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Bigfoot Networks Xeno Pro  (Source: Bigfoot Networks)
Bigfoot Networks is back with new network card for gamers

There are a myriad of different products that are aimed at the PC gamer from computer mice to keyboards and headphones; if you can think of a peripheral there is probably a version for the gamer.

Back in 2006 when Bigfoot Networks first announced a network card for gamers called the Killer NIC, the product was viewed with a very skeptical eye by most gamers. Exactly how a network card could improve the gaming experience was a question of debate.

Bigfoot Networks has announced a new second-generation network card for gamers. The new network card is called the Killer Xeno and will be first distributed by Alienware and EVGA. Alienware will bundle the network card into some of its high-end gaming desktops while EVGA will sell the card as an add-in product for compatible systems.

The Xeno offers more memory, an updated network processing unit, and integrated audio hardware for accelerated voice-chat. The voice hardware promises to allow gamers to use chat applications in game without the frequent stuttering and other issues with voice quality.

Killer Networks says that Alienware will be the first PC maker to offer the Killer Xeno Pro card as an exclusive option. Alienware's Frank Azor said in a statement, "The worldwide online gaming market is rapidly growing, and with more gaming customers come more customer requests, demands and needs. Alienware works to stay ahead of the curve and Bigfoot Networks helps us do this. The Bigfoot Networks' Killer Xeno gives us the proven technology needed to guarantee customers' ultimate online gaming experience."

EVGA has the exclusive rights to distribute the Killer Xeno as an add-in card under the EVGA brand. EVGA's Andrew Han Said, "EVGA, from the beginning, has embraced intelligent innovation and leadership within our product philosophy. By partnering with Bigfoot Networks, EVGA can now offer the Killer Xeno Pro to members of the VGA community. In particular, this new product will greatly improve the immersive experience and competitive edge for online gamers. Addressing our customers' real-time networking needs and empowering them with new products is made possible with Bigfoot's Killer Xeno technology."

The Killer Xeno cards fit into PCIe slots on the mainboard and the integrated network processing unit claims to ensure the delivery of time-sensitive data like game control and VoIP packets. The device bypasses the Windows network stack for direct to game interrupts. The Ultra model has 256MB of RAM onboard and the Pro model has 128MB of RAM to enable firewall, chat, and bandwidth control to run simultaneously.

The product prioritizes network traffic for each application by setting bandwidth priorities and limits with a simple interface. The Xeno Ultra has a customizable LED display for caller ID, network statistics, and game information. Users can also program custom messages to give their gaming rig a bit more bling.

The Killer Xeno Pro will be available from Alienware and EVGA for $129.99 in April 2009. The Killer Xeno Ultra will ship in May from other leading partners for $179.99.

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RE: Waste of money
By Gul Westfale on 3/23/2009 11:44:43 AM , Rating: 3
suckers, indeed. my traffic still has to go trough the ROUTER (laptop, PS3 and archos 5 share the connection), so a "better" network card isn't gonna do shit for me...

RE: Waste of money
By Mitch101 on 3/23/2009 12:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
True but this sounds like it has QOS for the nic.
The product prioritizes network traffic for each application by setting bandwidth priorities and limits with a simple interface.

This could potentially add a frame to framerate.
and integrated audio hardware for accelerated voice-chat.

The real answer is wouldn't my $129-$179.00 be better spent on a faster video card or cpu?

RE: Waste of money
By omnicronx on 3/23/2009 1:36:36 PM , Rating: 3
True but this sounds like it has QOS for the nic.
But how much bandwidth do online games need in the first place? The reason network cards with QOS capabilities are usually reserved for the server market is because they are utterly useless for 99% of Home PC usage. You want better in game performance, stop downloading from itunes, while streaming music from your PC, while downloading porn in the background and save yourself the 100-150 dollars.

RE: Waste of money
By abscoder on 3/23/2009 1:58:56 PM , Rating: 5
Stop downloading porn?! Alright... Let's all calm down... Let's relax and be reasonable here...

RE: Waste of money
By Jedi2155 on 3/23/2009 4:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
What if I want to do all that at the same time :O. My time is very precious to me afterall

RE: Waste of money
By someguy123 on 3/23/2009 8:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
pretty much. if you have 129$ to spend on a freaking NIC card, your computer is probably already fast enough to handle anything you throw at it. QoS isn't going to make a difference if you're downloading 90 songs while streaming a movie and playing TF2 and WoW at the same time.

RE: Waste of money
By DJMiggy on 3/24/2009 12:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's ignorant...

RE: Waste of money
By SSDMaster on 3/24/2009 8:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how you could play TF2 and WoW... But QoS would probably help in that scenario otherwise. Unless your trying to say that your Network connection can't handle that.

I'd suggest getting FIOS.

RE: Waste of money
By Motoman on 3/23/2009 3:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I point out to people that mention the idea of purchasing such things...

At my house, for example, if I am gaming on the HTPC, from the computer out there is a small hub, then in-wall wiring, then a larger switch, then the DSL modem, then a couple hundred feet of phone line, then the phone junction box, and then it goes someplace.

I find it ridiculously unlikely that the amount of time that could be saved at the PC itself is going to make any difference at all compared to the rest of the stuff involved for any given internet transaction.

There's a tiny chance, maybe, that if you had a gaming center with a wad of PCs all directly hooked to one and only one router, playing LAN games, then maybe you'd see a small difference. But if every PC on the LAN has the same NIC, what difference does it make?

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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