EFA Linker 2 Review
EFA II Price: ~ $ 130 USD
Tested & Reviewed: YES
Buy GBA Extreme Flash Advance at Jandaman - Price: $ 99.95 USD
Both Original EFA Linker and EFA Linker II can play GBA ROMs, Emulated games and NDS ROMs. Both version I & II can be used on GAMEBOY ADVANCE, GBA SP, GB Micro and Nintendo DS consoles. EFA can boot DS roms directly when as EFA II has a little trick to do it until the new updated version of the Loader is released.
Extreme Flash Advance Linker II (EFA 2)
The EFA-Linker 2 - 1G bit kit comes in a very nice looking wooden gift box. In it you will find:
• 1 x EFA-Linker II 1Gb flash cart for GBA / SP / NDS (and we should add GB micro),
• 1 x Short USB cable for connecting PC to Catridge,
• 1 x The same but a lot longer USB cable.
Two USB cables included short one ~3 incheslong and teh one long USB cable ~122cm / 40inches. You deside which one is better for you to use. When traveling the short USB cable can fit in the GBA/NDS bad and will not take up a lot of scace, but the long one would be easier to use for thouse of us who have no USB ports at the front of the PC
As you can see from the list of the box contents there is no CD included with the package we got. You can download the Software from here > EFA II Client 1.02
The good news for all Windows XP, Linux and Mac OS X users is - you don't need Drivers for EFA to work on your computer as under the new operating that have USB Plug&Play support it is automaticly recognized as a "Removable Disk" same as any Flash Card / USB Key / PenDrive etc. that you onnect to it. Also you can start using EFA Linker even without the software, but for GameSaves to function correctly we suggest you better use the EFA Client (patches the roms when needed). Compatibility with Linux will be tested - works nicely :)
EFA Flash card is the same size as a regular GBA game pak so it doesn't stick out of the GBA or DS when fuly inserted in the game slot.
Most important feature of the EFA-Linker cards that make them stand out when compared to other Flash Linkers is the Built-IN mini USB connector on the top part of the cartridge
So in fact with this "Linker set" you have a USB-to-MiniUSB cable which is same as ones used for digital cameras and other consumer devices and NO Flash Linker or Writer :) Don't ask me why they call it a Linker...
PC gets directly connected to the cartridge via USB cable eliminating any need for an external writer. This makes EFA2 the most compact GBA Flash backup device. No need for GBA Link port (GBA/SP Multiplayer Link Port) so it is Nintendo DS™ and GAMEBOY Micro™ compatible but it does have some obvious drowbacks. With USB port on the cart there is no way to backup roms from your original Nintendo cartridges or backup / restore Save Games for original games. Thought if you plan on downloading most fo the gba roms from internet that doesn't matter.
Same as EFA-Linker EFA2 also features a power saving flash chip similar to EZ2. This gives you ~60% more play time than other non power saving carts. With a new battery pack your GBA SP will work for about 9 hours which is about the same as with Nintendo cartridges.
Using EFA 2 Card - NAND and NOR flash etc
Dispite similarities in names has no relation to EZ-Flash, EZF Advance, EZFA 3 or Xtreme Flash Advance. We would like the manufacturers to be a little more imaginative with the names of their products instead of just using permutaions of the most popular brands but anyway - EFA2 is not a copy of any card / linker that we have seen before!
- Very small. It uses mini USB connector to PC, has internal USB control chip.
- Power saving. Use 1.8v memory and saves you GBA/NDS battery. Consumes 60% less power than many other flash kits (with 3.3v momory).
- Works with GBA/GBASP/NDS in GBA mode.
(Support for NDS ROMS - NDS_Mode promissed in near future)
- 1Gbit storage. (2Gb EFA II cards will be released later on)
- Real Plug&Play U-disk (USB Storage Device)
- Drag & Drop files directly to into the EFA-Linker II.
- Write the ROMs direct from NAND FLASH to NOR FLASH.
(NOR - the fast memory you play the games from. 256M of it is in the cart
- Ultra fast writing speed (from NAND to NOR) (same as on EFA Linker).
- RTC (Real Time Clock).
- RTS (Real Time Save / Like Quick Save in PC games) and normal save function.
- SMS (Super Memory Stick) for backup of save files.
(with the built in menu you can backup Game Saves to the NAND and from there to PC)
- Soft-reset for reboting to EFA Menu withotu turning off your GBA.
- Cheat function.
- Custom backgrounds. (NOT at this time. Maybe will be added later on)
- Does not need external writer or linker (bridge).
New Nintendo DS Flash Linkers and NDS ROM backup tools:
NDS Neo Flash : MagicKey2 MK2 : G6flash 3 G6 : EZ4 : M3 Adapter : DS SuperCard