Author Topic: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig  (Read 8714 times)

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Offline cory1492

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cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« on: February 19, 2006, 02:17:30 PM »
Update: April 2006- PMPmod 2.0 has resolved the issues I was having with high quality video on this device. I still have not upgraded to 2.00 to see if that impacts the native containers from the 4G microdrive.

I had previously posted a speed test with a direct comparison to the datel 4G drive using the same tests when I initially got the device, that post can be found here.

NeoFlash sent me this device a while ago, I figured it was high time I provide a good excuse to have it, and answer some peoples questions at the same time; so here it be: the review.

Please note, that while I moderate here and do support as I can I prefer to consider myself a user on a shoestring budget (as I am a user on a shoestring budget) - it is great that they sent me this device to play with as I likely would not have bothered to get one with my limited means, it was tough to get the PSP itself - but I will not let their generosity color my review in any way.
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So now to the meat, what most are likely interested in using the device for.

I did all my testing on a 1.50 PSP, it has been reported that different video containers work much better on the 2.00 firmware, and transfer/disk access speed is also improved marginally on a 2.00 firmware when using a MSPro (which is essentially what the PSP thinks the 2in1+MicroDrive is) which also can improve video playability. I am not aware of a 2.00 firmware version of PMPmod, but I did not look too carefully for it.

UMD emulation
In game load times are less than the origional UMD I dumped from, but not much faster when compared to loading directly off a UMD. That said, the drive is far quieter than the UMD drive in my PSP, it is not prone to re-reads and such and does not put any wear on the laser ~ provided your dump works with 1.50 UMD emulators like HookBoot or UMDEmulator you can fit alot of your disks in the 4Gig drive (with a little knowhow and a couple tools like UMDgen).

Videos
For my test I grabbed a pre-made UMD quality PMP video of Advent Children with fansubs already put in, and did some various bitrate conversions of a different piece of video using a m4v format.
PMPmod: Any areas that had alot of graphical detail or hi-speed action caused glitches in the video. I have not experimented with the PMP converters, there was too much of a learning curve for codecs etc - for something I normally do on an XBox anyhow (watch avi video).
M4V: High bitrate video stuttered, low bitrate video ran great but the quality of the converted video was poor (to say the least). With better encoding methods, a low to mid bitrate (<600k/s) video could work great on the PSP from the microdrive, but I was not lucky enough to find an all in one, one click type of way to transcode video so it would look great and work great when watched from the MicroDrive.

HomeBrew
Note: I dont recommend using the firmware updaters like FlashMod or official firmware updates from the MircroDrive or 2in1 MS adapter slot. I did not try them myself, for obvious reasons (see my file manager info below)

The only applications I had problems with were file managers, which provided me with a myriad of disk not found type errors. For whatever reason, the file managers that are currently out dont like the Datel or Neo 4gig drives. I think it has to do with the fact the PSP sees them as MSPro instead of a MSDuo, but I could be mistaken.

That said, mallchin has a Lua based file manager (Mallchin's site here) that does indeed work great on the 4Gig drives. Whether it is due to its limited features, the fact it is run through a Lua loader while the others may have more advanced boottime sequences, I cannot say.

Emulators I have played many NeoGeo games on this device using NeoCDPSP, and it is working very well indeed (and thanks to the large disk size, including the audio tracks is not an issue). SNES, Lynx and many others are working great as well, thanks to all the hard work put in by the developers/porters who have brought these to the PSP.

Music
I put a shwack load (sorry for the technical term) of MP3's onto the disk. It plays them great from the PSP browser, with no problems that I could find easily (aside from the slowness of the PSP's interface when browsing files ~ it doesnt cache ahead more than enough to fill 1 screen).

Overall
The installation was a snap, I had it attached to the PSP within minutes. My sticker to hold down the cable is frayed to no end, but it is holding on strong after many hours of use. It looks nice on the PSP, it is a sturdy design with its only weak point being the flat cable itself. Hopefully in the future Neo will offer replacement ribbons for those that dont use the instructions or suffer accidents and need to replace them.

Pro's
- an excellent way to add alot of memory to the PSP, while giving the option to expand it further at will with less expensive media than the MSDuo
- this unit is well built, professionally designed with a great converter chip in it. The plastic molding is of excellent quality and matches the PSP faceplate well.
- the device is well balanced, even with the MicroDrive in it it does not weigh much and the attachment location is easy to get used to.
- the device does not rely on software updates, it acts like a MS in the PSP and I doubt that any firmware update could break the functionality.

Con's
- for some, the only reason to get this will be for video, and lots of it. It plays the normal PSP MP4 container videos well, but homebrew based/custom container PMP in high quality suffers audio and video stutters with firmware 1.50 (apparently 2.0+ does not have the same limits)
- at this point there is no place to get a replacement cable/velcro/stickers(update, it is come to my attention via Dr.neo that the cable can now be purchased separately at http://www.ic2005.com/html/2005/show-43.htm)
- the battery draw of a MicroDrive is much greater than a normal MSDuo, if the disk is running all the time in whatever you are doing expect to sacrifice a portion of the portable operating time.
- the sticker for the cable needs to be cut a tiny bit to allow unrestrained access to the UMD drive
- once put on there is no simple way of taking the 2in1 off without unstickering the cable.

My score: 8.5/10 - it is not perfect, but it is still an excellent device.

Well, that concludes my review. I may add or revise this review in the future, but for the most part it should clear up any questions about the device.

I have to say the NeoFlash/Talismoon 2in1+4G brought a whole new world to my PSP that my 32MB MS never could have done.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006, 09:23:17 PM by cory1492 »
Those who have come here to hate should leave now, for in their hatred they only betray themselves.
translated from The Book of Life (Src: Sword of Truth - Phantom by Terry Goodkind)

Offline DOC KALO

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2006, 12:56:12 AM »
Nice !
The last point to check is if .PMP is working from MemStick in the NEO2in1 slot ....And i'll bay it.......and only me..... ::sm-02::

Offline cory1492

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2006, 02:32:36 AM »
As far as I have been able to tell, the MS speed of my 32MB duo is the same when used in either slot. I think it is possibly a direct passthru when you use a normal MS in these, but I cannot be certain without de-engineering it.
Those who have come here to hate should leave now, for in their hatred they only betray themselves.
translated from The Book of Life (Src: Sword of Truth - Phantom by Terry Goodkind)

Offline DOC KALO

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2006, 02:37:35 AM »
Yeah some of the NEO team has certenly the answer ...

Offline lowkee33

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2006, 08:46:05 AM »
Nice review very informative. I like how you let peope understand that this device is still a great acheivement.

Offline cory1492

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2006, 02:33:31 PM »
It is indeed a excellent, well made device; mostly I wanted to address peoples concerns with video and useability - while I focused on the few problems I had I am simply exstatic that they were indeed so few.

I have been using it for weeks now, and the only real concern it leaves me with is occasionally I get electro-shock-therapy when placing the microdrive in my CF card reader (static shock grounding out; gotta remember to ground myself before touching the microdrive).

For about the same cost of a 4/5gig microdrive to a end user it definitely delivers value.
Those who have come here to hate should leave now, for in their hatred they only betray themselves.
translated from The Book of Life (Src: Sword of Truth - Phantom by Terry Goodkind)

Offline lowkee33

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Re: cory1492's mini-review of 2in1+4gig
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2006, 03:16:59 PM »
Right on keep up thee good reviews and keep me posted on your new finds as I will do the same for you.