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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 12th Feb 2015 at 7:41 AM Last edited by nitromon : 15th Mar 2019 at 12:38 AM.
Default How to use Ramdisk with Sims 3
Decided to update this since there are still new users who find themselves on here.


Ramdisk: A virtual disk drive created from your extra ram memory.
  • Softperfect Ramdisk (This is the one mainly used in the tutorial. It is the original "free" version. Newer versions require purchase. It works great except does not work for Win 10. There is a 30 day free trial for the newer version, you can try it and if like it, purchase it at Softperfect Homepage)

Objective: Put your Sims 3 cache files on a ramdisk.
  • Folders: Thumbnails
  • Files (EA homeworld): Simcompositorcache.package and compositorcache.package
    Files (Custom homeworld): homeworld_objects.package and homeworld_sims.package
    (homeworld is the name of your custom world in the worldcaches folder.)
  • We're also going to link all travel custom worlds to the same cache files

Why: RAMdisk vs HDD benchmark.
  • Softperfect RAMdisk (kb/sec)
    Read - 2522167
    Write - 1988349
  • HDD - 7200 RPM (kb/sec)
    Read - 119556
    Write - 109765

Ramdisk is approx - 20-25x faster than the HDD, 2000-2500% faster.


Calculate RAM disk size:
  • 6 GB systems with EA homeworld: CC (102MB) + SCC (512MB) + TH(153MB) = 768MB (716MB min)
  • 6 GB systems with Custom homeworld: CC homeworld compositorcache is 512MB. Refer to tutorial link below to shrink this cache to 102MB. Then it will be the same as EA homeworld = 768MB (716MB min) (This is under the assumption that since you're running 6GB, you wouldn't be running huge CC worlds to begin with. You are running custom worlds that share the same size as standard EA worlds)
  • 8 GB systems with EA homeworld: CC (102MB) + SCC (512MB) + TH(153MB) = 768MB
    (It is recommended you adjust your compositorcache to 512MB from tutorial below then recommended total size of 1280MB)
  • 8 GB systems with Custom homeworld: CC (512MB) + SCC (512MB) + TH(256MB) = 1280MB (1152MB min) Alternatively, you can also modify the size of your cache from the tutorial link below.
  • Systems with more than 8 GB, you can do SO much more. Read through some of the discussions in here to know, such as putting your CC or mod folder on the ramdisk, even your whole TS3 user folder


How to modify the cache sizes:
  • Go to your latest Sims 3 EP or SP installed game directory - game/bin/ (For Example, my latest EP is ITF, so I would go to the ITF install directory)
  • Edit default.ini with a notepad
  • Find
    Quote:
    CompositorCacheSize = 104857600
    SimCompositorCacheSize = 524288000
    WorldCompositorCacheSize = 524288000
    SimWorldCompositorCacheSize = 524288000
  • Modify the compositorcache or WorldCompositorcache. 104857600, 209715200, or 524288000. You don't actually have to use these exact numbers, it is just better that you do. DO NOT adjust greater than 512MB or it may lag.


PART 1 - RAMDISK INSTALLATION
Follow the tutorial here: Softperfect Installation Manual
1) Create an image of type NTFS. The size varies depending on your system.
(If everything is greyed out when you started - Make sure you installed the driver during Softperfect installation. If that didn't fix the problem, then: Refer here: Link)
2) After the image is created, Choose - Disk - Add to create Ramdisk
(If didn't work the first time. Check "Hard Disk Emulation" here, otherwise don't check)
3) Set type to NTFS and the size you need from above.
4) Select the image you've created in step 0 under "Image File Name"
5) Check "save content to image"
DONE!


PART 2 - SETTING UP JUNCTION LINK!
Go to your Sims 3 user folder (usually in Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\)

A) FOLDER:
1) Move the contents of the whole folder "Thumbnails" to your RAMdisk.
(For example, if your ramdisk is G:, then move the items from inside the Thumbnails to G:\)
2) After everything in Thumnails is moved to your RAMdisk, delete the empty "Thumbnails" folder
3) In a cmd prompt under admin priv, type this format: (Refer to image sample)

Example: (Windows 7)
  • Type mklink /J "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Thumbnails\" "G:\"
("You" is your Win logon id. "G:" is an example! Put YOUR ramdisk drive.)

Click Windows Start and find the Run option:


Make sure it says "Admin Privilege" and then type CMD:


Then in there type your command for each cache file and folder:


* Instead of "nitromon" type your Win logon ID. Instead of G:\, type the drive of your own RAMdisk.

Done!

B) CACHEFILES: Homeworlds
EA Homeworld:

1) Move the 2 cache files (simcompositorcache and compositorcache) to your RAMdisk (eg. G:\)
2) In a cmd prompt under admin priv, type this format:

Example: (Windows 7)
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\simcompositorcache.package" "G:\simcompositorcache.package"
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\compositorcache.package" "G:\compositorcache.package"

(pay attention, I removed /J from the instructions!)

