Why is playing gba roms on console so difficult?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by kshuaib734, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. kshuaib734
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    kshuaib734 Newbie

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    I've been reading about GBA flashcarts and the inherent problems with the EZ flash iv and how after 10 years the everdrive has fixed some of these, and how there have always been probelms with SRAM and NOR and all this nonsense...

    Why have DS flashcards always been 10 steps ahead and working flawlessly while GBA has had so many problems.

    And how come GBA emulation on smartphones and the PSP is great with 0 load times and yet EZ flash iv has these wait times.


    Is there just something unique about the gba that makes it so hard to create a flashcard for?

    And while I'm at it, gba flashcart vs emulation on psp, what's superior?
     
  2. Hking0036

    Hking0036 GBAtemp Fan

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    DS flash carts have been in production and competition from a ton of chinese groups since like 2005, where GBA never really had many options. GBA games are expected to be read off high-bandwidth memory so with the EZIV they have to be copied from the SD into the cart's RAM before they can load, this isn't an issue on a phone or elsewhere because emulators don't quite have to deal with the quirks of GBA Hardware, and they have a lot newer parts than an EZIV does. At least, that's my understanding.

    In my opinion a flash cart will always be superior, because it's real hardware playing the games. If you're not picky, gba emulation should be fine but the PSP will choke a little sometimes.
     
    Last edited by Hking0036, Nov 5, 2016
  3. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    cuz the high bandwith of gba carts like hking said...

    to solve speed issues in gba games, the good flashcart makers created a flashcart with a writable memory chip that simulates the memory chip on a real cart...
    thus. you need to write the game to this chip and the gba reads from it...
    there is some flashcarts like the super card mini sd who reads directly from the sd card.. lots of games have issues and are slow because of this reason

    in emulators the game is loaded to the computer\device RAM. which is a extremly high bandwith memory...


    PS: i forgot to mention.. the SD card has micro controllers and extra stuff happening
    from my understading it's something similair like the internet.. you can have a 100 gigabit internet speed, if your ping is something 200 ms, games will lag
     
    Last edited by migles, Nov 5, 2016
  4. RushNY

    RushNY Member

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    With the exception of Krikzz' Everdrive X5 (has excellent load times according to reviews, hopefully the X7 model will be normal size) all of the other carts on the market are built on old inefficient technology likely more than a decade old. It landed in an unlucky spot when flash cartridges were less popular and didn't have anywhere near the following the DS flashcarts did by this generation of gamers.
     
    Last edited by RushNY, Nov 8, 2016
  5. slaphappygamer

    slaphappygamer GBAtemp Maniac

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    Agreed, many need a computer with Windows xp to run the software. It's a little of pain in the ass.
     
  6. Azel

    Azel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    GBA on 3ds is superior to both because it runs natively and doesn't require a flashcart.
     
  7. ikral

    ikral Member

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    Finished Zelda Minish Cap on PSP, works flawlessly. And saving anytime is big plus.
     
  8. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Not true unless you conveniently ignore all the early DS flashcart solutions.

    Remember having to use a gba card + a passme + a ds game with the correct save? Even once the dedicated slot 2 cards came out along with a standalone passkey (superkey etc), you still had to wait for the clients to be updated to support X game, still had a load time while the cart done it's thing. You can also throw in the SD card speed issue on early DS cards (Castlevania fmv stutter).

    DS flashcarts are only flawless if you ignore the early cards and jump to the mature slot-1 only carts.

    If you do the same for GBA cards, the same is true. When the GBA was a current console, there were lots of gba flashcarts to choose from that don't have any of the problems you listed.

    My old EZFA 256, which is a pure NOR flashcart is fine. I can throw any game on it and it will play them fine, no load times and has RTC. No save issues either. The same is true for most of the mature GBA flashcarts that came out around the same time (2003-05).

    The EZIV has the issues it has, because it's cheap. Not because there's something in the way of making a decent flashcart, that doesn't have those issues. It had been done long before the EZIV.

    Nothing in the way of the EZIV team making a pure NOR card, like the older ones, which would have no issues except cost. Could have even made something like the m3 perfect, which other than a slight load time, is again perfect and regarded as the best SD based gba card (up until the X5 came out that is). Even has RTC.

    Cheap flashcart with tradeoffs, because people are cheap. Most complaints about the X5 are price, even though it's no more expensive than any other decent gba card.

    Throwing all gba carts under the bus because of the cheap EZFlash and it's issues is not fair. May as well do the same for DS carts because the DS-Xtreme was a dud.
     
    Veho and Localhorst86 like this.
  9. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Yes. The DS game cartridges are basically memory cards, and the DS reads everything into its own RAM and executes from there. All the hardware is in the console, and the cartridges are just storage. Read/write lag was accounted for in game code so there were low demands on the memory and transfer speeds.
    GBA cartridges kept the game data on fast ROM chips that acted like RAM, and the slightest hiccup in reading would crash the game. There was also additional hardware that the flashcart had to emulate on the fly, with no lag, in order for the game to run, and a lot of games introduced their own hardware quirks that had to be worked around. All that was way more complicated to do.

    EDIT: And don't you dis on the EZF4 or I'll cut you :angry:
     
  10. Hking0036

    Hking0036 GBAtemp Fan

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    Also requires a restart every time you load or close a game and you have to pack your own cia with a rom, and screw around with motion blur and coloration fixes. If you want to make your own you have to futz around with a bunch of tools and if you don't want to and can't find what you want then you're just out of luck.

    SUPERCARD > EZ4 ALL DAY :creep:
     
  11. Azel

    Azel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    screw around with motion blur?
     
  12. Hking0036

    Hking0036 GBAtemp Fan

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    Azel likes this.
  13. Azel

    Azel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    thanks!
    why would ppl want ghosting by default? wth nintendo...
     
    Last edited by Azel, Nov 10, 2016