R4i Gold Hands-On Impression

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Rydian, Apr 21, 2011.

Apr 21, 2011

R4i Gold Hands-On Impression by Rydian at 4:07 PM (20,182 Views / 0 Likes) 44 replies

  1. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    [​IMG] R4i Gold Hands-On Impression
    New 3DS revision of the R4i Gold cart.
    [​IMG]

    The newest revision of the R4i Gold cart has arrived, and is undergoing the review and testing process. Since this process takes time to conduct properly, I've created a short hands-on impression of this cart.[/p]

    [​IMG] Hands-On Impression
     


  2. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    R4i Gold Hands-On

    [​IMG]

    The R4i Gold is a recent flash cart, but the team seems intent on delivering a product that defies the standard R4 "clone" label.
    With a simple design and official support from Wood, this cart aims to be a mainstay in the community. How well does it work?


    Packaging[/p]
    The first thing you experience when you actually receive a flash cart is it's packaging. A noticeable addition to the R4i Gold unit that I received was a red sticker on the package highlighting it's 3DS compatibility.
    Since it was a sticker it was clear that this is the standard R4i Gold unit with the 3DS compatibility bootloader update already applied (opposed to a new hardware version like other flash carts).
    (The previous line was a mistake, while this cart can be updated for new 3DS firmware versions and older versions of the cart can be updates for new DSi firmware versions, you cannot upgrade an older DSi version of the R4i Gold to have 3DS compatibility like you can with other flash carts.)

    As for the quality of the packaging, the R4i Gold's is done simply, but it protects the flash cart. The box isn't larger than it needs to be, and the cart itself is contained within a plastic holding container; it doesn't look like the cart could be damaged during normal shipping conditions if properly packaged. The plastic holding container seems to be used for many flash carts, it can hold two flash or DS game carts at once and is a nice little addition with the purchase.

    A standard USB MicroSD card reader is included, though I found it was difficult to remove the MicroSD once it was placed in the reader, as it fit rather snug.

    [​IMG]

    Hardware[/p]
    The R4i Gold is a simply-designed flash cart, two clipped-together halves of a shell, and a PCB. One of the first things I noticed is that the MicroSD slot is not spring-loaded. Some people prefer this as it means one less possible point of failure, while others may find the MicroSD hard to remove if you don't have nails.

    The cart in general is not thick like some other flash carts, but unfortunately the unit I received has the habit of getting stuck when I tried to eject it, to the point that I can literally pick up the system by holding onto the flash cart. This is not simply friction caused by a tight fit, it feels like the R4i Gold is getting caught on something and I have to wiggle it to the right to free it. This problem was exhibited in both a DSi and 3DS, and none of my other carts (game or flash) do this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    3DS Compatibility
    [/p]
    The unit I received had the 3DS bootloader update already applied, and as suspected after giving it a MicroSD with the proper Wood menu files, the R4i Gold successfully ran on an updated US Nintendo 3DS system, with no noticeable flaws. It's important to note that this flash cart (like all current flash carts) currently runs on the 3DS in "DS mode". This means the cart runs as if it's in a DS. It will not play DSi games, it will not play 3DS games, and no games or homebrew running from the cart can take advantage of any extra DSi or 3DS features.
    [​IMG]

    Game/Homebrew Compatibility
    [/p]
    The Wood R4 firmware for the R4i Gold boasts high compatibility, and is currently one of the top-suggested firmwares. Indeed it seemed to have no problem with many common games, and it would run trimmed ROMs and ROM hacks without a problem, even detecting cheats properly. Save size is detected automatically, and the Wood firmware is compatible with the standard .SAV save type that many flash carts use, so Wood was able to pick up on and use my saves from some other carts without an issue.

    A proper test of various problematic ROMs and homebrew will be conducted for the full review.
     
  3. AlanJohn

    Member AlanJohn くたばれ

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    OK why is GBAtemp reviewing a clone?
     
  4. Zorua

    Zorua Newbie

    Because this is one of the quality clones that work on the 3DS and support wood.
     
