Which flash cards / carts do you recomend buying? [Solution]

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by Bootsum, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    (Sorry! I forget to mention on the title. It's a slot-1 flash card discussion)

    Recommended Flash cards / carts (simplified)
    It's for people who can't read much texts.

    The best budget-level card: Acekard2, or EzFlash V Plus
    If cheaper is what you value more, go for Acekard2.
    If you don't mind paying a bit more, go for EzFlsh V Plus.

    The biggest bang for the buck: Clearly it's Supercard DS One.

    The best of the best (no price concern): Supercard DS One or CycloDS, depending on what features you value more

    ------------------------------------------------

    Don't recommend
    I don't recommend the following:[*]R4 -- Bad. No MicroSDHC support. Don't have premium features. Currently unsupported. The price is not cheap and is not alright for such an okay card.[*]DSTT -- Bad. Very basic card. The OS is bad (eg no folder view, no logical sorting, hard to organize many ROMs). For such a price, you can go for Acekard2 unless you want to save every dollar.[*]Edge -- Okay. The philosophy is similar to R4 in that it won't see premium features coming. The price is again not cheap. For such a price, why not go for EzFlash V Plus which is cheaper and better.[*]M3DS Simply -- Bad. It's just another R4 clone. See "why not R4".[*]M3DS Real -- Okay. It has more features than the "Simply" card but it is dearer (~US$30), more buggy and less feature-rich than Supercard DS One. Go for Supercard DS One instead.Note: Price may change so does the recommendation.

    Why not R4?
    It has reached its prime and it's on decline.

    Why not R4 flash card:[*]R4 doesn't support MicroSDHC[*]R4 supports up to 4GB of MicroSD. However MicroSD has max 2GB only on the market. [*]MicroSD is slow while MicroSDHC is faster. It's better to buy a MicroSDHC memory card.[*]MicroSDHC is the new technology. It's going to be better, cheaper and faster.[*]I like to get a bigger size memory card (my personal min is 4GB). It's because you can hold more ROMs, personal files, homebrew applications without the need of swapping so often. It appears it is not uncommon that transferring files via a non-decent card reader can corrupt your data. So if you have a very small size of memory card, the risk will be higher.[*]Continuous support and future updates are uncertain because Nintendo (and other companies) are taking legal action against them[*]There are many fake R4 cards on the globe(Just a note: When a memory card says it is 4GB. It doesn't express in binary data size that the computer uses. The actual (binary) size is smaller. What a shameless marketing gimmick [​IMG])

    There is a so-called new card called R4-SDHC. R4-SDHC is most likely a fake card. The original R4 team says no word about this new card. That's a bad sign.
    That means you may not be able to update the kernel since the original R4 team will try to brick the NDSL if you use a fake R4. [​IMG]
    A fake R4 card can't accept new kernel.

    Other cards which are based on R4 too and they are no good either (eg M3DS Simply).

    ------------------------------------------------

    Built-in memory or not
    If you appear to meet flash cards with built-in memory, I don't recommend built-in memory. Reasons are you have no choices on the brand/speed/size etc. of the memory. They are probably generic memory and is in poor quality. You can't upgrade the memory when you need it.

    After all, I believe most flash cards with built-in memory are old techies. New trends dislike built-in memory too.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Recommended Flash cards / carts (detailed version)
    Here is a few good candidates (2008):[*]Supercard DS One[*]CycloDS Evolution[*]Acekard2[*]EzFlash V PlusThey are the new innovation/generation supporting new techies (eg SDHC compatibility, automatic DLDI patching, clean ROM support). You don't want to spend your money on (darn) old techies and ask for trouble.
    Thus I prefer them rather than the (darn) old generation like DS Fire Link [Well, a rubbish card [​IMG] [​IMG] ].

