Best gba flashcart?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by 3bbb7, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I have a Gameboy advance SP and want to pick up a flashcard for it. Preferably one that uses MicroSD and can play games at full speed (pokemon, golden sun, etc)

    What is the best one? are they even still being produced?
     
  2. soulrazor

    soulrazor GBAtemp Regular

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  3. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    dang thats really expensive. thats the price I paid for my dstwo. thanks for the reply, I might get it soon
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Best.
    Three way fight between various types of EZ3, M3 and either the G6 or a 1024Mbit EZ2.
    Chances of finding one nowadays are not good at all.

    Right now GBA flash carts amount to
    EZ4
    Fire cards
    Supercards.

    The EZ4, especially if you can get the lite deluxe version and do not mind case modding it, is about the only real option. Fire cards top out at 256Mbit or 32 megabytes but you will be lucky to find one than 16 megabytes in size and supercards are generally bad, if you are offered one as "just pay for shipping" or "buy us a beer and..." then sure but otherwise I would not. Supercard compatibility is not great (every other flash cart is usually* apply a simple patch and if it fits it plays), I hover between 70 and 80% with slowdowns in several and that 70-80% does miss out several things, this is also why despite them not being made in several years you can still find them.

    * http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995 for every game that troubles most things that are not a supercard, also good for the EZ4 which is what your only real option is. This does include some potential issues for pokemon as there is no RTC support (RTC was not used on many games so it was dropped for the EZ4), there are patches that do quite well though (growing berries is the main issue but there are cheats for a reason).

    Back on the EZ4 though.
    There are 4 models though you will tend to only have a pick of two.
    1) The original EZ4.
    2) The EZ4 lite deluxe.

    If by some chance you find a EZ4 lite compact, M3 professional or supercard rumble then do not buy them as their GBA capabilities are limited or nonexistent in the case of the rumble.

    The original EZ4 is GBA cart sized, uses miniSD (and you do want a miniSD rather than an adapter) and generally works.
    The EZ4 lite deluxe is DS lite dust cover shaped (though you can mod the case a bit and have it fit in a normal sized GBA slot), uses microSD (up to 2 gigs) and has a bit more memory so you can play any game from PSRAM and it also has a bit more NOR. Just to round it up the EZ4 lite was almost DS lite GBA slot sized, used microSD and was otherwise the same as the original EZ4.

    On PSRAM and NOR.
    GBA games require fast memory to run, supercards do not have memory that is up to snuff for all games hence the issues with them and similarly NAND memory (which is the stuff that SD cards, USB drives and the like use) is too slow so things get catapulted onto fast memory to be run on the GBA (it is why the carts are more expensive than the likes of the DS, also why emulation of GBA games from the DS slot is troublesome).
    The original EZ4 has 16 megabytes of PSRAM (aka 128Mbit) and 32 megabytes (aka 256Mbit) of NOR.
    The EZ4 lite deluxe has 32 megabytes of PSRAM and 48 megabytes of NOR.
    The largest GBA games are 32 megabytes, there are not many of those (I have a list on the link) and most things top out at 16 megabytes so the original EZ4 can fit any dumped game and likely any hacked games in the future. Said games being so small also means the lack of SDHC (if it is above 2 gigs consider it SDHC) is not quite so troublesome as it might be if you faced the same restriction for the DS.

    The EZ4 was probably discontinued after being brought back for a final run in 2009 I think it was. They stuck around for a while but for the better part of a year we saw wither a run on them or at least a lot of interest, a subsequent lack of stock in many places and then a bit of price gouging. Someone then found a crate of them or the EZTeam were coaxed back into making so a few shops have them again ( http://www.realhotstuff.hk/EZ-Flash-IV-_p_76.html and http://www.realhotstuff.com/EZ-Flash-iV_p_76.html being an example, before you ask .hk is Hong Kong where .com is somewhere in the US and tends to ship a bit faster).

    The EZ4 lite deluxe is a bit harder to find. http://shop.01media.com/brand.asp?ID=434 is about the only place I know of that still does them.

    How this will change as time goes on... who knows. Nobody has yet stepped up and said they are making a proper GBA flash cart as has happened on many other systems though and I would not feel confident putting money down on it happening any time too soon.

