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Do Funtastic consoles have better video display?; MegaMania has pics to prove it!
Topic Started: Dec 4 2012, 10:26 PM (43,387 Views)
bluedogrulez
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Our of our newest members, MegaMania, comes to us with an interesting proposition. He has asked our staff to present his thesis in English. Get ready to learn something new about your favorite console you thought you knew everything about.

MegaMania has observed that his Grape funtastic PAL console (Serial #NUP 1611072) displays N64 games better that his standard charcoal grey model. He offers three sets of photo comparisons in support of his observation:

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Notice the speedometer

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Notice the castle wall under the archway

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Notice Mario and Luigi's named and initial on hat

The notion that all or some funtastics have better video output made its way into at least one European gaming magazine according to a post on a Finnish website by uber collector (and N64Forever forum member Finngamer. What do you think about MegaMania's observations?

And just what does MegaMania propose? He would like for members to help him document which funtastic consoles (by Serial#) have this enhanced video display. (We've certainly have the consoles to oblige.) Help further this important initiative by posting your the Serial Number (start NUP, NS, NUJ), and whether the color and/or image quality is BETTER that the original grey console or NOT.

Here's what we know so far:

NUP = Europe PAL
NS = N-America NTSC
NUJ = Japan NTSC

SHARPER / BETTER IMAGE:
Fire Orange: NUP 16339442
Grape Purple: NUP 16060024, NUP 16111072
Jungle Green: NUP 16085491, NUP 16237979
Smoke Black: NUP 16122646
Watermelon Red: NUP 16315707
Clear Blue: NUP 16748999
Pikachu: NUP 16476127

UNIMPROVED IMAGE:
Ice Blue: NUP 16143699
Pokemon: NUP 15742019

(updated 12-07-12)

# # #
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 7 2012, 08:55 AM.
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Xephyrian
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Master Chief of the Universe
That's very cool! Nice observation MegaMania :yeah:

Based off those pictures it's definitely higher quality. I wonder if the higher quality would apply to gold consoles too, and if the low quality applies to all greys and not just initial release ones. I had a charcoal grey console that was originally jungle green but had been painted over by Nintendo so I wonder if this one had the higher output. Sadly I sold that console so I can't test it but I'd be very interested to hear any more info on this topic.
Edited by Xephyrian, Dec 4 2012, 10:33 PM.
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brown duckz
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I think this is very subjective.

Some would consider the "sharpness" of the funtastic console pictures as not being higher quality. The sharpness being "dumbed" down, in my opinion make the graphics look a little nicer.
I currently own humble, but nice collections of NTSC-U; NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii

Currently taking a break from a 2012 collecting binge.
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stinger9142
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Endure and survive...
The pictures seem to speak for themselves. The images show your funtastic system producing a noticeably crisper image. Thank you translating and posting this for him, Andy. :D

Unfortunately I do not own a funtastic system, just an old gray. So no comparison for me.
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Stinobi
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I've got a regular gray one hooked up and a pikachu N64 in storage. (both PAL)
Is the Pikachu one a 'funtastic' model as well?
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bluedogrulez
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No, the translucent colored consoles are the funtastic consoles. However, MegaMania's demonstration begs the question what if any other later model consoles, including Pikachu, gold, etc, have better video output than the original charcoal gray. Anyone up for testing this?
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Mk II
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the Funtastic consoles probably had a later revision motherboard with slightly diff. components so it certainly seems possible IMHO
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Mega Mania
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More specifically: Reportedly, NOT all N64 Colored produce better image quality. Some Funtastic consoles are the same on the inside as the original Gray console.

First time I heard about it in Finnish game-forum. I got interested to do this N64 Gray vs. Colored comparison.

I was searching Google search but not found better N64 console discussions. That's why I want tell N64 fans.

Interested to know whether also how NTSC USA and Japan Colored consoles.

If you have, please send your the serial number (NUP), what colour, PAL, USA or Japan console, and the image quality is BETTER or NOT. As is known from the serial numbers from the "better" start consoles.
Edited by Mega Mania, Dec 5 2012, 10:05 AM.
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brown duckz
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Do you guys really think that the extra sharpness of the right side pictures looks better?

