Cheapest GBA flashcard

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by mgrev, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. mgrev
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    mgrev Music Addict, Video Game Fanatic

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    Hi, i saw some ebay auctions of ds lites with broken top screen, and im looking into GBA modding one (removing the top screen and replacing it with and LED) and since i dont have any GBA/GB games at all, i'm wondering what is the cheapest flashcard and where to buy it. if it turns out too expensive ill probably buy something like super mario advance 3 from ebay
    EDIT: here's the part one of the tutorial
     
    Last edited by mgrev, Oct 10, 2015
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  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Cheapest that will function. Probably the fire cards though be careful not to get one that needs a GBA serial port to program.

    Cheapest that might do. EZ 3 in 1 if the DS slot still works and you can run the flashing programs on the bottom screen.

    Cheapest I would suggest. EZ4. It is a standalone GBA cart, it supports SDHC, here are the trouble games and fixes for them http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995
    There are a few versions of the EZ4 -- the EZ4 original, the EZ4 lite (more or less DS lite dust cover size), the EZ4 lite compact (more on that in a moment), the EZ4 lite deluxe and the new GBA sized microSD SDHC model. All support SDHC now but the last one is the newest version -- http://gbatemp.net/threads/new-ez4-sdhc-in-house-at-gbatemp.381182/
    For what you want it is the best bet and only thing you really should be suggested, however I thought I would fill out the list just in case.

    Wildcard. If you can find an old neoflash GBA cart then there are worse options. I do still see them from time to time but for the money most seem to want I would go an EZ4 instead.

    Crazy man. One of the really nice legacy cards like a M3 perfect, EZ3 or possibly EZ2. If you find something really old then do some reading and make sure it flashes via a linker or the cart itself as the DS does not have a GBA serial port on it and several older carts used that.

    Cart I would not suggest. Anything supercard -- if it is not a supercard rumble it will play some GBA games, possibly with slowdowns and generally being annoying where the others that are not a supercard clone or the very first GBA flash carts will instead play things in "if there is slowdown then it was there in the original game" form. Likewise the m3 professional and EZ4 lite compact have limited capabilities for running GBA games.
     
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  3. mgrev
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    As i am not going to spend much money on this and not knowing anything about gba flashcards, what card uses micro sd?
     
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  4. mgrev
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    anyhow, im not really into gba (if i want to i'll just buy some from ebay) and the flashcards i found on shoptemp were 17 dollars (i know it's not too much, but i use a prepaid visa card, and i dont want to spend a lot of money), so i might just use some nes/snes emulator on it if i want to play
     
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  5. VinsCool

    VinsCool Disgusted

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    Just get an EZ-Flash 4

    I got mine for 25$, used, but working great :)
     
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  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The GBA SNES emulators are not great (no sound, fewer buttons, quite a few issues). If a game was ported to the GBA (either from SNES, PCE/TG16 or megadrive/genesis) it is a far better bet. NES emulation is not bad but the GBA resolution is lower than the NES and thus you have issues for some games.

    " im not really into gba (if i want to i'll just buy some from ebay)"
    Do you mean the hardware or the games? Because a lot of the good games command a decent price these days.

    Not sure what you might have seen for 17 USD, probably some kind of 3 in 1. If you had a fully working DS lite I would suggest that but as you might not then I would have reservations.

    If you want a shop a bit closer to home http://www.shop01media.com/en/EZ-Flash is a former sponsor of here and is otherwise held in high regard. A bit pricier but closer if you want that sort of thing (they even price in NOK if you want).

    Edit. Forgot the first question.
    The 3 in 1 will function as a single game type thing but for the most part just runs off the back of a DS slot flash cart and uses the storage there for games and saves. No microSD unless you DS flash cart has it.

    The EZ4 has those 5 models. All except the original GBA size one use microSD, the original GBA size one (which did see a new batch made in late 2013) use miniSD and I should note the adapters have caused no end of trouble for a lot of people. The EZTeam then made a new revision (I linked the first impressions thread) earlier this year which is full size GBA slot size (the others are smaller or a clone of the dust cover) but uses microSD instead. They also released a software update before then to allow all models to use SDHC type memory as well.
    The main difference is the EZ4 lite deluxe (which is a copy of the DS lite dust cover) has slightly more onboard memory -- GBA games need fast memory to run (which is why some are limited and the supercard is not good as its memory is not good). In this case the deluxe has 256Mbit to the rest's 128Mbit (16 megabytes) of PSram which is used as RAM tends to be (written and data lost with the power) and 384 (48 megabytes) of NOR to the rest's 256 Mbit (32 megabytes). The trouble games list from earlier also has a list of all games greater than 128Mbit which is not that many at all really. NOR is slow to write and has some quirks (write files 1,2,3 and 4 and to remove 2 you will also have to remove 3 and 4) but it stays when you lose power.

    Years ago there was some choice. Today it boils down to
    Do you have a DS and just want some good GBA times?
    If so consider a 3 in 1.
    Do you have a GBA or want a more standalone affair?
    In that case great, you get to find someone to sell you an EZ4.

    Both are a tiny bit lacking compared to the height of the GBA era but they will both play basically all there is on the GBA and you will be hard pressed to do any better anyway.
     
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  7. mgrev
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    I think you misunderstood me. i meant a ds flashcard with emulators on using the bottom screen(i newly ordered a R4i sdhc dual core) but i might buy the ez flash 3 in 1 unless i find a used ez flash iv for 25$ or less
     
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  8. regnad

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    I have a Supercard Lite in my DS Lite, which is the size of the Slot-2 cover, so that's a big plus. In my GBA Micro I have an EZF4. In my DSi XL/3DS XL I have a SC DSTwo.

    The DSTwo emulator is imperfect, but it's the only Slot-1 emulator that is worth using (as well as the SNES emulator, which is the only one in Slot-1 or 2 worth using). For playing specifically GBA on a Slot-1 emulator, you're going to regret any other choice. Plus of course you can use it for DS, NES, and GB/GBC, and it's compatible with 3DS.

    The SC Lite, if you can find it, is great, but doesn't work with SDHC. That's for the most part okay since you can get quite a few GBA games on a 2gig SD card. The downside with this one, as well as the EZF4, is that you can only run GB/GBC by greating GBA files with Goomba, and if you want to add a new one to your file you have to create a completely new one. Small pain, but a pain nonetheless. As I mentioned, like the 3-in-1, this fits flush in a DSL, which is really great unless you want to use it in a GBA/GBM/GBASP, which won't fit at all.

    The EZF4 is the best for purely GBA, although largish files need to be stored in a separate memory, and it takes eons to load in. This is also a smallish pain, but a pain nonetheless. It uses SDHC, which means you can get the whole damn library on a single cart (although you had better store it in several separate folders unless you enjoy waiting five minutes to load the menu). This one sticks out in a DSL, which is unfortunate, but on the other hand you can use it with any GBA iteration.
     
    Last edited by regnad, Oct 12, 2015
  9. zfreeman

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