Impressions and comparison between M3 miniSD

Discussion in 'EZ-Flash' started by yuwing, Jul 10, 2006.

Jul 10, 2006
  1. yuwing
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    Member yuwing GBAtemp Fan

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    [​IMG]

    THE REVIEW 2 weeks later
    I'm reviewing and comparing the EZ flash IV LITE and M3 mini SD again after ~2 weeks of use. After first impressions with it, I can now be serious in my review, so check it out.

    introduction
    A month after getting the M3 mini SD, I decided to sell it for G6 lite PRO. However, since winsunx lied about their existance, I got the EZflash lite instead, mainly because it is "flushed" with the DS lite! The reason why I wanted the flush cart is because a) fits perfectly in my DSLite leather case, b) having the M3 sticking out, it gets tagged to stuff in my bag and hits things easily.

    About EZFlashIVLITE
    The product iself sticks out of the DS lite by 0.8mm.
    The compatibility list is here: http://www.ezflash.cn/list.asp
    It uses MicroSD. The prices for it are around 2x the price of normal SD and miniSD.
    The microSD is the size of my finger nail.

    Winsunx:
    They are a good company (IF they have stock at hand). If not, they will lie and take ur money and say they'll ship it when they get it. In reality, they ship it a few days after they get stock. I'm not complaining becuase they got amazing prices (not anymore becuase they increased them by a few dollars now). Their shipping by UPS express is almost overnight/2days. My shipment was shipped on friday, ended up in my province (Ontario,Canada) on the same day at night. Since they don't deliver on weekends, I had to wait until today to get it. UPS just delivers it to my door without asking for signature or ringing the bell.

    Packaging:
    The packaging of the EZflashIV lite is very professional. The box is well made and it doesn't feel cheap at all. In contrast to M3 miniSD's blue box, EZ's box has no writing/description on it. It only has EZ-FlashIV lite for NDSlite only and MicroSD/transflash. The box also has a magnetized latch (very professional). One bad thing about the EZ's packaging is its lack of manual. It has a card that states "Please visit www.ezflash.cn for the newest software and support." There are no CDs either. So for any information on it, u gottta google, ezflash.cn or gbatemp basically. I think the reason why they dont' include CD is because they update their client so often that the CD will get oudated. So, it's pointless to have it in there.

    Package Contents:
    1) EZ SD-Reader (not microSD, you need to have the SD adapter that comes with ur microSD) [some people say it uses only USB2.0 and is not compatible with USB1.0. I havn't tested this becuase i have my own SD reader
    2) USB cable
    3) White EZFlash4lite catridge (with circuit board built in already)
    4) Ice Blue EZFlash4lite catridge
    5) Navy blue EZFlash4lite catridge
    6) 2 more stickers (you can put it on the catridge if you want)
    7) Card with URL

    EZFlash4 lite Packaging: 9/10 (GREAT value for those who dont' wanna waste $10 for a SD card reader, professional, lack of reading material)
    M3 miniSD Packaging: 7/10 (at least comes with CD, not much quality reading from the box. no value)

    Build Quality/design:
    When I opened the box, i thought "OH What HORROR!" What did they do to my beautiful cart!
    [​IMG]
    But it turns out the screw is just tightened TOO tightly on one side so the other side separates out a little creating the gap. After 2 weeks of use, the gap is gone. You have to have your screw loosened up slightly.

    Other than that, everything is fine. The plastic appears to be a bit thin but that's the way you gotta have it to keep it semi-flush. If you apply pressure on it, it will bend slightly but not too much becasue there's a "backbone" in the middle (horizontally) that's ~1mm thick. The sides of the cart is around ~1.5-2mm thick and the front/back is around 1-1.5mm thick.
    They only provide 1 screw for all carts, so if u lose it... u gotta find some replacement of some sort or use the old fashion duct tape [​IMG]

    one important thing i gotta complain about tho is the position of the screw. At the VERY top of the cart. That means when I put it in to my DSlite, the part of the screw will stick out showing its ugly little head thing. It also makes a gap in ur cart if you tighten the screw too tightly.

    Also I noticed that it's way harder to take the EZflash4 lite out of the DSlite beucase there's no grip on it. You can't really grip on the catridge and take it out. Gotta use nails and pry it out.\

    Did i mention that microSD is hard to take out? I don't want to file or nail-cut my catridge (creating a bigger gap --> more dust can go in and i don't want that) so I just take out the screw, take the microSD out and put it back in when everything is uploaded, screw it back down and then put it in the DS lite.

