Best MSX 1 Upgrade ?

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Van gdx

Enlighted (5836)

afbeelding van gdx

18-07-2022, 13:48

MSX software exists in many formats, here are the main ones.

Just for ROMs, there are many physical formats that whose those without mapping and those with mapping. Most of those without mapper can be run in RAM if the MSX has 64kB of RAM and the game needs 16kB of RAM maximum. About 90% of these will work using a good loader. The others will not work.

Those with mapper can sometimes work with a memory mapper (MSX1 compatible in your case). Depending on the Rom mapper, between 0% and 60% will work. Additionally, game or data saves will not be possible if the cartridge has dedicated SRAM.

MegaRAMs, MegaFlashROMS and MegaSRAMs were made to launch Megaroms. The SD Mapper does not support a lot of Rom mappers and like the memory mapper is unusable when using its MegaRAM. A substantial number of Megaroms will not work. And you won't be able to load your Roms placed in folders since DOS2 won't work.

Disk images: DSKs can work but compatibility is rather average and very bad if the software uses the memory mapper since the loader already uses it. It's pretty much the same for all interfaces.

Cassette images: Many of these games have been converted to binary or Rom, but some people prefer a casdruino-like device or a smartphone to load these games.

DOS commands: These should work. If they use the memory mapper, they may not work when your MSX's RAM is in a lower slot than the memory mapper. Same for games in binary format.

There are also games that use a sound chip (SCC, SCC+, FM, SN76489, etc). For this, you must either have a free slot to put the cartridge in, or choose an interface that does this.

I say all that, but it all depends on how many slots your MSX has and what you want to do with them. If you just want to develop small programs and use cartridge software, the CF-640 is enough. If you have a free slot you can add a slot expander which will allow you to extend the functions of your MSX.

What to remember: You have to choose the interface according to your hardware and your needs. The more functions the interface has, the less additional hardware you will need, you will have less constraints and more software will work.

Van tsmvp

Expert (67)

afbeelding van tsmvp

18-07-2022, 15:54

My personal experience, may vary for others, is the MegaFlashROM SCC+ seems to be the best bang for the buck. It has pretty much everything most people need and still at a relatively small/acceptable cost. It will even allow you to save/flash ROM files (i.e., a Konami game) to the card so it acts exactly like an original cartridge (meaning, once you turn on the computer, the cartridge boots the game automatically, exactly like a real Konami cartridge). It also has SCC+ (MSX has several audio enhancements that were added over the years to newer models like MSX-Audio, SCC, etc) so games that require that will work (i.e., SD-Snatcher).

The most feature rich cartridge is, in my opinion, the GR8NET (it has Ethernet, OPL4 support, plays MP3s, has a LOT of stuff embedded - like TELNET application - supports SCC, etc). It is really an amazing, borderline crazy device. It is complex, takes time to master all its features and of course costs more than other alternatives. But not everyone wants/needs all its features. But I love it and being able to write small programs that can use the network is just crazy for a computer system that is like 40 years old.

The SD Mapper is ok. As I got it from one of the guys that makes these in Brazil, it was much cheaper than the other alternatives. It does work ok but it is far from the other two I mentioned above, feature wise. My suggestion is to look for a MegaFlashROM SCC+. It will do all you probably want AND will work with any MSX (MSX1, MSX2, MXS2+, MSX turboR).

CR

Van Pentarou

Champion (472)

afbeelding van Pentarou

18-07-2022, 18:02

gdx wrote:

The SD Mapper does not support a lot of Rom mappers and like the memory mapper is unusable when using its MegaRAM. A substantial number of Megaroms will not work. And you won't be able to load your Roms placed in folders since DOS2 won't work.

I don't know why you insist on writing wrong and/or outdated info!

The new revisions of SDmapper have 1MB that can be used in RAM, MegaRAM or BOTH together (512Kb each)!
Price is also very competitive, starting at 55 € here.

You should have also mentioned the Rookiedrive (50€ but currently sold out) that is (IMHO) a better solution than the CF-640 for the use-case you suggested.
And the DIY alternative: The MSX-USB
https://github.com/S0urceror/MSX-USB

Van st1mpy

Paladin (885)

afbeelding van st1mpy

18-07-2022, 18:56

That 1mb sd mapper is interesting, but it says you can order to reserve, so does that mean it's not released yet? And which country is that shop based?

Van Pentarou

Champion (472)

afbeelding van Pentarou

18-07-2022, 21:24

Please note that I was replying to gdx posts, I wasn't suggesting to buy any device.

˙pɐǝʇsuı 1-xs uɐ ʇǝb puɐ 1xsɯ ǝɥʇ ʇǝbɹoɟ/dɯnp/ןןǝs/ʇɟıb oʇ do ǝɥʇ ʇsǝbbns p,ı ʇɔɐɟuı

st1mpy wrote:

That 1mb sd mapper is interesting, but it says you can order to reserve,

A few posts above user polarstar wrote:

Quote:

HobbyRetro (currently seems to have some SDMMR units in stock)

So I guess the units are available.

st1mpy wrote:

And which country is that shop based?

Given that the text is in Spanish and the prices in Eur... Wink

Van Hit-Biter

Master (163)

afbeelding van Hit-Biter

18-07-2022, 21:43

Just bought this !

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/332817640567

Hope its worth it :/

Van st1mpy

Paladin (885)

afbeelding van st1mpy

18-07-2022, 22:37

my impression is, I saw at least 2 posts here in the forum from people that had problem using that device. As someone mentioned in this thread before I think the problem is that the 512kb mapper can't be used when in megaram mode. So the one Pentarou suggested just above solves this (by having 1MB, split between megaram and the mapper.) and sounds like a better buy (cheaper too).
I just wasn't sure its in stock as when I look it says reserve (doesn't say buy), but it might be because my browser was auto translating the site.

Van Hit-Biter

Master (163)

afbeelding van Hit-Biter

18-07-2022, 23:17

Meh, Now i wish id not bought it. I found the posts confusing and unclear. Seems to me this should be easier to get a clear recommendation when asking for advice. The technical aspects of the topic are too confusing for a newcomer to take onboard without falling into pitfalls like you have just pointed out. Somehow I've bought the very one I've been advised not to buy :'( Can someone link me to the proper one please. Cant find anyone that's got the MegaFlashROM SCC+

Van Hit-Biter

Master (163)

afbeelding van Hit-Biter

18-07-2022, 23:11

Manuel wrote:

- if you want to be able to use subdirectories to store more than 112 files on a partition, you need Nextor/DOS2.
- Nextor/DOS2 requires 128kB RAM, so you need memory mapper RAM in the expansion
- As you use an MSX 1, the memory mapper RAM must be compatible with it, that is, it must be initialized properly (that is normally only done by the MSX 2 BIOS)

This will be determining the product you want to buy I think.

Can you make a couple of suggestions to help me choose which device fits the bill as it were ?

Van Manuel

Ascended (19058)

afbeelding van Manuel

19-07-2022, 00:09

I only have experience with the Carnivore 2 and a bit with the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD. But if you just want storage, these seem overkill.
SD Mapper with ram in memory mapper mode seems like a good fit, in case it's indeed initializing the mapper on MSX 1. Where can we read the specs of the device you bought?

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