Review for the R4i SaveDongle, compared to NDS Backup Adapter

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Dimensional, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Dimensional

    Dimensional GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 7, 2008
    United States
    SaveDongle Review By Andrew V. (First review ever done.)

    Key Features
    • Lightweight and user friendly interface
    • Compact and mobile hardware
    • Easy upgrade firmware
    • Fast installation
    Information and Review

    For this review to possibly stand out, it would be hard to just talk about this product. So it is fitting to compare it with another product that many users might possess. The NDS Backup Adapter Plus. Both these products are able to backup and restore game saves from 3DS/DSi/NDS games, but while the NDS Backup Adapter comes with it's own drivers and software, which leads to a small download, the R4i SaveDongle's drivers are just standard windows system drivers, namely the .Net 4 and the Microsoft Visual Studios 2010 runtime, which is a large download unless of course one has already acquired these from the Microsoft website, and maybe even if they installed a copy of MVS 2010 already.

    While the NDS Backup Adapter Plus has been out for some time, it's drivers are only made to run perfectly on a 32-bit windows sytem. The 64-bit drivers are unsigned, and require special modifications to the bootloader each time you turn the system on to allow for running said drivers. My own 64-bit windows system has been messed around to make this work so much that it refuses to see this product at all, forcing me to use a virtual maching. The R4i SaveDongle on the other hand, because it uses standard windows drivers, is able to run on a 64-bit Windows system without any issues or modification.

    Comparing the user interfaces.

    The NDS Backup Adapter's GUI is a simple one, showing the game cart, the save type and size, as well as the firmware version of the adapter. It's straight to the point with not much flash. You have to download newer versions of the GUI with the same drivers in a single ZIP file. As for the R4i SaveDongle, the GUI interface for the programs are a bit more flashy. It contains information about the SaveDongle's firmware version, the name of the game as well as the save size, but not the save type. While flashy, the GUI is pretty much simple.

    Now, the firmware updaters for both USB devices differ greatly. The NDS Backup Adapter's firmware updater is always a new program completely, the firmware packaged inside. This requires a larger download than that of the R4i SaveDongle, which only uses a single program, and has the firmware packaged separately in a BIN file. Another difference is that the firmware updater for the NDS Backup Adapter just updates, which is quick and easy, but could leave users with trouble if they accidentally opened the wrong program, wanting to backup a save instead of change the firmware. The R4i SaveDongle's software is easy to distinguish from one another, and the updater informs the user that they need to press a little button on the hardware to put it into a mode that will access firmware updates. While this is a little slower than the NDS Backup Adapter's method, it is safer as it prevents users from accidentally bricking their hardware.

    Overall Grade of the R4i SaveDongle

    Since I only got this recently, I've been trying it out and seeing what it can do. Being able to run it natively on my 64-bit Windows 7 is in my opinion a great change, and something good since most systems now days happen to be 64-bit systems. Having to run hardware such as this inside a virtual machine can get rather tedious at times, as not all virtual machine programs are able to perfectly work with physical USB hardware. And because this is my first time ever reviewing, posting a topic in the forums, or anything, I will be conservative in my grading.

    I give this product an 8/10. The reasons are because it is a great product. It might have some bugs here or there, but those are quickly being taken care of. It shows a lot of promise, especially for being able to run on practically new systems. Not counted as part of the score is a feature I would have loved to use, something apparently not capable on the NDS Backup Adapter Plus is able to, which happens to be the capability of backing up also the game itself. Would make things easier for some users who are more like collectors, not wanting to do anything that could damage the physical cartridge.
    xwatchmanx likes this.
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