Mega Flash Rom or Carnivore 2?

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By Paranoid_Andy

Supporter (3)

Paranoid_Andy's picture

08-10-2020, 00:58

Hello everyone,

Another newbie to the MSX scene here. I managed to get my hands on a SONY HB-F1XV and I'd like to get to the gaming goodness but I'm not sure which multi-cart solution is best for me.

I read several posts on here but some of the technical information of those posts seems to be outdated at this point. As far as I can tell with the updated technical specs on the sites for each of them, there doesn't seem to be any major differences between them except one line that I read about the Carnivore 2.

"When the cartridge is configured as SCC+, all the rest of the features (IDE, RAM, SCC, Flash ROM and FM pack) will be disabled."

I don't really understand what this means yet and if it would even apply to me.

I don't plan to play any homebrew or fan translations and pretty much want to stick with official releases but play them with audio enhancements if they have such a thing.

At this point I would much prefer to buy the Carnivore because it's a $75 difference when comparing to the MFR + 512k RAM model.

Hopefully this wasn't too random or anything.

Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you to anyone who can point me in the proper direction!

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By AndreV

Expert (121)

AndreV's picture

08-10-2020, 10:29

I've got both,
cos you have a msx2+ it has msx music.
MFR is easy to use and a very stable but hasn't got msx music, for you're MSX has it already I like the multirom function, and sofarun you have to tweak in sofarun sr configuations setings (sr.ini) double klik and chanche al A: to B: to run sofarun. cos the mfs detects the sd cart as B:. it uses a Micro SD cart. multirom function you have to make a .txt
metalg2.rom /u
save as t.txt ( on the PC) and rename to multirom.opf (on the msx)
The carnivore2 does support msx music and is what harder to set lots of things you can set in the cartridge, and sofarun runs right away, cos the sdcart is A:. carivore2 Uses a cf cart, i had to order a cf adapter to use a sd cart. you have to put some files on the sd cart to use carnivore2
Both cartridges are awesome. but needs some research.
which is sometimes difficult, because the information is took me a while to understand the cartridges

By Alexey

Guardian (3126)

Alexey's picture

08-10-2020, 10:29

Carnivore2 has the special SCC+ mode when the cartridge works as a combination of SCC sound card and RAM. You could not run any games from the cartridge when it was in that mode before. But with the latest firmware and boot menu you can enable SCC+ mode and run ROM games in the slave slot using the dual-slot configuration. But for disk based games you will still need to use a different device.

The difference comparing to MFR is that Carnivore2 has 1mb of RAM and 720kb of shadow RAM that can be used to run games. Also Carnivore2 has FMPAC sound card. And Carnivore2 uses CF cards as media while MFR uses SD cards. However's it possible to use SD cards with Carnivore2, you just need an adapter.

By gdx

Enlighted (4498)

gdx's picture

08-10-2020, 10:59

From what I understood, MFR is compatible SCC+ but it is not configurable to emulate the Konami sound cartridge because the 128kB RAM of the cartridge is missing. So original Snatcher/SD Snatcher can not work directly. You need a patched copy of the game. MFR utility seems do it.

Carnivore2 is configurable to emulate the Konami sound cartridge. Carnivore2 have more functions and it is cheaper (except maybe if you buy an SD adapter) but be careful where you buy it because some sellers produce it with the contacts of the cartridge tinned instead of golden.

By hamlet

Scribe (3595)

hamlet's picture

08-10-2020, 11:56

This good old thread may prevent us old man to repeat over and over what we all already know. :)

By Grauw

Ascended (9915)

Grauw's picture

08-10-2020, 12:40

If you’re already looking at the Carnivore2 as a preference, just go for it. Both are capable cartridges but the C2 certainly isn’t less than the MFR.

The primary reason I prefer MFR is because 1. I already have it for a long time, 2. I like the compact SD cards, 3. I don’t need an FPGA emulated MSX-MUSIC because I have the real thing, 4. the MFR boots quicker because it has no boot menu like the C2 does.

However I totally understand that to a novice those reasons don’t apply, and they will actually appreciate the boot menu, the built-in MSX-MUSIC (tho the HB-F1XV already has it), and the price difference.

By Thom

Paladin (679)

Thom's picture

08-10-2020, 13:02

hamlet wrote:

This good old thread may prevent us old man to repeat over and over what we all already know. :)

True, there's even a nice comparison table in it (MFR/C2/GR8NET/FJ). On the other hand: it's mostly about specs. Although it's easy to understand the difference in available (emulated) sound chips, for me the difference in day-to-day use of the devices is still not 100% clear. What I would like to know: what can be done (easily) with device A, but not with device B?

For instance:

Alexey wrote:

The difference comparing to MFR is that Carnivore2 has 1mb of RAM and 720kb of shadow RAM that can be used to run games.

What does that mean in practice? Is it faster? Do more games/programs run?
It may seem like I pretend being stupid, but I really am.

By Alexey

Guardian (3126)

Alexey's picture

08-10-2020, 14:29

Running games from the shadow RAM with the enabled write protection allows to extend the lifetime of the FlashROM chip because the game's data is not written onto it. SofaRun has native support for Carnivore2 and it can use the shadow RAM option to run games.

By Paranoid_Andy

Supporter (3)

Paranoid_Andy's picture

09-10-2020, 03:15

Wow so many replies!

From what it sounds like the Carnivore should work for me. I think I'll get started with that and if I ever need to branch out I'll go from there.

Thank you for all the replies everyone. I appreciate you all taking the time to help me with this. I'm so excited to get going on this Smile

By Briqunullus

Champion (360)

Briqunullus's picture

09-10-2020, 09:10

Both devices can do similar things. Carnivore is the cheaper option, but isn't available all the time. I got myself a Carnivore last summer when 8bits4ever had some stock, otherwise I would have bought the MFR without hesitation. For anyone considering the MFR, please take one of the 512K models.

By Thom

Paladin (679)

Thom's picture

09-10-2020, 10:32

Briqunullus wrote:

For anyone considering the MFR, please take one of the 512K models.

Also if your MSX already has 512 kB?

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