Done!

Custom Homeworld:
1) Move the 2 cache files from your worldcaches folder of your homeworld(homeworld_sims and homeworld_objects) to your RAMdisk (eg. G:\)
2) Rename homeworld_sims.package to simcompositor.package and homeworld_objects.package to compositorcache.package.
3) In a cmd prompt under admin priv, type this format:

Example: (Windows 7)
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\worldcaches\homeworld_sims.package" "G:\simcompositorcache.package"
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\worldcaches\homeworld_objects.package" "G:\compositorcache.package"
(homeworld is the name of your custom world in the worldcaches folder.)

(pay attention, I removed /J from the instructions!)

Done!


C) CACHEFILES: Vacation Worlds
Worldcaches Vacation Worlds via Traveler:

This section is new. All EA worlds share the same cache files, including university, Oasis landing, and I'm sure the WA worlds too. There is NO reason why custom worlds cannot do the same.
1) Must have already done either of the homeworld cache files above. So you have "simcompositor" and "compositor" caches in your ramdisk.
2) In a cmd prompt under admin priv, type this format for EVERY world in your worldcaches folder:

Example: (Windows 7)
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\worldcaches\world_sims.package" "G:\simcompositorcache.package"
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\worldcaches\world_objects.package" "G:\compositorcache.package"
(world is the name of your custom world in the worldcaches folder.)

(pay attention, I removed /J from the instructions!)

Done!

WA, ITF, UNIV Cachefile: (For those playing custom homeworld)
These worlds use the simcompositorcache and compositorcache like all EA worlds. If you're playing EA homeworld, you already linked it. If you're playing custom homeworld, they're not linked.
1) Delete the 2 cache files (simcompositorcache and compositorcache)
2) In a cmd prompt under admin priv, type this format:

Example: (Windows 7)
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\simcompositorcache.package" "G:\simcompositorcache.package"
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\compositorcache.package" "G:\compositorcache.package"

(pay attention, I removed /J from the instructions!)

Done!

-----

Clearing Cache:
When you need to clear these caches, do not delete the junction links! Delete the files in the ramdisk. Else you'll have to create these links again.


--------------

Additional Files and Folders for those with > 8 GB
Mods/Dccache:
These are probably the most common ones people want to move. You can move one of them or both of them, it's quite easy.
  • Move either or both to the ramdisk directly
  • Type mklink /j "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\mods\" "G:\mods\"
or
  • Type mklink /j "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\dccache\" "G:\dccache\"

That's it! Make sure you have a backup of both folders somewhere on your HDD. It is always good to have a backup anyways, but generally things on ramdisk are not stored. When you shutdown and you have the ramdisk image checked, it will back it up to your HDD. However, if you have a computer freeze or power outtage, then if you made changes to those folders, they're not saved.


Partial Mods/Dccache:
This is possible as well. Say you have 10GB of ccs and you don't have a ramdisk big enough for them all but you want some of them on there. It is possible to just put some of it on there. How or which one would depend on you, what you believe is used the most or slowest to load, etc...

Partial Dccache:
Dccache have a lot of big files in it. So for this you want to do the "file" link, like we did above with the cache files. What you want to do is move the files you want from dccache to the ramdisk and then link the files.

example:
  • move dcdb0.dbc to ramdisk g:
  • Type mklink "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\dccache\dcdb0.dbc" "G:\dcdb0.dbc"

do this for each one you move

Partial Mods folder:
Now mods folder is a little different. b/c mods folders allow you to create folders in it, most of us do to organize, you can just move certain folders there and link them using folder junction link like what we did above with folders. You can even create a folder just for this.

example:
  • Create a folder in your mods\packages\ folder called "onramdisk"
  • move any mods you want to put on the ramdisk into the folder "onramdisk"
  • move the whole "onramdisk" folder to the ramdisk
  • Type mklink /j "C:\Users\You\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\mods\packages\onramdisk\" "G:\onramdisk\"

And you're done. In the future you can simply add new mods to the folder "onramdisk" on your ramdisk directly.

