Jump to content

10 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

I searched a lot to see if something and anything about this theme, nada. I got myself a newish comp with WIN 8.1 (64). I would like to install SC4 D there, either the 640 or 641, as I have both. But I had more than my share of troubles with SC4 D and my old and dying XP-sp3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disclaimer first: I know nothing at all about Win 8.1. (I did test drive the free Win 8.0 beta back when it came out and was thoroughly unimpressed.)

Anyhow, from Vista on up there is a KB patch that blocks the DRM check of the disc versions (640) so I'd suggest trying the 641 as that'll be a digital version. I believe @RandyE runs SC4 on Windoze 8 and may have some tips for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm running SimCity 4 Deluxe digital version 641 from GoG on Windows 8.1 (64 bit) in Windows XP 3 compatibility mode using the shortcut command line:

CPUCount:1 -f -l:English -WriteLog:on -gp -Intro:off -IgnoreMissingModelDataBugs:off -CustomResolution:enabled -r1600x900x32  -CPUPriority:low

I don't experience any of the difficulties I've ever seen reported on this site.   I'm also using Classic Shell ver. 421 by Ivo Beltchev to disable the immersive (touch screen) start screen and to normalize windows desktop and explorer.

My processor is an AMD A8-5500 APU with Radeon HD Graphics, 3.2 GHz.   With this system and setup I can do anything with SC4 without any lag, CTD, overheating, frame rate, or other issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly running SC4 on Win 8 is more about your hardware than using XP 3 compatibility (turn it off, you'll see nothing changes, SC4 doesn't need it to work). Similarly, such a complex set of command switches is probably way more than the average user needs/wants. I recommend something like this for everyone:

CPUCount:1 -f -Intro:off -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32

Which runs the game on just one core (necessary to avoid CTDs), sets full screen mode (better compatibility), disables the intro (quicker loading) and sets a custom resolution, the parts in orange should be altered to match your system resolution usually. If you get problems from there, it's probably a combination of your Graphics hardware, driver and their support for legacy DirectX modes. Usually fixable by switching to software rendering, often with some work by manually setting up your hardware to work with SC4 properly. Sometimes it might require use of an older driver or updating your driver, depending on the card. But almost always it can be made to work.

After that the only barrier with Vista through 8.1 systems comes from using the old disks, which a patch by MS prevent from working. However there are plenty of work-arounds so it needn't be a problem. Win 10 users won't be able to use a work-around, so you'll need a digital version instead, similarly if you want to run without the workarounds on Vista through 8.1 versions of Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matching the ratio of the game window to the ratio of the desktop setting which itself matches the ratio of the physical screen makes loading, using, windowing in and out of the game flow easily without any disturbance of system stability or desktop settings.

For example, your screen at 1920x1080 is a 4:3 frame aspect ratio and 1600x900 equates to a frame aspect ratio of 16:9 which reflects my actual physical screen.   SimCity 4 was deisgned to be optimized at a 4:3 ratio which was the size of most physical screens at the time it was developed.  There is some distortion in using a ratio outside the 4:3, but I would say its an improvement visually.

The command line paramers I use begin with the neccesary CPUCount 1, which is the most critical given that SC4 will crash at regular intervals if more than one core is being used.  The full screen mode is both visually more appealing and also requires the system to do less work displaying a complex desktop,

The language setting simply confirms what is already set by default so is not necessary, but I use it to ensure that the locale is consistent given that I have 3 different language folders that have different versions of English. (UK, CA, and US).

I don't generally use the WriteLog, but its there in case I do need to look at the log if something requires analysis. it simply records system setup.

The -gp parameter is used to pause the game if I window out to the desktop or to another application of if I'm not actively operating the game.  This also helps to reduce potential disturbance to system stability and ease of flow using several applications at the same time. 

I use the -IgnoreMissingModelDataBugs: switch often when I'm making graphics or testing mods and need to ignore a few missing props that aren't needed and that will show brown boxes.

I use the -CPUPriority:low setting to ensure that there are no conflicts between running other applications concurrently with SC4.   

Here is a list of all the command line parameters.

http://www.wiki.sc4devotion.com/index.php?title=Tutorial:Shortcut_Parameters

In Windows 8.1 the compatibility troubleshooter recommends using Windows 7 compatibility mode.  I think the compatibility troubleshooter in Windows 7 recommends using Win XP 3 --but I'd have to check and confirm.   The game was designed for Windows XP/Vista, so in terms of best performance and least conflict it makes sense to run it in the Win XP virtual machine.

The graphics cards compatibilities and drivers versions between operating systems is a special area of your expertise that I haven't had any problems with on my systems, but it leaves open an area of interest for further discussion as these issues are more critical between very diverse computer architectures.  My AMD APU with Radeon HD Graphics is generally very common and trouble free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RandyE said:

For example, your screen at 1920x1080 is a 4:3 frame aspect ratio

1920x1080 or full HD is pretty much exclusively widescreen. It doesn't have to be 16:9 either, I believe my monitors are 16:10, whereas my TV is 16:9, both with the same resolution.

1 hour ago, RandyE said:

SimCity 4 was deisgned to be optimized at a 4:3 ratio which was the size of most physical screens at the time it was developed. There is some distortion in using a ratio outside the 4:3, but I would say its an improvement visually.

Perhaps, but it was also made reasonably future proof. Bear in mind, using a 4:3 ratio on a 16:9 (or other widescreen) display would look terrible. Just as using a widescreen resolution on a non-widescreen display (although unlikely to be supported by your hardware). SC4 does an excellent job displaying up to x1200 width displays. But anything higher is where problems come in.

