Author Topic: Thinking of buying an N8...  (Read 4679 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline iwasaperson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: +13/-0
    • View Profile
Thinking of buying an N8...
« on: March 06, 2016, 05:23 AM »
I'd like to know a few things first.

1) How accurate are the currently implemented mappers/FDS games compared to real hardware? I heard the expansion audio (VRC6 specifically) is a bit quiet compared to an actual cartridge. I already modded my NES with a 56 kOhm resistor.

2) I have also heard that the save state mappers can cause issues on some NES systems. I have a Rev. G PPU and CPU. Will I have any issues?

3) Will the mappers/OS ever be open source so the community can improve upon them easily?

4) Is the N8 still receiving mapper updates/new mappers? NesDev Wiki tells me that the MMC5, FME-7, and VRC7 mappers do not support expansion audio, for example.

5) Are there any game incompatibilities with existing mappers besides quiet or missing expansion audio? This kind of goes along with my accuracy question.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 05:27 AM by iwasaperson »
@Syboxez on Discord and some other places as well.

Offline theoakwoody

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 08:47 AM »
The answer to number 1 is yes the Vrc6 is quieter as I tested this today with the actual akumajo III cartridge.  The bass doesn't quite pop as much but unless you were doing a side by side comparison I probably would t know what I was missing.  I am not an a huge audiophile so if you're a lot more picky it may be a bigger issue for you. 

As far as your main subject line yes you should buy the n8 now.  I've been playing with this since I got it yesterday and it's spot on.  I'm having so much fun with this and adding Roms is so easy.  I bought the fdsstick and that is a lot more finicky with adding new Roms.  I can't compare to the powerpak but I wanted a 60 pin cart anyways.

Offline iwasaperson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: +13/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 08:41 PM »
The answer to number 1 is yes the Vrc6 is quieter as I tested this today with the actual akumajo III cartridge.  The bass doesn't quite pop as much but unless you were doing a side by side comparison I probably would t know what I was missing.  I am not an a huge audiophile so if you're a lot more picky it may be a bigger issue for you. 

As far as your main subject line yes you should buy the n8 now.  I've been playing with this since I got it yesterday and it's spot on.  I'm having so much fun with this and adding Roms is so easy.  I bought the fdsstick and that is a lot more finicky with adding new Roms.  I can't compare to the powerpak but I wanted a 60 pin cart anyways.
That barely answers one of my questions. I'd still like answers to the rest before I spend that much money.
@Syboxez on Discord and some other places as well.

Offline hunterk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
  • Karma: +12/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 10:59 PM »
1) How accurate are the currently implemented mappers/FDS games compared to real hardware? I heard the expansion audio (VRC6 specifically) is a bit quiet compared to an actual cartridge. I already modded my NES with a 56 kOhm resistor.
FDS audio is pretty bad. That's the number one thing I would like to see improved but whatever.

2) I have also heard that the save state mappers can cause issues on some NES systems. I have a Rev. G PPU and CPU. Will I have any issues?
I haven't used savestates at all but it doesn't seem that the N8 uses special mappers for savestates, so I would think it would either work or not. Here's an unofficial compatibility list:
http://www.dbwbp.com/misc/Everdrive_N8_Compatibility_List_(OS_V13).pdf

3) Will the mappers/OS ever be open source so the community can improve upon them easily?
I know there are issues with knockoffs/hardware clones and keeping the OS closed is a way to keep that in check. However, I've seen where Krikzz has provided source to people who were interested in working on things (see: VRC6 and Sunsoft 5b community mappers). Seeing as it's FPGA+verilog, improving mappers is more esoteric than bugfixing software emulators, anyway, so fully opening the source probably wouldn't elicit many contributors.

4) Is the N8 still receiving mapper updates/new mappers? NesDev Wiki tells me that the MMC5, FME-7, and VRC7 mappers do not support expansion audio, for example.
There are the aforementioned community mappers that are great, and the guy that made VRC7 work in the first place (Necronomfive) said he hopes to get audio working at some point. It's a volunteer endeavor, though, so no ETA or even promises that it will ever materialize.

5) Are there any game incompatibilities with existing mappers besides quiet or missing expansion audio? This kind of goes along with my accuracy question.
See: the unofficial compatibility list linked above. There are also occasional minor glitches with isolated games, like the Fire Emblem window border issue.

All of the information I have provided is available on these forums. If you're considering buying an N8, buy it for what it can do now, not for what you think it might do in the future. Purchasing based on future possibilities is setting yourself up for frustration and/or disappointment.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 11:02 PM by hunterk »

Offline iwasaperson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: +13/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 12:12 AM »
FDS audio is pretty bad. That's the number one thing I would like to see improved but whatever.
Inaccurate FDS audio really hurts. Really wanted to play Zelda II on the FDS specifically because of the music. Not a deal breaker, though.

I haven't used savestates at all but it doesn't seem that the N8 uses special mappers for savestates, so I would think it would either work or not. Here's an unofficial compatibility list:
http://www.dbwbp.com/misc/Everdrive_N8_Compatibility_List_(OS_V13).pdf
I'm not planning on using save states either, but I heard compatibility issues with certain PPU revisions. I don't know if this is true or not.

