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HoshiChiri

Cartridge vs. card?

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Something I was thinking about the other day... what exactly is the difference between a game cartridge and a game card? I know how they look:

 

SANY0005

But is there something notable in their construction that makes them different in a non-cosmetic way? My first thought was cards have exposed contacts and carts have a plastic 'lip' covering them... but then again, PS1/PS2 memory cards have the lip. Or am I just reading too much into this and it's all pure semantics with no functional difference between the two?

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I'd think traditional cartridges to a higher degree contain DIP chips, of a ROM or EPROM variety, while the card based ones likely are logic blobs due to their slimmer size. However I know a fair amount of older cartridges have those blobs too. For similar reasons, a cartridge could do more/other things than just hold a ROM content, while the cards as far as I know only do that. Well, memory cards hold some storage function, but no other custom helper chips as far as I'm aware.

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Technically, there isn't any difference between a card and a cart.

They are just a support that hold a ROM.

Now, the main difference is that usually, cards hold fewer ROM space because they need to use smaller components, and usually lack save feature because of the lack of space for SRAM and battery (at the time, today with flash mamory, both memory space and save space are no longer relevant)

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Cards can do anything carts can, because they're literally thin carts. Instead of having the pcb and misc jiggling around inside of 2+ shell pieces, cards are stuck together solid, but most of their volume is unused and just plastic to hold onto while inserting.

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there's no functional difference. The difference is time, technology and price

 

back in the day big fat chips to store software on was the more economical and often the only way. As technology marched on you could put the guts of those same chips directly on a board without the plastic and metal holders, though cost and technology limited them. Nowdays you could put the entire NES library on a SD card that contains super thin rom chips on a board and access them basically the same way

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Carts are bulkier. Could you accommodate special chips such as the Super FX on a card?

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It depends on the type of "card" we're talking about. Cards like TG hu cards, etc are just carts in a vert thin form factor.

 

"Cards" like the ones in Nintendo DS cards and newer are different in that they use flash memory as opposed to traditional EEPROMs and such.

 

They could hypothetically support special chips like super FX if they can fit in the cards form factor, but in terms of storage, flash is a lot different because it degrades with use. So a cart can work 300yrs from now, but at some point all original DS games will be dead(possibly within our lifetime).

 

That's really the only major difference, and older cards don't use flash.

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Sega Master System used both carts and cards, and I think the card games had lower-storage capacity ROMs and were cheaper to produce. The cart slot doubled as an interface port for the 3D glasses which was a nice bonus use of the extra connector.

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Something I was thinking about the other day... what exactly is the difference between a game cartridge and a game card?

But three of those games on the left side of the picture aren't cartridges... they're Game Paks. :P

 

*runs*

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But three of those games on the left side of the picture aren't cartridges... they're Game Paks. :P

 

*runs*

 

You know, I've only ever seen that term used in one context:

 

250px-6-Pak_GEN_box.jpg

 

 

They could hypothetically support special chips like super FX if they can fit in the cards form factor, but in terms of storage, flash is a lot different because it degrades with use. So a cart can work 300yrs from now, but at some point all original DS games will be dead(possibly within our lifetime).

 

 

That's honestly a genuinely disturbing thought to me. Good thing people bootlegged the CRAP out of the DS so we'll still have the games.

Edited by HoshiChiri

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I'm not entirely convinced that the transistors in a regular ROM will last that long neither. The oldest integrated circuits should be about 45 years old by now, and I don't know if they are painless to read.

 

Is there a such thing as homebrew cards, or is the technology with its custom blobs rather limited to professional factories? Cartridges with surface mount components perhaps is as far as you can get. Those would get a little thicker than most of the cards, but far slimmer than traditional cartridges with through hole components.

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cob epoxy blobs requires running wires from the chip to the pcb, which are extreamly tiny, and usually welded, BUT modern rom chip packages are extremely thin

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Carts are bulkier. Could you accommodate special chips such as the Super FX on a card?

Some pirate PC Engine HuCards have a large box on them and the Turbo Everdrive is much more advanced than the SFX chip, but still doesn't take yp a lot of space.

 

The key feature of most game cards is that you have to push and pull them, which leaves a good amount of exposed soace fir protrusions.

 

You can still fit practically anything inside of a standard slim card, but the smaller you make things, the more expensive it is.

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So a cart can work 300yrs from now, but at some point all original DS games will be dead(possibly within our lifetime).

 

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the lifespan of the type of flash memory used in DS cards dependent on the number of times data is written to it? From what I understand flash memory will generally retain save data for 10 to 20 years, but that 10 to 20 year clock resets every time save data is written to it; and DS cards support several thousand saves before the memory begins to degrade. So, in theory at least, as long as you pop the game card in a system once every decade or so and re-save your game on it then the memory should last thousands of years.

Edited by Jin
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10-20 years if you stick it in a safe and never touch it, pretty sure whenever its used the clock resets

 

but im not an expert with flash

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Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the lifespan of the type of flash memory used in DS cards dependent on the number of times data is written to it? From what I understand flash memory will generally retain save data for 10 to 20 years, but that 10 to 20 year clock resets every time save data is written to it; and DS cards support several thousand saves before the memory begins to degrade. So, in theory at least, as long as you pop the game card in a system once every decade or so and re-save your game on it then the memory should last thousands of years.

Does the actual game itself have a clock and a way to reset it?

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That is what Nintendo called all their cartridges. They also called their consoles control decks.

 

Oh yeah... it's been a long time since I read any Nintendo paperwork. (I've been working on collecting for other systems.)

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Trytee Battletoads And Double Dragon The Ultimate Team 16 Bit Md Game Card For Sega Mega Drive For Genesis, can I play this on Genesis? My Genesis can hold catridge not card. But i want to buy this game. Help me ...https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjxkPrEpsPmAhVHAp0JHcL2Bd4QjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBattletoads-Double-Dragon-Ultimate-Genesis%2Fdp%2FB07RCWN8PG&psig=AOvVaw2-Jjn2gwEqIaC255Rdnj0N&ust=1576899497074334

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