Globtop cartridges vs. EPROM cartridges.

Hey guys I’m going to write about globtop game cartridges, and whether or not you should get them.

In case you don’t know, there are two main kinds of famiclone game boards. EPROMs are the kind of board that Nintendo used in all of their official cartridges. Here’s a picture of a pirate EPROM game board:


And here’s a picture of a globtop cartridge:


As you can see, EPROM boards are bigger, and they have big, visible chips. Speaking of which, where are the chips on the globtop game? Well, globtops use very tiny chips, and they’re covered in this black hardened goo stuff to keep them in place. From what I’ve read, these carts are supposed to die quicker, but none of mine have stopped working, including one that’s 20 years old.

Moving on, globtops are cheaper to make, and pretty much all modern famiclone games use globtops.

Does it really matter? Well, that depends on two main things. First is whether or not you’re worried about the game dying, and second off is whether or not your famiclone (if you have one) will run them.

Yeah, some famiclones won’t run globtops. Official Famicom systems won’t, either. (I mean, that’s not completely true. Every once in a while you’ll get a globtop that will run on an official Famicom, but most of the time that won’t happen.) Here’s a picture of what happens if you try to run a globtop game in a system that doesn’t support globtops:


Whether or not a famiclone will run a globtop games depends on whether or not it uses the NOAC chip. (NOAC stands for NES On A Chip.)

One way to tell is to open up your famiclone with a screwdriver and see what chips it uses. But you should be careful, since last time I tried opening a famiclone, some pieces started falling out. I was able to put them back in, and now it works, but you should still be careful.

A less risky way is to go and buy some cheapo globtop game and see if it runs. That costs money, but still, the chance of breaking your famiclone is zero.

But how do you tell if a cartridge is a globtop?

Well, not very easily. Here’s two cartridges. One is an EPROM and one is a globtop. Can you tell?


Well, probably you couldn’t, unless you read my previous posts about these two cartridges. But anyway, you can’t tell by looking at the cover.

One source said that globtops are noticeably lighter. Well, I went and weighed my two globtop cartridges, as well as some non-globtop cartridges, and here are the results:


  1. 1.1 ounces.
  2. 1.2 ounces.


  1. 1.2 ounces.
  2. 1.2 ounces.
  3. 1.6 ounces.
  4. 1.2 ounces.

With the exception of the third EPROM cart I weighed, none of these are “noticeably different.”

But, if you ripped out the circuitboard and weighed that, it would be noticeably lighter. My only loose EPROM board weighed 0.5 ounces, and a randomly selected loose globtop board weighed 0.1 ounce.

Most people probably don’t want to go and rip open their cartridges, though, and if you’re going and buying one, the seller probably isn’t going to want to do that either. How else can you tell?

Well, you can’t do that very easily. One thing you can try is looking for any openings in the cartridge, and looking for any globtop chips.


Yeah, other than that, you can’t really tell.

If you want to play a globtop game and your famiclone doesn’t, you’ll have to go and buy another famiclone running off an NOAC chip.

One good way to get a NOAC famiclone is to get a plug-and-play famiclone, like a Power Joy. Those are smaller, and because of that the publisher probably had to put in an NOAC chip in order to get an NES to fit in the system.

That’s it for now, guys. Bye!

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1 Comment

  1. Great post. I’ve been collecting family cartridges since 2003 when I won my first video game, Dynacom Dinavision.
    I was looking for the nameplate of the cartridges. I did not know these differences between Globtop cartridges vs. EPROM cartridges. It was very useful to me. Actually, cartridges with globtop are more fragile. I have some that do not take more, even doing the cleaning.

    It is always good to check the cartridges before buying. Very good your tips. Success for the blog!
    I bought a cartridge with 3 games of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but the third is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Tournament Fighters. It’s not the third in the series, but it’s a good game. Hehe



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