N5 Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by Sinkhead, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Sinkhead

    Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

    Former Staff
    Nov 22, 2006
    Across the pond
    GBAtemp.net review of the...

    <img src="http://sinkhead.gbatemp.net/n5/n5_cart_mini.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <b><!--sizeo:14--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><!--coloro:#ff7200--><span style="color:#ff7200"><!--/coloro-->N5 Revolution for DS<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>

    aka: N5, N5DS, DSN5
    Manufactured by: <a href="http://www.dsn5.com" target="_blank">N5DS</a>
    Review samples supplied by: <a href="http://www.mygamingmart.com" target="_blank"><b>MyGamingMart</b></a>

    By Sinkhead - 12th April 2008

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a">Introduction</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a1">Official feature list</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b">Packaging and Contents</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b1">Box Contents</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c">Cart Design</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d">Setting Up & Using</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d1">GUI (OS)</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e">Performance</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e1">ROM compatibility</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e2">Download Play / Single-Cart Multiplayer</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f">Homebrew Support</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g">Additional Features</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#h">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="a">Introduction</a></div>

    <div align="center"><img src="http://sinkhead.gbatemp.net/n5/n5_group_smaller.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    The N5 Revolution for DS (simply referred to as 'N5' from this point on) is a new flashcart that is simply a direct clone of the R4DS. Not much information has been released about this cart to far, however this review will only be short because this cart is nearly exactly the same as the R4DS.

    Many thanks to Monty at <a href="http://www.mygamingmart.com/" target="_blank">My Gaming Mart</a> for supplying us with our sample review kit! <a href="http://www.mygamingmart.com/" target="_blank">My Gaming Mart </a> carries the N5 flash kit amongst others so be sure to check them out if you're looking to purchase.

    <a name="a1"><b>Official Feature List:</b></a><ul><li>2nd generation storage device (no booting tool required)</li><li>Flush fitting slot 1 card</li><li>Uses MicroSD card, FAT16 or 32</li><li>Supports any MicroSD card speed with no lag in game</li><li>Supports Clean ROM, drag and drop. Works on any OS</li><li>Built in NoPass</li><li>Automatically detect save type</li><li>Save directly to MicroSD card, not to onboard chip</li><li>Supports Moonshell and other homebrew. Open I/O interface</li><li>User friendly skinnable interface. Touchscreen or button operation</li><li>Supports rumble pak and memory pak

    </li><li>Supports the WiFi game, DS Rumble Pak, DS Browser</li><li>Support changes of the background of Operation Interface</li><li>Supports 4-scale-lightness adjustment (DS Lite only)</li><li>Supports the Soft Reset</li><li>Full download play support</li><li>Support Skin DIY by setting background and font colors on Main Menu and Game Menu manually and automatically</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="b">Packaging and Contents</a></div>
    The N5 comes in a simple, mostly blue, cardboard box. The cardboard isn't very thick however it and the plastic tray inside are plenty enough to keep the product safe during transit. The box is very similar to the R4 from the outside, with a large logo at the top of the front and information at the bottom. I presumed that 'R4DS' was an abbreviation for 'Revolution for DS', maybe I was wrong, but N5 are still using the 'Revolution for DS' whether it fits their main name or not. The MicroSD logo is in the same place, in the bottom right corner of both boxes, and the website URLs are in the same place and are the same style on both boxes. Speaking of their N5's web URL, it is written with a capital letter at the beginning (ie. 'Http://www...') This looks very unprofessional and amateurish. On the back of the box the layout is the same, however the N5 has a longer feature list. In the feature list above I have left a line break where the N5 features become different to the R4DS ones, as you can see, the N5-added ones are written in Engrish, whereas the R4's feature list is much better English.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://sinkhead.gbatemp.net/n5/n5_box_smaller.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    <a name="b1"><b>Box Contents</b></a><ul><li>1x N5</li><li>1x MicroSD Reader</li></ul>The MicroSD reader that is included is a nice touch, however there have been many reports of this MicroSD reader (included with other flashcarts) breaking/corrupting MicroSD cards and generally not being of very high quality (it broke my MicroSD card on the third use <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/frown.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="frown.gif" />) It does, however, seem to read MicroSDHC cards, but the N5 itself can't!

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c">Cart Design</a></div>
    <div align="center"><img src="http://sinkhead.gbatemp.net/n5/n5_cart_smaller.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    The cart is only currently available in black with a greyscale on the front that is ever-so-slightly (~1mm) tilted to one side on my cart. You can tell that this label is thin and it does look fairly amateur, but it's not too bad. Besides, the cart should be in your DS most of the time anyway. The website URL given on the cart is again written with a capital H which bugs me, and DS is also written with improper capitalization ('Ds') which gives the cart even more of an unprofessional feel. When comparing this and the R4 side by side it actually looks like they have been made from the same mould, however it is a different story when you look inside. The MicroSD slots on the PCB are different, the contacts are different sizes and the chips are different. The R4's PCB has no chips on the back whereas the N5 has a large one that only fits in because of a hole in the shell. This makes a very slight bulge under the label but you wouldn't notice this unless you looked very closely.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://sinkhead.gbatemp.net/n5/n5_in_ds.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    The spring-loaded MicroSD slot, however, is bad. I haven't had the chance to use it more than 50 times and it's already not working properly... I can get the memory card to stay in by only pushing it in just until it clicks once, then letting go. If I push it all the way down it just comes straight back out again. The other thing I noticed is that the tiny screw you have to remove does nothing on my unit. I don't think it's long enough to actually reach its hole but I could be wrong because I can't see inside, but when I turn it it just keeps on turning. I'm quite sure I haven't stripped the threads in the plastic because I'm always gentle when taking apart flashcarts, but the cart holds itself together very well anyway so this shouldn't be a problem.

