New Review - AceKard

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by shaunj66, Nov 26, 2006.

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  1. shaunj66

    shaunj66 Administrator

    Oct 24, 2002
    United Kingdom
    South England

    New Review - AceKard

    Official GBAtemp Review

    We've just finished writing our extensive review of the AceKard. If you want to know how it performs, click the link below to go to the review.
    The AceKard is a flush fitting slot 1 flash cart that takes micro SD (transflash) memory cards and boasts 100% compatibility.

    Please feel free to comment on the review in this topic!
  2. supermecleboss

    supermecleboss Member

    May 9, 2006
    thank for this review , I want to this lol .

    filesystem and homebrew comtability is so bad .
  3. Dosa

    Dosa Newbie

    Dec 4, 2005
    100% compatibility is nice! but the filesystem is too shit...
  4. Digeman

    Digeman GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 5, 2005
    Thanks guys i really wanted to see what you had to say first before i made up my mind if i would buy the acekard or ds xtreme. Now it's all clear to me, thanks guys! [​IMG]
  5. Hooya

    Hooya GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Aug 25, 2006
    United States
    Central Illinois
    Great review. Answered some much needed questions.

    One further question that was not addressed at all in the review (and I'm sure you haven't had time to test this).

    How is the battery life compared to a genuine cart?

    Anyway, if there are speed issues when using a good memory card I don't see the point of using the AKFS... I thought the whole point was that AKFS was closer to a genuine cart and it would be faster/more compatible. Since it's not faster it just appears to be a nuisance.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the microninja (or whatever) review now.
  6. kmihalj

    kmihalj Advanced Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Well, using MicroSD is only plus for AceCard, .... everything else is .... well shitty ....

    As for compatibility, ... well not much ROM tested, .... but concurention have only one ROM not working (atleast for DS-X, and that will probably be solved in next firmware upgrade). Homebrew not working at all .... and there is lots great homebrew applications. Also, only Windows software is big minus (since it doesn't work in Wine, I'll test it with VirtualPC for Mac and report here).

    I'll skip this one. Also skiping Ninjapass x9 since shity "save system".
    Overall DS-Xtreme is still the best, and have only two cons. ... 512 MB *fixed*, nonupgradeable, .... and OS specific Firmware upgrade (well this is situation now for firmware.... maybe they will fix that soon).
  7. lookout

    lookout GBAtemp Board Room

    Aug 16, 2006
    United Kingdom
    great! thank
  8. tetsuya

    tetsuya GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 20, 2006
    Inside my house
    Thanks for the awesome review. I had high hopes for them, but a major turn down for me is that filesystem.
  9. Takeshi

    Takeshi GBAtemp Addict

    Jun 1, 2004
    You did an awesome job on that review. Thanks!
    Seems like the AceKard doesn't live up to the promises they made. Determing the SaveType for yourself with newer games really sucks in my opinion and AKFS is obviously not 'the super duper speed up thing' they advertised it as.
  10. ToGun

    ToGun Newbie

    Nov 4, 2006
    Nice review ;-)

    Now im so glad to have a DS-Xtreme...

    I don't like this card at all...
  11. nitrolewis

    nitrolewis Newbie

    Oct 16, 2006
    good review

    do u think this is good value for money including fast sd

    ( cos im considering ds-x )
  12. Sinkhead

    Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

    Former Staff
    Nov 22, 2006
    Across the pond
    I was really disappointed with this.

    I wish the DS-X team would make a DS-X with removable media (please don't flame me, I'm not saying 512 Mb is bad, just that it's not enough for me). The DS-X is one great product, but it really could be PERFECT if it supported removable media.

    - Sam
  13. deathspawn999

    deathspawn999 GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 14, 2006
    great review but with all that hassle you still gave it a 7.5? there is no way i could be bothered with all that shit.
  14. jpxdude

    jpxdude GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    May 5, 2006
    London UK
    Thank you for the review! I've been waiting in anticipation for a thorough look at the device for a while, and you've both done a good job writing it fairly and objectively. I am a little disappointed about the intro slowdowns in Castlevania and Rub Rabbits, but personally it looks like a clincher for me [​IMG]

    Having experience with the M3, and the SC, I don't mind the tinkering with the sav data too much, plus the active Acekard wiki i've seen about will undoubtably get filled up pretty quick. I'm planning to use this as my slot 1 backup solution and leave the M3Lite to work the homebrew support.

    I agree with every portion of your review except the last part of Costello's analysis, and question: Why is speed neccessary?

