Front Far East (FFE), and most of it's suppliers, have bragged and bragged for months about how decent, stable, and technologically advanced the SWC DX2 has become. The truth of the matter is, it's not.

There's many bugs in this new unit, as admitted by The White Knight of · Console Entertainment ·

    "...there were other bugs that you did not know of...".

Let's begin, shall we?
One serious bug in the DX2 relating to firmware register initialization which can make certain games, or programs, not work effectively.

The bug is in relation to the Main/SubScreen colour addition/subtraction registers:

        $2130 (CGSWSEL)

        $2131 (CGADSUB)

        $2132 (COLDATA)

According to Nintendo, certain registers need to be initialized after power-on. CGSWSEL, CGADSUB, and COLDATA need to be initialized (while the VBL is off) as follows:

        STZ $2130       ; CGSWSEL = $00

        STZ $2131       ; CGADSUB = $00

        LDA #$E0

        STA $2132       ; COLDATA = $E0

At this point, you're free to modify these registers to your needs; they just need to be initialized once.

I found this bug when working with some code I had written; I wasn't setting COLDATA to $E0 right after power-on, which caused one of my VRAM BGs to show up as "white" instead of it's normal colour.
Another bug is less "technical," but is just as potent.

The DX2 claims to be able to handle the ECP (Extended Capability Port) and EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) modes used by certain controller cards (such as DTC, Promise, and most new built-in controllers). Of course, there is also SPP (Standard Parallel Port), which is what the original SWC DX and DX/32 was based on.

Have you tried actually using either ECP/EPP on a DX2 unit? The results are astounding.

The amount of RAM the DX2 claims to have actually FLUXUATES according to which parallel port mode you use. Here is an explanation of how the DX2 "acts" under each of the three parallel port modes:

  • SPP
      The SPP mode works without flaws. It claims to have the amount of RAM which the DX2 actually has (in my case, 32M).

  • ECP
      When using the ECP mode, the DX2 claims to have 16M of RAM. Also, it's worst flaw (and as mysterious as the "missing RAM" problem) is that after you run a game or some code on it, then power-cycle it, it doesn't take you back to the DX2 menuing system -- instead, it boots you right into the previous game or program you loaded! I am not making this up. And to prove my point, I may end up making an AVI or MOV of the actual process itself and posting it here for everyone to see.

      I couldn't get my DX2 to boot into it's own menuing system until I put the parallel port back in SPP mode.

  • EPP
      When using the EPP mode, the DX2 acts similar to the aforementioned ECP mode, except that the amount of RAM it claims to have is 24M (compared to 16M).

      The power-cycle problem still seems to exist when using this mode as well, though a few times, just by letting the SNES & DX2 sit by itself for a good 15 minutes seemed to allow the DX2 to boot back into it's own menuing system.

Just what in the hell is going on here? Why would the amount of RAM a backup unit claim to have fluxuate to which parallel port one uses? It makes no sense technically, nor commonly. And what about this power-cycling-related problem? Just why does that happen at all?

The solution seems to be to use the SPP mode; don't worry, despite resellers claiming the ECP/EPP modes increase performance, they honestly do not.
A more commonly noticed bug is the Disk Copy bug.

The Disk Copy function doesn't work correctly; it locks your SNES unit when it asks for you to insert a disk.

This bug has apparently been fixed in the newest DX2 ROM.
What's this all mean?

It's pretty simple.

  • It means the SWC DX2 does not initialize any of the firmware registers when the SNES is turned on.
  • It means the SWC DX2 does not handle ECP/EPP parallel modes correctly.
  • It means the SWC DX2 (most likely) has some kind-of power problem.

Most backup units should. Here's a list of ones which do:

  • Multi Game Hunter
  • Smart Bros.
  • Super Magicom
  • Super WildCard
  • Super WildCard DX

Rumour has it that the Double ProFighter and the ProFighter X have similar problems in relation to firmware registers not being initialized on power-on. If you own a DPF or PFX, please contact me, as I can send you two programs which can test the validity of your unit.
The person to contact regarding any questions you have about the DX2 is antirox@tnp.com, or you can check out their web page, www.anthrox.com.

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