    Alternatives
    There is the k101 which is a proper clone of the GBA (less GB/GBC which by the way you will need to emulate on basically every GBA flash cart, that is OK though as goomba and goomba color are great). As with most clones it did not exceed the original and there are a few issues here and there but it got very close.

    If you have a DS then you can buy an expansion pack (the EZ 3 in 1 being the best option for most). Here you run a program on your DS slot flash cart and manage it from there. Compatibility wise it is the same as the original EZ4.
     
    Another World and 3bbb7 like this.
  5. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Thank you for the info. I no longer have a ds lite so I would only use the original one. I have the expansion pack ezflash thing, but its ds lite only, and it's only the expansion pack, no games without slot2.
    I have a 3DS (and a dstwo at that) but I'd prefer to play the games on my gba sp for nostalgia and just because it plays better.
    So I will end up going with the EZ4.
     
  6. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    by "expansion pack ezflash thing" do you mean the 3in1? you can use it on a gba, but you need a method to flash the NOR. you would also need to mod it to fit into your gba. the easiest way is to cut off the tab and insert it with something that will allow you to pull it back out again, like a bit of ribbon. while this is an option, you would probably be better off grabbing an ez4 before they disappear.

    -another world
     
  7. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Yeah I have the 3in1 how would I do the NOR flashing? How does that allow me to play games on it?
    thanks
     
  8. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    nor is non-volatile, meaning it will hold the flashed game after the power is shut off. it essentially acts like a gba cartridge. you would need a ds lite/phat to flash it using a tool like gba exploader. i'm not saying its a good option, but it is an option.

    -another world
     
  9. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I have a ds phat but sadly the upper screen is pretty much destroyed, only hanging on to the bottom one by a little string wire thing. So it doesnt work. Do you know if I can use gba exploader without the upper screen?

    EDIT just realized I can use a friends ds lite to do it. I can use my dstwo to get the game onto it and just plug it into my gba sp, the only problem is that I have no idea how to work gba exploader to do that. is it easy to do it or are there tutorials anywhere?
     
  10. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    i haven't used it in years, but as i recall the top screen was the directory listing only. it may have also held the progress bar for flashing. maybe if you have 1 thing in root you could pull this off without a top screen. just be aware that nor flashing can take up to a few minutes. so if you try this you may want to wait like 15 min before you power off. if something goes wrong and you need to blank the nor, you'll have a hard time doing so without a working top screen.

    yes, many. all 1 google search away.

    -another world
     
  11. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I cut the edges of the ezflash so I can fit it into my gba without a ribbon or anything but I cant get it into my ds phat, it wont click in. idk why so Ill have to borrow a ds lite

    and thanks I'll look for a tutorial

    how is this btw?
    http://www.k1gba.com/
     
  12. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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  13. Lemmy Koopa

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

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    Really? I remember cards costing nearly 100 dollars back then. 40 is pretty cheap imo.

    Best "Available": EZ4
    Best of all time: M3 Perfect
     
  14. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    i paid $145 for my flash2advance. it can only hold 2 games at a time or 1 nice pocketnes compilation. $40 for a kit is a steal.

    -another world
     
  15. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I only joined the flashcart scene in about 2008-2009 when I got my first acekard 2i (for ds obviously)
    I was just saying its expensive because I can play gba games on my 3ds on my dstwo (which can do more and also $40). Id prefer to play on a gba though, guess I just am new to this part of the flashcard area :P
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Generally DS flash carts are the exception as far as price goes when it comes to hacking oriented devices that have to actually contain a reasonable amount of processing power or memory. Some of the console chips are pretty inexpensive but when they are basic pics and similarly low powered devices it does not matter so much.
     
  17. 3bbb7
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    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I flashed the nor and the game works perfect on the ds lite that I tested it on, without my dstwo inserted, but it wont work with my gba sp, I chipped off the edge part so it fits and you can hear that it goes all the way into the gba but it wont boot the game. Just shows the GAMEBOY logo and nothing else :/

    EDIT wasnt pushing the card all the way in, works fine now, just requires some effort to get the card out