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Mockup of the KillerNic
The KillerNIC adaptor may be the latest trend in gaming hardware

Bigfoot Networks has announced its Killer Network Interface Card. The new Gigabit KillerNIC is catered towards the hardcore gamer that requires every drop of performance possible from a gaming system. Utilizing a 400MHz network processor with 64MB of dedicated PC-2100 DDR memory, the Killer NIC has plenty of power to perform Gigabit transfer rates without hogging up too many CPU cycles.

MaxFPS technology frees up CPU cycles typically taken up by heavy network traffic by offloading the required processing onto the Killer NIC’s 400MHz network processor. UltimatePing technology lowers ping by optimizing data delivery to games faster while PingThrottle technology allows users to increase or decrease ping accordingly. GameFirst Technology prioritizes network packets for games instead of background downloading utilities such as BitTorrent.

While NVIDIA has implemented features similar to MaxFPS and GameFirst in the form of its FirstPacket and TCP/IP offload functions of the nForce 500 series of chipsets, the Killer NIC is the first standalone network card to offer such features. The Killer NIC is also upgradeable with its Flexible Network Architecture which allows anyone to code programs that can take advantage of the network processor. Bigfoot Networks’ Chief Architect claims “FNapps can be anything from simple gaming chat programs or servers, to full online gaming VoIP solutions.”  This could prove interesting if a game developer’s code game to take advantage of the Killer NIC’s processing capabilities for VOIP functionality.

In a world where nearly every enthusiast motherboard has onboard Gigabit Ethernet, Bigfoot Networks may have a hard time convincing gamers a PCI Ethernet card is needed for the ultimate gaming experience, especially since PCI slots are becoming scarce on newer motherboards.

The Killer NIC will be available starting on August 16th with no mention of pricing.

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By far not the first claiming that, but...
By CZroe on 7/14/2006 8:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is no where near the first card to claim to be a gamer's NIC. Way back in 1998, Charter Pipeline cable service in my area installed Linksys "PGL Certified" (Professional Gamer's League) NIC cards. Strangely, this card was flawed for the only game played competitively at the time (Quake 2). Yes, it had a game-specific problem that made Quake2 unplayable and it was not just that one card or an incompatability with one system (tried several on a range of everything from 440BX Asus PIII systems to crap K6-2 Via chipset Compaqs). Basically, you'd be playing Quake2 for almost a minute when the game would all of a sudden freeze for several seconds with sound stuttering and then resume. Yeah, it sounds like typical resource conflicts and other Win'98 problems but this was 100% confirmed to have been the NIC card's fault in any situation (only hardware installed on a fresh installation). My friend, the one afflicted with this card, always played on MSN Gaming Zone and he would host matches just because it gave him a huge advantage... Several seconds before anything would start pausing or stopping on his end, all the clients would freeze and he could kill whoever he wanted (cheap b@stard!). After he took out a few players, his would freeze for a fraction of that time and he would continue.

It seemed to be an issue with sustaining network bandwidth. Plain and simple. I always laughed at how obviously fake this "PGL Certification" is and I also avoided Linksys products for years to come (though I eventually caved and chose them before D-Link, Netgear, etc any day). It wasn't so much the crappy product, but the deception I was avoiding.

By CZroe on 7/14/2006 9:01:30 AM , Rating: 2
Just so it's clear, the problem followed the card (well, several of them ;)) through several systems and was completely resolved when my 3COM NIC was used in all of the same tested systems.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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