(remember to always make a backup)

--------------


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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#2 Old 12th Feb 2015 at 8:22 AM Last edited by nitromon : 9th Sep 2018 at 2:13 PM.
Instructor
#3 Old 12th Feb 2015 at 6:09 PM
Good posting!! I've tried using RAMDisk before on TS3, I used Asus ROG RAMDisk software from http://rog.asus.com/technology/repu...ations/ramdisk/

The software itself doesn't really need an Asus ROG motherboard to run, I just downloaded the software from one of the X79 motherboards' support page and applied it to my Asus non ROG system, and it runs the same way as is for the ROGs,

On my other game is really worth it as I also have 16GB of RAMs, but for TS3 with all the EPs SPs (except for Pets, Supernatural and Into The Future) installed, for the game itself it took more than 25GB in total, plus another tens of GB in the Documents folder for TS3, so what I did, I moved the ones at my documents folder just as similar as to what you have described in the 2nd step above, and the results; it does helps the game to runs more smoothly but it doesn't help reducing the loading time when the game started up, maybe it needs at least 32GB (or even 64GB) to moved all of them to RAMDisk but my motherboard can only handle maximum of 16GB because it's only an old 775 motherboard.

I've tried another way by reserving the amount of RAM to use in registry editor, you can try this steps if you'd like to try it:

Open your registry editor and then go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Electronic Arts\Sims

1. Create QWORD (64-bit)
2. Name it Memory
3. Edit Value by using Decimal and enter the amount of RAM desired
4. Save exit and restart windows
5. Run the game as usual

but I'm not really sure if TS3 are using all the RAM I've set it up for the game to use and run the game at 12GB reserved, I don't know how to check it, I opened the task manager and I still have a lot of free RAMs unused though it has a lot of amount RAM cached, it does feel a bit different in the game but compares to using RAMDisk, I think RAMDisk is a better way, I just don't have enough RAM to stored all of them into RAMDisk, so I'm looking forward if some other have successfully runs TS3 with all its EPs SPs and mods to RAMDisk and would like to know the results
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#4 Old 12th Feb 2015 at 10:46 PM Last edited by nitromon : 15th Mar 2019 at 12:39 AM.
Scholar
#5 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:00 AM
Well, if the purpose is just to use the RAM, yeah, do just that. Because otherwise, speaking as a programmer, no, please don't.

- Put the swap file there? Why? For every 4k page there, you have 4k less RAM. Even in the most ideal computer scenario, it's a zero sum game, but in practice now you incur the cost of a page fault every time you need that 4k, instead of just having the RAM.

Even for the supposedly horrible XP memory management (which actually it ain't), you gain nothing. Now it has less memory, so it will swap out more. If you are positive that you have enough RAM to not need the swap file on the disk, just disable swapping. Now everything stays in RAM without the internal costs of page faults and copying everything to RAM disk and back.

- Move the User directory there? Well, for a start, you realize that you'll lose everything else if windows decides to suddenly reboot for an update, right? All those auto-saves and manual saves go to hell instantly in that case.

Plus, why? If you have that much extra memory, Windows will automatically use it as a disk cache anyway. Just make sure you have write caching turned on. (Which is the default setting.) It's exactly like a RAM disk, except it's copied to the actual hard drive in the background, so you don't lose the data.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#6 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Even for the supposedly horrible XP memory management (which actually it ain't), you gain nothing. Now it has less memory, so it will swap out more. If you are positive that you have enough RAM to not need the swap file on the disk, just disable swapping. Now everything stays in RAM without the internal costs of page faults and copying everything to RAM disk and back.


Yeah, no... discussed this to death on other forums. It is a misconception about how XP suppose to manage the pagefile, if you actually test it, putting the swap on a RAMdisk drastically improves the performance. You cannot simply disable the pagefile because some programs (I think adobe programs) require the pagefile to be present. Eliminating it will make those programs unable to even boot up. Even so, removing the pagefile doesn't necessarily mean things that were put in the pagefile are now in your RAM. The system basically do not cache them at all. So, if you have, say 3GB of RAM, your system never uses more than 1GB, leaving the other 2GB wasted when you can use them to cache with the pagefile on a RAMdisk to improve performance.

If you have XP, it is recommended you find the key "DisablePagingExecutive" in your regedit and set it to 1. This will set the priority of the paging to only when necessary, like Win7. However, that being said, again Win XP sucks and caches often even before your RAM is used up.

On my old desktop, I have 3GB of RAM. I set 1GB on eboostr and then 1.25GB as RAMdisk, leaving 750MB of RAM for normal use. Then I put a pagefile of 100MB size on the RAMdisk and allow it to grow to the max when it is needed. Even though the system will NEVER use up 750MB of RAM on this system from basic usage of web surfing, word processing, adobe photoshop, etc... the pagefile still grows and is being used. Having this pagefile on your RAMdisk makes caching seamless.

My old XP system runs better than most people's modern system.


Quote:
Move the User directory there? Well, for a start, you realize that you'll lose everything else if windows decides to suddenly reboot for an update, right? All those auto-saves and manual saves go to hell instantly in that case.


This was mentioned in the post. This is why I posted a 2nd post which is more doable with simply placing the Sims 3 cache files on the RAMdisk.


