The KitGuru audience love to frag, and while many of us have a high definition console, we know the primary gaming machine will always be a PC. Thats the way it should be.
KitGuru review many processors, coolers, motherboards and graphics cards, but what we don't often focus on is the connection to the internet for online gaming. Today we are going to look at the Killer 2100 Gaming Network card from Bigfoot Networks – which the company claim will transform your gaming experience.
We have never looked at a BigFoot Network product before and when they called me a few weeks ago for a briefing I had to admit I was somewhat sceptical that all their claims could be true. I fail to see how a ‘gaming' network card could be that different from a high quality Intel onboard solution.
BigFoot originally released the Killer NIC M1 and K1 models four years ago in 2006 and in Mid 2009 they then released the Killer Xeno Pro.
When the M1 and K1 were originally launched they featured a USB port on the card which had a 333mhz CPU onboard. This was basically a linux system which could communicate with the host windows machine via the PCI-Express slot. It allowed FNapps to be run and a full SDK was made available to developers, which while a great idea in theory caused bloated apps to be made which in effect could slow down the system.
The Xeno Pro removed the FNApp system but added support for audio and offloading VOIP onto the card. Audio offloading unfortunately never really hit the headlines. I liked the idea of being able to run a Bitorrent client from the card while gaming and not experience any lag, but in reality the removal of all these should reap dividends when it comes to long term performance. On May 11 2010 they released the Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card which has many new features. That said, the new card is also massively streamlined and is technologically more advanced than previous models.
BigFoot are keen to promote the Game Networking DNA – which is a dedicated network processing unit which bypasses the Windows Networking Stack and offloads the CPU to accelerate game traffic inside the PC to put it ahead of other network traffic.
The Advanced Game Detect automatically detects and prioritizes game traffic to boost speed and sustain online gaming performance.
Visual Bandwidth Control. Software to let you see which applications are hogging bandwidth and set limits for each or shut them down completely with application blocking, so they don't interfere with online gaming performance.
Application Blocking. Control or block each program on the PC that accesses the network so they dont interfere with the game you are playing.
Online Gaming PC Monitor. Monitor and manage performance of Online Gaming with exclusive at a glance display controls and a completely redesigned interface.
Plug and Play game support – no patches, no extra software, just simply install the driver and its ready to rock.
Killer 2100 Specifications
- 10/100/1000 Ethernet NIC
- 1x PCI-Express interface
- 400 MHz ARM processor powering the NPU
- 128 MB DDR2 RAM
- RJ-45 connector
- Performance-inspired housing
- Supports Logitech keyboard LCD display
- Supports FRAPS
- Red LED glow (switchable)
- Control Panel Application & Tray Indicator
- Advanced Game Detect™
- Online Gaming PC Monitor
- Visual Bandwidth Control
- Application Blocker
- Bypasses Windows networking stack, offloading network calculations to NPU
- Plug and play