1 hour ago, RandyE said:

The language setting simply confirms what is already set by default so is not necessary, but I use it to ensure that the locale is consistent given that I have 3 different language folders that have different versions of English. (UK, CA, and US).

Actually all these commands only need to be set once. Unless you change them in the menus or with a new command. In theory, having ran the game once, you can remove them all and everything will remain the same.

1 hour ago, RandyE said:

The game was designed for Windows XP/Vista, so in terms of best performance and least conflict it makes sense to run it in the Win XP virtual machine.

In theory, but in practise, it's totally unnecessary. Try it, I assure you, nothing changes. Windows might detect it that way, but it's totally unnecessary, the code runs just fine on all Windows versions, even 10 without compatibility mode enabled. Not to mention, compatibility mode is not a VM by a long shot. It just adjusts some things for better compatibility with legacy apps. But that doesn't mean all legacy apps require it to work. In short, SC4 is reliant on DirectX, the compatibility layers are embedded in the latest versions of it. The real problem most users face is that their hardware or the drivers for them don't support some legacy features. None of that is solved by using compatibility mode.

1 hour ago, RandyE said:

My AMD APU with Radeon HD Graphics is generally very common and trouble free.

It really depends on the specific hardware. For the longest time the Intel equivalent didn't work with DirectX. Thankfully fixed eventually with a driver update from Intel. I think the issue is more common on newer high-end dedicated boards. Because to make things work better with newer games, sometimes it comes at the cost of legacy support. In most of those cases, anecdotally, older drivers seem to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • @RandyE, @rsc204: What a lesson in computereze ! Gentlemen, I'm awed ! I think yours posts may answer my needs but it's going to take more than a little while.
    RandyE's link to the command parameters is something I have being looking for, too bat that many images are missing, but it will do.
    @CorinaMarie: sorry for not answering your comment. And yeah, the 8.1 is more un-frendly than impressive. It takes a while to get around it, but it seems to be the best Windows since XP, according to three sites with "best windows" threads or topics.

    So for the time being, an enormous thanks.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    5 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    Try it, I assure you, nothing changes. Windows might detect it that way, but it's totally unnecessary, the code runs just fine on all Windows versions, even 10 without compatibility mode enabled.

    Okay I've disabled compatibility mode, and its running the same.  I'll keep it in Win 8.1 mode.   I think there was a specific reason why I decided to run it in Win XP(3) mode other than considering it an optimal setting, but can't remember.  We'll discuss if anything unusual comes up.  I'll monitor system performance and temperature to see if anything changes.

    1 hour ago, huzman said:

    So for the time being, an enormous thanks.

    Let us know how it goes and if any issues come up. 

    Here is some info quoted from SC4 Devotion from Tarkus in regard to the patches for SC4 and what they do. 

    Re: Looking For SC4Update4BAT.exe (BAT Night Lights Fix)

    « Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 11:45:27 PM »
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "There's several different version numbers out there:

    1.0.x - This is pre-Rush Hour/Deluxe SC4 ("SC4 Vanilla")
    1.1.610 - This is the version of SC4 as installed directly from the original retail CDs.
    1.1.613 - Some retail copies purchased outside the US have this version number.
    1.1.638 - This is the version of SC4 after the EP1 patch has been applied.
    1.1.640 - This is the version number after the nightlight patch is installed.
    1.1.641 - This is the version number of the Steam version and other official digital downloads.  This version has all the fixes included in 1.1.638 and 1.1.640 applied.

    As far as the copyright/distribution issues, they're a controversial subject in the SC4 community as a whole, especially when certain words are invoked."

    -Alex (Tarkus)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also when applying the EP1 patch the correct SKU must be selected for the region you live in.  eg. SKU 1 is North America

    http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?page=16

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, huzman said:

    but it seems to be the best Windows since XP

    No, no, no... Windows 7 has the superior interface if you ask me. Why do so many Win 8 and 10 users install addons to make it more like Win 7? Not to mention it's a cut above XP for stability/reliability and security.

    Of course the real problem for the non-techie is how to keep an old OS safe. That means for many the inevitability of upgrading when support runs out for their current OS. Frankly if you are putting up with windows 8, I'd have taken the free Win 10 upgrade whilst it was on offer. Because you might dislike the snooping, but if you've updated 7/8, you have that anyway. So if the interface isn't a barrier, you might as well be up to date.

    Of course this is subjective, Win 10 brings a whole host of other problems, not least enforced updates. Which whilst I agree with in principle to protect people, MS shouldn't be able to decide if I can use my computer or not at a given time. I've seen a friends machine take 2 hours to "update", meantime he couldn't do anything to use it. The really stupid thing, it wasn't even updating at that point, merely downloading the updates. That sort of crap is never coming to my machines, ever. Unless MS want to buy my next computer at least.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • 4 hours ago, RandyE said:

    Let us know how it goes and if any issues come up

    I'm happy to report that so far so good. I installed SC4D on my 8.1 machine and ran it. No plugins at all, nor any any non-default regions. Good, no problems. Then, I copied my plugins and my regions from the 640 to my new 641, and ran it again. Good, no problems. After, I filled the SC4.exe with your suggested parameters. Went back into SC4 and... Lo and Behold ! everything is peachy ! including the odd 1366x768 resolution.

    God bless you guys and dolls.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an Account  

    Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  

    Register a New Account

    Sign In  

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    ×

    Help Keep Simtropolis Online, Open & Free!

    stexcollection-header.png

    Would you be able to help us catch up after a bit of a shortfall?

    We had a small shortfall last month. Your donation today would help us catch up for this month.

    Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

    We need to continue to raise enough money each month to pay for expenses which includes hardware, bandwidth, software licenses, support licenses and other necessary 3rd party costs.

    By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

    Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

    Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

    More About STEX Collections