Quote:
(Which is the default setting.) It's exactly like a RAM disk, except it's copied to the actual hard drive in the background, so you don't lose the data.


It's not as much as what window does, but what TS3 does. I moved all the cache files and cache directories from TS3 users folder to the RAMdisk. The game now caches seamlessly. Try it.
Scholar
#7 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:26 AM
Just for completeness sake, the size of how much writes Windows will keep into memory before waiting for the hard drive is determined by the SystemCacheDirtyPageThreshold registry value. By default it's enough for around 500 MB, which should be more than enough for any TS3 save and cache files combined. (Really, if your save is bigger than half a gigabyte, you have bigger problems.)

The way it works is that when the program writes something to hard drive (for TS3, including LOADING a save game, since it first makes a copy), if there is still room in that write cache, the data is just written to memory without waiting for the hard drive. The operating system will then take care of copying it to the hard drive in the background, so you don't lose the data. If you've written half a gigabyte in one go, before the hard drive had a chance to take any of that, the OS makes you wait until it wrote some of that to the hard drive.

Again, for TS3 the default setting should be more than enough. But if you somehow ended up with a half a gigabyte save game and have too much RAM, the solution is to just increase the size of the write cache, not do silly crap like do your own manual caching by copying files to a RAM drive and back.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#8 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Just for completeness sake, the size of how much writes Windows will keep into memory before waiting for the hard drive is determined by the SystemCacheDirtyPageThreshold registry value. By default it's enough for around 500 MB, which should be more than enough for any TS3 save. (Really, if your save is bigger than half a gigabyte, you have bigger problems.)


There is nothing in this thread about TS3 save. We're talking about the TS3 cache. This actually has nothing to do with loading time or saving time. TS3 constantly caches to these cache files "in game," serving as virtual memory real time swapping. This is why HDD has a much higher performance hit on TS3 than even your CPU or GPU. Putting the cache files on a RAMdisk improves the game performance dramatically.

You are bringing up a bunch of things not even related to what I'm doing here and you haven't even bothered to try it. Things I've written here are not theory. I've tested them and I'm using it right now.

Seriously, try it. I'm running it right now.
Scholar
#9 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:34 AM
I'm talking about what Windows actually does when those files are actually read or written. Cache files, save files, whatever. It's still how the OS handles file IO. But yeah, I'm getting the impression that actual technical details bear no relevance to your fantasy world.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#10 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
I'm talking about what Windows actually does when those files are actually read or written. But yeah, I'm getting the impression that actual technical details bear no relevance to your fantasy world.


I've been a software/hardware design engineer and design lead since 2000. You are not the only "programmer" in here.

You are wrong about XP and I've proven it. You are wrong about Sims 3 and I've proven it. So now you resort to insult.

People like you all over the tech forums. You blab, but didn't do any of the actual testing.
Scholar
#11 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:41 AM
Sorry to break it to you, but just claiming some silly stuff doesn't mean you "proved" it. I haven't seen any evidence, much less a proof.

And since you mention testing, I'd be particularly interested in seeing some actual measurements to prove that silly claim that by reducing your 3GB machine's memory to 750 MB it actually runs better than a modern system. Or hell, I'll settle for something to show it runs better than the same 3GB machine just let to use the whole 3GB.

Because so far, YOU do exactly what you accuse me of: you blab, and blab, but I don't see any actual measurements.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#12 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Sorry to break it to you, but just claiming some dumb shit doesn't mean you "proved" it. I haven't seen any evidence, much less a proof.


I already did. Refute what I said about XP. You know NOTHING about how XP works. You didn't even know the difference between XP and Win 7 memory management. You think you are the only person I've had this convo with about swapfiles and XP? This is discussed to death in other tech forums. But have you actually tried it?

Evidence is in the works. Try it, if you can't see the difference, then your point has some validity. But as of now, all you are is some bitter troll jealous of someone's work. You haven't tried anything, just come in here and complain.

"Speaking as a programmer" <~~ yeah you claiming some dumb shit yourself, son. I would never hire someone like you.
Scholar
#13 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:49 AM
To repeat myself: you blab, and blab, but I don't see any actual measurements.

Also, please excuse me if I'm not impressed by ego-wank self-flattering stuff like claiming that I'm just jealous. You haven't shown yet that you have anything I should be jealous of.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#14 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
To repeat myself: you blab, and blab, but I don't see any actual measurements.

Also, please excuse me if I'm not impressed by ego-wank self-flattering stuff like claiming that I'm just jealous.


Blah blah blah

troll on, son.
Scholar
#15 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 3:51 AM Last edited by Moraelin : 13th Feb 2015 at 4:05 AM.
Troll on, son, indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
I already did. Refute what I said about XP.


