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Should I Modchip or SwapMagic/FlipTop my PS2?

Discussion in 'PS2 - Hardware boot discussion' started by AbeVigoda, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. AbeVigoda

    AbeVigoda Member

    Mar 31, 2006
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    My GH2 disc was scratched up this weekend, so I decided to make a backup just in case anything happens to it because I don't want to spend another $50 on another disc. My PS2 is not modded. So I was wondering if I should get it modded with a Modchip or should I get the SwapMagic/Fliptop combo? What's the easiest, safest, or best method to play backups without any damage(longterm) to my PS2? Thanks for any help.
  2. Z3120

    Z3120 Regular member

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Swap Magic would be the cheapest method. If you have a slim PS2, the swapping process is relatively easy; however, if you have a fat PS2, you should be more cautious and careful since you would need the use of a slide card. Slide card is basically you using a tool to pull and push in the disk tray of a fat PS2 without the system knowing you have done so, opening and closing the tray in place. To remedy the slide card nuisance, many (or some really) purchased a custom flip-top cover for their fat PS2s so they won't have to deal with the unnecessarily hassles of 'what ifs' like me if so and so may or might not happen like "oh, I forgot to lock in my tray when I inserted blank game and now ruined my PS2's disk tray". You can read up more on these issues/problems by doing a forum search here. Swap Magic is a cheap backup/import boot method retailing around 30 US dollars.

    As for a mod-chip, the mere convenience is enough to warrant a purchase. For certain games, the need to rebuild certain games could be quite annoying -- replacing certain files or downsizing specific files and shrinking files sizes in a very few select games; namely, Rogue Galaxy and the God of War games that are on DVD9 for example. However, if you do buy a mod-chip, there's no need to rebuild games unlike the Swap Magic route where it's mandated for specific games. The investment for a mod-chip may be a bit expensive, but it can very well pay itself off in the long run. Around 100 US dollars including a professional installation for a mod-chip can save you a lot of unneeded problems doing it yourself if you're inexperience in soldering. If you live around the US, teammodders.com is a good reliable place people have recommended around here as a place that's trustworthy, has timely responses (sometimes it can take few days) and good prices. For more information on specific mod-chips like the Matrix Infinity Green Dot, Crystal Chip or the DMSZ4? (forgot the name of this last one) check out the PS2 Hardware Boot Discussion for a stickie by Tokujin that mentions specifically what each one has to offer.

    About your question of playing backups without any longterm damage, check and make sure you're using quality, top-tier DVD/CD media brands like Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim. A 1st-class media brand like Taiyo Yuden, which can be purchased at supermediastore.com, rima.com or new-egg.com, can go a long way in determining the life-span of a brand new PS2's laser. To sum it up, using cheap brands like Memorex can put extra stress on a laser with various amounts of imperfections compared to a quality burn on a Taiyo Yuden DVD. Imperfections like stutters, lag and long loading times, slight freezes and pauses, can be very well apparent when burning on bad media brands compared to a great quality brand. For example, when your laser tries to read pass these problems on Memorex, the delayed reading your laser is experiencing is usually the results of your laser having trouble and complications reading the data on the disc compared to the ease it can experience when using a Taiyo Yuden brand. Some other good brands that are shared and known around here I believe are Maxell, Verbatim, Sony and Ritek. I've tried Sony but rather take Taiyo Yuden as a personal preference when burning data near the outer rims of a DVD.

    Not all bad media are bad though. For example, learning about media IDs here on your DVDs can determine whether or not you bought an authentic Taiyo Yuden disk or utter expletive. Memorex are mainly known to be bad because their media IDs code out as CMC MAGs, an outsourcing company I believe; however, the results from CMC Mags can be widely different. Try comparing the same CMC MAG media ID you could find from a TDK and Memorex. You'll be quite surprised with the results on which is better and how large the difference is. Learning how to read these PI/PO results when using Nero DVD/CD Speed can also help determine and influence your purchase of said brand but mainly, what your experiences are of them. Here for more information about PI/PO results.

    Edit: About what method I'm using, I basically wanted to play import games like the Tales of series and perhaps back them up too. Swap Magic allows me to do so for a relatively cheap asking price, and I can easily ignore the easy 15 seconds it takes to swap before booting the game compared to some people that seem very impatient about it; nonetheless, I ain't dissing the mod-chip route, I actually want to install one on my old fat PS2 too. I'm currently using Swap Magic with the slim PS2, and I've been quite satisfied with it, and plus, you can take it on the go when you go to a friend's house or something without bringing your actual games.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  3. OmriSama

    OmriSama Regular member

    Apr 6, 2007
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    Well, swap magic and fliptop is simpler, cheaper,easier to install and safer. While a modchip better in features and ease of use, but i just spent 90 bucks getting mine modded XD.
  4. steimy

    steimy Active member

    Dec 2, 2004
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    Swap Magic & Fliptop: PROS
    Cheapest method to mod
    can be installed at home by most people with no problems
    will play both PAL & NTSC games & backups. (also PS1 & PS2 CD based games)

    Swap Magic & Fliptop: CONS
    swapping gets to be a pain
    When playing games from other regions screen cut off will occur
    can not play DVD9 (dual layer) back ups
    some games will need to be rebuilt in order to work right
    can only use original copies, so if your disc gets scratched, broken or the laser stops reading it then you have to buy a new set.
    Fliptops are known for having all sorts of problems when people are trying to get them working. They usually get it solved but do not be surprised if it doesn't work right out of the box.

    Modchip: PROS
    No swapping at all
    will play all regions with no screen cut off
    will play DVD9 back ups (some require a simple patch to work)
    different modchips give you a wide range of features such as support for running and playing games from an internal hard drive, built in cheat device, auto patching back ups for online play, and others (depending on which chip you get)
    All around best modding solution for a PS2, hands down.

    Modchip: CONS
    cost more then getting Swap Magic and a fliptop
    Has to be installed by a professional or modding site unless you have technical knowledge and very good soldering skills.

    Teammodders.com for installs in the USA
    Crystal Chip V2.0
    Matrix Infninity Green Dot
    DMS4 Pro SE
    Duo3 Gold (cheap and stable with just the basic features, only $20)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2007

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