X-Fi Beta Driver – SBXF_PCDRVBETA_US_2.18.0015

26 08 2011

Fixes? “X-Fi causing BSOD when using OpenAL with GroundWiz RTS Demo and Benchmark tool”. Omg. They must have been working overtime.

Driver Version 6.0.1.1376 dated 20th May 2011. Enjoy!

.

====================================================================
"DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION ON LIABILITY"
====================================================================

You are being provided a beta test version of a software product for
the sole purpose of enabling you to test the product in a wide 
variety of real-world situations prior to the product’s commercial
release (if any). Beta testers voluntarily agree to use software 
products still under development strictly in accordance with the 
attached end-user license agreement terms (including but not 
limited to no warranty and very limited liability on the part of 
Creative Technology Ltd and its subsidiaries ("Creative")) and to 
provide bug reports and other feedback to Creative.  
Any feedback provided by you may be used by Creative for any 
purpose whatsoever without the payment of compensation or other 
consideration.  All results derived from your participation in 
this beta test are confidential.

The beta software product contains pre-release code, may not 
be fully functional and may be substantially modified in 
further development.  You assume ALL risk associated with use.  
Creative can provide no assurance that it will ever produce 
or make available a general release version.

====================================================================
Sound Blaster Audigy and X-Fi Driver Readme File
July 2008
====================================================================
This document provides important information that supplements the 
Sound Blaster Audigy series and X-Fi series documentation.

--------
CONTENTS
--------

1.   INSTALLATION
1.1  Installation process not completing

=================================================================

1.   INSTALLATION
----------------------

1.1  Installation process not completing

If the Windows Security or Microsoft Digital Signature Warning 
dialog box appears, click the Install or Continue Anyway button. 
This dialog box may appear behind the installation screen and 
your computer may appear to be not responding. If so, press and 
hold the Alt key while pressing the Tab key to switch to this 
dialog box.

Copyright (c) 2008 Creative Technology Ltd. All rights reserved.
===============================================================
End of Readme File
===============================================================




Portal 2 Released! #portal2

20 04 2011

Oh cool. They’ve given me Portal 2. I’m finalising my Steam install as I type this. VALVe seem to taken on-board my major criticism and updated the game to include hats from Team Fortress 2. I suspect they were kidding when they first said “No hats”. Then again, I thought the cross-platform gaming part was a joke. However it is true PC gamers can play Portal 2 with their PS3 and Xbox 360 owning buddies. Is that a gaming first? I think so…

Anyway, Portal 2 is a Thinking-Person’s-First-Person-Shooter. I should be getting a trademark on that new genre, but no. Instead I’m going to persuade you that Portal 2 is worth a look. For the visually stimulated ones present, here’s a convincing video.

Why don’t you download the game and we’ll race to see who is playing first!

Please visit the Portal 2 official website for more information.

Hmm how is that download getting on? Oh Portal 2 – 100% complete.

.

End of newsflash.





Back Again…

2 04 2011

Well it’s been ages since the last NMGS update. Old followers know it’s quite traditional to take a blogging break from Christmas to Springtime. I hope you’re all doing well and your sound cards are all behaving well.

Over the next few weeks you can expect to see quite a few updates. Firstly, the Creative Support Forum is humming with excitement over 2011’s version of the daniel_k support packs. Many of you (myself included) are interested as to the software’s content. When asked “Where are you daniel_k?” he replied:

NOT GONE, YET.

I’m busy with my personal life.

Expect some updates in 2 weeks or so.

See ya,

Daniel

Great! I suspect there will be changes to the Auto Mode Changer, Dolby and dts encoders and of course that awful Creative Audio Console. daniel_k usually manages to tweak memory usage to improve performance too. The huge amounts of problems with microphone and system memory issues meant daniel_k had a herculean task ahead of him.