    My comments:
    • Supercard DS One -- premium, very feature-rich card with reasonable price. My recommendation goes with Supercard DS One (SDHC version). Make sure it's DS One and it supports MicroSDHC. I will explain later.
    • CycloDS Evolution -- premium, very feature-rich but very expensive (twice as expensive as Supercard DS One). Both Supercard DS One and CycloDS has features that either side doesn't. I don't think it's worth the price when we have a much cheaper alternative which is also feature-rich. If price is not a concern at all, you may pick either one depending on what features are more important for you.
    • Acekard2 -- it isn't feature-rich (so far) but it has all the basic/normal features that everyone needs. It has a price cut-off and it is much cheaper than Supercard DS One. Depending on the price you can save, if you know for sure you don't and WILL not need the extra features some other cards have, you may get it instead. However there are some concerns about its so-so build quality (I haven't confirmed it yet). But this card is really prone to breaking so handle it with care if you use it.
    • EzFlash V Plus -- Similar to Acekard2 but slightly dearer. However, as other members pointed out, EzFlash V Plus team is active and they are working on adding premium features to their cart. So this may be a better candidate than Acekard2. You may be able to enjoy the premium features (hopefully not buggy) in the forseeable future.
    Note:
    - All price references are taken in Oct 208. Prices will change and vary depending on where you get. So you should judge it based on the prices you can get.
    - Acekard2 is prone to breaking (thanks to PharaohsVizier)
    From http://gbatemp.net/index.php?s=&showto...t&p=1464655
    For this reason, use it with care if you buy this card.

    OK. Now it comes to Supercard DS One Review.
    It is too long so I put it into the next post.
     


  2. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    Supercard DS One Review


    Why Supercard DS One? In short:[*]It's cheap (official price is US$29, but retail price can be as low as about US$25)[*]It's as feature-rich as CycloDS Evolution[*]I especially like the following features offered by Supercard DS One:
    • Real-time Save (**Don't underestimate its usefulness**)
    • Multi-Save Management (**Don't underestimate its usefulness**)
    • Support multi-OS menu and OS switching on-the-fly (DSOne menu, DSTT menu, YSMenu. Each having its own strong and weak points, not just in look and interface)
    [*]High ROM Compatibility (Perfect compatibility for "Clean ROM" mode)[*]Long history, Continuous support[*]Active Forum (**An active forum is important. So you can ask questions or help)Price: The official price for Supercard DS One is only US$29 (I found one place which is selling at as low as US$25). I don't know how much you get from the retailer. Hopefully it won't charge you too much higher. However CycloDS Evolution costs around US$55. It's more than double of Supercard DS One, in which both cards are also feature-rich.

    Feature-rich: Although I don't do a neck-for-heck comparison with CycloDS Evolution, Supercard DS One itself has tons of features. It covers all the basic/normal features, plus some extra in which a few are unique. Considered the price (affordable!), you shouldn't miss it and go for Acekard2 / EzFlash V Plus either. When you buy a card, you probably don't want to switch to another card for quite some time. So why not buy a better one to serve you? Even if you don't want the extra features, you may need it in future. It's pretty frustrating when you need a feature but which is not here. Later on, I'm going to comment on a few extras which I find it very useful (Actually I only reveal its true value when I use this card. I haven't thought of using those extras in such a way when I first bought it)

    Real-time Save(RTS): Even if you don't fancy much about the concept of on-the-go save, real-time save may come into handy. The use of RTS:
    (1) Cheat a bit in the game [​IMG]. For example, you can keep retrying and saving the best results and go on.
    (2) Practice. Let's say you save just before you meet the boss, so you can practice the boss fights as often as you want. Sometimes you may need to restart the stage and the boss is very far from the checkpoint/savepoint.
    (3) Here's the unexpected use of RTS. Acted as a checkpoint / quick save. Some stupid games don't have quick save (eg Resident Evil). You may be urgent to save but you can't save now. RTS comes into handy and remedy the problems of some games.
    (4) Save you from unexpected scene. You can save instantly when your teacher reached the classroom. You can save instantly when you found out your battery is running out and your game is going to lose otherwise.

