Notebookcheck

Sims 4 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 09/10/2014

Maximizing the target audience. With the game's brightly colored visuals and low hardware demands, the creators of Sims 4 want to reach as wide a player base as possible. Was the undertaking a success? Read our benchmark article to find out.

Sims 4 Logo

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Graphics

While the predecessor game's graphics looked at least somewhat realistic, in their fourth title, EA gives the extremely popular Sims series a very sketch-like appearance. Similar to Diablo III, the graphics are rather reminiscent of a comic. This design choice is completely understandable, as with it the developers can easily hide weaknesses in the graphics.

In addition to the lower texture and effect quality, the number of polygons is not exactly sumptuous. In the year 2014, gamers who expect a lot of a title's graphics hope for a lot more. The size of the levels also leaves something to be desired (did someone say SimCity?) When moving to other parts of the city, the user is confronted with a loading screen. It is hardly surprising, then, that the game's hardware demands are quite modest. Of course EA is interested in reaching as many customers as possible. Considering the high performance, however, the developers could have ventured to do a little more graphics-wise.

Sims 4
Sims 4
Sims 4
Sims 4
Sims 4
Sims 4

Still, the imagery fits wonderfully with the typical Sims situational comedy. Along with the background sounds, the animations also turned out well and are extremely funny. The graphics when changing perspectives, on the other hand, did not turn out quite so well. If the player flies over houses with the camera or zooms in or out drastically, the game often produces unattractive "image errors" (objects pop up, object wallpapers make a visible switch, etc.). The image shading is especially affected by this, as you can see in our benchmark video (watch the trees).

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

In terms of the options menu, the range of available settings is more or less average. The "Graphics" tab has 10 items, most of which can be adjusted across a gradation with several steps. For our benchmarks, we used the comfortable presets that automatically adjust the rest of the options. Apart from that, in the graphics menu the player can change the display mode, resolution and refresh rate. Vertical synchronization (eliminates image tearing) is also present.

While at minimum details, the game is fairly ugly (blue "fog of war" when the camera is in a high position), at medium to maximum settings, the graphics certainly have their charm. The differences in performance between the "High" and "Ultra" settings are only noticeable on weaker graphics cards. Speaking of the GPU: Except at low details (here the CPU is often the limiting factor), Sims 4 is rather lays most of the burden on the graphics card. By the way, due to the built-in limit, the framerate cannot exceed 200 fps.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Benchmark

Although we made a concerted effort to find a fair and sensible benchmark sequence, but it is also impossible to generate consistent results with "The Sims 4". Due to the manually directed camera movement, unfortunately the sequence can never be 100% identical. As a result, every once in a while GPUs place in higher positions than models that are actually stronger -- at least at moderate settings. Otherwise, our benchmark should give a pretty good idea of a Sims player's everyday experience will look like. In order to achieve that, the sequence is comprised of about 50% close-ups and 50% camera movements from a distance.

As we have already indicated, "The Sims 4" does not require a high-end computer. At maximum details and 1920x1080 pixels, the game runs fluidly with just a graphics card from the upper middle class. The DDR3 version of the GeForce GTX 850M managed 48 fps. For higher settings in Full HD, a mid-range chip more towards the inexpensive end will suffice, for instance the GeForce GT 750M (~40 fps). On the other hand, entry-level GPUs on par with the Intel HD Graphics 4600 cannot handle more than 1366x768 pixels and the "Medium" setting. Almost every notebook can render the game fluidly at low details (unless the device is 500 years old).