As soon as it’s available – it will be posted! Please stop filling up my inbox with requests. I AM STILL NOT daniel_k!!!  All bets are off. Especially the guy that bet $10 that corporate-ninjas from Singapore had finally found him.

We’ll also adding features to the site to cater for hand held browser users. In the 21st century – not everyone uses Internet Explorer. Expect some major changes in design, content and layout. Watch this space.

…and finally the Nintendo 3DS. Where do I start with that? Have you tried one yet? I am just in love with that little gizmo. I’ll try to finish off the hardware review over the weekend. Until then, I’ll be playing Pilot Wings Resort and Street Figher IV 3D. This 2D screen is making my eyes go funny.





PMSL – Vandalism

22 11 2010





Paid in Gold + Lots More – New Midas Touch Mixes

21 11 2010

Paul “Midas Touch” Taylor has updated the Facebook fan page. He’s listed the latest November mix, Paid In Gold and other mixes. Follow the links below, and enjoy the vibes.

Hi Peeps,

Please log into facebook in order to access the below download mix links.

—————
LATEST NOVEMBER MIX: “Paid in Gold” – download @ http://www.sendspace.com/file/5nfsxt
Featuring the sounds of Eric B & Rakim, Men in Hats, Stevie Wonder + lots more!!

Also:
“Getamix” — HipFlip 2010 — The Return — (Midas Strikes Back). Featuring the extraordinary sounds of The Pointer Sisters, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Warren G, Bill Withers, René & Angela, D-Train & lots more!
Download from http://www.sendspace.com/file/3rfssl. This is a Midas Masterstroke🙂 Join the HipFlip group @ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=151590148214906

+ “Hold Back the Monster” download @ http://www.sendspace.com/file/7i8x6w
This is a multi-genre mix (ranging from 97bpm to over 120bpm) spanning over 2 hours with 20 tracks including gems from the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Doug Lazy, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas, Aeroplane, Todd Terje, The Revenge, Lil Louis, Greg Wilson, Trackheadz and lots lots more! THIS IS A MUST!!

Deep House
& “Moov!” download @ http://www.sendspace.com/file/ulbt3d (This is a deep house monster!!)

House
“All Over My Face” download @ http://www.sendspace.com/file/15ptd2
—————

Hope you enjoy these🙂

Cheers,
Paul

 





Mission MV8 Floorstanding Speaker Review

15 11 2010

I’ve been in the market for a new pair of Hi-Fi speakers for a while. My neighbours have a tendency to slam doors late at night, and I’ve decided the best way to cope – is to drown them out with loud TV, games, movies and music. I needed something affordable, yet monstrous on volume.

While researching my next purchase, I decided I quite liked the look of the Mission MV8. Not many people realise, that Mission, Wharfedale, Audiolab, Castle, Luxman and Quad are all owned by the International Audio Group (IAG). You can usually expect good products from most of these manufacturers.

My first impressions of the Mission MV8 was that they looked the part. I googled a bit more and I found a couple of reasonable reviews on shopping comparison sites. The frequency responses seemed good for a speaker of it’s £200-£300 price range. This was looking like an interesting pair of speakers.

Frustratingly, I couldn’t find much information available anywhere on the internet. I visited a local retailer, and sampled the delights on offer. The first thing I noticed about the Mission MV8 was the size. They weren’t huge ugly boxes, like the cheaper but powerful Wharfedale XARUS 5000. They didn’t cost £600 like some weaker “posh audio” products. Yet, the Mission MV8 didn’t look cheap at all. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the build quality was better than some speakers that cost twice its price. I was quite impressed with this quality pair of entry-level Hi-Fi speakers. I reached in to the wallet, and arranged delivery.

Quite a few online retailers are selling this product, but a few list the specifications incorrectly. I’m here to correct these oversights, take a few photos – and reveal my opinion on the MV8. Don’t expect any graphs -I’m going to try and keep the audiophile jargon to a minimum.

First, let’s have a look at the true specifications taken from the Mission MV series data sheet.