Sorry to break this to you (I'd expect a self-proclaimed programmer to know about logic, but eh) but that's not how the burden of proof works. If YOU make a claim, YOU get to support it.

You don't get to be right until someone refutes a baseless claim. Otherwise I get to be right that there is a fine china teapot in orbit around Mars, until such time as you can refute that :p

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
You know NOTHING about how XP works. You didn't even know the difference between XP and Win 7 memory management.


Even if that were so, what you wrote so far isn't evidence that YOU do. Quite the contrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
You think you are the only person I've had this convo with about swapfiles and XP? This is discussed to death in other tech forums.


No, actually I do expect that you've beat your drum all over the place, after discovering RAM drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
But have you actually tried it?


I have been using RAM drives since 1989. So, yes, I have some idea of what they can and can't do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
Evidence is in the works.


No, evidence is in measurement. And I'd expect someone who claims to be design lead to know that.

Subjective impressions, especially when supporting one's own pet hypothesis, are a flawed metric. I knew one guy for example, who was convinced that (by his flawed perceptions) Mozilla loads pages faster if he clicks periodically on the title bar to show it that he's watching. People's perceptions are flawed like that.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#16 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 5:25 AM
For others reading.

Ignore the troll, don't let him discourage you from trying this. The guy was pretty bitter from his first post and his responses thus far indicated he didn't even read my posts carefully or fully. Half of what he was blabbering about has nothing to do with this thread at all.

2 issues mentioned above and how it can be proven to improve your system:

1) XP doesn't manage the swap same way as Win 7. This is easy to test even for nontechnical people. Set your swapfile to min size and allow it to grow. Then watch it in explorer (make sure you have "hide protected system files" off), you can see the swapfile grow despite having tons of RAM available.

XP was designed during the era where RAM was described in MB, not GB. The OS was designed to free up as much RAM as possible at all time, thus it caches everything to the swapfile whenever possible. Also, it is dangerous to have no swapfile. If you have a lot of RAM, it might never reach the max. However, the OS requires an amount of cache from the RAM to operate, if you run out of RAM your OS can crash. This is just common sense for anyone in the tech field.

Best suggestion for setting swap on a RAMdisk: Set a small swapfile, 100MB, on your RAMdisk. This way, let it grow according to the need of the system. One thing XP dynamic swapfile is better than Win 7 is that the swapfile not only grows, but will shrink. Win 7 dynamic swapfiles do not shrink unfortunately. Then again, in Win 7 it is not necessary to put the swap on a RAMdisk since the management is far better and it only uses the swapfile when you are low on RAM.

2) Putting the Sims 3 cache files on the RAMdisk. The cache files in TS3 are dynamic swapfiles, which are loaded and used "in game." They are not only accessed when you load or save, but while you play. How do you test this? Simple, same as the XP test. Delete the cache files, then open the folder in explorer and play the game. Then you can watch the file grow while you play. There is no way around this. You can't force Sims 3 not to use the cache files or force it to the RAM. TS3 is a 32-bit app and can only access 4GB (3.5 in reality) at most. So the 2nd best thing is simply placing these caches on the RAMdisk, thus virtually putting it all in your RAM.

Performance increase:
1) Gameplay: Because the cache files are used in real time during gameplay, this makes the game more seamless. I run the game on an i7 and a good graphics card. In ultra speed mode, there are minipauses because the game is running too fast. (Ironic!) This is caused by the disc caching not able to keep up with the GPU/CPU in ultra speed mode. These minipauses are eliminated now that I have the cache on the RAMdisk. In ultra speed mode, the game runs smooth and seamless.

2) CAS/Build/Buy: Big difference here. Again, doesn't matter what system you are running objects are saved in cache. When in CAS, you will notice that each time you switch to a clothing option, it lags b/c it needs to load up all the outfits of that category. With your cache in the RAMdisk, this is no longer an issue. ALL the outfits are loaded instantaneously as if they were stored in memory (after you fill the cache of course). This is a significant improvement to the game.

These are tested and proven. Enjoy!
Scholar
#17 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 8:58 AM Last edited by Moraelin : 13th Feb 2015 at 9:09 AM.
Dude, if your technical knowledge is at the level of "watch the swap file grow", that explains a lot. But let's address the actual silliness:

Quote:
2 issues mentioned above and how it can be proven to improve your system:

1) XP doesn't manage the swap same way as Win 7. This is easy to test even for nontechnical people. Set your swapfile to min size and allow it to grow. Then watch it in explorer (make sure you have "hide protected system files" off), you can see the swapfile grow despite having tons of RAM available.


I'm sorry, but "watching a file grow" is not proof of anything, except that that's your technical level. Show some measurement or benchmark that shows any actual performance improvement, silly.