    M3 miniSD: 8/10 (ugly paint, sticks out, but good quality, uses spring slot (easier to take miniSD out))
    EZ microSD: 6.5/10 (thin, hard to take out of the DS lite, MicroSD hard to take out, feels sorta cheap but flush)

    Software:
    The M3 miniSD Game Manager is complex compared to EZ4's. The M3 in comparison to EZ4 is slow as hell. There were way too many options too (trim, notrim, fast boot, normal boot, 4x, 1x, reset, no reset etc)! EZ4 is simple. Open the rom you want, and click send. It's fast and simple! Anyone can use it (compared to M3). Also you don't have to install it into your computer (The M3 manager forces you to install). You just double click the EZclient exe and it runs, very cool. One thing to note on the EZclient is that they have "skin". I think M3 does too but i forgot. I find these stupid.... I just wanna load in some backups and play. I want it as simple as possible and putting customizations such as skin won't help it.
    [​IMG]

    EZClient: 8/10 (auto trim, no need to configure roms, 2 step process: open and send)
    M3Client: 6.5/10 (trimmed roms don't even work most of the time. Too many configurations to figure out. Trimmed roms has loading time. way too slow compared to EZclient)

    LoadingRoms/Homebrew/playingExperience/new: SKINNING:
    Homebrew: M3 > EZ4
    I havn't tested homebrew myself on the EZ4 but my friend told me DSOrganize doesn't work. (if anyone disagrees, hoepfully, please reply to this thread or PM me [​IMG]) I think a lot of homebrew don't work but I need to test it out before i conclude it.

    Playing Experience: M3~EZ4
    I tested all of my backups and all of them works very well. If you trim your rom in M3, it'll take longer to load (around 5-10 seconds) but for EZ, it's instant. Even with M3's instant boot, i think EZ's is SLIGHTLY (by milliseconds) faster. However, I think in some games like Ouendan, some times when you change the screen to the next, it loads a little slower.

    update: Yep, it's definately slower by 1-2 seconds (on some screens). As well, there's some jerkiness (in terms of music) in the menu screen.

    So there's some good and some bad. EZ is mostly inferior compared to M3 but they are new in the market so there's time to catch up.

    In terms of skinning:
    THe EZ uses 2 screens. The top is like a wallpaper and the bottom is where you choose ur files. The font can be changed but it's a hassle because you have to MAKE YOUR OWN FONT from SCRATCH! luckily there is some font files done already by some dudes at www.sosuke.com/ezflash. So you can check out the Skin section there. I have loads of fun skinning EZ. I made 3 skins right now and they're SO easy. You hjust make the buttons,wallpaper and other things and make them into JPEG, incoorperate into firmware and then update the firmware on the EZFLash catridge and u're done!

    I didn't get too into skinning in M3 because there's not much customization, just buttons and the background... the fonts aren't changeable(to what i know) and it's a bit hard. The good thing is that you can just make folder and dump all the different skins you want in the memory card and load different ones which u like best. for EZflash, u gotta take out the microSD, changefirmware and put it back in... just a hassle.


    EZ: 8.5/10
    M3: 9/10

    Price/value
    I got my M3 miniSD + 1gig kingmax miniSD + passme2 for around $142CND with shipping.
    I got my EZflash4 lite + 1gig sandisk microSD for around $125CND with shipping (add passme3+$18.5).
    They cost around the same.

    However, the EZflash4lite includes USB reader (saving you $10), 3 diff colors of carts. So I think EZflash wins here. Also, take note that microSDs are 2x more expensive than miniSD or normal SD. So taking that into account, the EZflash4 is much cheaper than M3 miniSD.

    M3 miniSD: 8/10
    EZflash: 9.5/10.

    Overall: Adding all of them up will lead one to buy EZflash. (Phew..tired)
    EZ: 41/50
    M3: 38.5/50

    pictures
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    For pictures of M3 mini SD, search forums *sorry*


    Questions and comments are welcome
     
  2. zone97

    Member zone97 GBAtemp Fan

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    nice, can't wait for the ending...
     
  3. meangreenie

    Banned meangreenie Banned

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    good review.

    my thoughts.. if the EZ team got it ass together and ironed out the few probs with the EZ4, it could be a M3 killer comsidering the pricing.