    To keep a balance, I will tell you about the negative side of this feature. RTS is still not perfect. It's not too reliable and has minor glitches. Try to pick a static point to save. Time should gradually improve and perfect it. Also it only has 1 RTS slot. We need more. ^o^ Finally it will make you cheat more often which may spoil the fun of a game. Hehe...

    Multi-Save: Don't be confused between this and RTS. This one allows you to keep more than one save file. What does it mean? The game provides 3 slots for me to save anyway. This feature is redundant. Well no. Try to think harder. The use of multi-save:
    (1) Some games only has 1 game slot. This will come into handy.
    (2) You can have virtually unlimited game slots since you can keep creating new save files (You need tell DSOne which save you want to use each time you load the game)
    (3) (2) Some games like Nintendogs is a real-time simulation game. So you can only have one instance of simulation. If your family wants to play too, he can't. With the help of multi-save, your family and you can keep a separate Nintendog to brew, or you can run multiple instances of simulation.
    (4) If you share NDSL with your family. Each family member can keep a separate save file. Hehe... Great!

    Multi-OS Menu: Some people complain about DSOne original menu. No problem dude. If you don't like the original DSOne menu, you can *switch*. A switch is as easy as "select and press". There are 3 menu systems for you to choose, each having its own strengths:
    * DSOne menu (strong point: unique save enhancement system)
    * DSTT menu (strong point: cheat code system, compatible with R4 cheat database)
    * YSMenu (strong point: neat and plain GUI, fast interface, can delete ROM on the fly)
    [Note: You need download the unofficial files on the forum which contains all those 3 menus. Simply download and extract. A piece of cake.]

    Active Forum: It has an English forum but the Chinese forum is more active. I value this highly. I don't normally consider a card which doesn't have its own forum.
    Not only that you can ask questions or seek help on the forum, a forum is a good way to get detailed info about the product. A forum is a very good way to know more about the reality of a product. Of course you will hear some negatives about the products. Every product has its own problem. But don't be scared away and go for a flash cart which doesn't have a forum (and so you can't hear the complaints of its product, and you assume it is better). Besides the problems you encounter which have been "recorded" on the forum already. A search leads to an answer, saving my day [​IMG]. Users are also keen on solving problems, or providing new functionalities etc.

    Other Useful Features: A brief mention of other features; built-in Moonshell (so you can read text, view images, listen music etc.), powerful cheats, soft reset support on all ROMs and even homebrew apps, on-the-fly game guide, support long filename, support folder etc.
    (The bad thing about Supercard DS One is, if you use DSOne menu to create the save file, it uses DOS (8+3) naming convention. The name is slightly ugly. It may cause slight problems when you use the save file across multiple OS.
    A manual renaming should solve this minor inconvenience)

    Feature List of Supercard DS One
    http://eng.supercard.cn/manual/dsone/jsh.html

    CycloDS Evolution VS Supercard DS One (thanks to PharaohsVizier)
    http://dsdatabase.org/cdevsscds1.html (the original comparison, will not update naymore)
    http://dsdatabase.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=895 (it will keep being updated)


    When you buy Supercard DS One
    First make sure it's DS One and it supports MicroSDHC.

    The package is a bit weird in that the word "DS" in "Supercard DS One" looks like "OS". But that's normal. It's not a fake card. So far it appears there is no fake Supercard DS One.

    There is a very easy way to test if your Supercard DS One is real. Try out its real-time saving feature. It's a special feature which is hard to find in other cards. It's real if the feature works. Otherwise beware.


    Special Updates: Supercard DS One PSRAM Error (Oct 2008)
    Some users reported that Supercard DS One may suffer from PSRAM error in the recent builds.
    Simply speaking it is an error which will causes most games to freeze or refuse to boot. You will get this error, if any, in the first few days of usage. If you get PSRAM error your build is faulty. You should return it to the retailer for a replacement within warranty.