First of all, as even you said, you can force XP to behave differently by setting DisablePagingExecutive, making the whole RAM disk detour unnecessary. But even DisablePagingExecutive actually is a stupid thing to set, as is watching the cache files. Windows does use the swap file as a place to cache drivers and such, in case it might need them later, but that actually has no performance penalty. Just because a file is there, doesn't mean it's constantly in use. Some stuff is dumped there and rarely or never read back, so the performance penalty is pretty much nil.

See, for example: http://www.howtogeek.com/173648/10-...myths-debunked/

But again, if you claim that it actually makes your old machine run faster, you're the one making a positive claim. Show some measurements.

Quote:
Also, it is dangerous to have no swapfile. If you have a lot of RAM, it might never reach the max. However, the OS requires an amount of cache from the RAM to operate, if you run out of RAM your OS can crash. This is just common sense for anyone in the tech field.


Actually, that's just the thing that makes the whole thing stupid. If you run out of RAM PLUS SWAP, the system might fail to load a program or said program might crash. (Crashing the whole OS usually points at a different problem, but ok.)

HOWEVER, making a swap file in the RAM is at best a zero sum game. For every extra MB you have in the swap file, you have one MB less in RAM, so that sum hasn't changed. The point at which it might crash hasn't moved at all, compared to not using the RAM disk in the first place.

Quote:
2) Putting the Sims 3 cache files on the RAMdisk. The cache files in TS3 are dynamic swapfiles, which are loaded and used "in game." They are not only accessed when you load or save, but while you play. How do you test this? Simple, same as the XP test. Delete the cache files, then open the folder in explorer and play the game. Then you can watch the file grow while you play. There is no way around this. You can't force Sims 3 not to use the cache files or force it to the RAM. TS3 is a 32-bit app and can only access 4GB (3.5 in reality) at most. So the 2nd best thing is simply placing these caches on the RAMdisk, thus virtually putting it all in your RAM.


Again, just the existence of the cache files doesn't prove that there is a performance penalty. The files are there because it's faster to load from the cache than to recreate that stuff from the game resources, among other things, when loading next time.

Basically the files aren't there by accident, they're there because a programmer actually determined that the game runs better with loading from caches than with recreating that information every single time.

Forcing the game to not use the files would not cause any performance improvement. Forcing the game to recreate them every time, even to RAM drive, is also a waste of time. You should only delete them when you installed stuff that actually needs the caches deleted, not every time you start the game. But what you're doing is essentially forcing the latter.
Instructor
#18 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 9:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
I'm not entirely sure what you are talking about with the registry thingie, but I have heard people talk about modifying the default.ini and sims3.ini in the game folder. There are things in there that can be changed. I tried them but it doesn't seem to do much, that or I'm not doing it right.


I was told by my friend to edit them in the regedit to reserved the amount RAM used for Bluestack as he did for his Android apps to run in his PC, so I was just trying his method to apply it on TS3 before I knew I can run RAMDisk on my system as well as on the ROG's system, but I just not really sure if his method is really working or not.

Then when I knew about RAMDisk, I tried to run it as instructed on its website, it does help a lot but my problem is not really lagging in TS3 gameplay, because most of them has already been fixed as I followed the instructions on here: http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title...Graphics_Issues to improve overall gameplay performance.

But my real problem is when loading the game especially on my daughter's PC, she's 11 and she's not very patient to wait the game loads (just like her mother.. lol), I even replaced her HDD with SSD but it's still not enough to reduce the game loading time, therefore I tried using the RAMDisk but I can't put everything from TS3 into RAMDisk because the total amount of TS3 with its all EPs, SPs and mods installed are too big for the RAM size, and she wants all EPs, SPs and mods installed, her PC has only 8GB of RAMs, and no I'm not going to upgrade it to X79 system so it can have 64GB RAM maxed out just to run TS3.. lol

So I hope you can help me how to trick TS3 to load the game more quickly with RAMDisk, thank you in advance
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#19 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 9:48 AM Last edited by nitromon : 13th Feb 2015 at 10:10 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaEmy
But my real problem is when loading the game especially on my daughter's PC, she's 11 and she's not very patient to wait the game loads (just like her mother.. lol), I even replaced her HDD with SSD but it's still not enough to reduce the game loading time, therefore I tried using the RAMDisk but I can't put everything from TS3 into RAMDisk because the total amount of TS3 with its all EPs, SPs and mods installed are too big for the RAM size, and she wants all EPs, SPs and mods installed, her PC has only 8GB of RAMs, and no I'm not going to upgrade it to X79 system so it can have 64GB RAM maxed out just to run TS3.. lol

So I hope you can help me how to trick TS3 to load the game more quickly with RAMDisk, thank you in advance


I see what you are talking about. Unfortunately putting the whole users folder onto the RAMdisk will not help THAT much with game loading. The loading has to do with the CPU and how much stuff it is processing from your game, EPs, SPs, etc... The whole reason I started testing this RAMdisk issue was for the cache files, I wasn't sure I could specify just the cache that is why I tested the whole folder. Now, putting the cache on the RAMdisk helps the "gameplay" in which things are smoother and the CAS is really fast (no more waiting for each outfit to load). You can refer to my post above where I explained the performance increase.

