Castlevania: DoS and microSDHC

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by The Jackal, Apr 25, 2009.

Apr 25, 2009
  1. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    Hi all!
    I'm wondering what the requirements are to successfully run Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (and probably PoR and TWEWY as well) in terms of readspeed.
    My setup is as follows:
    * DS Lite
    * M3 DS REAL - Sakura 1.35 EUR
    * Sandisk microSDHC 4 GB (Class 2)

    By browsing the forum regarding this matter, the one conclusion that hits me is simply: chaos. Everyone reports this card works and that card works, though some people reports the opposite.

    When I first received my Sandisk I formatted it in Windows (Explorer). The intromovie for DoS had some strange noises that kept repeating in the background (like a bass) and the video was quite choppy during some fireball being tossed and a girl doing a whirlwind. The game then randomly froze at various points while playing. I reached a point (Puppet Master boss) where I was unable to advance at all, when I entered the room there was no music and it always froze when I exited the room when the boss was defeated.
    To circumvent this issue, I loaded up my save in no$gba, beat the boss, exited the room and saved. Then converted the no$gba save using Shuny's online converter and transferred it back to the Sandisk. Atleast now I could continue. But it still froze every now and then.

    What I did then was backing everything up and..
    Formatted my Sandisk using Panasonic SD Formatter, it improved the playback of the intro, but it still freezes randomly (but less often).
    I then formatted using Run -> diskmgmt.msc -> FAT 32K, and this gives similar playback as that of Panasonic.

    However, I still had an old backup of the save just before the Puppet Master boss which I tried on the DS after formatting using the above methods, and now the music played during the fight, and I could beat him and exit the room without the game freezing. So formatting using either Panasonic or via Run -> diskmgmt.msc (not sure which helped me out) improved the playback of the game (even the intro is less glitchy). But it does randomly freeze to a point where it's a rather paranoid experience playing the game.

    So I thought, let's do a benchmark of the actual speed of the Sandisk-card.

    HD Tach (Long bench 32mb zones), and here are the results:
    Random access: 1.1ms
    CPU utilization: 4% (+/- 2%)
    Average read: 17,9 MB/s

    Simply put, does my Sandisk not meet the requirements for running Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow? What kind of speed is required, and will I meet these conditions (or atleast surpass my Sandisk-results) if I buy a Transcend microSDHC 4 GB (Class 6)?
    I don't get it, if the readspeed is almost 18mb per second, and the actual game (rom) is 64MB, it should theoretically read/stream the information from the game without problems. But there's probably more technical lingo to it, killing my conclusion..

    The Transcend-card is pretty much the only one I can get my hands on domestically, A-Data and Kingston Japan is out of my reach unless I want to import.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DeltaBurnt

    Member DeltaBurnt I'm bored

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    Hmm...well I have a Kingston 4 GB Micro SDHC card (Taiwan) and it is perfect. I have like no lag at all, nothing.

    I would suggest getting a Kingston, because from what I've heard and from my own experience Kingstons are the best compatible with the M3 Real. But make sure yours is from Taiwan or Japan, because the ones from China are fakes.

    My Kingston 4GB SDHC (Taiwan) is perfect, I have had no random freezes or slowdowns with any of my games (and that's alot). (I think I just got really lucky because when I bought my card I had no idea which ones worked well with the M3 Real)
     
  3. Rayder

    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    It is my understanding that you need a microSD capable of 0.7ms response time or better to play PoR crash free. I don't know what cards have such a speed though.
     
  4. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    You have not encountered any problems with games such as DoS, PoR or TWEWY? Since from what I've heard, these are the most troublesome ones.
    Buying a Kingston from a well-known retailer should give me one from Taiwan/Japan right?

    Edit:
    The Kingston-card you have, is it a Class 4 and looks like this:
    http://www.electrobee.com/images/images_bi...gston4gb_01.jpg
     
  5. DeltaBurnt

    Member DeltaBurnt I'm bored

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    TWEWY works fine except for the crash at the beginning (which is the M3 Real's fault, not my card) other than that everything is perfect.

    And yes my kingston is class 4, it looks like that but it under the HC it has a few string of numbers and letters and under that it has "TAIWAN".

    I can't exactly remember where I got mine but it came with a reader and a SD converter and a SDHC converter. I found it on google.
     
  6. Finishoff

    Member Finishoff GBAtemp Fan

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    Well I have a Kingston 4 GB MicroSDHC class 4 purchased from Newegg and it has problems playing Castlevania: POR and a few other titles, with constant freezing on some parts and area.
     
  7. Rayder

    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    Yeah, PoR is the one to test a card with, it's infamous for locking up if the microSD isn't fast enough. DoS usually "just works" with just about any microSD and only the opening vid may stutter on slower ones.
     
  8. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    Oh man.. where do I go from here [​IMG]
    None of the swedish retailers has a Kingston with a Japan/Taiwan-logo on it. They all look like the one I posted a pic of. Though I did e-mail a store and asked where their cards are manufactured, waiting for the reply.. but since it's no guarantee it'll work, referring to Finishoff.

    So what's the better choice here, the Transcend microSDHC 4 GB (Class 6) or the Kingston microSDHC 4GB (Class 4) (without Japan/Taiwan-logo)..?
     