Sims 4
    1920x1080 Ultra Preset     1920x1080 High Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1024x768 Low Preset
GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
90.4 (min: 59) fps ∼57%
92.3 (min: 71) fps ∼53%
102.1 (min: 77) fps ∼55%
168.9 (min: 141) fps ∼85%
Radeon R9 290X, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X Desktop
93 (min: 63) fps ∼58%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
79.4 (min: 61) fps ∼50%
83.8 (min: 66) fps ∼48%
104.8 (min: 76) fps ∼57%
187.9 (min: 161) fps ∼94%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
77.8 (min: 56) fps ∼49%
83.7 (min: 62) fps ∼48%
97 (min: 63) fps ∼53%
183 (min: 126) fps ∼92%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
73.5 (min: 55) fps ∼46%
80.8 (min: 63) fps ∼47%
99.6 (min: 67) fps ∼54%
150.9 (min: 120) fps ∼76%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
72.8 (min: 52) fps ∼46%
80.5 (min: 59) fps ∼47%
94.2 (min: 65) fps ∼51%
143.9 (min: 108) fps ∼72%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
65.8 (min: 43) fps ∼41%
73.7 (min: 58) fps ∼43%
96.1 (min: 65) fps ∼52%
156.2 (min: 118) fps ∼78%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
63 (min: 44) fps ∼39%
71.9 (min: 54) fps ∼42%
94.8 (min: 71) fps ∼52%
172.5 (min: 104) fps ∼87%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60.6 (min: 44) fps ∼38%
69.2 (min: 51) fps ∼40%
92.7 (min: 66) fps ∼50%
144.8 (min: 111) fps ∼73%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
57 (min: 41) fps ∼36%
59.7 (min: 46) fps ∼35%
81.6 (min: 63) fps ∼44%
111.6 (min: 90) fps ∼56%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
54.9 (min: 38) fps ∼34%
67.3 (min: 48) fps ∼39%
90.9 (min: 70) fps ∼49%
155.7 (min: 111) fps ∼78%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
49.8 (min: 35) fps ∼31%
61 (min: 46) fps ∼35%
83.2 (min: 61) fps ∼45%
148.5 (min: 104) fps ∼75%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
47.8 (min: 33) fps ∼30%
53.7 (min: 40) fps ∼31%
82.7 (min: 60) fps ∼45%
159.1 (min: 124) fps ∼80%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
31 (min: 22) fps ∼19%
39.9 (min: 30) fps ∼23%
61.8 (min: 44) fps ∼34%
121.1 (min: 97) fps ∼61%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
24.3 (min: 16) fps ∼15%
34.7 (min: 26) fps ∼20%
68 (min: 49) fps ∼37%
178 (min: 153) fps ∼89%
Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
24.1 (min: 8) fps ∼15%
29.5 (min: 20) fps ∼17%
51 (min: 34) fps ∼28%
126 (min: 77) fps ∼63%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
23.3 (min: 16) fps ∼15%
32.8 (min: 23) fps ∼19%
65.6 (min: 38) fps ∼36%
128.2 (min: 107) fps ∼64%
Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
16.7 (min: 9) fps ∼10%
19.3 (min: 15) fps ∼11%
36 (min: 22) fps ∼20%
82 (min: 60) fps ∼41%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
12.4 (min: 8) fps ∼8%
18.8 (min: 14) fps ∼11%
40.3 (min: 32) fps ∼22%
139.8 (min: 125) fps ∼70%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
21.5 fps ∼13%
26.2 fps ∼15%
55.3 fps ∼30%
166.3 fps ∼83%

Test Systems

Our four test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, Radeon R9 M290X)
  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

Windows 7 (64-bit edition) is installed on each of these notebooks. A further thank you goes to Micron for the 480 GB Crucial M500.

Another test device was provided by Nvidia:

  • HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M)

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 340.52, AMD 14.7 RC3, Intel 10.18.10.3907

There are also benchmarks from other notebooks, possibly with different drivers.