I know there are issues with knockoffs/hardware clones and keeping the OS closed is a way to keep that in check. However, I've seen where Krikzz has provided source to people who were interested in working on things (see: VRC6 and Sunsoft 5b community mappers). Seeing as it's FPGA+verilog, improving mappers is more esoteric than bugfixing software emulators, anyway, so fully opening the source probably wouldn't elicit many contributors.
Forgot about the hardware clones. I don't see how open sourcing the OS will change anything though, as the hardware schematics will remain unavailable. Since the OS is presumably written in 6502 ASM, the people cloning could probably get the same result by disassembling it and going through the code. People buying the clones will still want to use the latest OS, and when they download it, it will brick their clone either way, open source or not. As for the verilog not being available because of clones, that makes even less sense to me. If the clone makers use the same FPGA, they will be able to use that code in binary form regardless.

I really hope KRIKzz can find a way to stop people from selling hardware clones and taking money away from the guy who deserves it.

There are the aforementioned community mappers that are great, and the guy that made VRC7 work in the first place (Necronomfive) said he hopes to get audio working at some point. It's a volunteer endeavor, though, so no ETA or even promises that it will ever materialize.
I'm a patient man. I don't have a problem waiting two years for something, as long as it's done right.

See: the unofficial compatibility list linked above. There are also occasional minor glitches with isolated games, like the Fire Emblem window border issue.
No Action 52 mapper is a deal breaker. /s

All of the information I have provided is available on these forums. If you're considering buying an N8, buy it for what it can do now, not for what you think it might do in the future. Purchasing based on future possibilities is setting yourself up for frustration and/or disappointment.
It seems like if I buy an N8, I'd really enjoy it regardless of these issues, so I probably will. I already have an Everdrive 64 and an SD2SNES (not KRIKzz's product technically, but still) and I enjoy both of them like crazy. The N64 doesn't have mapper hell like the NES does, though, which is why I'm concerned. I also noticed the compatibility list only indicates a binary yes/no. If a game has very minor graphical/audio flaws, would that be considered incompatible?
@Syboxez on Discord and some other places as well.

Offline Great Hierophant

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
  • Karma: +19/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 12:42 AM »
I believe it should more of a compatible means that it is at least playable.

Specific Issues :

VRC6 audio volumes should be improved by the unofficial VRC6 mappers.  Since you have to mod your NES for expansion audio, you may want to use a variable resistor (a.k.a. potentiometer) instead of a fixed value resistor and adjust to taste.

If you want to experience perfect FDS audio without the hassle of disks, obtain an FDS RAM Adapter and an FDSStick.  It would probably will set you back $80, but finding an adapter that will fit the FDS RAM Adapter will be difficult. 

PPU Revisions E and earlier have a bug with the save states showing up as solid screens.  Encountering a revision E PPU is not likely unless you have a NES with a low serial ##.  You have a Revision G PPU, so you are good. 

If have your NES modded with the HiDef NES mod, you can use its superior audio emulation capabilities instead of the EverDrive's.  That gives you VRC7 audio today, not perhaps some time in the future. 

You can play Cheetamen 2 by applying the MMC1 conversion patch.  Action 52 remains too big.
Check Out My Vintage Video Game & Computing Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

Offline iwasaperson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: +13/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 02:33 AM »
I believe it should more of a compatible means that it is at least playable.

Specific Issues :

VRC6 audio volumes should be improved by the unofficial VRC6 mappers.  Since you have to mod your NES for expansion audio, you may want to use a variable resistor (a.k.a. potentiometer) instead of a fixed value resistor and adjust to taste.

If you want to experience perfect FDS audio without the hassle of disks, obtain an FDS RAM Adapter and an FDSStick.  It would probably will set you back $80, but finding an adapter that will fit the FDS RAM Adapter will be difficult. 

PPU Revisions E and earlier have a bug with the save states showing up as solid screens.  Encountering a revision E PPU is not likely unless you have a NES with a low serial ##.  You have a Revision G PPU, so you are good. 

If have your NES modded with the HiDef NES mod, you can use its superior audio emulation capabilities instead of the EverDrive's.  That gives you VRC7 audio today, not perhaps some time in the future. 

You can play Cheetamen 2 by applying the MMC1 conversion patch.  Action 52 remains too big.

I might get a potentiometer then if 56kOhms is not satisfactory. I just won't bother with FDS. I have a front loader, so I wouldn't be able to fit the RAM expansion anyway. I also play on a CRT, so the HiDef NES is not an option for me. I might mod my NES with the NESRGB in the future, but I'm too worried about color palettes, and I think that NES games were designed with composite in mind.

I was also joking about Action 52/Cheetamen 2. I couldn't care less about those games.

I also saw on NesDev that Kevtris was thinking of making his own flash cart that solves these issues, has full accurate mapper support, and would be able to play GB games via FPGA, but I have no idea if that is ever going to happen. I'd love to know though since I don't mind waiting a couple of years for it. If it is happening, I'll just get the EverDrive MD instead, since I need a Genesis flash cart anyway.
@Syboxez on Discord and some other places as well.

Offline iwasaperson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: +13/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking of buying an N8...
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 09:37 AM »
Ended up caving and ordering it. If Kevtris's ever comes out, I'll just have to buy that one and have two flash carts.
@Syboxez on Discord and some other places as well.