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.

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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 ∼61%
92.3 (min: 71) fps ∼56%
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 ∼63%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
79.4 (min: 61) fps ∼54%
83.8 (min: 66) fps ∼51%
104.8 (min: 76) fps ∼57%
187.9 (min: 161) fps ∼94%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
77.8 (min: 56) fps ∼53%
83.7 (min: 62) fps ∼51%
97 (min: 63) fps ∼53%
183 (min: 126) fps ∼92%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
73.5 (min: 55) fps ∼50%
80.8 (min: 63) fps ∼49%
99.6 (min: 67) fps ∼54%
150.9 (min: 120) fps ∼76%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
72.8 (min: 52) fps ∼49%
80.5 (min: 59) fps ∼49%
94.2 (min: 65) fps ∼51%
143.9 (min: 108) fps ∼72%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
65.8 (min: 43) fps ∼44%
73.7 (min: 58) fps ∼45%
96.1 (min: 65) fps ∼52%
156.2 (min: 118) fps ∼78%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
63 (min: 44) fps ∼43%
71.9 (min: 54) fps ∼44%
94.8 (min: 71) fps ∼52%
172.5 (min: 104) fps ∼87%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60.6 (min: 44) fps ∼41%
69.2 (min: 51) fps ∼42%
92.7 (min: 66) fps ∼50%
144.8 (min: 111) fps ∼73%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
57 (min: 41) fps ∼39%
59.7 (min: 46) fps ∼36%
81.6 (min: 63) fps ∼44%
111.6 (min: 90) fps ∼56%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
54.9 (min: 38) fps ∼37%
67.3 (min: 48) fps ∼41%
90.9 (min: 70) fps ∼49%
155.7 (min: 111) fps ∼78%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
49.8 (min: 35) fps ∼34%
61 (min: 46) fps ∼37%
83.2 (min: 61) fps ∼45%
148.5 (min: 104) fps ∼75%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
47.8 (min: 33) fps ∼32%
53.7 (min: 40) fps ∼33%
82.7 (min: 60) fps ∼45%
159.1 (min: 124) fps ∼80%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
31 (min: 22) fps ∼21%
39.9 (min: 30) fps ∼24%
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 ∼16%
34.7 (min: 26) fps ∼21%
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 ∼16%
29.5 (min: 20) fps ∼18%
51 (min: 34) fps ∼28%
126 (min: 77) fps ∼63%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
23.3 (min: 16) fps ∼16%
32.8 (min: 23) fps ∼20%
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 ∼11%
19.3 (min: 15) fps ∼12%
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 ∼15%
26.2 fps ∼16%
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
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
 Sims 4 (2014)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Notebook)
191.7
172.7
144.3
138.4
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
188.4
171.2
135
127.2
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
199.3
150.4
113.52
105.62
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Notebook)
180.152
150.252
129.852
120.952
 12AMD Radeon R9 390X
190.4
121.7
111.4
106.8
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
193.2
157.7
119.8
104.8
 14*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
192
184
164
148
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
168.9
102.1
92.3
90.4
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
183.9
167.7
140
127.3
 21AMD Radeon R9 290X
93
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
187.154
138.154
109.44
104.14
 30AMD Radeon R9 280X
187.9
104.8
83.8
79.4
 31AMD Radeon R9 380
179.8
131.7
95
92.8
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
178.8
141.3
107
98.3
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
188.252
145.62
98.84
91.44
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
191
129
104
96
 43AMD Radeon R9 M295X
173.1
93.8
66
60.4
 47AMD Radeon R7 370
195.14
159.95
124.75
96.8
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
150.9
99.6
81.22
73.12
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 50NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
198.3
131.8
95.3
85.4
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
183
97
83.7
77.8
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
143.9
94.2
80.5
72.8
 55NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
180
132.6
96.3
77.9
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
182.33
118.83
83.33
70.73
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
156.2
96.1
73.7
65.8
 61AMD Radeon R9 M290X
111.6
81.6
59.7
57
 71*AMD Radeon R9 M390
82
 72NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
172.5
94.8
71.9
63
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
182.64
109.14
71.14
62.354
 80NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
