Why are GBA flash carts so expensive?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by paul1991, Aug 5, 2007.

Aug 5, 2007
  1. paul1991
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    Banned paul1991 Banned

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    Just like the title says. You can get a 4G G6 lite for 80$.
    You can get a 4G Ncard for 20$.
    Why is one so much more expensive?

    Source is wiiso.com

    Indiana Jones
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    Source is www.wiiso.com
     
  2. Sinkhead

    Former Staff Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

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    The slot-2 cards have to have RAM in which is expensive.

    - Sam
     
  3. Maikel Steneker

    Member Maikel Steneker M3 Fanboy

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    I guess it's because GBA-games need RAM. And that's expensive.

    Besides, the G6 is a expensive flashkart.
     
  4. JPH

    Banned JPH Banned

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    Like they say; you pay more because the GBA flashcarts need RAM to play the GBA roms....
     
  5. paul1991
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    Banned paul1991 Banned

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    Thats all?
    I thought it would be something...bigger.
    Do Slot-1 carts need ram?
    Do commercial GBA carts have onboard ram?
     
  6. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    No and no. DS games can be run directly from the memory card, so flashcards don't need RAM. GBA flashcards have RAM to emulate the fast-access ROM chip where the game data is stored in the original GBA cartriges (hence the term "ROM" for dumped games). Reading directly from flash memory is far too slow for that, because the GBA expects instant response from the cartrige (Slot2 is a relatively high-speed bus interface), and the game freezes if the GBA doesn't get what it wants the instant it wants it. The DS is much less fussy in that aspect [​IMG]
     
  7. paul1991
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    Banned paul1991 Banned

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    Ok. Thanks.
    Ive heard that the GBA slot is more advanced and faster than the DS slot. Is this true?
     
  8. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The reason for RAM and the reason you can not run GBA from a DS slot cart is that the GBA hardware likes code always there to run, should it not be then you end up like the supercards (at best).

    The DS is different, it can take slowdowns (for the most part) and the DS slot is slower.

    No they are fast to read in the first place, earlier GBA carts (your F2A, EZFA, EZ1/2....) lacked ram but instead used NOR memory, very fast but small and expensive (as will as FILO: first in last out, you could not delete files "randomly").

    While more modern carts like the EZ3 and g6 use RAM the NAND memory they use in place of an ?SD/CF card (actually the cards came later as I recall), this NAND is still fairly expensive (especially at the time they were conceived, maybe not the best example but how many of you had 2 gig microSD cards until recently). The fact you are buying into a brand does not help either.
     
  9. paul1991
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    Banned paul1991 Banned

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    So, Does the DS read data more slowly?
     
  10. Sinkhead

    Former Staff Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

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    Yes

    - Sam
     
  11. paul1991
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    Banned paul1991 Banned

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  12. Sinkhead

    Former Staff Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

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    How so?

    - Sam
     
  13. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Not really. The DS reads all the data it needs at the moment (slowly) and keeps it in RAM, for easy/fast access. This makes the cartriges easier to make (because slow memory is cheaper). The ROM chip on a GBA cartrige is fast memory, and the GBA doesn't have to keep data in its RAM, it has pretty fast access to it on the cartrige. That's why GBA flashcards have to have RAM; only RAM is fast enough to act as a real GBA ROM chip.
     
  14. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    Keep in mind that GBA flash carts with RAM are actually a relatively new phenomenon. For a long time, GBA flash carts used NOR flash, which is very slow to write to but very quick to read from, hence its usage. Flash2Advance, X-Rom, EZ-Flash (etc), all these flash carts used this NOR flash. It's highly inconvenient of course, and it's expensive to make (my $120 cart holds 1 GBit aka 128 MBytes), but it worked. Adapters with RAM and CF/SD cards didn't come out until later on.

    http://wiki.pocketheaven.com/NAND_and_NOR is a good read for anyone interested. Also note that the EZ-V 3in1 expansion pack uses this NOR flash to get very high compatibility with GBA games, which is why it takes so long to write new games to it. This is probably why people worked on getting the PSRAM usable for GBA games, since even though the data is lost after poweroff, it's quicker to load a new game.
     
  15. amptor

    Banned amptor Banned

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    dude tototek still charges over $100 for a 256M flash kit, and I've seen other brands going under. If you can get a card for under 100 bucks or even under 80 bucks it's a pretty good price. But I've moved on to DS completely, haven't used a GBA game in a long time. If I was to play GBA, I'd put it on my M3 Perfect on a CF, it seems to work well enough. The visoly/bung cards are too much effort I mean... assuming that you have the software installed and an old enough o/s or pc..it is ok but I'm trying to use vista and xp and there's too many driver issues and crap to battle over ESPECIALLY if you are using visoly's undersupported USB to GBA adapter. It's a good usb device but the support is absolutely nonexistant. Even if I could find a tool for it, I highly doubt that it would support trimming and trimming is VERY important on flashram based cartridges!
     
  16. ZAFDeltaForce

    Member ZAFDeltaForce Specialist

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    Well, at least the Supercard line of GBA flashcarts are relatively affordable. They do however contain lousy RAM, evidence by their poor GBA compatibility.
     
  17. Linkiboy

    Member Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

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  18. xcalibur

    Member xcalibur Gbatemp's Chocolate Bear

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    eziv line of cards are the same price as supercard and theyre compatibility is the best
     

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