Hacking ATTN: All N-Card + clone owners

Kniteshade

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Attention all long time owners of the N-Card, DSLinker, Fire Card, etc. I bring curious news.

I own a DSLinker, and have owned it since '06 now. It has served me well. It's only broken down on me...once.

But I think I've discovered something interesting. I've noticed my card lag.

Which is odd, it's never ever lag on any game from the time I bought it to the present. It's not that the game lags through the entire thing but only in certain parts.

The game in question is: Puzzle Series Volume 5: Slitherlink (JPN). An 8MB puzzle game. Of all games, wtf indeed.

On the Most Difficult setting, where you have like 30x20something squares, and you're near completion, the game lags and it's very apparent.

I have a theory. I think read/write speeds decrease after a large amount of writing and rewriting files to the card. Or the speeds decrease as the card starts getting full. These are flash memories only after all. Even SSD read/write speeds decrease without the TRIM feature.

I propose all long time owners to test out my theory. If you are able to, find a copy of PSV5 Slitherlink, create a new game, click the first option, then the lowest option (it should only have 50 puzzles), and try any puzzles from the bottom 3 rows. And report back if you get laggy touch screen input when you're near completion.
 

Apache Thunder

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This card and all other current solid state storage devices use a flash chip of some kind. MicroSD, MiniSD, CompactFlash...all that uses some kind of flash chip to store data and rewrite it.

Thus, this is going to eventually die as a flash chip has a rewrite limit. Usually 50,000+ rewrites or so. Maybe 100,000+ for higher quality cards. The N-Card is no different. It uses a flash chip so it has this limitation too. I don't know much behind the technology itself. But perhaps when the cards start to get close to their limit, they slow down.

Also know that even chips of the same brand and model could end up having different lifetimes. It's an underling fault of the technology itself, but is not entirely a predictable one. So not all cards would have the same amount of re-writes before dieing. But what is known that they will eventually stop working after so many rewrites.

This is why solid state hard-drives haven't taken over the market yet. You boot an OS like WinXP/Vista/Win7 off a flash drive and the write count will go through the roof very quickly.
 

Apache Thunder

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Well in practical terms, the only time a write occurs on a flashcart is when a game saves it's save game data. It depends on how hardcore you are with the thing. If you use it for homebrew, the write count might be lower depending on the kind of software you use.

For games, the write count will be higher. Especially if you play games on it often that use save games. But 50,000+ write limit is still quite high and it would take a very long time to reach that ceiling. How old is your N-Card/AKPRG? How often do you play games on it? How often do you put new games on it? How often does your games save their save game data? This all factors into it. My rough guess is that these cards would last 10 years maybe with average gaming use. Heavy use might mean shorter lifetimes, But there's no way of knowing.

If your card suddenly stops working, then you know. Flash chips become completely unreadable after hitting the limit from what I hear. I've had a 64mb MicroSD card fail on me for no apparent reason. It's one I found in an old cellphone that has been through god's know what, so it could have been old for all I know. 64mb is quite small compared to most MicroSD cards in use today.
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So I think that once a flash based chip hits the limit, it stops working entirely.
 

wchill

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Once the flash gets written to enough times, it becomes read-only, at least that's what I've heard with SSDs.
Don't know about N-Card because never used it. AKRPG works fine.
 

bialy_gibson

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My DS Linker is in constant use since 2007 (lots of rewriting data), never had problems with slowdowns. It is probably game issue.
 

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