What's the Best GBA Expansion?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by InsanityToTheMax, Aug 25, 2009.

Aug 25, 2009
  1. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Hi..! I magically started wanting to play GBA Games (and DS Browser/Quake 2 DS) so I was wondering, what is the best GBA Expansion for DS? Many people have been saying "Get the EZ Flash 3 in 1!!" but when I saw the loading screens (NOR Memory), i was like.. OMFAG.. So yeah.. then I learned that the M3 team has their own M3 Expansion and also there is the eWin thingy.. but that sounds old XD...
    So... What's the best GBA Expansion card ???

    And another quick question. What's GBA Exploader??
    THX in advance [​IMG]
     


  2. greator

    Member greator GBAtemp Regular

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    Sorry to tell you but, ALL GBA flashcart uses NOR memory.

    It keeps your game intact. Even if you remove them from your GBA.

    For GBA games, most ppl get EZ 3in1. M3 is good too but really expensive. The other cart is old and not supported anymore. You can also get EZFlash IV, but its hard to get, and even if you find one, its about the same price as M3. So get M3 instead.

    (EZflashIV is the only good GBA size cart while all the other is NDS cart size.)

    For expansion pak (browser and Quake2), yes, its EZ3in1 again, M3, and Supercard. Yes, Supercard. They have the slot2 cart by ppl says its GBA game is slow when playing F-Zero or Castlevania. Get the one with the rumble.

    For better compatibility, get the original Nintendo Expansion pak. I think they still selling the browser.

    Bottomline: EZ3in1 (cheap. Get the EzflashVi also, as they're really good when pairing together)
    M3. (Good. A bit pricey. They have separate cart, 1 for rumble and 1 for expansion)

    Some offer big space in NOR memory such as 64MB but thats is not needed cuz the cart can only hold 1 game at a time and the max size of GBA game is 32MB.
     
  3. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    Wrong. The slot-2 Supercards, slot-2 M3 Perfects, and slot-2 G6 products all use RAM rather than NOR. The EZ-IV uses a combination of RAM and NOR, as does the 3in1. With the 3in1 in particular, you can use RAM for games up to 16 MB in size, but for 32 MB games you must use NOR.
     
  4. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    Wrong. The NOR on the 3in1 was bumped up to 512M for multi-rom mode, not because someone wanted to run a 64MB gba movie.



    @InsanityToTheMax
    There is no best gba expansion, and assumming there is one is like asking whats the better hand to write with.

    There are 3 expansion packs or GEP for short, 1 of which is not made or sold anymore. The 3 that are left are:
    A. EZ Flash V 3in1 expansion pack
    B. M3 GBA expansion pack
    C. EWin GBA expansion pack (not made or sold anymore, VERY HARD to find)


    There are roughly 2 ways people prefer to get a GBA game running. The first is the integrated loader and the second way is through an external loader like GBA exploader.

    Those that choose one with an integrated loader are limited with what slot1 they can have.

    slot1 integrated loaders for the 3in1:
    Acekard
    CycloDS
    EZ Flash V

    slot1 integrated loaders for the M3 GEP:
    M3 Real
    M3 Zero


    Those that choose one with an external loader are for those that have none of the above slot1 flashcarts. The other benefit to using an external loader is that even if you upgrade to a different slot1 flashcart, you can still use the same loader to play GBA games.

    The only issue with using GBA exploader is that Roudolph blacklisted the M3 slot1 flashcarts from using the exploader and backuptools homebrew after the M3 team sent Roudolph a C&D.

    With that in mind, you can use any slot1 except M3 with GBA exploader. More recently some M3 user made a patch removing the blacklist in exploader. In doing so and the Majicon crackdown in Japan, GBA exploader development is stopped at 0.58b.


    Now we look at what slot2 devices are support with what external loaders:

    cory1492's GBALdr loader:
    3in1 (all versions: v1, v2, v3)

    NDStation:
    3in1 (versions: v1 & v2)

    Roudolph's GBA exploader:
    3in1 (all versions: v1, v2, v3 partially)
    M3 GEP (all version: non RTC and RTC)
    Ewin GEP
    EZ Flash IV (all versions)

    EWin loader:
    EWin GEP
     
  5. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Wait.. so the EZ Flash 3 in 1 Expansion pack has 512 megabits or NOR instead of 256 and can have multiple roms in NOR ?
    So confusing :S Isn't that the EZ Flash 3 in 1 Expansion pack plus?
     