To me, the sharpness makes it look worst. I might have to look into this and purchase a funtastic; I had one, but sold it. I guess I haven't noticed the difference.
I currently own humble, but nice collections of NTSC-U; NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii

Currently taking a break from a 2012 collecting binge.
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NintendoLuke99
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Nintendo 64 Teen Enthusiast
Well really i could only notice just a little difference. I own a black n64 console and the picture quality on it is great! Well that's because i use it on a 13 inch CRT TV(which it was designed for) and i have it on the highest color,contrast and brightness it can do.
Get :n64: Or Get Out! :n64: slogan
:n64: Forever!

My :n64: Collection
1 Black :n64: console
34 :n64: Games
3 Offical :n64: controllers


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R3dfi3lD
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It seems like a composite vs a s-video. :huh:
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Mega Mania
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R3dfi3lD
Dec 5 2012, 11:49 AM
It seems like a composite vs a s-video. :huh:
I tested both same composite cable (I don't have S-video cable) and is not used in the Expansion Pak (using Jumper Pak, both same yes).
Edited by Mega Mania, Dec 5 2012, 12:09 PM.
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Thegt550
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NIce Info bluedogrulez
STAFF WARNING ABOUT THIS MEMBER: http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7400206/1/
I Arthur J. Garcia
Declare that i will Help People with their problems regarding the Golden N controller
this does not apply to people who resold theirs and dint bought it from TheGt550
I will sale whats left of my collection to help.(jusco,np100,japan blue/white)
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bluedogrulez
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Thanks TheGT550, but all credit goes to Mega Mania. I am but your humble (unqualified) interpreter, lol.
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finngamer
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Like I've discussed with Mega Mania on a finnish forum, I actually noticed this years ago with tests done on two regular consoles and two funtastic consoles. It's absolute fact, that the funtastic ones look better, all the murkiness of the graphics is gone. The pictures above don't necessarily do it justice, the picture is better full stop.

I've been meaning to do a bigger test with all my consoles for a long time, but have been postponing it, and couldn't have gone "public" with the info. :) It's funny, no one didn't seem to know this. And even Nintendo did not advertise this when the consoles came out, which is crazy considering how clear the difference is. It's natural for a console manufacturer change the components inside the machine when time goes by, but this is the biggest improvement that any console has gone through, and all without changing the video cable.


When I first talked about this in Finland someone said that their funtastic didn't show any improvement. Assuming he saw correctly, it's possible all funtastics did not have the same innards. Maybe Nintendo still used up the old parts with the first funtastics?

I now have all my consoles taken out of their boxes, hopefully I'll soon have the time to test out every color, marking down any differences tied down to their serial number. This should give a good overview on when the superior video started.

I can only talk about European consoles though, hopefully someone in North America can do the same with their full funtastic set.
Edited by finngamer, Dec 6 2012, 05:03 AM.
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cyan_phoenix
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Interesting. Funny how even after 10 years we are learning new things about the n64.

I finally plugged in both a PAL and NTSC n64 console with blast corps in both and flicked through each to see the differences and it is quite striking how much better the NTSC one looks. If there are differences even within PAL n64's i'd love to know if there is a way of identifying the better models (assuming it is true not all funtastic units are better).
Australia

N64 CIB Collection (EUR/USA/JPN): Complete!
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Mega Mania
Newbie
USA-console has a 9-serial numbers and start NS, in Japan NUJ and in Europe NUP. Japan and Europe 8-serial numbers.

First pic: USA console
Second pic: Japan console

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Edited by Mega Mania, Dec 6 2012, 01:29 PM.
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finngamer
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And done. Not quite conclusive, but still some nice data.

I tested all my 12 PAL consoles with Goldeneye. Here are the colors, serials and picture qualities:


Charcoal, NUP10414657, bad
Charcoal, NUP13881647, bad
Pokemon, NUP15742019, bad
Grape Purple, NUP16060024, good
Jungle Green, NUP16085491, good
Smoke Black, NUP16122646, good
Ice Blue, NUP16143699, bad
Jungle Green, NUP16237979, good
Watermelon Red, NUP16315707, good
Fire Orange, NUP16339442, good
Clear Blue, NUP16748999, good
Pikachu, NUP16476127, good


Clearly the vast majority of Funtastics have the better innards, but that pesky Ice Blue there in the middle denies us clear data. There may not be any rule which consoles have the better output, but at least it would take really bad luck to get one if you get a Funtastic.