  5. drewmerc

    Member drewmerc GBAtemp Regular

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    any internal pics or do i have to wait for the review
     
  6. ninditsu

    Member ninditsu GBAtemp Regular

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    is this the one listed in the shop for around $10?
     
  7. Zorua

    Zorua Newbie

    I don't see any listing for R4i Gold 3DS on shoptemp yet.
     
  8. shakirmoledina

    Member shakirmoledina Legend

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    nowadays the clones for r4 seem to be one of the best carts (cost effective if i may rephrase it) due to Wood. If that wasnt there, it would have hid itself like edge these days.
    by the way, clones really love the r4 boxart

    Msg to wood: have u checked out the 3ds [​IMG] like yasu did for the dsi with his "hello world"
     
  9. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Review
    Read.

    EDIT: This post is worded in such a way because you're questioning the very purpose for the existence of a review. You yourself see people all the time coming here with no clue which carts are good or not. The purpose of a review is to tell a user if a product is any good or not.

    Get it?
     
  10. Aeter

    Member Aeter A walking contradiction

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    This and apart from the name, it's actually a very decent cart that actually gets good support and can compete with cards with similar abilities like the Acekard.
     
  11. The Pi

    Member The Pi Lurker

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    It's one of the few "good" clones (I own the non-3ds version) which is slighty too tight in the slot, though that is better than too loose (yay contact issues) overall it's of good build, great with wood and with a nice price to boot.

    On par with an AK2i if not better (due to much less common contact issues)
     
  12. Pyrate02

    Member Pyrate02 GBAtemp Fan

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    I've ordered a bunch of these for family and friends and they are great - no contact issues like the AceKard. As a result of having problems with multiple AceKard, I stopped buying them and now buy the R4i Gold exclusively.

    In my opinion, its a great card with great Wood support.
     
  13. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    this card also has a very supportive team who respond to e-mails. the r4i gold is a great kit which is based off of the r4 ultra (a flash kit acekard designed, produced, and supported, until they sold that design). it receives official support by yellow wood goblin, works on the dsi/3ds, and is cost effective for new users.

    as far as 'reviewing clones", if i had it may way gbatemp would review every flash kit ever produced. to be completely honest with you i am forever seeking owners of old gba flash kits who are willing to help with reviews. i think that if it was made and it runs roms on hardware, it should be reviewed. if only we had access to all the old bung flash kits, copy kits, etc, they should all get a review.

    great job with the hands-on review, i can't wait to read the final review and see how this card stacks up in your opinion.

    -another world
     
  14. Finwen

    Newcomer Finwen Member

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    Is there a risk of brick your 3DS or something like that?
     
  15. MaxNuker

    Member MaxNuker GBATemp's Official Shinigami Substitute

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    if you'd like, maybe i could do a m3i zero review? with unpackaging etc? xD
     
  16. jabato

    Newcomer jabato Advanced Member

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    does it have upgradeable bootloader?
     
  17. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    yes, thats the reason for the '3ds' release of the r4i gold. the orignal r4i gold by the .cn (idsn) team could not be upgraded. they probably didn't anticipate that popularity of ds-mode flash kits on the 3ds.

    -another world
     
  18. Clookster

    Banned Clookster Your Clookster

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  19. jabato

    Newcomer jabato Advanced Member

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    Theres so many gold clones.. can someone post the website of the reviewed card?
     
  20. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    the card was reprogrammed to allow for the 3ds update. the old cards can not have this with out the coding, from what they told me it means the new card has a new chip with new code. the old card would need this update.

    more info for you: http://www.r4ids.cn/r4ids-development-e.html

    all of these r4 "clones" are based on the original ak2i, the one with the window shell. if you notice, on the acekard page, they haven't been able to release a 3ds update for that version of the 2i yet. the r4 gold .cn team did this by changing the code on the controller chip. acekard has done the same through chip changes on the various ak2i versions. anyways, this is the reason the hardware needed to be upgraded to work on the 3ds. its really not a money thing, even if it looks like one.

    -another world
     

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