MISSION MV8
Recommended amp power: 25 – 200w
Sensitivity: 91dB
Nominal impedance: 8Ω (4.6Ω minimum)
Magnetically shielded Yes
W x H x D: 188mm x 915mm (940mm with spikes) x 290mm
Frequency response: 35 – 20,000 Hz
Biwireable No
Connections: Binding posts (Pop-off caps reveal banana plug sockets)
Bass port Rear bass port
Drivers: LF/MF: 2 x 150mm Mission ‘Pyramid’ aramid polymer fibre/paper pulp woofer
HF: 25mm Viscous laminated dome tweeter
Inverted driver geometry for time alignment and Neodymium magnets
Supplied accessories: Removable front grilles, spike feet
Finish Available: Black or silver
Extras: Ferro-fluid cooled voice coils.

Here’s some photos of the speakers and packaging.



Testing

Everything else here in the test setup is relatively cheap. I’ve done this for two reasons; If the setup sounds good – the speakers are managing well with minimum requirements. The second reason? I’m not made of money – I’m a cheapskate.

I’m sure QE2 speaker cables, a more powerful amplifier and a £500 CD player would sound better. …but not everyone here is going to be using those types of components. I’m aiming for average, if not minimum capability test. Let’s face it, the speakers only cost £250. The speakers aren’t broken-in yet either, which I believe takes two hundred hours to achieve. Think of this review as a worst case scenario, with plenty of room for improvements.

All tests will be conducted in a 22’² room with wooden flooring. I’ll be sitting 4m away from the units, and testing with the amplifier set to -10dB. I’ll test PC audio formats, DAB and CD audio on the following components.

  • Receiver: Yamaha RX-V461DAB (6Ω optimal, 100w per channel)
  • CD Player: Cheap non descriptive model, via optical TosLink from eBay China.
  • Speaker Wires: Cheap bell wire, from Wilkinsons.
  • PC Audio: Creative X-Fi

First Test: CD Audio

Mr Ti2bs – My Love Hurts

I’ve heard this tune thousands of times. It’s one of my favourite Ti2bs tracks. Some fair bass, record pops and both male and female vocals. FDS, Mr. Ti2bs!

With the MV8 attached, I have a serious bass thumps. The vocals sound way more natural than before. Serena’s chorus sounds heavenly. The MV8 like this track too. OMG I love this tune.

Baby J feat. Rukus, Ty, Klashnekoff & Yogi – Let It Go

Another laid-back track here. Lots of varied vocals to be sampled on this track. There’s a bit of bass, hands clapping but not a great deal of instruments going on.

Wow. The bass is really intense now. Every time I’ve previously listened to this tune, it sounded quite heavy. Now the bass is punching out the windows. The vocals aren’t obscured and sound crisper than ever. The finger clicking sounds do sound a little raspy though. In general, very nice bass and vocal tone.

Janet Jackson – Got Til It’s Gone (Mellow Mix)

I’m not a fan of Janet Jackson, but this track is mellow. A very musical piece of music. There’s super high “fairy dust” sounds, bells and a wide range of percussion.

Now the MV8 really deliver here too. The bass is quite fantastic for starters. It’s quite a complex bass line, but it doesn’t distort or vibrate. My last set of speakers sounded too flimsy when confronted by bass this rich. Janet’s vocals are very clear too. The “fairy dust” sounds are a lot more high-pitched now. The speakers do a nice job of reproduction here – especially with the bell sounds. Again the fingers clicking and hands clapping sound a little too sharp.

Guild Wars Factions Soundtrack

Factions soundtrack is a classical symphony by top UK composer Jeremy Soule. It’s got a huge variety of instruments. Lots of strings, bells and some mighty deep bass.