    The hardware is there, the software/firmware could be better.

    fixes that I consider need to be done for EZ4 to get no.1.....

    1) Fix GBA games in DS mode... they run very slightly jerky compared to GBA mode when launched from DSmode.. (look carefully)... and some GBA games refuse to work at all from DSmode

    2) In Game Reset in GBA games should boot back to NDS mode, this would need point 1 to be fixed. GBA mode is very annoying when it saves the sram to mem card.. modeDS=1sec, modeGBA=20-30 sec

    3) DS games need In Game Reset

    4) Fix the few DS games that won't work and fix the stutter (sound/video) a few games have when loading a level

    5) Have GBA rom compression as an option like the Supercard system (I know Supercard sux for GBA but it's compression system is nice, it equates to 50% more space for GBA roms for free)
     
  4. BenDiesel

    Newcomer BenDiesel Member

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    So the shitty case is semi fixable? Looks pretty bad in that picture

    Good post, man!
     
  5. bennyx8903

    Newcomer bennyx8903 Advanced Member

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    very nice, ordered EZ4 arriving monday. i was thinking of Getting a M3 professional Mini for kicks, but they are discontinued everywhere (winsunx/psxbox). guess i hav to get the "perfect version" or wait for M3 micro. Good review! Bump*
     
  6. kutis

    Newcomer kutis Advanced Member

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    i think the reason that most homebrew does not work well with ez4l is that chism's fat algo does not work with it... yet most homebrew r written based on it...
     
  7. zone97

    Member zone97 GBAtemp Fan

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    Thinks I'v noticed between the M3 and EZ4....

    1> despite the compexity of the M3 client software, atleast with its options it has a better chance of getting a new release to work. With the EZ4 you have to wait till the developers release a working "patch point" to get the rom to load on an EZ4..

    2> load times are slower with the EZ4 as well as some ingame transitions are also slower. Most notable is animal crossing.

    3> compatibility seems to be close, but there are alot of mainstream games that have strange issues with the EZ4. I think they should rethink their patching method.

    Question...

    As with #1 above.. how long does it usually take before they get a game working... Like tony hawk, it has been out for a while, and no one has come up with a work around to make it function fully. (with out freezing)
     
  8. meangreenie

    Banned meangreenie Banned

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    Tony Hawks is about the only game that has been fixed in the 2 months I have been waiting, use the last patcher in June or the July one.

    edit.. note it slows down for me when the music track chages for a couple of seconds.
     
  9. Mike83

    Member Mike83 GBAtemp Regular

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    Nice post, very helpful [​IMG]
     
  10. zone97

    Member zone97 GBAtemp Fan

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    which rom # was it that you had work, what patcher version did you use. Mine locks up still and does wifi play work?
     
  11. meangreenie

    Banned meangreenie Banned

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    I guess it was the US one I tried as always hope a rom with less languages will trim more than a multi language europe one.

    And it was this client http://www.ezflash.cn/zip/EZ4_20060615.zip


    with this patch .. http://www.ezflash.cn/zip/EZ4Patch060622.zip just overwrite the files from above. this is a patch that specifically fixed Tony Hawks and one other game .. a jap one

    I'm suprised it's either broken in the newer clients or perhaps missing ??
     
  12. Dirtie

    Former Staff Dirtie :'D

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    40/50 is the same as 8/10 so I'm glad someone agrees with my review score [​IMG] (granted mine wasn't the Lite version)
     
  13. yuwing
    OP

    Member yuwing GBAtemp Fan

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    It's not that bad. The case fits well into the DS lite without trouble. Because it's screwed down at the very top of the catrdige, the bottom side opens a little. When you tighten the screw too much, it makes the opening even more which is what they did in the factory. If you loosen it up a little, it's perfect. The only thing I gotta complain about is the memory card slot... it's hard to take the memory card out... they should make a spring slot like M3 so u can take it out easily. WIth EZ, i gotta unscrew the case and take out the microSD. it's not too much trouble because i don't upload too many things often.

    I'd say EZ is superior to M3 mini. If they just perk up the speed of the memory card, it'd annihilate M3.
     
  14. KidIce

    Member KidIce Smart Ass

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    What strange issues and which games? Barring the obvious, such as Tony Hawk. This isn't flame bait, I'm just curious.
     
  15. yuwing
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    Member yuwing GBAtemp Fan

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    '
    I dont' play those games so i'm not sure which he's talking about but so far so good on my ez/
     

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