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View Poll Results: Which is the ultimate Emulation handheld?
GBA 14 38.89%
GP32 13 36.11%
/me dont know 9 25.00%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 13 April 2003, 20:43   #1
Antiriad
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The great GBA vs GP32 debate

Ok folks...im wondering which i should one day plumb for as the ultimate handheld emulator.

The GP32 is way more powerful, and is capable of emulating 16bit systems - Snes so far, but how well? At full speed? And whilst it will be able to get all the 8bits down will a 130-160Mhz Cpu ever be able to emulate an Amiga when not even a 733Mhz X Box cant that well? Im also concerned about the relatively small community behind it, the fact its Korean and so support wont be amazing, and that the SmartMedia cards can only go as high as 128MB.

The GBA also has 8bit emulation "down" a huge community and good support, but its NEVER going to be capable of emulating 16bit systems with its 14Mhz Cpu and no fancy built in DivX and Mp3 playing like the GP32. Now, of course the GBA also boasts a large software library of its own whilst the GP32 plainly does not.
On the other hand, im more interested in playing the originals over the remakes, but still - some look cool.

Question is which is better? Will the GP32s superior hardware ensure a better emu machine or the GBAs larger community?
Im leaning towards the GP32 right now, but i may well wait to see how the seperate scenes develop before making a financial plunge.
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Old 13 April 2003, 21:55   #2
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Get a decent pda instead. Huge community, constantly updated, loads of stuff.
The emulation of most of the systems are not very good on gp32, unless you prefer slow motion... though it's a second best choice to a pda if you are willing to do some programming on your own. If not, just stick with an ipaq or something.
Actually cartridge sizes on a pda or gp32 are in megabytes, while on gba it is megabits as is traditional in console world...
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Old 13 April 2003, 22:09   #3
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As stated, the GP32 really isn't that good. Most of the emulator projects died in 2002... Mine's sitting around gathering dust. And for the price, I could have gotten something much better. (Actually, I did, I picked up a Zaurus which has lots of dev support..)
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Old 13 April 2003, 22:31   #4
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don't be fooled by the amount of emulators for the GP32, none of them run at full speed. Also programs that overclock the gp32 past 133mhz will overheat and damage the lcd screen
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Old 14 April 2003, 01:20   #5
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Yeah; just wait until the GP64 is released.

When that happens, nobody will buy it because the 3d will run too slow on it.
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Old 23 April 2003, 18:05   #6
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If a IPAQ is the best bet, whats the minimum recommended spec?
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Old 23 April 2003, 23:47   #7
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Afaik you should be able to pick up the "outdated" 200MHz models at a "bargain price" Go for the latest ones (400+MHz?) though if in your country they cost their real retail price (hp/compaq pages for more info), since you want emulation and they do need the raw horsepower. You'll also find that there are device specific editions of some classics like Sim City or Rayman.
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Old 23 April 2003, 23:53   #8
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Isn't there a new GBA model, the SP or something like that ?!?

This looks interesting but is it really an upgraded GBA or just a repackaged one

For me I've not gotten into the GBA/GP32 emu scene yet, except for the collection of said stuff so I've not really decided which one is best
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Old 24 April 2003, 00:13   #9
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GBA was attacked by the users and the media alike (minus paid ones...) for the poor visibility of the screen that is not really suitable for high colour displays. According to Nintendo the device has been designed strictly for outdoor use under bright natural sunlight. Since public awareness of eyestrain devices become pretty high, many people who would have bought it avoided it, or bought it with a few games and stopped using it. To prove Nintendo lied about the impossibility of a lit display (since PDAs already proved that being perfectly possible by that time), many hobbyists created lighting solutions that should have been used in the first place, but would have made the device much more expensive at the time it went to market...

SP is a redesigned gba, what is changed is finally proper lighting and visibility of the display. Haven't tried it yet, so don't blame me if it is still not really good! Test for yourself before buying and test in your hands not under the special lighting conditions used to fool customers at Nintendo boots placed in hypermarkets and stuff... They use the lighting type needed for gba display to be visible, but you can't do that under real usage conditions.

Also added is li-ion (?) rechargable batteries needed to support the higher power requirements, and a redesgined case needed for the new display and battery... and to say it is a "special edition" true Nintendo style instead of admitting they were cheap with the first design.

SP probably gives much needed life to the game scene, though an upgrade path would have been nice for existing users, since many of them may refuse to spend the launch price again for a product that could have been made properly for the first time.
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Old 24 April 2003, 00:25   #10
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Thanks for the info IFW

You could say that the SP is really like a GBA Mk.II instead
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Old 24 April 2003, 00:48   #11
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the GBA-SP internal light is actually a frontlight (it sits between the LCD and the cover) just like the Afterburner frontlight mod from www.tritonlabs.com it works just as well...second best thing to do while snuggled up in bed in the dark

the first best thing being playing Mario Kart multiplayer while snuggled up in bed in the dark with 3 other people!
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Old 24 April 2003, 01:01   #12
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Well, having had a look at an IPAQ, ive come to the conclusion that theyre bloody expensive and seem to have very small hard drive space....

Ive recently posted about Amstrad CPC emulation on both the GP32 and GBA boards, and it would seem that the GBA is incapable of doing it, whilst with the GP32 someone just needs to port Kevin Thackers Arnold emulator - permission he has given

Best bet still seems to be a GP32 after all...
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Old 24 April 2003, 01:04   #13
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I did forget to mention that i myself bought a GBA upon its release and sent it back cos i couldnt see s**t when i tried to play it. I came to the conclusion that i preferred a Game Gear at the time!
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Old 24 April 2003, 01:23   #14
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Yes Game Gear and Sonic rocked. Too bad you had to play from an adaptor since battery life was non-existant
As for Ipaq check the real prices, not the rrp or high street prices. There is no hdd in an ipaq
For porting an emulator a permission is not good enough. If the device has very limited speed (GP32 at top 133MHz, but afaik that speed produces a battery life experience similar to that of Game Gear fame...) most parts of the emulator has to be rewritten in assembly, and even after it can still be bad.
On the contrary the bottom line speed for a pda is 200MHz and it is designed to be used for hours. Since similar architectures are being used the clock rate comparison is very fair in this case.
For a pda if you are looking for something, chances are somebody already done it. For GP32 somebody might sometime do it or you are on your own.
I'd say GP32 is fun if you are prepared and able to do whatever you need on your own. Also consider speed, battery life and other limitations. If you are happy with that - imo the price is a bit high for an overclocked gba without any graphic acceleration - go get it. Otherwise get the PDA.
Or better wait for the new PDA models coming out this spring/summer making the 400MHz models much cheaper
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Old 24 April 2003, 17:35   #15
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I will wait therefore!
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Old 24 April 2003, 18:34   #16
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Why can't these devices use a self illuminating screen, as found on TFT laptops?

Is it a price or battery drain issue?
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Old 30 April 2003, 19:24   #17
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Castaway 0.03 which is an atari st emulator for the gp32 has recently been released. looks brilliant, apparently runs at a very good speed, screenshots of dungeon master, xenon and xenon 2 working. supposed to be very compatible, llamatron and stunt car racer also confirmed as working!


check it out http://www.codejedi.com/shadowplan/gp32.html

how many more reasons do you need to own this fabulous machine
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Old 30 April 2003, 23:07   #18
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Wow! I saw a ST emu on the GP32x board, but that was barely started! Right! Im conviced to buy one now!!!
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Old 27 February 2004, 16:25   #19
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[Bump]

hehe...got me a GP32

and it ROCKS!!!
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Old 27 February 2004, 17:06   #20
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Ayey, me still wants one
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