Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 gaming network card
The quick and the dead
Review Bigfoot Networks’ new Killer 2100 is more than just an Ethernet card as it features a network-processing unit designed to reduce lag when on-line gaming. The manufacturer’s claim the benefit is improved performance in games with high network traffic: think MMOs in crowded cities or raids. To try out this card, I tested it in the World of Warcraft Dalaran City on about 10 different occasions.
Need for speed: Bigfoot Networks' Killer 2100
Installing the Killer 2100 was a really simple plug and play operation. It slotted into my machine easily and while not very exciting to look at, it is small enough not to cause any crowding problems. The Bigfoot web site offers 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and Windows 7 drivers and utilities. With the software installed, I rebooted and examined the Killer Network Manager control panel, which is surprisingly easy to get to grips with.
The main page displays the system’s processor, main network card, memory, graphics, network statistics and a bandwidth usage visualisation. The PC monitor page displays modes showing graphs of current activity: CPU%, NPU%, Bandwidth and so on. These visualisations helped me pinpoint which applications were monopolising my connection and throttle bandwidth, as necessary. So downloads can still take place, but you simply adjust a slider to reduce throughput to give priority to gaming traffic. You can even save the stats so you can diagnose and tune your PCs networking configuration.
There’s more to the Killer 2100 than prioritizing bandwidth though, as the company utilises its own Windows Network Stack Bypass feature, designed to avoid certain time-consuming Windows routines. It’s all part of the Gaming Network DNA functionality built into Bigfoot network cards. You can read more about the details of these features here.
We all know latency is what wreaks havoc in on-line gaming – Alterac Valley is no fun if you get a lag spike while trying to Zerg Van – and sure, there’s latency elsewhere in my system as I know there are good tweaks you can make to your PC and router to make them perform better. However, the sign of a great card is the ability to make a noticeable reduction in ping when the going gets tough online.
Do you want to buy some magic beans?
I have some for sale....
Nothing - you're the clueless one
The thing is AC that hardware acceleration only makes sense when there's a substantial data throughput. There isn't ANY such requirement for gaming. Now if we were talking about a switch in a datacentre with a 10Gbps connection that is an ideal candidate for full h/w acceleration.
A NIC in a desktop PC sitting on the end of a poxy 10/20/50Mbps DSL/cable line isn't.
Anyway as already stated, most of the current integrated NICs do offload a lot of the processing.
This product is a waste of money. Always has been too.
Buy an INTEL CT Gigabit NIC instead.
Bought mine for £20 and its doubled the network speeds over my gigabit network instead of the gigabit Realtek on the motherboard. Thats with jumbo frames switched on etc.
Pings have also dropped a fraction as well. Works real smooth.
I have noticed on several reviews for these Bigfoot cards several "usual suspects' commenting on how great it is. Some are from the Bigfoot company themselves. They dont cover their tracks that well. Maybe the next Bigfoot card should add in browsing anonymisation.
RE: Network Processes = Core 0
Latency is all about how long it takes to successfully transmit a complete packet without errors, using speed and cars as an anology is massively misleading.
Killer 2100 works
Hey, Johnny. If you and some of the other naysayers spent half a minute reading about what this product does or better yet, trying it, you'd see that the whole point to is to reduce latency. Online games only use a few Kbps but games are very sensitive to delays or lots of variability in packet timing.This has nothing to do with throughput. I see the same needs on the VoIP systems I work on in my job.The Killer uses the processor on the card to manage packet flow and minimize CPU interrupts. It also has a specialized SW that routes traffic around bottlenecks in the Windows networking stack. Sure, you can ping another PC on your network in less than a millisecond when your PC is idle, but what makes you think it still works that way when it is cranked up and running BFBC2 at high res? Maybe you arent as technical as you think. I got one of these cards a couple weeks ago after reading a solid technical review here: http://www.thinkcomputers.org/bigfoot-networks-killer-2100-gaming-network-card-review/ This card actually delivers. I play WOW and Battlefield Bad Company 2 and I have tested back and forth with my Intel NIC. I consistently get better ping with teh Killer and I can feel the difference when I play. Before posing as an expert, you might want to do a bit more homework.