eli5: Why is it when sims 3 (for the PC) freezes, the diamonds above their heads still spin/their “zzz”s keep moving, and the grass moves when everything is frozen?

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eli5: Why is it when sims 3 (for the PC) freezes, the diamonds above their heads still spin/their “zzz”s keep moving, and the grass moves when everything is frozen?

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This is because the computer has not frozen, only the game has – and it hasn’t really *frozen* either. The game is performing some process that your machine is taking time doing. Usually this is due to resource constraints (not enough or fast enough RAM or slow CPU).

Sims 3 is two-threaded program, which means its code is split into two parts. With multicore CPU, this two parts can run simultaneously on different cores.

One part simulates the world and passes the results to the second part. The second part does graphics and animation (and probably some other stuff).

Because the parts are semi-independent, it is possible for one part to freeze, while the other still runs fine. It seems that in your case the simulation part had frozen, while the graphics part still runs – so it just forever loops the animations it received last.