    Finally, the cart goes in and out of the DS very easily just like an authentic game card, but a small part of the label is visible when the cart is inserted.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="d">Setting Up & Using</a></div>
    The N5 uses an unencrypted version of the R4's OS. It is exactly the same except for two characters on the main menu screen that have been changed from 'R4' to N5'. Even the version numbers are the same. For this reason, I won't be reviewing the firmware in full because it has already been covered in the <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=41279" target="_blank">R4 review</a> by <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=shaunj66' target=_blank title='View profile for member shaunj66'}>shaunj66</a>.

    Basically, the R4 firmware has quite a lot of nice features. It has cheats, user-created cheats, Moonshell is included as a media player, soft-reset works and download play is supported.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="e">Performance</a></div>
    <a name="e1"><b>ROM Compatibility</b></a>

    The cart has the same compatibility as the R4 (ie. very nearly perfect)

    <a name="e2"><b>Download Play / Single-cart Multiplayer</b></a>

    Out of the games I have tested, download play in Clubhouse Games, Cooking Mama 2, Mario Kart DS, Tetris DS and Worms Open Warfare 2 works perfectly. The only game I have found with non-working download play is SBK Snowboard Kids where I get a 'Communication Error'. This is the same as for the R4.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="f">Homebrew Support</a></div>
    Because of DLDI, we no longer test homebrew compatibility using individual games. I can confirm that the N5 has automatic DLDI patching like the R4 and from the homebrew games and applications I have tried the patching seems to work perfectly. I also tried the official DLDI tester and that worked as well.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="g">Additional Features</a></div>
    These are covered in <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=shaunj66' target=_blank title='View profile for member shaunj66'}>shaunj66</a>'s <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=41279" target="_blank">R4 review</a>.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="h">Conclusion</a></div>
    In short, the N5 is an exact clone of the R4. It uses an unencrypted version of the firmware with minimal changes and from what I can tell it is just as good as the R4. The only problems I had were with the MicroSD reader which corrupted my MicroSD card (but I fixed it by formatting the card) and the spring breaking which is all-too-common in R4s. Basically, if you can't find an R4, an N5 will do exactly the same job for pretty much the same price.

    <!--coloro:green--><span style="color:green"><!--/coloro--><b>Pros</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    + Good build quality other than the MicroSD slot
    + Very nearly 100% compatibility
    + Excellent download play support
    + The firmware is quickly updated after the R4's
    + Extra features such as soft-reset, themes and cheats

    <!--coloro:red--><span style="color:red"><!--/coloro--><b>Cons</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    - Poor spring-loaded MicroSD slot
    - MicroSD reader corrupted my card
    - No MicroSDHC compatibility (freezes on loading screen)
    - Initial reports of high failure rate, numerous people have also reported their DS being damaged by this cart, for this reason I have downgraded the award.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/award_none.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    This cart has no award because I cannot recommend something that has bricked so many people's DSs. <b>Before buying, make sure you are familiar with the risks involved</b></div>

    <b>External Links:</b>
    - <a href="http://www.dsn5.com" target="_blank">Official N5 Website</a>

    <b>Where to buy?:</b>

    <a href="http://www.mygamingmart.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/mygamingmart.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
    - <a href="http://www.mygamingmart.com" target="_blank">MyGamingMart</a>

    <h4>Affiliated sites</h4>
    Purchase this cart from our affiliated shops:

    <a href="http://www.consolesource.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/consolesource.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gameyeeeah.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/images/yeeeah.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.kickgaming.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/kick5.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.dealwoot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/dealwoot.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and all included photos are property of GBAtemp.net
    If you see this review on any other site please let me know via e-mail - Sinkhead [@at@] GBAtemp [.dot.] net
  2. Kaoid

    Kaoid GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 29, 2012
    however the problem that bricked ds has been fixed. the problem was that the micro sd slot was faulty and could short circuit and brick the ds. it has now een fixed and the micro sd slot has slid in one
  3. Pong20302000

    Pong20302000 making notes on everything

    Sep 8, 2009
    One's inner self
    lol wouldn't touch it with a barge poll
    3 people like this.
  4. Kaoid

    Kaoid GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 29, 2012
    yes but I have a new fixed version of the n5. i have had it for 3 years and it has worked fine and i still use it. u should re-review the fixed version
  5. Ammako

    Ammako GBAtemp Guru

    Dec 22, 2009
    What would there even be to re-review?
  6. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

    Former Staff
    Oct 23, 2007
    PowerLevel: 9001
    Look at the date... It was 2008. It isn't EVEN produced anymore! :P
    3 people like this.
  7. Kaoid

    Kaoid GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 29, 2012
    yes i know. look mine work for me as ive had it for years. so thats it.
  8. Alaude

    Alaude GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    haha...talk about reviving a dead thread :P. anyways the n5ds was my first flashcart and i bought at a time when YSMenu was first created by Yasu. through that flashcart i have experimented and learned a lot and i'm glad i had it as my first card. despite the fact that its famous for bricking the NDS i never seem to to have bricked one.
  9. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    And at the time of the review, the N5 had the problem, so that's what the review says, and that's it.
  10. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolf-husky™ Marina is best waifu

    Sep 13, 2009
    Many moons away
    There is still no point to re-reviewing the card.
  11. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Former Staff
    Jan 3, 2008
    From Where???
    i don't recall ever reading about a hardware update that addressed the issue. the problem, as i recall, was not with a faulty msd slot but the fact that the msd slot draws too much power on boot. meaning the issue had nothing to do with the msd slot but the design of the card. i'd like to see some side-by-side photos of the updated hardware and proof that this indeed was fixed. saying they started using a non-spring loaded slot does not mean the problem was fixed.

    -another world