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The BennVenn IPS Screen for Sega Game Gear

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Sega Game Gear Bennvenn IPS Screen

BennVenn IPS for Sega Game Gear

The BennVenn IPS screen is one of the few Sega GameGear screens available for upgrading the old outdated and often damaged screens.  

Taken from BennVenns website:

‘We’ve designed the V1 GG lcd kit to give the absolute best image quality for the price. We use IPS panels with an amazing viewing angle, deep blacks, rich colors and bright whites. IPS is the technology used in smart phones – vs TFT which was the standard used in the 2000’s. The V1 kit does not provide VGA out.

What makes the Bennvenn Screen different

What makes this screen stand out? For me the use of an IPS panel. Other screens on the market use TFT LCD’s.  Why is this important? IPS Technology vs TFT gives us better viewing angles.  You will however probably only look at your GameGear head on so this may not be the biggest benefit. 

Where the difference really stands out is with the better contrast, accurate colours and faster response time.  If you were to look at the two side by side, you would be able to see the difference.

Sega Game Gear Bennvenn IPS Screen
Sega Game Gear screen comparison
This is to compare what you get when compared to other manufacturers. *Parts Removed Include the Screen and Light Tube

Installing the new IPS Display

Installing the IPS display is fairly straightforward and the instructions offer 2 skill levels.  There are also 2 easy install kits, that I have not tested. This is mainly because I enjoy learning where all the wires go and enjoy the intricacy of soldering with very small parts.  I find it rewarding and easier to troubleshoot should something go wrong.  

The 1st level of instructions offered are very different.  When installing this for the first time I would suggest the official install, the wires are easier to install on the ribbon pins, without fear of damaging parts on the board.  As BennVenn says on the site, if you can change capacitors, you can install this screen.

The 2nd level of instructions are the alternate instructions.  These are the instructions I prefer with a couple of alterations. You will need to solder directly onto the capacitors and resistors on the board and in some cases the legs of the ASIC chips. Some of these are very small and will require more advanced skills along with some good equipment.

Equipment needed to install the screen:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Wire – I use 28AWG solid core wire
  • Nippers for cutting 
Removing components from Sega Game Gear
Removing unneeded components helps with overall weight of the console as well as giving more room for wires

BennVenn IPS compatability

Currently the IPS Screen is compatible with 2 versions of the Sega Game Gear, the VA0 and the VA1, also known as the 2 ASIC and the 1 ASIC boards.  You can find the model by looking at the board. The board in this post is a two ASIC, you can tell by the 2 chips on the right side of the board.

BennVenn is very open on his discords and I believe he is working on a version that is compatible with both the VA4 and VA5 as well.

Instructions and guides for installing BennVenn IPS

Link to the official install instructions here

To the right a video from Macho Nacho Productions from YouTube who has installed the screen and also given a review of his experience on the screen

Sega Game Gear Bennvenn IPS Screen
Finished install, this is the alternate method with some small variations 

How do I use the Screen?

Button Configuration BennVenn
These are the button configurations to use the screen after installing. There are 4 modes in total

Where can I Buy a BennVenn IPS Screen?

There are a few places to purchase the screen. BennVenn’s shop is the official store , however to make it easier the screen is now available in the UK and Europe for easier purchasing.

Although I don’t sell them separately at the moment, I do include the option in my builds Here is an example

What else does BennVenn Have for the Sega Game Gear?

Ben is very active on his discords so I would advise anyone with an interest in what BennVenn is developing to Join.  From what I can gather from the Discords, we could be looking at a new version of the screen with higher pixel density, a form of everdrive and a potential HDMI out.  I’ll be following all of these closely and look forward to the future of GameGear. 

My Thoughts

BennVenn IPS Version 1
Overall
4
  • Features
  • Ease of install
  • Build Quality
  • Availability

Summary

Firstly, at this time this is my screen of choice. Once installed the screen offers the best colours and contrast thanks to the IPS panel. The image is crisp with little to no screen taring, missing pixels and the way the Master System games are displayed look very good.  Secondly, the install process.  I have not had any issues. I have now installed 20 of these and not had a bad experience.  The instructions provided on the site, along with alternate instructions provide an easy way to troubleshoot and use alternate solder points.  There was an issue at the start. I asked on the discord channel and within hours I had solved the problem.  Finally, I would advise the use of this screen to anyone who is not bothered about a VGA output.

Pros

  • Works on both VA0 and VA1 Models
  • Rich and deep colours
  • Excellent product support through Discord channel
  • Easy install can be purchased separately

Cons

  • No full screen mode for master system
  • No VGA/TV out

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