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Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by TheSpade, Nov 29, 2006.
Please see the post below for the review
M3 Lite Professional Review
written by TheSpade
Supplied by: G6/M3 Team
M3 Lite Pro is yet another healthy helping.
Inside the box, you'll find the following:
M3 Lite Professional Black casing
M3 Lite Professional Ice Blue casing
M3 Lite Professional White casing
The usual complaint about M3 is that its cost among most Slot-2 flash cards is higher than its competition. This is because of it being one of the better all-around packages. So, G6/M3 Team decided to find a way to cut costs. They heavily reduced on-board memory, virtually removing Game Boy Advance functionality. Now, M3 Lite Professional has arrived. Does the lower cost equal a better purchase? Does it try to cheaply cash in on its own namesake? Read on for the answers.
Since we already know that all M3 units run the same interface, abilities, features and such, this review is going to focus primarily on the M3 Lite Professional's differences. While the review may seem somewhat short, I was specifically asked to not indulge every single feature of this flash card, since they are well-known and present here at GBATemp. If you want to read up what the M3 offers, which is quite a lot, then please read Qrayzie's review here. You can also read my M3 Lite review here.
The M3 Lite Professional Board is preinstalled within the DS Lite black casing. Also new and sold seperately, there are Pink and Navy Blue as well as a GBA-sized casing available, in case you still have an original DS. Each of the DS Lite casings are shaped near perfect to the GBA Cover that DS Lites standardly include. They do not bear the transparent enamel that the official cover possesses. Each casing has a Phillips screw to keep things together and are rugid and durable. It's apparent to see that the construction quality was given much priority. Obviously, you'll only be taking your M3 Lite out of the casing once at most, unless you own a black DS Lite.
As with the M3 Lite, Micro-SD memory snaps inside and remains in place. It is also as simple to remove as well as insert. It's a breath of fresh air that the eye of detail towards consumer ease is one of G6/M3's goals. They succeeed once again, which is something I wish other flash card manufacturers would take the time to work on. Many people may notice that having the memory load in the side of the card instead of the bottom means that you'll be removing the M3 Lite Professional each time you need to change files. Relax in the fact that the DS Lite will be fine with this repetative task.
Let's revisit the tight fit issue once again. The cart is still a tight fit. It took a bit of strength to get the M3 Lite to fully insert. Removing it was even more tedious on the fingers. Fortunately, M3 Lite Professional's casing bears a rugid build, but it's still somewhat irritating to see that the installation and removal wasn't improved upon. You won't need to do anything drastic, like filing down the casings of the original EZ-Flash IV. After a few times, the cart will become easier to change out. The important attribute to mention, obviously as this is what you're probably buying it for, is that the casing sits flush as well as expected.
In my previous review of M3 Lite, I mentioned that the Castlevania test did not do so well with my Sandisk 512MB Micro-SD. I did learn of formatting it at a higher bit rate (FAT16, 64k cluster) raised the Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow test to a perfect 5/5. However, formatting in this way cut out all GBA functionality. Well, since we don't have to worry about GBA anymore here, with M3 Lite Professional and a solid brand flash memory, such as A-Data, Kingston or Sandisk, you can ensure that you will have no slowdown or lagging whatsoever with games and their load times.
Since my last review of the M3 series, a new addition has made its way into the software: Game Icons. Now, like its sister product, G6, when combing the game menu, you will see representations of each game's icon. One feature G6 does not have is that each game will also bear the official naming label just like it would be if you were running your real game card. For those scene purists, who refuse to change the filename, this is a nice advantage. A minor issue with this was that the addition broke several downloadable skins. Fortunately, most skin authors have fixed their works, or you can use a 3rd party skin program to fix all present ones yourself. Unfortunately, touch screen support isn't implimented at this time while navigating the M3 Menu. Perhaps, this will change sometime in the future.
Let's address the one difference between M3 "Perfect" and "Professional". Professional is made strictly for NDS use. By reducing the memory size, which cuts costs and is cheaper for consumers to afford, GBA functionality has been stripped away. If you're considering this product, then you're already omitting GBA playback as a deciding factor. This means that GBA ROMs won't be on your day-to-day activities, though the smaller ROMs will still work. One distressing finding was the loss of NDS-GBA Linkage. While few game pairings take a strong advantage of this, it's still a loss that may shy some users away. If GBA support isn't something you absolutely need, then this is a moot subject. You'll find everything on the NDS side to be working and pleasurable.
If NDS functionality is the sole factor in choosing a flash card, then you cannot go wrong with M3 Lite Professional. It continues to be one of the top flash cards. With a retail price of $30-45USD and teamed with a popular nopass, such as PassCard 3, it is possibly the most affordable yet attractive offerings today. Yes, you're cutting out GBA usage, but it's a conscious choice to make for such a huge price slash. Skins, as always, help make your M3 Professional more personalized. G6/M3 Team once again delivers their promises. DS Lite owners will find little reason not to purchase it. I still wish they'd rework the casing build, but again, it's tolerable.
+ Fits flush in DS Lite
+ Micro-SD locks in place
+ Skinable DS Menus
+ Near perfect DS playback
+ Cheat options for DS
+ Decent homebrew support
+ Price friendly
+ Can still run small GBA ROMs and applications
- Tight fit
- Official Skinning tool needs dramatically updated
- No use of the touch screen within menus
- Various performance results with media brands
- Homebrew support is questionable in the future
- Loss of NDS-GBA Linkage function
I grade it: -
Recommended Shops to buy M3 Lite Professional:
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Would the link cable options work if you used this chip in a GBA or GBA SP?