You also don't want to put the whole game on RAMdisk because RAMdisk is meant for temporary use, it is cleared if you shutdown the computer.

Now, when you say long loading time, can you give me an estimate on how long it is? Both for the initial loading to the game menu and also how long it takes to load a town?

I just tested mine. I have a HDD 7,200 rpm, ur SSD should be faster.

From clicking the icon to the game menu: 60 secs

Loading my hometown: 4 min 35 sec.

Now, my hometown is a 17th generation Bridgeport with lots of customization, so it is consider a longer load time. If your load time is significantly longer than this, there might be something wrong with your game.
Instructor
#20 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 10:40 AM Last edited by PapaEmy : 13th Feb 2015 at 10:52 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
You also don't want to put the whole game on RAMdisk because RAMdisk is meant for temporary use, it is cleared if you shutdown the computer.

Now, when you say long loading time, can you give me an estimate on how long it is? Both for the initial loading to the game menu and also how long it takes to load a town?


Well that's what Asus has told in its website how to use ROG RAMDisk, I know it's only temporary, but with the ROG RAMDisk software it will automatically loads back into RAMDisk each time Windows started up, it does sacrificed Windows loading time when RAMDisk put everything back into it, but it's okay, I just can't put everything from TS3 because it's bigger than my RAMs.

I think in TS3, though CPU and GPU also determines its performance, I think it is more depends on the total amount of the size of game installed when it's loading the game (new game or saved game), I've tested with base game only and base game only with patch 1.67 and it has a huge different in loading time even without mods, I have C2Q 9450 @ 2.66Ghz/12M/1333 on my system, I overclocked it to 3.2Ghz @ FSB 1600Mhz without raising its voltage, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD and GTX680 video card, and on my daughter; she have C2Q Q9650 @3.0Ghz/12M/1333 no overclocking, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and GTS250DK video card, so I think those are more than enough.

Loading time (without RAMDisk):
1. Initial loading about a minute or less (with no intro no maxis mod)
2. New game loading time about 2-3 minutes
3. Saved game 3-4 minutes ( I just load one just now and it took 3m 10s)

I've tested RAMDisk on my other game (Company of Heroes II), I copied everything into RAMDisk, initial load less than 8s, new game or saved game less than 12s, so for TS3 I'm trying to have about a minute or less if that is possible to achieve :D
Scholar
#21 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 10:51 AM
Well, I assume you tried the obvious stuff, but here goes again: From my experience, the biggest difference for loading times is made by the memories. I assume you disabled them by now, but if not, it might be worth a try to disable them in the options AND remove the existing ones with MC (from the town hall menu.)

Also corruption can really make things take ages when loading. NRaas is your friend with keeping that in check.

You might also want to check if your game generated unholy numbers of NPCs, with the demographics option of MC. I just use AwesomeMod to kill 'em all and let Cthulhu sort them.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#22 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 10:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaEmy
Loading time:
1. Initial loading about a minute or less (with no intro no maxis mod)
2. New game loading time about 2-3 minutes
3. Saved game 3-4 minutes ( I just load one just now and it took 3m 10s)


That is actually really good. Your daughter can't wait 4 mins for the game to load?

Now you said this is a new game. How is your savegame loading? You probably read somewhere that the loading time does increase the older your savegame. There is a savegame cleaner out there that will clean your savegame to keep it loading this fast. Kuree's Savegame Cleaner . Also, EPs and SPs + mods/ccs will affect load time, though not as significantly as a bloated savegame.

I kid you not, at one point my game took me 20-30 mins to load. It has all those extra crap in it, the SNAPS, memories, photos, etc...

Also, the save time will also get longer the longer you play as well. I play the whole town and we're at 17th generation, so my save time currently takes 12 mins and I'm extremely happy. Why? Because there were some corruptions earlier and it had originally taken me an hour to 3 hours to save!

So basically I don't think it is possible to achieve a 1 min load time for Sims 3, it is just not designed that way. To keep the loading time down, keep your game clean with the Kuree cleaner and to keep your save time down, make sure your game doesn't get corrupted. NRAAS errortrap is a good protector of savegames.
Instructor
#23 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 11:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Well, I assume you tried the obvious stuff, but here goes again: From my experience, the biggest difference for loading times is made by the memories. I assume you disabled them by now, but if not, it might be worth a try to disable them in the options AND remove the existing ones with MC (from the town hall menu.)

