Author Topic: The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread  (Read 12441 times)

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Offline SmokeMonster

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The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread
« on: October 07, 2013, 05:33 AM »
People keep asking about the differences between the Super Everdrive and the Super UFO Pro 8. I wanted to thoroughly shoot down the UFO8 and show how I came to an informed decision to go with the Super Everdrive.

Here's what you get for just $20 more with the Super Everdrive board:
-Lifetime warranty
-Actively updated firmware & OS
-Long file names -- this is huge. The UFO8 can only read the first 6 letters of game titles! Think about how that will work for the section starting with "Super". SUPERM~1 (Superman?, Super Mario World?, Super Mario Kart?, Super Mario All-Stars?), and then extrapolate that to all series with more than one game (Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, etc). You have to memorize them by number with the UFO8!
-All stated features working, and the potential for new future features -- UFO8 marketing blatantly lies about its capabilities. Look on youtube for proof that every UFO8 feature is irreparably broken in some way or another.
-Fast loading games
-Working save state management -- You have to jump through hoops with the UFO8 to save states, and then be ready for them to disappear randomly.
-Automatic state saving when shut off/loaded at startup.
-Reliability -- Internet forums are full of complaints about the UFO8s breaking and failing.
-The SED is a modern design from the ground up -- The UFO8 is a slightly modified 3.5" floppy disk loader designed decades ago! The only thing changed is the sdcard reader replacing the 3.5" drive. This explains the absurd OS, broken and missing features, complex save states, slow speed, Jingle Bells title screen music (yes, it actually plays Jingle Bells...!), and DOS-era file-name limitations.

I'd pay $20 just to get rid of Jingle Bells, so that's a lot of bonus features for such a small difference in cost!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 05:40 AM by smokemonster »

Offline Majestic_Lizard

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Re: The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2018, 12:48 AM »
I realize this is a very old thread, but with all of the new flash devices and clones on the market I wanted to comment on the Super UFO.  I don't think it is a very good flash device, but it is useful for diagnostic purposes.

It is useful for game saves, region bypass, ROM dumping, and diagnostic capabilities of the cart, but it is NOT the best option to play ROMS. There is a utility on the SUPER UFO that will "read" the console and tell you which revision of the hardware you have internally. It is a little bit buried in the menus, but this function is there.

This is useful because many S-CPU chips had DMA/HDMA defect and to a lesser extent, many S-PPU2 chips had problems. This is why they were quickly revised for the North American launch in 1991.

CPU Version
(1) S-CPU--often defective-- (2) S-CPU A (3) S-CPU B, etc

PPU1 Version
(1) S-PPU1 (2) S-PPU1 A (3) S-PPU1 B, etc

PPU2 Version
(1) S-PPU2--sometimes defective--(2) S-PPU 2 A (3) S-PPU 2 B, etc

So, it is nice to pop the cart in, run the check and save yourself from wasting time replacing caps on a board with a failing S-CPU or S-PPU2 from 1990.

That being said, as a flash device for real Super Nintendo consoles, it is not very good.

First, even for a flash device it is way off spec. It is a 3.3 volt device running on a 5 volt slot with inadequate means to address that difference. Second, the SNES had many revisions of the CPU, PPU1, PPU2, and the CIC chip. Certain combinations of these chips will cause the Super UFO not to work or to randomly work on some games, but not others.

I have noticed that consoles with the earliest revision of the CPU and possibly the earliest revision of PPU2 sometimes have problems with the Super UFO. However, clones like the FC Twin usually have no problems with it.

Third, as the Super UFO is based on the legacy technology of game copiers that were sold when the SNES was still in stores, one would expect elements of late SNES revisions that interfered with those devices to also interfere with the Super UFO. I've personally experienced this with games like Demon's Crest (I actually had to find an old hacked version to get past a certain point in the game where the CIC would kick in and block your progress).

Finally, the battery system on these cartridges is abysmal, with games sometimes being corrupted within the DRAM as you play them.