    As to how widespread the problem is, I did a search for "PSRAM" in its official Chinese forum (where there are more activities than the English one). It only returns 7 results. The distribution:
    2006 Dec: 1 report
    2007: 5 reports
    2008 Aug: 1 report

    Then I did a search in the English official forum. It returns 18 results. The distribution:
    2007: 6 reports
    2008: 12 reports (of which 7 occurs in first half while 5 in second half)

    From the result it doesn't seem the recent builds particularly suffer from PSRAM error.
    Hope this short piece of information helps you to make judgment.

    I hope this article helps you to make the right decision. [​IMG]
     
  3. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    Misconception: CycloDS is by far the best feature-wise
    Features: I often see some people claim CycloDS is more expensive but hey it has the most features in the world. Well I believe it is due to the fact CycloDS is really a good card and it does offer many features (some of which most cards don't have), so they assume it is the best, feature-wise. Really, as a matter of fact either sides lack some features that another has, so there is no clear winner.

    CycloDS has a better GUI out of the stock. Supercard DS One has a poor factory settings (but it ca be improved by a bit tweaking).

    CycloDS has a better real-time guide. Supercard DS One real-time guide isn't look nice.

    However Supercard DS One has built-in multi-save features. CycloDS doesn't really support it.

    Supercard DS One has multi-OS support. So you can enjoy the benefits offered by different OSes (as a point no OS can be the best in every aspect!). Someone has worked for you so you don't need to go through a lot of steps yourself. Simply download the unofficial multi-OS on the forum and extract it. Done. CycloDS doesn't have it. It is a big disadvantage.

    The above are just some comparison. As you see it is hard to draw a clear conclusion that either side is better than another, feature-wise. Depending on what features are more important to you, you may have different conclusion. If you take price into consideration, Supercard DS One largely wins.

    I agree if someone says CycloDS is slightly better. But if it says it is clearly better or clearly has most features, I strongly disagree. They didn't do a neck-by-neck comparison to draw such a conclusion.


    Finally...
    If you appreciate the above post or you find this post useful, say thank you. Thank you. [​IMG]

     
  4. lurbi

    Member lurbi GBAtemp Regular

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    I agree with you (mostly).

    BUT the SCDS1 has at the moment some downsides.
    I use it myself, and I like it very much, but some small things make it unnecessarily hard to use.

    1) no direct 3in1 support (GBA, rumble, opera patching)
    2) savegames use short names (ga~1.sav)
    3) cheat descriptions are cut off (and use huge font)
    4) realtime guide uses huge font, ASCII art gets garbled
    5) missing in-game meni with slowmo, RTS, RTG ....

    Apart from these the SCDS1 is great.
    My current workaround is to use YSMENU per default, and only switch to the SCDS1 GUI if I need a special feature.


    Also the EZFlash V+ is slowly moving to be a feature rich cart.
    There was recently a beta released with unstable RTG and RTS support.
    It is on a very good way!!
     
  5. Ryukouki

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    YAY now i dont feel bad for getting my EZ flash V as an r4 replacement! Thnx to prizerebel for the goods
     
  6. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    (1) What exactly is the problem? Currently no slot-1 card can play GBA or do rumble. We need resort to slot-2 solution.
    Supercard DS One can be used along with its other slot-2 products, or you can combine Supercard DS One with EzFlash 3-in-1 to get those supports.

    (2) Well I hate this too. But I just adapt to it. Not a big deal anyway.

    (3) This is why we should use multi-OS. Other OSes like DSTT/YsMenu don't suffer from this "cut-off" problem.

    (4) You may try to look into the config files and change the default settings.

    (5) They have in-game menus. You just need to know the combination keys to call them out. For exmaple press L+R+Up+Start to call RTS menu in-game. Slowmo is part of a cheat but it is a bit clumsy to apply.
     
  7. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    Thanks for the mentioning. I have updated my posts.

    Would you mind commenting a bit about the card Edge? What's the position of this card on the market? Basic or Sophisticated? Cheap, middlestream, high-end etc.?
     
  8. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    I believe EzFlash V is the old product.
    The new generation is EzFlash V Plus.
     