  6. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    The 3in1+ is the one with 512M. The multi-rom mode is only useable by having an EZ-Flash slot1 device only.
     
  7. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Oh... i get it now [​IMG] So since I DON'T have a EZ Flash slot 1, i should buy the 3in1 without the plus...
    One last little question [​IMG]
    In this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdvyM5uuOnk , at 3:54, there are only 5 save slots/files/spaces.. My question is does that mean that I only can have 5 save files and if i wanted to save with a 6th game, i would have to erase another game's save file??? Or does that mean I can have 5 save files for that one game....?
    P.S. The M3 Expansion uses NOR rite?
     
  8. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    The current M3 GEP uses SDRAM. There is no NOR with the M3 GEP, it is not capable of independant use like the 3in1.

    GBA exploader by default has multi save enabled. Yes you will have to overwrite one of the saves.

    You can turn off the multisave by removing the # in the ini file, the one in front of the No_MultiSave. The benefit to this is that in PSRAM mode, your save data is autosaved to file on the next startup.
     
  9. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Hmm.. so it's not like NDS SAV files where there are one sav file for each game.. [​IMG]

    Hey wait.. the M3 GEP uses SDRAM... is that faster then NOR or no? [​IMG] Cuz all im looking for is how fast it is and can i use it for gba games/homebrew.. not rumble..
    And since I'm going to be using GBA Exploader, the 5 save file limit is still going to be their.. rite?
     
  10. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    Read the last 2 lines again, turning on the No_Multisave will default it to 1 save file like most slot1 flashcarts are.

    The M3 GEP SDRAM is temporary like the PSRAM in the 3in1, everything is erased when you cut the power to the DS. Speed is relative, all games load to SDRAM/PSRAM in a few seconds.

    NOR takes longer to write to because it acts like a thumb drive and keeps data there even after you cut power to the DS.

    Most homebrew programs use the PSRAM portion of the 3in1.
     
  11. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Oh... hmm..
    But with the 3in1, games that are higher then 16 megs you got to use NOR rite? How many megabytes are in the m3 thingy? Oh.. and since the PSRAM/SDRAM in the 3in1/M3 GEP is temporary, does the save go away?
    Sorry for so many questions...
     
  12. greator

    Member greator GBAtemp Regular

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    All RAM is 16MB.
     
  13. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    About the "All RAM is 16mb", does that mean that any game that is higher then 32mb i can't play on the M3 gba expansion?
     
  14. greator

    Member greator GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, they said this:
    So, yeah. without NOR memory. you'll stuck with 16MB games.
     
  15. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Hmm.. Kinda off topic question [​IMG] , does the M3 Expansion pack (the one that comes in three different shells), the same as the gba expansion that comes in M3 Real perfect bundles?
     
  16. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    You bearly know enough about the different hardware greator. The M3 GEP uses a 32MB micron SDRAM chip.

    Your limited to 32MB max for any GBA game on the M3 GEP. I personally have no games that are bigger than 32MB in size. The only GBA titles are larger than 32MB are the GBA videos titles, which are not really games.



    The M3 GEP has 3 different shells for you to use. 1 solid black lite shell, 1 clear smoke lite shell and 1 clear smoke GBA sized shell.
     
  17. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    not sure which one yu are referring to but the M3 Lite Perfect is way different
    its a independent card


    the M3 GBA Exp Pak
    relies on the M3 Real/M3i Zero for support or a program like GBA ExpLoader
    it cant boot on its own and needs a slot-1 card
     
  18. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Hmm.. well that changes everything XD
    I think im going to get the M3 GEP because I always hated rumble and I still do.. Plus if what how_do_i_do_that says is true, I can have the speed of 3in1's 16mb memory while having the capacity of the NOR... so.. [​IMG] Go M3!
    Thx everybody [​IMG]
     
  19. personager

    Member personager GBAtemp Fan

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    I can't seem to find the M3 Lite as a stand alone anywhere and the M3 GBA Expansion Pack is only available with the M3 Bundle, as far as I know.
     
  20. InsanityToTheMax
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    Newcomer InsanityToTheMax Advanced Member

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    Lol i already found the M3 GBA Expansion Pack..
    Here's the link... http://www.consolesource.com/ecomm/catalog...ack-p-2821.html
     

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