Still, it was nice to see that the newer consoles also had better output, as in Clear Blue and Pikachu. Does anyone know how long the regular Charcoal was in production, was it sold alongside the Funtastics or did they replace the older colors altogether?


Reminder, so far this applies only to PAL consoles, I don't have sufficient JAP or USA consoles to make good tests.
Edited by finngamer, Dec 6 2012, 03:19 PM.
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cyan_phoenix
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Also might bw worth checking if it is true in other regions too. Knowing my luck, the australian consoles all got the crappy innards.

My n64 is see-through green (I got it 2nd hand after my original grey one finally died) - i'm guessing that is a jungle green one? I'm pretty clueless with n64 hardware.
Australia

N64 CIB Collection (EUR/USA/JPN): Complete!
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brown duckz
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I would really like to get some info for US serial numbers, looks like I need to buy one!
I currently own humble, but nice collections of NTSC-U; NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii

Currently taking a break from a 2012 collecting binge.
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Vekoma64
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I know my Japanese smoke machine is set up with my DD and it is the main console I use for NTSC A/J...I must have the best picture quality..and now I need to know! :P
Nintendo gaming since 1989 WiiU NNID- Vekoma64

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bluedogrulez
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@finngamer: thanks for testing your many consoles! Looks like all serial #s beginning 16 are the good PAL consoles (except ice blue **scratches head***)

Dumb question time: Finn, do all of your consoles have the same model #? I'm guessing yes, but curious nevertheless....
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 6 2012, 07:37 PM.
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Grizzmeister
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So these tests have been conducted with a standard composite cable, huh? If testing was done with a SCART I might be tempted to conclude that the Funtastic models possibly support RGB. That might also explain why no one with an NTSC model ever noticed.

What I'd probably do next is open up a standard charcoal N64 and read the numbers off of the Graphics Processing Unit and then do the same thing on a Funtastic which outputs the sharper image. I say this because the GPU is probably the component most responsible for the variance in picture quality. It might be easier to find a common GPU that is the source of the crisper image than determining commonality by the serial numbers on the case.

As I'm sleep deprived this might be a completely ridiculous hypothesis so please take it with a grain of salt. :blink:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Stinobi
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the ice blue model is by far the most common funtastic PAL model.
Maybe they were used to get rid of all the old boards?
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Mega Mania
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Thanks, finngamer!

Here is something... http://forums.modretro.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1417
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bluedogrulez
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At the request of MegaMania, the first post has been updated to reflect the collective findings to date. My hope is that we continue this research in all regions and eventually have a comprehensive list. :yeah:
Mega Mania
Dec 7 2012, 08:47 AM
WOW, so there were a ton of different [EDIT] motherboard revisions! Wonder if there is anyway to correlate the board version with (1) output quality, (2) serial number or (3) Model number.

MegaMania and Finngamer, can you guys add the model numbers to the serial numbers you already provided?

EDIT: :facepalm: Got chip number confused with Model number. Sorry for any confusion.
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 7 2012, 10:03 AM.
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Grizzmeister
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Mega Mania
Dec 7 2012, 08:47 AM
Is Link83 a member on this forum? If not he should be. This guy has done an incredible amount of research in to the N64 motherboard and its components. Here on Nintendo 64 Forever we strive to have only the best and brightest minds providing information to the N64 cognoscenti and Link83 certainly meets that criteria.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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bluedogrulez
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Amen, Grizz.

Leap of Faith: I've order a NTSC console with a serial number beginning with "28" which should have a CPU-8 or 8.1 in there. That version appears to have the same specs as the later model PAL console, including the RDRAM36 (as opposed to RDRAM18) inside. Fingers crossed this provides some NTSC answers.
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Grizzmeister
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What type of cable are you going to use, bluedog? Composite or S-Video?

This is a pretty important topic for our community as it speaks to the biggest hurdle facing the N64 going forward, and that is finding a way to keep the actual console playable in the era of Hi-Def television sets.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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bluedogrulez
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I have an s-cable that i bought for like $6 shipped from amazon that was a noticeable improvement on my old tube TV. But i could not get photo proof unfortunately.
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