    I can tell you that, the NinjaDS suffers from HORRENDOUS speed issues with quite a few games. Thats testing with a variety of SD's, including a vanilla 512 Sandisk, and 40x, 66x SD's. For the perfect example, try running Ouendan, and see how long it takes to load up each song. I'd say for the first track (school homework level), it takes about 40-60 secs to start. :-/

    I can't speak for the DSLink, or the X9, but i'd imagine the microninja would have the same issues (same firmware). I guess maybe some others can shed some light on the issue?

    Thanks again [​IMG]
  15. Xenocide

    Xenocide Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    United States
    Interesting discussion on fragmentation, however, sequential reads are primarily faster on disks because of seek times. The heads take time to move from reading the inside to the outside of a disk, and it takes time to spin the disk to the correct location. Solid state media like flash doesn't have this mechanical limitation. The likely reasons the filesystem doesn't support fragmentation is a) it takes more effort to write the software to handle fragmentation and b) it takes a lot more effort to design the DS interface to handle fragmentation.

    GBA game carts used sequential access to speed up the address requests. Random access required one communication to the cart to get the address, and another one to return the data. Seqential mode then returns the values from the next address on the next read, skipping the communication between reads to set the address, potentially cutting access time close to half of random. But I don't think the DS cart operates in such a manner, although the homebrew docs I've seen don't appear to have any interesting details on it for me.

    What's far more interesting is the use of an altera max II rather than ASIC.
  16. stinkingbob

    stinkingbob Advanced Member

    Dec 11, 2005
    Thanks for the great review Shaun. I know you and Costello put in a lot of time and effort into this one.
    One thing though: Costello mentioned that the DS battery life while using the AceKard was crappy. Can you elaborate more on that? How is the battery life>

    I think that now, people finally see that the best slot 1 solution is the DS-X hands down. Other companies purport to all these nice features and compatibility of their own carts, but when the review unit is shipped and tested by the GBA staff, the cards almost never live up to what the manufacturer says it will do.
    So, I really hope people aren't waiting for the ninja to be reviewed before they finally realize that the ds-x is THE one to get. So far, there have been no legitimate complaints against it after frimware 1.0.2 was released. What are you waiting for? But it!

    Honestly, I believe a rating of 7.5 is too high for the AceKard. A 5 would have been better.
    By it running games pretty well, thats an automatic 5. The other points should be for ease of use, extra features and does the software work. In this case a 0.
  17. adgloride

    adgloride Its A Wii Wario

    Apr 2, 2003
    Great review. When someone made the file system just supported by the software they mush have been drunk. I prefer using a memory card reader to write data to the card. Not sure if I missed this in the review, but have you any pictures of the AceKard connected up to the PC so I can see how its all connected up?
  18. bug

    bug Advanced Member

    May 11, 2006
    Good review, but I also think the final rating is too high considering what you have written. In my opinion the problems with the software, save types and file system make the Acekard unusable on a daily basis. You would spend more time adjusting things than playing games.

    Then again, even if there was no problem with software and save types, I still think it's absolutely pointless to have a slot 1 solution that uses a proprietary file system. The biggest benefit to a slot 1 card in my opinion is the ability to simply copy & paste clean roms.
  19. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

    Oct 24, 2002
    jpxdude: I have personnally never had a problem with my NinjaDS (might be because I got fast SD cards? or because I haven't tested every single release?), and there are 3 different speed settings that you can select if you have trouble with your card.
    Anyway, the DSLink and the X9 still stand, there is no particular slowdown with the DSLink as far as I know.

    My personal opinion on the Acekard: it looks just similar to a DSLink that wouldn't require a flashed DS, and that would have 100% DS compatibility. They both require PC software, use microSD, are chinese, white case, ...
    However the DSLink detects the save types, it doesn't use a proprietary file system, etc... The comparison is easy.

    Now I think they can add automatic save type detection in a new version of the firmware, but if they're going to keep the "100% clean roms" moto, they won't be able to enable download play. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think you can fix download play only by changing the way a rom is booted.

    you're most likely right about seeking in flash memory (which I didn't know), but if there's no speed issues with fragmented files, why would they even bother using a file system whose only purpose is to disallow file fragmentation? I mean, none of the other slot-1 solutions use a proprietary file system..
  20. shaunj66

    shaunj66 Administrator

    Oct 24, 2002
    United Kingdom
    South England
    You remove the micro SD card from the AceKard and plug it into your PC's SD card reader. [​IMG]
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