EZFlash 3-in-1 or eWin Expansion?

Discussion in 'DSTT' started by Shugo Takahashi, Mar 8, 2009.

Mar 8, 2009
  1. Shugo Takahashi
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    Newcomer Shugo Takahashi Advanced Member

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    Well, I really want to play some GBA games, and my G6 Lite has been next to useless for almost a year now. It hasn't been able to hold a save since forever (I started using save states) and it rarely ever works when connecting it to USB. Since I have a DSTT now, I really want to try and get back into GBA again.

    I was just wondering if the eWin Expansion Pak has any pros over the EZFlash. It's close to being the end of being able to buy an eWin, so if there's anything it's got that I might prefer, now's the time to pounce. One big question I had was how they work - how do save games work? On the G6 Lite, save games were kind of stupidly held on the internal battery, to be actually written on the next start-up. It doesn't even do that anymore (Mother 3 gives me an actual in-game save error upon trying to save), so it's nearly useless. Do either of the expansion paks use a system like this? I don't want the cheap internal battery to die on me in a few months and proceed to make the whole cart useless until I learn to solder. How do these carts work? I know you start them via slot-1, so obviously ROMs and saves aren't held on the actual slot-2 cart, right? When I save a game while running it, is it instantly written to the slot-1 like the DSTT does? Can I safely shut my system off after I save? It was very frustrating having to soft-reset out on the G6 just save my game.

    Any info you can give me is appreciated, especially if you know the cheapest place to get the eWin, should it be the better option. I've also heard about a "3-in-1+", but everybody says it's incompatible with DSTT at the moment. Does that give any advantages if I'm just going to use it for GBA games only?

    I also wanted to know if the DSTTi works with these expansions when put into a DS Lite. I was thinking about getting one once I get my DSi and just giving my old DSTT away if DSTTi does everything DSTT does. Thanks.
     
  2. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

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    First, there is no reason to get a DSTTi unless you have a DSi.

    The eWin 2-in-1 doesn't do anything the EZFlash 3-in-1 doesn't do EXCEPT that it has more of the faster volatile memory than the 3-in-1, which means that you can load larger GBA games with the fast volatile memory on the eWin whereas on the EZFlash you have to use the slow NOR memory to play a few large games. The 3-in-1+ fixes that problem (it has more volatile memory), but doesn't work (yet) with the DSTT because it doesn't work (yet) with GBA ExpLoader. Meanwhile, the 3-in-1 and 3-in-1+ have several advantages over the eWin, including the fact that it has two types of memory: faster volatile memory and slower non-volatile NOR memory. Two types of memory makes it slightly more difficult than the eWin to use (only because you have to tell it which memory to use when you load a game). But the NOR memory acts just like a regular GBA game cartridge (even if you turn off the NDS) once you load a game into it. Loading a game into NOR can take a minute or two depending on the size of the game, but running a game stored in NOR is very fast (and you can run the same game over and over again as long as you don't overwrite the NOR memory with a new game).

    You can buy the eWin at zhuzhuchina.com but frankly I'd just get the EZFlash 3-in-1 or wait until GBA ExpLoader supports the 3-in-1+ and then get that.

    All GBA expansion carts save the same way -- they all have to hold the save in their internal SRAM memory (which requires a battery) until the next time you reboot. Most of the internal batteries should last 2 years or more, and it is possible to replace them with a soldering gun, so fixing your G6 Lite might also be an option.

    -Bri
     
  3. Shugo Takahashi
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    Newcomer Shugo Takahashi Advanced Member

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    Hey, thanks for the info. I think I'll wait a little bit and see how ExpLoader turns out with the 3-in-1+. One more question on saving: the cart saves to the slot-1 card, right? Like, once I reboot the system, I'll have a .sav dropped into the DSTT?

    Also, if you don't mind...what's a good skin for the DSTT that looks close to the default NDS menu style?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Yes, the GBA .sav files are stored on the slot 1 microSD card.

    Here is the NDS-like skin of which you speak: http://gbatemp.net/index.php?download=4241

    Here is a similar skin for YSMenu: http://gbatemp.net/index.php?download=3082

    If you're keen on playing GBA games, you'll want to keep your NDS. There is no GBA slot (there is no slot 2) on the DSi, so you cannot use a slot 2 GBA expansion cart with it.

    If you want to play GBA games on your NDS right away (and don't want to wait for GBA ExpLoader to support the 3-in-1+) you should buy an Acekard 2. It's a much better flash cart than the DSTT anyway, and it's only about $5 more. It supports the 3-in-1+ directly from the menu (no need to use GBA ExpLoader) and has a lot of other important features that the DSTT doesn't have.

    If you do buy a DSi, I would recommend an Acekard 2i instead of the DSTTi for the same reasons I prefer the Acekard 2 over the DSTT. But the DSi is problematic since its firmware can be updated via WiFi, and DSi firmware updates could render any flash cart useless. I would wait to get the DSi until more is known about how flash carts will get around firmware updates.

    -Bri
     
  5. Shugo Takahashi
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    Newcomer Shugo Takahashi Advanced Member

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    Thanks for all your help. Don't worry, I wasn't getting a DSi to replace my Lite. My plan was to get one flashcard to work between both. I didn't know that the DSi could receive firmware updates, though. That bums me out, because I know Nintendo is going to wreck everything now. [​IMG]

    Oh well, I'll continue to enjoy delicious piracy on my Lite only. You never really explained the pros of an AceKard over the DSTT...anything besides 3-in-1+ compatibility? I already own my DSTT, in case I wasn't clear on that. The only thing that would really push me to buy another flashcard would be one that has built-in capability to rip and write save files from DS games. The G6 Lite did this beautifully, and I haven't seen an accessory mention this feature since. It would be really nice to have a slot-1 that does it, because slot-2 is just so unreliable with saves. I would use my G6 Lite, but its dead - it barely works on the USB adapter anymore and the battery is long dead.

    Is there any homebrew that rips and writes save files? I've seen some that work over wi-fi, but they never worked for me. I always ended up with corrupt saves.
     
  6. the_joeba

    Member the_joeba GBAtemp Regular

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    It's not like nintendo can update while you sleep though. It's like the Wii. "System Update: Download now?" If there is an update, don't grab it until it is proven safe.
     
  7. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

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    The only homebrew I know that does this uses WiFi. I was able to do it with the DSTT without any problems though.

    -Bri
     

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