Also corruption can really make things take ages when loading. NRaas is your friend with keeping that in check.

You might also want to check if your game generated unholy numbers of NPCs, with the demographics option of MC. I just use AwesomeMod to kill 'em all and let Cthulhu sort them.


No I'm not using RAMDisk at the moment because I just re-installed my system a few days ago.

And all my mods in TS3 are fixed already, no corruptions or conflicts, combined with SP3E and checked them with Sim3Dashboard, I also have Awesome mod and NRAAS Story progression, I don't really have any issue in gameplay, I'm just trying to figure it out how to make my TS3 can load fast as fast as my Company Heroes II saved game with RAMDisk, I do think it's possible because TS3 with base game only, it took less than a minute even without RAMDisk, I'm just assuming maybe I need more RAM to achieve that but I just don't want to upgrade my hardware anymore at least for now.., I'm broke now.. lol
Scholar
#24 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 11:27 AM
The size of all my TS3 and EPs and SPs is 35 GB. That is without the saves or CC. I don't think it's that feasible to copy everything into a RAM disk anyway. COH2 is a much smaller game. For TS3 you'd literally need a server motherboard that can do 64 GB.

Plus, think of it this way: the time to copy 35 GB FROM your hard drive to the RAM disk every time would probably make things not much better on the whole.

As our friend Nitromon did correctly say, though, a large part of the time of loading is not really spent on disk I/O. CPU and memory bandwidth seem to make a much bigger difference, so if you really want to burn some money to upgrade for TS3, that would be a more productive way to spend your money.

What you can also try though, is to use smaller worlds. If you can live on some tiny world, those tend to load a lot faster. (Finding one without other problems, though, can be a different issue.)

EDIT: disabling interactive loading screens also seems to shave off a few seconds, although it can make it seem longer, if you sit there and stare at only the loading bar.

Well, there is another way to limit the data processed, but I assume it's less palatable for most people: don't go through a lot of generations.

I actually had load times under a minute (the old Sparrow Island world loaded in about 45 seconds, at least before going on adventures all over the place), but it's with story progression and aging off, and a truly tiny world. And on a 3.4 GHz I7, which might help too.

EDIT: btw, as a bit of lateral thinking, if your daughter is that impatient, have you tried seeing if she tollerates TS2 or TS4 better? I still think that the loading screens on those add up to more time than loading once in TS3, but it's split into smaller chunks. MUCH smaller in the case of TS2. So it might be more palatable. And with home business lots in TS2, it's possible to spend quite a lot of time at home and still interact with pretty much the whole neighbourhood, so you don't have to go through a loading screen too often.
Instructor
#25 Old 13th Feb 2015 at 11:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
That is actually really good. Your daughter can't wait 4 mins for the game to load?

Now you said this is a new game. How is your savegame loading? You probably read somewhere that the loading time does increase the older your savegame. There is a savegame cleaner out there that will clean your savegame to keep it loading this fast. Kuree's Savegame Cleaner . Also, EPs and SPs + mods/ccs will affect load time, though not as significantly as a bloated savegame.

I kid you not, at one point my game took me 20-30 mins to load. It has all those extra crap in it, the SNAPS, memories, photos, etc...

Also, the save time will also get longer the longer you play as well. I play the whole town and we're at 17th generation, so my save time currently takes 12 mins and I'm extremely happy. Why? Because there were some corruptions earlier and it had originally taken me an hour to 3 hours to save!

So basically I don't think it is possible to achieve a 1 min load time for Sims 3, it is just not designed that way. To keep the loading time down, keep your game clean with the Kuree cleaner and to keep your save time down, make sure your game doesn't get corrupted. NRAAS errortrap is a good protector of savegames.


yes my daughter can't wait that long. I know.. just like her mother

yeah new game on any world map took about 2-3 minutes but without Bridgeport, I deleted Bridgeport map world because my daughter don't really like it, my saved game took about 3-4m and all without RAMDisk, my saved game is in customized Starlight Shore and we're still in our 1st generation because me and my daughter maximized our sims lifespan, that's why I'm wondering how long it will take if I managed to copy all of them into RAMDisk

yeah I know that too save time and loading time will be longer the more I play, thank you.. I will try Kuree's Savegane Cleaner, at the moment I just deleted everything on DCBackup folder except ccmerged.package manually every time before I launched the game, it also does help reducing loading the savedgame tho it's not much.., I also have NRAAS errortrap mod already, so I think I'm almost lag free in my gameplay.. I just still wondering how to make TS3 loads fast as fast as my other games..

I just wish somebody out there have 32 or 64GB RAM installed and playing fully loaded TS3 with RAMDisk and tell me the results when it's all put in to RAMDisk, maybe I'll go with X79 system if it worth it.. but not now..
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