You can always find the latest system specifications at thesims2.com by clicking here
If you have a T&L capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM then you need at least:
* 800 MHz P3 processor
* 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 2000
* At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
If you have a non-T&L capable video card (such as Intel Extreme Graphics or Radeon 7000/VE Series) then you need at least:
* 2.0 GHz processor
* 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98, or Windows 2000
* At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
Supported video cards (and the more video memory the better):
* ATI Radeon™ series (7000 or better):
- Radeon VE Series (non-T&L - requires 2.0 GHz processor)
- Radeon 7000 (non-T&L - requires 2.0 GHz processor)
- Radeon 7200, 7500
- Radeon 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500
- Radeon 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800
- Radeon X300, X600, X800
* Nvidia® Quadro™ series:
- Quadro, Quadro2, Quadro4
* Nvidia® Geforce series (GeForce2 and better):
- GeForce3, 3 Ti
- GeForce4, 4Ti, MX 420, 440
- GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950
- GeForce 6600, 6800
* Intel® Extreme Graphics (non-T&L - requires 2.0 GHz processor)
- 82845, 82865, 82915
Requirements for The Sims 2 University expansion pack (differences with the original game's requirements):
* At least 1 GB of additional hard drive space
Requirements for The Sims 2 Nightlife and Open for Business expansion packs (differences with the original game's requirements):
* 1000 MHz (1 GHz) processor with a T&L capable video card
* 2.4 Ghz processor or better with a non-T&L capable video card (such as Intel® Extreme Graphics cards)
* At least 1.5 GB of additional hard drive space
* The ATi Radeon VE and ATi Radeon 7000, 7200 and 7500 models are no longer supported!
From the nVidia
Transform & Lighting (T&L) definition: Two separate engines on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) that provide for a powerful, balanced PC platform and enable extremely high polygon count scenes. Transform performance determines how complex objects can be and how many can appear in a scene without sacrificing frame rate. Lighting techniques add to a scene's realism by changing the appearance of objects based on light sources.
Some other notes about video cards:
T&L video cards started shipping since around 2002, so if you got your computer in the last couple of years you should check and see if you have a T&L card.
It's always a good idea to make sure you have the most current drivers for your video cards. The manufacturers usually have the video drivers on their sites for you to download. Please see the first answer in this question
for help with updating the drivers.
You can check if your computer meets the system requirements using the TS2 System Requirements Doctor
(SimPrograms, scroll to the bottom), or the Sims 2 Requirements Checker
(ServoPro) tools. They check your computer and see if it will run the Sims 2. Microsoft's Game Advisor
might also help in telling you whether your computer is good enough to run the Sims.
Finally, to check which graphics card you have, do the following:
- Click Start, then Run
- Enter "dxdiag" (omit the quotes)
- Click the "Run..." button
- Wait for DXDiag to load. Then go to the Display tab. This will show you the necessary information.
DXDiag is provided with DirectX. If the application doesn't run, install DirectX from www.microsoft.com/directx
Graphics cards not listed above are not supported by the Sims 2 (although cards newer than those mentioned are quite likely to work). If you have such a card, especially if it's a few years old, use the above tools to see The Sims 2 might work. If you're still not sure, it might help to borrow the game to try it out, then buy it if it does run properly. Depending on the return policy of your shop, you can also buy it and check if it runs, then return the game if it doesn't. Check with your local retailer for more information about that.
Question and part of this answer provided by the official site
Answer updated 3 January. Topic cleaned up as well.