Overview

Discussion
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Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
 Sims 4 (2014)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
 1NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
181.1
166.3
161.8
159.7
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
150
142
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
173
141
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
191.7
172.7
144.3
138.4
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
118
112
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
188.4
171.2
135
127.2
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
199.3
150.4
113.52
105.62
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
180.152
150.252
129.852
120.952
 16AMD Radeon R9 390X
190.4
121.7
111.4
106.8
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
193.2
157.7
119.8
104.8
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
192
184
164
148
 19*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
122
119
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
168.9
102.1
92.3
90.4
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
183.9
167.7
140
127.3
 27AMD Radeon R9 290X
93
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
187.154
138.154
109.44
104.14
 36AMD Radeon R9 280X
187.9
104.8
83.8
79.4
 37AMD Radeon R9 380
179.8
131.7
95
92.8
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
178.8
141.3
107
98.3
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
188.252
145.62
98.84
91.44
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
187.052
141.652
118.62
109.42
 50AMD Radeon R9 M295X
173.1
93.8
66
60.4
 55AMD Radeon R7 370
195.14
159.95
124.75
96.8
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
150.9
99.6
81.22
73.12
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
198.3
131.8
95.3
85.4
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
183
97
83.7
77.8
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
143.9
94.2
80.5
72.8
 63NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
180
132.6
96.3
77.9
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
182.33
118.83
83.33
70.73
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
156.2
96.1
73.7
65.8
 69AMD Radeon R9 M290X
111.6
81.6
59.7
57
 70AMD Radeon HD 8970M
182.7
139
102
87.2
 82*AMD Radeon R9 M390
82
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
172.5
94.8
71.9
63
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
182.64
109.14
71.14
62.354
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
144.8
92.7
69.2
60.6
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
141.152
772
54.352
47.452
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
166.352
93.052
55.32
46.22
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
159.62
84.53
49.83
41.63
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 108AMD Radeon R9 M280X
57.8
44.9
43
16.5
 113NVIDIA GeForce 945M
184
101.1
57.7
45.5
 114NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
148.5
83.2
61
49.8
 136NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
171.9
104.5
64.9
54.7
 138AMD Radeon R9 M370X
162.9
99.9
54.5
46.8
 163NVIDIA GeForce 845M
56.2
30.7
26.3
 166AMD Radeon R9 M265X
81.7
36.3
33.7
 175NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
121.1
61.8
39.9
31
 177NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
1662
67.252
37.352
29.13
 178NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
165.9
59.3
36.4
28.9
 179NVIDIA GeForce 940M
166.652
77.652
38.752
31.52
 184AMD Radeon R7 M370
172.7
58.6
35
25
 188NVIDIA GeForce 840M
110.152
59.452
34.22
24.752
 189AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
108
37
24.4
20
 194AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
126
51
29.5
24.1
 195Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
186.452
68.22
33.72
23.22
 197NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
128.2
65.6
32.8
23.3
 198NVIDIA GeForce 930M
184.5
90.1
40.1
33.9
 199*Intel Iris Graphics 550
183.4
78.2
39.7
29.4
 200NVIDIA GeForce 830M
142.1
60.5
27.2
23.6
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 201Intel Iris Graphics 540
32.2
 202*Intel HD Graphics 620
184.42
59.72
28.552
20.052
 218AMD Radeon R7 M260X
157.6
51.9
26.1
22.8
 221*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
171.4
63.4
34.1
 229AMD Radeon R7 M265
90
33.7
26
20.1
 234AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
94.3
40.1
23.1
 235AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
93.2
34.4
21.4
17.8
 236*AMD Radeon R7 M460
137.5
49.9
21.7
18.6
 239AMD Radeon R7 M360
85.3
36.5
21.2
18.4
 241*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
99
33.5
20.8
16.3
 244AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
97.7
37.3
18.9
16.5
 245AMD Radeon R7 M440
81.9
40.4
19.9
16.2
 251AMD Radeon R7 M340
160.6
61.7
25.2
20.8
 252NVIDIA GeForce 920M
175.83
733
31.53
22.852
 253AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
99.6
37.5
17.1
 254Intel HD Graphics 530
153.3
52.9
26.6
19.3
 257AMD Radeon R7 M260
125
25.9
13.7
 258AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
99.6
35.4
19.4
15.8
 260AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
86.6
34.3
18.3
15.8
 272AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
89.7
26.9
12.6
10.6
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 291Intel HD Graphics 5600
187.4
52.6
25.2
16.8
 297AMD Radeon HD 8670M
150.1
42.9
17
 317AMD Radeon HD 8650G
82
36
19.3
16.7
 325AMD Radeon R5 M335
145.9
41.8
17.7
14.7
 327AMD Radeon R5 M330
32.7
15.3
 328AMD Radeon R5 M255
158.3
50.5
21.5
18.5
 331NVIDIA GeForce 820M
141.9
48.3
25.3
20.5
 332Intel HD Graphics 520
164.85
46.75
21.85
13.454
 333Intel Iris Graphics 6100
178.3
55
25.2
17.4
 334NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
166.3
55.3
26.2
21.5
 336AMD Radeon R5 M240
160.7
45.3
 338AMD Radeon R5 M230
130.9
38.9
16.1
 345Intel HD Graphics 6000
144
45.4
21.8
14.1
 353Intel HD Graphics 4600
139.83
32.53
16.22
10.952
 355Intel HD Graphics 5500
150.84
36.54
17.454
10.23
 366Intel HD Graphics 5000
168.3
32.8
14.2
10
 398Intel HD Graphics 515
161.1
39.2
17.1
10.4
 399Intel HD Graphics 4400
146.554
28.454
12.42
 429Intel HD Graphics 5300
91
17.6
8.5
6.6
 430*Intel HD Graphics 505
75.2
18.4
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 443*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
62.6
13.8
6.9
 444*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
113.6
26.3
 447AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
57.9
25.2
 448AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
60
22.9
 450Intel HD Graphics 4200
89.1
24.4
 463AMD Radeon HD 8400
71
21.3
 475AMD Radeon HD 8350G
81
26.5
13.5
11.4
 476AMD Radeon HD 8330
55.3
18.5
 479AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
70.1
25.5
 496Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
77.5
19.6