Despite making Todd's life rather miserable the other day, he still installed my new present. (Bought with various Christmas money and a small bonus I got from a friend I helped... long story) My present was a new video card, Radeon 9800 pro.
Oh baby, I'm in looove to the max with this thing. The only game I really play is Sims2, and while I did thing the game was pretty great, I kept hearing about certain scenes and other things, that I just never saw.
With the new card, it's amazing. The grass outside? It looks like grass! Not like a green thing. When the counters get dirty, you can actually see some dirt. And this isn't after ignoring it several times, this is when someone prepares one thing and then serves it. You can see the counter they used get slightly dirty!
But the best part? I'm getting interactions I didn't think were in the game! For ages, I've been having my teens sneak out. They almost never get caught, but when they do, I get this "lecture" icon,but the parent never lectures. They just stand there... the kid stands there and two seconds later, it's like it never happened.
Well, tonight I had Edward Betterton (My own family... their bio reads, "The Bettertons dont' think they're better than you, they know they are. Snotty, whitebread looking family. I figure every neighborhood needs a snotty whitebread family that thinks they're better than everyone.) sneak out. When he came back, his father, Biff, went running up to him yelling and screaming, slapped him across the face and went into a rampage. Not only did I see him doing it, but "voice cards" came up on the screen. It was a real lecture! "I raised you better than this! You are a disappointment to me! Now go to bed!"
It really is like having an entirely new game. If anyone else out there has been playing and wondering "what's the big fuss?" if your video card is "average" that's probably it. With my 7500 Radeon, everything defaulted to "Low," now everything defaults to "High" and I swear, I can see people sweat now. It's great!
I'd say the two most important things to have for Sims2 is not a good video card, but a great one... and RAM. I have a gig of RAM, which I know helps a lot, but the improvements with the video card just blew me away completely.