In my opinion, none of this is worth paying more than $25.  The Super Ever Drive and SD2NES are on a completely different level than this thing.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 07:25 PM by Majestic_Lizard »

Offline SmokeMonster

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Re: The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 07:52 AM »
I agree. It's actually funny to look back on my post from five years ago, because back then the Super UFO and Super EverDrive were seen to be competitors. These days, Super EverDrive and SD2SNES are really the only game in town. I was also much more assertive about things back then, while these days I'm much more open-minded I guess.

And, when I stop thinking of the Super UFO as a flash cart, and start thinking of it as a tool, it actually has a lot to offer. It still has some cool features that only it can do, and it's pretty cheap. You get the ability to dump carts and saves, and write saves back to carts. You can also stack a cart on it and play romhacks and translations from the actual cart. Some chip games even stack to play hacks, although that is pretty hit or miss.

My Life In Gaming's overview is what really changed my mind about the old Super UFO. It's worth a watch, especially if you already own either a SED or SD2SNES, and have a lot of carts too. Basically, through the years I've become a fan of the Super EverDrive, the SD2SNES, and even the Super UFO.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 08:15 AM by SmokeMonster »

Offline Majestic_Lizard

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Re: The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 01:35 AM »
The Super UFO Pro 8 behaves differently on the Retro Duo (rev 3.0) than it does on the FC Twin or on the real SNES hardware.

EDIT: TLDR -- The Super UFO Pro 8 works better in SNES Clones (especially the Retro Duo) than it does in real SNES consoles.

It seems that the Super UFO Pro 8 was designed with the Retro Duo in mind, although it also works on the FC Twin and real SNES hardware (mostly). The same goes for the SNES multi-carts. I would not be surprised if whoever designed the Retro Duo PCB is the same person who designed the Super UFO Pro 8 PCB (even though the Super UFO concept came from much older hardware, which that person did not design)

One observation is that that on real SNES hardware with certain revisions of the CPU, PPU, and CIC, specific games become corrupted during play. It varies from console to console. This is not the case on the Retro Duo or the FC Twin.

Another observation is that on both the FC Twin and on real SNES hardware even games that play perfectly will become corrupted after resetting the game (sometimes you may have to rest more than once). The "save state" function of the Super UFO is also unreliable on these consoles. This is not the case on the Retro Duo. I noticed that I reset Demon's Crest around 5 times and the game never became corrupted.

On any of my real SNES consoles, the multi-carts (100 in 1, 110 in 1, etc) play perfectly, but eventually crash when left in attract mode for more than an hour. I have not observed that problem on the Retro Duo.

I think the cause is voltage on the cart slot. An engineer you are familiar with pointed out that multi-carts and flash devices tend to utilize 3.3 volt components (within 5 volt logic through the use of diodes, etc) that do not handle 5 volts coming off of the cart bus very well. In the ten years I've owned flash devices, I've seen zero evidence that any of these devices actually damage consoles, but it does cause for them to behave erratically. 

A guess would be that the old SNES consoles are simply pushing out more voltage, so when the cart tries to drop the voltage down to for the components on it, they are still recieving too much voltage and this causes corruption. However, on the Retro Duo (that is running directly off of 5 volts itself) this might not be as much of an issue.

The Retro Duo (at least the 3.0 revision) is different than the real SNES or the FC Twin in that it runs off of 5 volts and has no 7805 voltage regulator. It may be pushing out voltage through the cart slot closer to the 3.3 volts the Super UFO components were designed to handle, or it may simply regulate voltage more efficiently.

Whatever the reason, the Super UFO behaves much differently on the Retro Duo than it does on either a real SNES or an FC Twin. For example, the save state function is fairly reliable on the Retro Duo, but not on ANY SNES that I've tried it on. For the regular SNES console, the save state function might as well not even exist.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 09:30 AM by Majestic_Lizard »

Offline Johnwick88

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Re: The definitive Super Everdrive vs Super UFO Pro 8 thread
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 07:44 AM »
Super EverDrive and The SuperUFO Pro 8 is great if you know what you are buying. First and foremost, this cart will allow you to put an SD card in it to allow you to play game 'backups' or smc files. Just be aware that it cannot play special chip games such as the super fx chip and others. If the original game cart had a special chip in it, this will not play it. This cart will allow to backup your original carts as well. Allows you to play super famicom carts in your snes as well. A great cart for what it is. If you want all the special chip games.