  9. granville

    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    I really suggest you avoid getting a Supercard DS-ONE until they fix the PSRAM error. You have a good chance of getting a defective card and you WILL NOT be happy if you do.
     
  10. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    Well this is a big difference IMO as explained in the first post.
    microSDHC support is highly desired. It appears microSDHC support can't be added by firmwire updates. You must buy the right card or you won't get microSDHC support. MicroSDHC is the new technology, the new trend, faster, support larger GB.

    If your memory card has more gigs, you will start making use of it. You will be glad that you decided to go for microSDHC. MicroSDHC 4GB card is cheap. It will be even cheaper as time goes by. Then 8GB, 16GB and so on.

    Think about computer RAM. The age of 64MB vs 4GB RAM, and how people behaviour changes. ;-)

    I wonder there are some other minor differences (I forget!) but I don't bother doing the research to point out the exact differences. After all it is still lagging far behind Supercard DS One.
     
  11. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    How does it happen?
    I have been using for about 1 month. So far it's still very healthy.

    PSRAM error. Send the faulty one for replacement for free:
    http://forum.hopebuy.com/archiver/?tid-955.html
     
  12. granville

    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    If you have used yours for a month, you have a good model. The PSRAM error appears within about 48-36 hours of when you first use the Supercard DS-ONE (if you have a defective model). You will notice it by playing the games. They will refuse to boot, never get past the first logos, or freeze during gameplay. You determine whether it's the PSRAM error by doing the self-test (press L+R+START on DS bootup while the health warning screen begins to fade).

    I'm just saying to people who are thinking of buying one to avoid getting a DS-ONE until Supercard team fixes the issue or comes up with a permanent way for users to fix it. Had it worked well, I'd recommend it without a doubt. But as it is, you have a good chance of it not working. I don't think anyone wants a card that has a decent chance of messing up.
     
  13. Diablo1123

    Member Diablo1123 Newcomer

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    I had an EZ-Flash V+, but I still prefer my DSTT with YSMenu

    Only advantage the EZ-Flash had in my opinion is GBA cheats, but I don't cheat.
    And it takes forever to boot because its moonshell
    Glad I sold it [​IMG]
     
  14. Diablo1123

    Member Diablo1123 Newcomer

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    Well if that happens, I could probably persude that guy to trade it for a DSTT.
    Besides, I ordered an AceKard 2, I'll see if I like that better then DSTT or EZV+
     
  15. ozzymud

    Member ozzymud GBAtemp Regular

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    I dont think there is an all-in-one solution to this question... Each cart has it's own pros and cons.

    Look at topics about ANY card long enough and you WILL find things wrong with em. Might be slowdowns in menus unless you alter it, might be lockups in a game, some "feature" it claims to have not working right. The list is endless.

    The BEST card for an individual to buy has no solution.... RTFM, "Google is your friend", etc, etc.

    Make your own spreadsheet detailing all good and bad you read about a card, then you are prolly the only one who can decide.

    Acekard2, Acekard RPG, Cyclo, DSTT, EDGE, eWin, EZFlash, N-Card, R4, SCDS One... those are popular... but ONE as a SOLUTION for ALL... It dont exist.

    You could just do what i did, pick 4, and buy em, try em out, give the ones you dont like to friends/family... keep the one you like, or try out some more [​IMG] Or pick the one that hundreds of other people here have talked good about and cost like $12 from DealExtreme and try it if your on a budget.
     
  16. lurbi

    Member lurbi GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm sorry for that stupid question ... but why does the EDGE deserve this??
    I do not own one, but from the outside I do not see anything which stand out.
    Seems to be just another very basic cart (like DSTT).

    for the rest. ("what stands out")
    Cyclo has a great community, and great features.
    SCDS1 has great features and a good price. (+ bliss loader, YSMENU)
    AK2 is very cheap (13 dollar at dealextreme.com) and has a GREAT GUI, and has support for YSMENU.
    EZ V+ has recently aquired very many features. And the team is very active. Latest beta has RTG and RTS support. It supports multiloader for GBA ROMs together with the 3in1 (bootmenu for more than one game in NOR)

    EDGE seems to have a good build quality, and all "mandatory" features, nothing more.