144.8
92.7
69.2
60.6
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
141.152
772
54.352
47.452
 89NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
166.352
93.052
55.32
46.22
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
159.62
84.53
49.83
41.63
 92AMD Radeon R9 M280X
57.8
44.9
43
16.5
 97NVIDIA GeForce 945M
184
101.1
57.7
45.5
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
148.5
83.2
61
49.8
 122NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
171.9
104.5
64.9
54.7
 124AMD Radeon R9 M370X
162.9
99.9
54.5
46.8
 148NVIDIA GeForce 845M
56.2
30.7
26.3
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 151AMD Radeon R9 M265X
81.7
36.3
33.7
 162NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
121.1
61.8
39.9
31
 164NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
1662
67.252
37.352
29.13
 165NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
165.9
59.3
36.4
28.9
 166NVIDIA GeForce 940M
166.652
77.652
38.752
31.52
 170AMD Radeon R7 M370
172.7
58.6
35
25
 174NVIDIA GeForce 840M
110.152
59.452
34.22
24.752
 175AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
108
37
24.4
20
 179AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
126
51
29.5
24.1
 180Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
186.452
68.22
33.72
23.22
 181*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
99
33.5
20.8
16.3
 183NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
128.2
65.6
32.8
23.3
 184NVIDIA GeForce 930M
184.5
90.1
40.1
33.9
 185*Intel Iris Graphics 550
183.4
78.2
39.7
29.4
 186NVIDIA GeForce 830M
142.1
60.5
27.2
23.6
 187Intel Iris Graphics 540
32.2
 203AMD Radeon R7 M260X
157.6
51.9
26.1
22.8
 214AMD Radeon R7 M265
90
33.7
26
20.1
 219AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
94.3
40.1
23.1
 220AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
93.2
34.4
21.4
17.8
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 224AMD Radeon R7 M360
85.3
36.5
21.2
18.4
 228AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
97.7
37.3
18.9
16.5
 229AMD Radeon R7 M440
81.9
40.4
19.9
16.2
 235AMD Radeon R7 M340
160.6
61.7
25.2
20.8
 236NVIDIA GeForce 920M
175.83
733
31.53
22.852
 237AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
99.6
37.5
17.1
 238Intel HD Graphics 530
153.3
52.9
26.6
19.3
 241AMD Radeon R7 M260
125
25.9
13.7
 242AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
99.6
35.4
19.4
15.8
 243AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
86.6
34.3
18.3
15.8
 255AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
89.7
26.9
12.6
10.6
 274Intel HD Graphics 5600
187.4
52.6
25.2
16.8
 280AMD Radeon HD 8670M
150.1
42.9
17
 300AMD Radeon HD 8650G
82
36
19.3
16.7
 308AMD Radeon R5 M335
145.9
41.8
17.7
14.7
 310AMD Radeon R5 M330
32.7
15.3
 314NVIDIA GeForce 820M
141.9
48.3
25.3
20.5
 315Intel HD Graphics 520
164.85
46.75
21.85
13.454
 316Intel Iris Graphics 6100
178.3
55
25.2
17.4
 317NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
166.3
55.3
26.2
21.5
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 319AMD Radeon R5 M240
160.7
45.3
 321AMD Radeon R5 M230
130.9
38.9
16.1
 327Intel HD Graphics 6000
144
45.4
21.8
14.1
 335Intel HD Graphics 4600
139.83
32.53
16.22
10.952
 337Intel HD Graphics 5500
150.84
36.54
17.454
10.23
 346Intel HD Graphics 5000
168.3
32.8
14.2
10
 378Intel HD Graphics 515
161.1
39.2
17.1
10.4
 379Intel HD Graphics 4400
146.554
28.454
12.42
 409Intel HD Graphics 5300
91
17.6
8.5
6.6
 421*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
62.6
13.8
6.9
 422*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
113.6
26.3
 424AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
57.9
25.2
 425AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
60
22.9
 426Intel HD Graphics 4200
89.1
24.4
 439AMD Radeon HD 8400
71
21.3
 451AMD Radeon HD 8350G
81
26.5
13.5
11.4
 452AMD Radeon HD 8330
55.3
18.5
 455AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
70.1
25.5
 473Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
64
18.7
 483Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
123.6
26.2
Pos      Model                                     Sims 4
lowmed.highultra
 503Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
66.63
16.93
7.752
 519*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema)
78.7
23.7
 540AMD Radeon HD 8210
27.3
8.4
 584Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
54.852
6.82
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
static version load dynamic
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Sims 4 Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2014-09-10 (Update: 2014-09-10)