This is the second part of the Bootcamp tutorial for the Sims 3. You can read the first part here.
This tutorial will help you solving graphical issues specific to NVIDIA drivers and will prevent you from frying your GPU while playing the Sims 3.
If you already haven’t done it, download up-to-date NVIDIA drivers on NVIDIA’s website. Install them. Do a clean install if this is the first time where you’re installing them on this partition.
When you’ve installed drivers, you’ve probably noticed that the screen looks awfully dark. Abnormally dark. And your games such as the Sims 3 look even darker, almost unplayable.
This issue seems specific to NVIDIA drivers. Fortunately, it can be solved pretty easily, by playing in windowed mode only and correcting the screen’s gamma. Because NVIDIA drivers have their own graphical settings, and lower Apple monitors’ gamma too much.
Go to Windows settings -> System -> Display.
Turn off auto brightness. Go to Advanced display settings.
Go to Color calibration.
Adjust your window size so you can see your desktop and adjust graphical settings to your personal preferences. Pass the intro screens, and go directly to How to adjust gamma. It will show you a short explanation, that sadly won’t be very useful on an Apple monitor.
Your gamma will need to be very high to get rid of the dark screen issue. On my screen, to give you an example, it needs to be this high. It does need to be very high for games like the Sims 3, which can look even darker than your desktop. It may be lower or higher for you depending on your monitor.
Skip brightness and contrast adjustment. You can’t do it on an Apple monitor.
You can adjust color balance, if you wish. I personally find that the monitor looks a bit reddish and too warm, and even more while playing the sims 3, so I adjusted it like this for a neutral result. Again, your preference will depend on your eyes.
Now your new graphical settings should look much better. You can compare them to your old settings, and start clearType Tuner if you wish, but this isn’t mandatory.
Now that you surely want to play the Sims 3 to test your graphical settings, you’ve probably noticed that your settings go back to very dark if you’re playing fullscreen, which is why you need to play in windowed mode, as windowed mode will save your custom graphical settings including your temperature and gamma.
Sadly, the Sims 3 is known for not having a built-in FPS limiter. Your game’s FPS (Frames Per Second) is very important, because if it’s too high (higher than 60 FPS, which is your monitor’s frame rate in this case) and not capped, your GPU will struggle with a very high FPS and will overheat, destroying your computer’s hardware. So, if you don’t have installed a FPS limiter for the Sims 3, your game will fry your GPU.
There are plenty of solutions to cap the Sims 3’s FPS, but most work only in fullscreen mode. And if you play in fullscreen mode, you’re going to experience the dark screen issue again. Fortunately, NVIDIA Inspector is a FPS limiter that also works with the Sims 3 in windowed mode. Download it here (beware of ads with fake download links, always download with an ad blocker for your safety) and install it.
Once you’ve installed it and opened it, you should see something like this. Right to Driver version, you should see a tiny button with the green NVIDIA logo. Click on it to open the NVIDIA profile inspector window.
Your global driver profile should say that the frame rate limiter is off. Change it to something close to 60 FPS. You can choose a lower FPS if you wish, especially if your GPU is old.
Apply changes and you’re ready to play ! Never quit the application or close this window as you’d lose your custom settings. You also need to limit the FPS with NVIDIA Profile Inspector every time you open a session with Windows, as your settings won’t be saved for the next session.
You can easily check your FPS at any time with fps on (enter it like a cheat command in the Sims 3), or with software like FRAPS. FRAPS is also capable of taking high quality screenshots and videos of your game on Windows.