    IMHO the Acekard RPG would maybe deserve a place here. (Open Source and with built in NAND)

    Maybe I am missing something here, so please tell me.
    But as it seems firmware updates are only for compatibility, and no new features, and as I have read it only has mandatory features ... so why do so many people like it?
     
  17. lurbi

    Member lurbi GBAtemp Regular

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    1) the EZFlash 3in1 is a slot2 card. The SCDS1 does not support it directly (as written above) and you have to use homebrew to make use of it (exception YSMENU) on the SCDS1. The acekard2, EZFlash V and Cyclo DS Evo detect it, and use it. Eg. you can load GBA games directly from the Cart GUI, use RAM for Opera, and switch on rumble.
    So I want SCDS1 to support these features natively, without 3rd party homebrew.

    4) ?? what exactly are you talking about??
    The font is hardcoded, and it cannot be changed by the user.
    Many, many, many people complained about it, and there is no solution except a new firmware, which changes the default. (or makes it configurable)

    5) OK ... mixed definitions. What I meant with in-game menu is ONE menu, where you can select all functions. I know all of the features of the SCDS1 ... what I want is an easy menu, which covers all the functions in one menu, and with ONE hotkey to bring up the menu.
    Eg. Softreset
    Cheat
    Realtime Guide
    Realtime Save (submenu save, load, maybe multiple slots to select from)
    Slowmotion
    brightness
    some exciting new features [​IMG])

    PS: I know I can use YSMENU or TTMENU for not cut off cheats, but than I loose all the SCDS1 features. So they should "simply" implement those features, and than the SCDS1 would be absolutely heads up with the Cyclo, and above all the rest [​IMG]
     
  18. lurbi

    Member lurbi GBAtemp Regular

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    OK ... here is part of the answer to my previous question.
    But I still do not see what is so special about the EDGE [​IMG]

    Anyways ... regarding the EZFlash.
    Bad news: EZFlash V+ does no longer support clean mode (SCDS1 being the only one which has clean mode IMHO)
    good news: EZFlash has a new beta firmware with in-game menu, RTG and RTS
     
  19. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    I don't know how widespread this problem is. But I don't see anyone complaining about PSRAM error on the Chinese official forum (searching and reading for about 8 pages of topics, although not thoroughly).

    If my observation is right, perhaps the problem has been fixed or this problem is occasional (every card will have bad builds). They offer 1 year warranty as far as I know.

    Are you sure the problem still exist, or whether the problem is still widespread? I may withdraw my recommendation if I see signs that this problem has reached alarming level.
     
  20. Bootsum
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    Newcomer Bootsum Member

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    Yes it's true strictly speaking.
    Well, practically, some cards are usually, if not always better, than some others. Some cards may have a lot of pros but minor cons, but some may have a few pros but many major cons.

    There are actually many flash carts but we are usually focused on the few. We have already skipped the really bad ones. There is virtually no reason to choose the bad ones unless you are ill-informed.

    If you notice the title, it says "...do you recommend buying?". I don't say "...should you buy?". I know there is no one-size-fit-all.

    I can't state a lot of "ifs". If you are on low budget and you don't need RTS, you should get... If you are not concerned about price and you like powerful cheats, you should get... blah blah blah. That's why I list my reasoning, so the audience understands why I pick that particular card.

    As a reader, you shouldn't blindly stick with my recommendation (otherwise I should delete the whole paragraph except the name of the card LOL). Instead learn how I pick a card and see if the reasons I list apply to your case. Perhaps you still don't think you need RTS, multi-save, multi-OS, you should go for Acekard2 / EzFlash V Plus in this case even though the post recommends Supercard DS One.

    If you don't mind the price factor, one very good reason of preferring Supercard DS One to CycloDS is gone. Yet you may still want to pick Supercard DS One since both are really very close, even taking out the price factor. It depends on what features/factors you weigh most, and how they satisfy your needs.
     

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