraphicsCards.sgr file. We need to find the Nvidia section, which is in the middle of the file immediately after the AMD section.

Quote
        card 0x5655 "Mach 64" unsupported
        card 0x4158 "Mach 32" unsupported
end
vendor "NVIDIA" 0x10b4 0x12d2 0x10de
        card 0x0fd1 "GeForce GT 650M"
        card 0x0fd2 "GeForce GT 640M"

Immediately under the “vendor ‘NVIDIA’ “ line, we’re going to add the following line:

Quote
        card 0x139b "GeForce GTX 960M"

So it will now look like:

Quote
        card 0x5655 "Mach 64" unsupported
        card 0x4158 "Mach 32" unsupported
end
vendor "NVIDIA" 0x10b4 0x12d2 0x10de
        card 0x139b "GeForce GTX 960M"
        card 0x0fd1 "GeForce GT 650M"
        card 0x0fd2 "GeForce GT 640M"

Of course, if you have an AMD card, make sure to put your card’s ID in the AMD section at the top of the file. Save and close GraphicsCards.sgr. Next, we’re going to open the GraphicsRules.sgr file. This file will be a little more complicated, but not too difficult.

First, we’ll do the harder part. For the GTX 960M, we know it’s an Uber level card, based on this list near the top of the file:

Quote
seti cardLevelUber          5
seti cardLevelHigh          4
seti cardLevelMedium        3
seti cardLevelLowmedium     2
seti cardLevelLow           1

For Nvidia cards, the section we want to edit is a few lines below the cardLevel list:

Quote
if (match("${cardVendor}", "NVIDIA"))
    if(match("${cardName}", "* 1?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* 2?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* G1?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* G2?0M*"))
        seti cardLevel $cardLevelMedium
        seti isCardMatched true
    elseif (match("${cardName}", "*8800*") or match("${cardName}", "*9500*") or match("${cardName}", "*9600 GSO*") or match("${cardName}", "*9600 GT*") or match("${cardName}", "*9800 *") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*2?00M*") or match("${cardName}", "*3?00M*") or match("${cardName}", "*Quadro*FX 5??0*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 1?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 150*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 250*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 2??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GeForce G2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 3??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GeForce 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 4??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 4??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 4??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 5??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 5??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 5??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 6??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 6??*"))
        seti cardLevel $cardLevelUber

This jumble of text checks each card in the list of Uber level cards and looks for a match. Since there’s no line in here that would match the GTX 960M, we’re going to add in a line that will allow Sims 3 to detect our card:

Quote
or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 9??*")

We’re going to insert this line in between the two parenthesis at the end of the text like so:

Quote
("${cardName}", "*GTX 6??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 9??*"))

Once completed, our text above will now look like this (added text in bold):

Quote
if (match("${cardVendor}", "NVIDIA"))
    if(match("${cardName}", "* 1?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* 2?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* G1?0M*") or match("${cardName}", "* G2?0M*"))
        seti cardLevel $cardLevelMedium
        seti isCardMatched true
    elseif (match("${cardName}", "*8800*") or match("${cardName}", "*9500*") or match("${cardName}", "*9600 GSO*") or match("${cardName}", "*9600 GT*") or match("${cardName}", "*9800 *") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*2?00M*") or match("${cardName}", "*3?00M*") or match("${cardName}", "*Quadro*FX 5??0*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 1?0*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 150*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 250*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 2??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GeForce G2??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 3??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GeForce 3??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 4??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 4??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 4??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 5??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTS 5??*")  or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 5??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GT 6??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 6??*") or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 9??*"))
        seti cardLevel $cardLevelUber

Save this file, then go back to the top of the file. If you’re DeviceConfig.log file in part one only listed 32MB of texture memory, we’re going to alter one more part of the file to allow more memory to be used. The GTX 960M has two variations - a 2 GB model and a 4 GB model. In either case, reserving 1 GB of memory for textures is a nice way to get a modest gain in performance when displaying lots and working in Build and Create-a-Style modes.

Look for these lines:

Quote
if ($textureMemory == 0)
  seti textureMemory       32
  setb textureMemorySizeOK false
endif

We want to change the middle two lines to look like this:

Quote
  seti textureMemory       1024
#  setb textureMemorySizeOK false

The first change alters the amount of texture memory from 32 MB to 1024 MB (which is 1 GB). The \# at the beginning of the second line tells Sims 3 to ignore the line completely.

Save the file and close Notepad. The last thing we want to do now is copy the files from your desktop to your Sims 3 base game folder (see the beginning of this post to easily find your install location) and let it overwrite the existing files. If your game is installed in Program Files or Program Files (x86), you may be prompted by UAC to allow the file replacement.

Part three is next.

Flynn
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Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Get Sims 3 to Recognize a New Graphics Card
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2016, 03:15:14 AM »
Part Three: Verifying Everything Is Working

Now for the moment of truth. Launch The Sims 3 and first verify you’re no longer getting the Unrecognized Video Card warning. Also, go into the Options menu and ensure the Graphics Options aren’t locked to the lowest settings. The final test will be to exit the game and open the DeviceConfig.log. The sections we looked at before should now look similar to:

Quote
=== Graphics device info ===
Number:          0
Name (driver):   NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Name (database): GeForce GTX 960M [Found: 1, Matched: 1]
Vendor:          NVIDIA
Chipset:         Vendor: 10de, Device: 139b, Board: 11381462, Chipset: 00a2

Our graphics card is now being matched in the database.

Quote
Texture memory:  1024MB

And our texture memory is set to 1024 MB, which is 1 GB.

Troubleshooting

A couple of things can tip you off that something didn’t go properly. One is the Graphics Options in Sims 3 are locked to the lowest settings, and the other is a nearly empty DeviceConfig.log file. Should this happen, go over each of the changes and make sure you’ve entered everything correctly. In my case, I had an error in the line:

Quote
or match("${cardName}", "*GTX 9??*")

The error prevented the game from properly detecting the graphics system at all until I fixed the problem (a missing comma and parenthesis).

Make sure you add your graphics card to the proper section of GraphicsRules.sgr. If the GPU level of your card is a 3 in DeviceConfig, make sure you add it to the cardLevelMedium section. Don’t try to add it to a higher level as it can lead to graphical issues in the game and possible damage to the GPU.

Closing

Thanks to @IdyllRogue for the inspiration for this article and to @MrsFlynn for her help in putting this together. If you run into any problems while following the instructions, or have any questions, please feel free to ask and I will do what I can to help you out.

Hope this helps and happy Simming!

Flynn
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