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If you are a collector of vintage gaming systems and you like to have a bunch of your precious classic consoles set up under the TV at all times, you’ve probably run short of power sockets at some point during your retro gaming adventures. One solution to this problem is to use so called “all in one” power supplies. For systems like the PC Engine, where a CD-ROM add-on was released that requires its own separate power supply unit, this can be convenient and save you another precious wall socket.
French based “Retro Game Supply” specialise in making these kinds of after-market PSUs for vintage consoles. We’ve reviewed their all in one power supply for the Sega Megadrive back in 2014 and found it worked really well with our Megadrive/MegaCD and 32x combo. Given this good result, we had high hopes for the SuperGrafX + Super CD-Rom2 model too. Like its Megadrive counterpart, the All-in-One for SuperGrafX & Super CD-ROM2 seems to be little more than an adapted, Chinese manufactured PSU with a little custom cabling. Retro Game Supply’s sales page assures us that “Unlike a lot of power supply, this one don’t deteriorate video or audio signals.” (sic), but can it live up to this claim?
Unfortunately, after some fairly extensive testing and troubleshooting, it’s apparent that using this after market PSU does indeed add a great deal of picture noise to the SuperGrafX. With more modern RGB mods, such as Voultar’s RGB amp, the picture quality from a SuperGrafX is way beyond what could have been expected a few years ago. As a result, image noise added by this PSU is easy to see and manifests especially in darker greys and some darker colours too.
If you’re only using composite video output from your SuperGrafX, then you’d probably never notice this, but for everyone else, steer clear. Unfortunately this is probably due to the nature of modern power supplies. Modern PSUs tend to be switched-mode units. Switched mode power supplies are more efficient, but unfortunately generate more noise than the older Linear power supplies. Modern, digital equipment isn’t phased by a little extra powerline noise, but older, analogue equipment often is. The SuperGrafX is certainly one such machine that benefits from using a linear PSU and as such we simply cannot recommend the All-in-One.