FS-A1ST vs FS-A1GT vs MSX2+ (Advice Needed)

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By dr.slump

Rookie (19)

dr.slump's picture

06-04-2018, 01:40

Hi everyone
Hope a post like this is OK and thanks in advance for any answers:

I don't have any experience with MSX hardware at all, but am looking to purchase a console + MegaFlashROM. All I want to do with it is play games.
I'm leaning towards getting a Turbo R system, but I'm unsure what advantages it has over MSX2+ other than a handful of exclusive games.
Not really too worried about the cost, but I don't want to spend money needlessly. I live in Japan so can probably find a decent deal, but the FS-A1GT in particular seems pretty expensive.

My main questions are:
1. Will Turbo R run games noticeably better than MSX2+?
2. Will FS-A1GT run games noticeably better than FS-A1ST?
3. How important is the amount of RAM the system has? If I understand correctly, MegaFlashROM will add 512k, which would seem like plenty given that only FS-A1GT has that amount onboard.
4. Are there any issues with Turbo R/MSX2+ running MSX/MSX2 games faster than intended, or anything like that?
5. If I'm only going to use MegaFlashROM, can I buy a system with a broken floppy drive and use that with no problems?

Thanks! Smile

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By ToriHino

Champion (384)

ToriHino's picture

06-04-2018, 07:40

1. Not really, there are some 'turbo fixed' modifications for games that help to run a game smoother but this is only a handful. Mind you, the VDP and sound chips are exactly the same as in the 2+.
2. No, only difference between GT and ST is 256K of RAM and built-in MIDI (which is hardly supported in any game at all)
3. 512k is indeed sufficient to run almost any game available.
4. Not an issue
5. Yes, when you have the MFR, you don't need the floppy drive at all.

By Manuel

Ascended (15829)

Manuel's picture

06-04-2018, 07:40

1. You will only notice for games patched to enable turbo. Hardly any original non turboR specific games will use it
2. No difference. But with the GT you can enjoy MIDI out for music in a few games
3. Mostly only for European disk games you need 128k or more.
4. No, by default you get normal speed, or you can easily select compatible normal speed
5. Yes, but you won't be able to play original disk games then, of course.

By alexito

Hero (555)

alexito's picture

06-04-2018, 08:13

Hi, for me a Turbo R with GR8NET is the best combination specially because in Turbo Mode the Internal FM fail to run in sync with R800 CPU . I made my own hack installing a switch disabling the Internal FM Audio Chip (YM2413) because GR8NET set the clock for the integrated YM2413 Emulation at 3.5mhz and games using FM Music sound great at R800 Turbo Mode. if you get a Turbo R with broken FDD I recommend to install a HXC Floppy Emulator or Gotek with HXC Firmware and forget the not reliable floppy disk media and start using Virtual Images through SDCARD.

Here my answer to your questions:

1.- Yes. (Paradream comes to my mind)
2.- I don't think so.
3.- Very important. I have Turbo-R ST with 512k but I'm craving to do the mod for 1mb someday.
4.- I think the Turbo R is the best of the best when you want to run MSX / MSX 2 software.
5.- I think so.

By gdx

Prophet (3088)

gdx's picture

06-04-2018, 09:02

If you take a Turbo R, take the MegaFlashROM without the 512k. It will be useless.
The FS-A1ST have only 256k but you will not need more to play the games with the MegaFlashROM. Midi option is anecdotical for games.

By rderooy

Hero (583)

rderooy's picture

06-04-2018, 10:52

One thing to note with a Turbo R is that you loose support for tape, if that is important to you.

By Meits

Scribe (5658)

Meits's picture

06-04-2018, 10:53

Write/read speed to MFR goes faster on a turbo R. On a diskdrive a turbo R is very slow.
With a broken diskdrive you won't be able to save game situations of games which have this option. You can not flash a user disk to the MFR and save to it, since the flashed disk on the MFR will be read only. The real diskdrive is needed here.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1046)

Wolverine_nl's picture

06-04-2018, 12:00

Meits wrote:

Write/read speed to MFR goes faster on a turbo R. On a diskdrive a turbo R is very slow.
With a broken diskdrive you won't be able to save game situations of games which have this option. You can not flash a user disk to the MFR and save to it, since the flashed disk on the MFR will be read only. The real diskdrive is needed here.

Sofarun anyone? You can use it to run Disk images of games on a MFR-SCC-SD and it creates a userdisk image where it writes the savegames. Problem solved. Tongue
I would go with a TurboR, GT or ST doesn't really matter for 99% of the times.

By gdx

Prophet (3088)

gdx's picture

06-04-2018, 13:59

You mean probably SofaRunIt.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1046)

Wolverine_nl's picture

06-04-2018, 14:03

gdx wrote:

You mean probably SofaRunIt.

I just use Sofarun, which probably is a UI for also Sofarunit etc. Wink

By Grauw

Ascended (8515)

Grauw's picture

06-04-2018, 14:14

1. No, games run in Z80 mode, except for a very few that have turbo support or are turboR-exclusive.
2. No, though there are a few games that can use its MIDI if you have interest in that.
3. If you’re only interested in games, 64K is enough for all Japanese games, 128K for European games.
4. No, games run in Z80 mode, turbo R800 mode is not enabled by default.
5. Yes.

TurboR is a great computer, but if you’re budget conscious and only interested in playing games, I’d say you won’t miss out with an MSX2+. I would equally much recommend that, especially in combination with an MFR. The amount of turboR exclusive games is minimal, and very few others have the ability to run in turbo mode. Note that Panasonic MSX2+ machines also have a turbo mode (though not nearly as fast as the turboR’s). The turbo and extra memory is mostly useful for applications like MSX-DOS2 and VGMPlay.

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