Yes it would, but good luck finding one of these bad boys (not the link cable, the card). I know where they have the M3 GBA Expansion Pack in Stock and it's in Canada where you apparently stay. Let me know if you need a link.
When you say expansion... is that a cartridge that'll work alone in the GBA or is it meant to work in conjunction with a DS flash card as extra rams?
used in conjunction with a slot-1 card. Right now dude, pretty much the best gba card is the EZ Flash IV. It really is the best. The only game that it wont really play is Pokemon Emerald because of the real time clock issue. You can buy that one game for 20 dollars on ebay, so does it really matter? I think not. It has decent software to run on your computer, to send games to the mini sd card, and everything runs damn good. I totally suggest you get one, if you need a gba only card (it's the same size as a gba cart but it can be used in a DS Lite). I have one, and after using it, I would have paid more for it. Don't get too caught up in other people's opinions. Research what a flash card can't do and what it can do, heck, watch some YouTube videos. If it supports your needs, then it is the best flash card!
Yeah, I'd also get a EZ Flash IV if I didn't have an M3 Lite already.
And yes, the M3 Lite works perfectly with link cables. Any flashcart should really, as long as it can play clean roms.
Your lucky to have an M3 Lite. I wish I had one just to have it. If you look at my sig I pretty much collect flash cards, so it would be a welcomed addition.
I have two I used till last year when I got two r4 (I have 2 ds lite consoles) now I use them for video playback.
I can sell you one but I think the shipping cost will be huge as I live in Israel.
@jimmyemunoz Good idea to include all that information in your signature.
I've got an ez-flash iv which works great, I just use a miniSD to microSD adapter an the miniSD is very dificult to remove.
Fire Red and Leaf Green have no clock so they work. I patched my roms of Ruby and Saphire with gbata.exe so the clock only advances as I play; takes 24hours of gameplay to advance the clock by 1 day. Never tried emerald.
How is emeralds clock different?
My biggest obcession with the internal clock is so the pokemon will say @whatTime&&Date they were caught, but that wont matter palpark overwrites that when you transfer them. So I'll just trade out of my flash card to a real game and pal park over. There also is a way to palpark in a computer emulator. I guess that is pretty easy. You just need to copy your save file to the computer and then that'll palpark to a HG/SS or D/P/P rom. Have not looked into it though
Also I have all the origional games, R/B/Y + G/S/C + R/S/E. I just travel a lot and one flash card is easier than 9 valuable games I don't want lost or stolen. So if I want a real time clock I'll just play on my origional cards. That was mostly what I was interested for.
Also @adamdbz I hope Israle is doing well, you have kind of dropped off our news and BBC. Last I herd the US and Israle were gearing up to bomb Tehran, Iran. How is the situation going? I should keep up on it more but I'm back and forth between Canada, the UK and Australia.
I'm personally lucky enough to have obtained an M3 Perfect MiniSD a while back (runs everything, even big games like mother 3) but overall, the EZFIV is still anyone's best bet. No disrespect to my cart, but while it works like a dream, it's apparently a little hard to come by and rather pricey, so it's not really a good choice. Additionally, it's almost as fat as an original gameboy cartridge
One interesting thing about it, though, is that its GBA mode has built-in emulators for NES, GameBoy and TG16 (PocketNES, Goomba/Color and whatever the GBA-PCE emu was)
I did not know that it has built-in emulators for NES, GameBoy and TG16. wow
When you say almost as fat as a GBA card, do you mean it'll fit into a GBA and is not just for DS lite?
Also are the emulators hardware emulators or included software?
It's fatter than a GBA card - it's nearly the size of one for an original gameboy. It works in GBAs as well, not to mention both a NDS and GBA mode on a DS (though DS mode hasn't been updated in years so don't expect anything new to work.) It runs stuff off a normal SD card. 2GB is the limit however as it cannot read SDHC except for non-game media. It WLL read adapted mini/microSDs though.
The emulators are quite literally built into the hardware. If you put a GameBoy, NES or TG16 ROM anywhere on of the SD card and load it up in GBA mode, it will start running it in the respective emulator embedded into the card (I haven't used it in a long time, but I remember it ran PocketNES 9.97)
You can read more about them here:
but my exact card is not pictured. The closest one size-wise is the M3 CF, but mine takes SD cards and reads from the front. I actually got it by accident from an ebay seller's "scam" offering "20 real games!" with a DS. However, instead of getting a dirt-common card like R4 ice cream christmas clone 9001, I got this XD
EDIT: Here's a picture comparing the thing to my copy of super mario land 2.
And yes, I know SML2 is yellowed to hell, it's the only GB game I have in that condition, but hey, it still works!
Thanks for that information.
The M3s are all so closely named that I have a hard time deciphering what is what.
1) The M3 Mini SD Perfect and M3 SD Perfect are the best two right? (samethings just one has a sd card slot and one has a miniSD card slot?)
2) The M3 MiniSD/SD Perfect is the one that will work in the GBA and GBA SP as it does not need the Passcard in the DS's 1st solt?
3) Also when running a GBC rom the real time clock works right?
4) How about the link cable?
Sorry for so many questions. I am excited to findsome one with one and who is knowledgeable about it
TBH, I wouldn't buy one of those.
i can sell one in a very good price