  9. xjenova

    Member xjenova GBAtemp Regular

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    I would say go with the Transcend. I recently acquired one and i am very satisfied with it. It played the intro movie of the game very smoothly compared to my old Kingston 2GB made in Japan, and although i didnt test it much in-game, i am pretty sure it will run it just fine. Also, i tested it with portrait of ruin which is a very problematic game in that it will freeze often when using the teleports if used on some cards (including my old SD card) and it worked wonders for the few minutes of play i had. From the info i have gathered so far, transcend is one of the better cards in terms of access times (A-data being the first one followed by a toshiba). It has an access time of .9 ms and here is a link if you wish to check other cards:

    http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/index.ht...-cards-sdu.html

    You need to check the c't h2benchw access [ms] (AVG.) column to see the card's average access time.

    I purchased the card from amazon for about 10 dollars. The shipping was supposed to cost about 5 dollars but for some reason they didnt charge me the shipping cost. Maybe because it's half the product's price?
     
  10. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    That settles it. I will order a Transcend microSDHC 4 GB (Class 6), cross my fingers and hope for the best. Thanks for the info regarding Castlevania and the informative chart! [​IMG]
     
  11. Domo

    Newcomer Domo Member

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    FYI, I own a Trancend 8gig class 6 MicroSDHC and I get a white screen when trying to load this particular rom. I've attempted various other sites from different release groups but the issue persists. I don't know if you'll have the same issue with a 4 gig class 6, but considering they're the same brand I wanted to give you the heads up.

    On a somewhat similar note though, if anyone has also experienced a white screen when trying to load the rom and has found a way to get around it, I would greatly appreciate any insight in how you did as much.
     
  12. Finishoff

    Member Finishoff GBAtemp Fan

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    Well I have the Kingston 4 GB micro SDHC with the "Taiwan" logo on it and it doe freeze while playing POR (using Sakura up to date)
     
  13. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    Well I sure hope this won't be the case for me, but I feel bad for you [​IMG] This is something that bothers me, it feels completely random. I don't get it. Obviously, there are significant differencies in speed between different brands, that's called competition. But even within the same brand, the very same product, results may vary from one card to the other. I've read reports back and forth on these boards. I can only hope for the best when I receive my Transcend microSDHC 4GB Class6, since I've already ordered one.

    I went to a local electronics store the other day and asked if they had an old SD-card lying around somewhere that I could borrow, and they did. It was a Transcend microSD, 128MB, enough to fit the card with TouchPod and the Castlevania: DoS-rom. The intro actually ran smoother on the 128MB card than on my Sandisk 4GB microSDHC Class 2, the video played without any slowdowns, but the audio had some crackling noises (same noises as that of my Sandisk, but less frequently), so it was far from perfect and the game did eventually freeze randomly while playing. But considering this card's way old I thought "the brand is obviously better, hopefully todays technology and Class6-rated incarnations will do the job". But with that said, it appears to be russian roulette even with todays standards.

    As a sidenote regarding Castlevania, I only use roms verified via CRC to be released by the scene, as I consider these to be professionally dumped roms, and if they're not, they get nuked with a replacement soon to follow. I've tried both regions of Castlevania: DoS, and the EURO-version 'works' for me (atleast to a point, considering this thread). The US-rom always froze completely for me during the intro, with insane videoglitches and audiostatics. Maybe you should try the European version if you haven't already.
     
  14. wchill

    Member wchill Resident chillxpert

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    This is the reason why I love my Acekard RPG and the fast onboard memory. No lag whatsoever.
     
  15. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    Yeah well, good for you.
     
  16. apoc_reg

    Newcomer apoc_reg Member

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    PoR is the more problematic one. I had to upgrade to a Sandisk ultra card to get it to not freeze
     
  17. Finishoff

    Member Finishoff GBAtemp Fan

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    Yeah I'm about to switch to a different micro sdhc, can anyone direct link me to a good micro sd card online?
     
  18. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    From which card did you upgrade, could you be specific regarding brand, size and class?
     
  19. The Jackal
    OP

    The Jackal Newbie

    I am happy to report that I was able to get 100% exploration and collected every single soul in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (U) on my Transcend microSDHC 4GB (Class 6) without a single freeze.
    Although, progressing through the game, some 'areas' (The Garden of Madness and The Condemned Tower) had its theme-music replaced by loud low-frequency statics, this happened three times during the game. Solution to this problem was simply exit the area (via the door that connects the different areas), close the lid of the DS, wait 5 seconds and re-enter the area and everything's good. Something I can definately live with, three minor issues on my 20 hour gamesave [​IMG] The main issue I had with freezes on my Sandisk microSDHC 4GB (Class 2) was gone on the Transcend. Thumbs up.

    The intro for PoR ran flawlessly, I don't know if there ever was a problem with the PoR-intro, but considering DoS-intro is famous for being glitchy, I might as well report.

    Also, I did a "stress-test" or whatever you want to call it, using Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
    The test was to stress the game and force it to freeze. I've read a few reports of this game freezing while doing certain actions inside the game.

    Test 1) Pressing START to enter the inventory, then exit using START. I did this continuously for like a minute = PASS, no freezing.
    Test 2) Teleport back and forth between teleporters continuously, I only had the patience for doing so like 20 times = PASS, no freezing.
    Test 3) Talk to the guy with missions/talk to the guy selling stuff. Talk; close; talk; close etc. etc. etc. = PASS, no freezing.
    Test 4) Enter an area and exit the area (go from one screen to the other), right; left; right; left and so forth. I did this so fast that the screen actually
    flickered between screens/areas = PASS, no freezing.

    There you have it, and hopefully it can be of some use to people experiencing the issues I once had.

    And a big THANKS goes out to everyone who helped me [​IMG]
     

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