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While most games consoles come and go without receiving any hardware upgrades, the Sega Megadrive received not one but two such upgrades during its lifetime. The Sega CD or Mega CD gave the machine access to affordable mass storage and the 32X was intended as a cheap upgrade to next generation type specs. Each of these add-ons requires a separate power supply, meaning three AC adaptors in the wall if you have all three upgrades; unfortunate, but usually unavoidable. When I first found out about Retro Game Supply’s all in one power supply for the 32x, Megadrive and MegaCD, the word that would best sum up my feelings was “cynical”. Having tested other solutions, such as the disappointing Keene DCHub, it seemed unlikely that such a cheap AC adaptor could truly deliver power to all three accessories with no compromise in picture quality.
One for all
The All-in-One adapter shipped promptly from Retro Game Supply’s store in France. The unit itself certainly doesn’t look like much, a simple “Made in China” power adapter with the three power connectors for each bit of Sega hardware. To plug it into the mains, a simple figure of eight (IEC 60320 C7/C8) cable is required. Retro Game Supply can supply the unit with or without a power cable, since different countries use different plugs it’s usually better to buy the unit without a mains cable then simply source an appropriate cable locally. The power supply is also rated for either 110 or 240 volts, meaning you can use it anywhere in the world without worrying about the local voltage differences.
Keeping in mind the unit uses a mains cable without a direct earth connection, it came as quite a pleasant surprise that there was no added interference or noise on the picture when using the multi adapter. At the time of writing we’ve only tested the unit with the Megadrive and MegaCD, due to a missing patch cable for our 32X. Picture quality really was no different whatsoever from using the two separate AC adapters.
For those of us with bigger retro gaming setups, anything that can reduce cable clutter and particularly the number of AC adapters in use has got to be a good thing. Of course, we would never sacrifice convenience for quality, but it really does seem that with the Retro Game Supply unit you can have both. While the unit may just be an adapted, generic PSU, it’s clear Retro Game Supply have tested it and found a unit that performs well.
Since we like to be thorough here, we took a few screenshots to compare the picture when using the All-in-One power supply and the picture when using the individual, Sega branded AC adapters. As you can see there’s really no difference. By default the pictures show the Megadrive using the separate power supplies, mouse over to see the All-in-One.
The All-in-One power supply is available now from Retrogamesupply.com.