Now playing this album through the Mission MV8 is quite a pleasant experience. The music sounds so rich, you could almost imagine the orchestra are in the same room as yourself. This has to be one of the best CD to show off the MV8’s soundstage potential. I’ve heard the Luxon Theme thousands of times, but never have I heard it with such a wide spectrum of sounds. It’s truly enthralling to listen to. Even the softer, calmer instruments delivered a stunning audio sensation. There was no blending of instruments – everything sounded clear and separate.

Second Test: DAB

Classic FM – I’m not a huge fan of most classical music, but the MV8 sound more like a live performance. The pure digital music was crystal clear both at low and high volume levels. The violins sounded perfect, don’t get me started on how good the woodwind sounded. I might have to listen to classical more often.

BBC 1Xtra – This broadcast provided loud bass, crystal clear vocals. Sadly Chipmunk was on at the time of testing. I promptly turned the radio off.

Third Test: PC

PC audio was quite lovely. Lossless and FLAC really did sound high quality. MP3 sounded fairly clean, with a bit of loss around the high-end of the sound spectrum. All this was to be expected from compressed music, but was still worth a play.

I couldn’t notice any difference between lossless and CD audio. Though I do have to say, “Crooked” sounded especially louder and more musical. The cowbells really stood out, compared to before. Midas Touch’s “Hold Back The Monster” provided more punch than the last time I heard it. I don’t remember half the instruments being so clear. Around 19 minutes in to the mix, the African drums really sounded authentic.

Fourth Test:

After 24 hours of loud music, I can conclude that the Mission MV8 were a terrific buy. They drown out everything, from the doorbell to the telephone. They’d be a good choice for social venues too if it weren’t for the flimsy grills. They could easily drown out a crowd of people in a bar or pub.

Some mid-range  audio really odd though. I played “Hell Yea” by Dead Prez. The “clapping” sounds were way too sharp at high volume. If you don’t mind tweaking  your graphic equalizer – these speakers are for you. I’ve found these speakers too sharp for the Hip-Hop I listen too, and I suspect that’s the problem. Perhaps it’s the recordings.

Classical music sounds fantastic though. The extreme sharpness really pays off with acoustic instrument reproduction. Drum & Bass generally sounds great too, due to serious bass driver power. The bass really shines from these units. Mine are situated too close to the wall, and near furniture. The deep sounds don’t suffer from distortion. I haven’t witnessed anything vibrate unnecessarily.

After 48 hours, the speakers are really portraying different versions of all my audio. The treble has calmed down. If I’m not mistaken, the audio seems to be getting better? I’m convinced it’s not placebo effect.

Even with G550 centre & surrounds, the MV8 boost my 5.1 audio. Oxygene sounds like a different album altogether. I can’t believe all the different sounds that I’ve never heard before. It’s stunning quality. HD video is a much nicer experience. I’ve been hearing so much that wasn’t there before. From just a two speaker upgrade is good work.

Oh shit. I want the centre & surround units now.

Conclusion

The MV8 are as good as I imagined them to be. I haven’t got the world’s best home cinema/Hi-Fi setup. Though, these speakers have improved the system by far. These tests demonstrated to me how much my amplifier was being bottlenecked by the previous 135W PMPO Gigaworks 500 speakers. They’re about twenty times larger, so this was to be expected. What I didn’t expect however, was the ability to surpass the 140w subwoofer too. If I had to sum up these speakers in one word, it would be bass.

The Mission MV8 haven’t got the mammoth capacity of the Wharfedale XARUS 5000. Yet the Mission MV8 still manage to punch out some good low-frequency sound. I imagine these speakers could easily be used without a subwoofer in a home theater environment. The bass drivers really deliver far more than I expected. Stick wet hands near the rear bass duct, and they will soon dry.

The midrange is crisp, perhaps a little on the light side. Nevertheless, the vocals are very pleasing in general. A little adjustment on the amplifier soon corrected the tone to my personal taste. Once the speakers have broken themselves in, I’m hoping this won’t be so much of an issue.

