CD64 (Nintendo) - Criticisms

Criticisms

  • The unit was very cheaply made and shipped with a 9VDC power supply. The 9V input is connected directly to the 12V input of the internal CDROM drive. A voltage regulator is used to obtain a 5V input voltage supply for the mainboard. This converts the unused energy to excess heat, often leading to premature failure.
    • Due to the overheating issues some users have modified their units with small cpu processor fans to keep their units cool. Others that used aftermarket power supply units rated for 12V, 1A did not have issues.
  • The unit frequently suffers from an incomplete connection between the N64 and the flanges on the top, leading to a black screen at bootup.
  • The PC parallel port function requires a special adaptor (PPA, Parallel Port Adaptor) and a DB25 Parallel Port cable that are sold separately. This method is notoriously difficult to set up as the DOS run PC program is difficult to interpret. Software such as cd64comm.exe and ucon64.exe can be used to transfer save files or game images back and forth from the PC to CD64.
  • The SRAM function saves to the CD64 RAM, and so if power is lost, the save will also be lost. To store a save permanently requires turning the CD64 back on, selecting the built-in memory manager from the main menu, and then transferring the save to a controller pak. Saves can also be transferred to a PC using Ghemor. If the unit is unplugged the ROM image must also be loaded into the RAM again.
  • The CD-ROM control software is poorly written. It treats any operation as a failure if it takes more than a few seconds, which often does not give the drive adequate time to spin up. Successfully reading a disc can take a few well-timed attempts. Long file names are not supported, and it may not read all files from a disc.
  • Two games, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Perfect Dark, cannot be read the system unless a Protected Cartridge Decoder (PCD) is used. This cartridge plugs into the slot in the front and has two connectors, one for a boot cartridge such as Super Mario 64, and the other for either the Conker's or Perfect Dark Game Pak. Given the rarity of this accessory, it is often hard to find and expensive when found.
  • The unit's design makes it impossible to upgrade beyond 32MB of RAM, which means it cannot play larger ROM images such as Paper Mario or Conker's Bad Fur Day. (These games can still be copied to a PC, however.)

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