The article is filled with tales of people with 1.5GHz+ machines with a gig or more of RAM running into severe slowdowns. This from a game with minimum system requirements of a 500MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM. A guy with an Athlon XP 1900+ and 1.5GB of memory said that once his city hit a population of 5,000, things got "so [sluggish] he could no longer enjoy it." Is 5,000 people even a city, really? I guess SimRelativelySmallTown doesn't roll off the tongue as well.
My favorite quote was from Jennifer Olsen, editor-in-chief of Game Developer magazine, who said:
"Given the infinite combination of PC hardware and software components available and the unfeasibility of testing for every theoretical configuration, printed system requirements can't and shouldn't be taken as gospel. . . ."
Umm, OK, I'll buy that to an extent, but does that explanation really stretch all the way from 500MHz/128MB RAM to a 1900+ and 1.5GB? If you've actually played this game, feel free to comment on its performance. Since I haven't played it myself, I can only speculate, but based on the fact that performance seems to hit a wall at a certain population, it sounds like plain bad programming to me.