The tweeters are incredibly rich and are capable of reproducing some very high notes indeed. The classical music that I sampled revealed superb clarity of instruments. Bells and pipes especially sound fantastic.

If I had to find fault with the speakers, it would be the front plate design. The Mission MV8 used too much plastic for my personal liking. I’m not expecting them have the build quality of Bang & Olufsen for £250 – but less plastic would have been nice. It’s a very well made box, but I do prefer a solid wood cabinet. Vinyl coating isn’t usually very durable either. They might not be aesthetically appealing to everyone. You don’t need your eyes open to listen, though – do you?

Looks aside, the Mission MV8 really provided a higher quality soundstage than I expected for £250. They’re not the prettiest set of cans in the shop, but they’re possibly one of the best value. At the £200-£300 mark – they’re a winner. I can think of lots of reasons why.

I like the 150mm drivers, the speakers are able to fill most living rooms with ease. I also really enjoy hearing sounds on “old favourites” that were never there before. The clarity is simply spectacular and leaves me quite delighted with my purchase.

They’re growing on me more every day too.

Power:

Audio Reproduction:

Features:

Value for money:

Build Quality:

Pros

  • Stunning audio experience
  • Small footprint for a 200w unit
  • Sleek & modern design, that’s not ugly. IT’S NOT!
  • Good value for the £200-£300 price range.
  • Louder than a bomb
  • High-quality sound reproduction across all genres

Cons

  • Perhaps a little expensive for a floorstanding speaker of its size
  • Not aesthetically appealing to everyone.
  • Not biwirable
  • Grilles are flimsy

Goatie3Goatie1





Guru3D Driver Sweeper 2.5.0 Download Released

12 09 2010

An updated version of Guru3D Driver Sweeper is available for download. It offers many improvements on cleaning and removal. There’s also new documentation available. Great job Phyxion. Go grab it from Guru3D now!
Guru3D Driver Sweeper 2.5.0 Download Released

Driver Sweeper is very easy to use. You only have to select the drivers you want to clean up.
The best way to clean drivers is to first uninstall the drivers using the official uninstallers, reboot in Safe Mode and run Guru3D – Driver Sweeper. However, rebooting and not going into Safe Mode also works, but can cause some files not to be cleaned.

What can it be used for ?
The current supported drivers are NVIDIA (Display and Chipset), ATI (Display), Creative (Sound), Ageia (PhysX), MMouse and Realtek (Sound).

All the settings are saved in an ini file. Nothing is created in the registry, so it’s possible to use it as a portable program. Log files can be saved to the harddisk and viewed as well. You can find the logs under the Tools menu.

System requirements:
The Guru3D – Driver Sweeper is fully tested on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows & 7 RC. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported.

More info and revision history can be found here:

  • Official Guru3D – Driver Sweeper homepage click here.
  • Official Guru3D – Driver Sweeper forums click here.
  • Official Guru3D Download – Click here

New in this release:

  • Replaced cog icon with a new icon.
  • Character to seperate registry keys from registry values in the analyse list.
  • Some layout changes.
  • Increased default window size.
  • Update notifications, auto update has been removed.
  • Directory wildcard search for custom filters.
  • Added Norwegian translation. Thanks to Magnus Granås.
  • Added Arabic translation. Thanks to Awadh.

Updated:

  • Improved registry cleaning methods.
  • Improved directory cleaning methods.
  • Rewritten the readme file.
  • Rewritten the help file.
  • Internal libraries.
  • Improved Creative – Sound cleaning.
  • Thanks to Karol C. Improved ATi – Display cleaning.
  • Thanks to several people for supplying additional entries.
  • Improved NVIDIA – Display cleaning. Thanks to theGryphon.

Fixed:

  • Rare crash using backup.
  • %WinDir% variable not working properly.
  • Command Prompt after reboot in rare circumstances. Potential crash. Special thanks fly out to TwL for making this release possible.

DownloadClick here








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