There has been a lot of talk within the industry of consolidation as of late. AMD's acquisition of ATI has been a hot topic ever since it was announced. And that acquisition has spurred rumors of an unlikely merger between Intel and NVIDIA. Both AMD and Intel have talked about integrating a GPU on to the CPU in one form or another, Seagate bought Maxtor, Asus and Gigabyte entered into a strategic partnership, and the list goes on and on. Despite all the talk about consolidation, however, there are still quite a few companies that are pushing for more dedicated co-processing processing elements in the PC architecture.
By now, we're all familiar with Creative Lab's Audigy and X-Fi audio processors. A startup known as AISeek is working on an Artificial Intelligence accelerator for the PC. Ageia's PhysX processor is already on store shelves, and the product we'll be looking at today, the Killer NIC, is designed to offload some network functions from the CPU. Bigfoot Networks' Killer NIC is more than just a beefed up network card though. In fact, the Killer is more of a "system on a card" than a NIC. The company claims their product can improve ping times and frame-rates in many on-line games, and its unique design opens up the possibility of running dedicated network apps with the help of its on-board processor and RAM. Take a look...
Network packets for your games are prioritized and delivered before all other network activity on the system.
Flexible Network Architecture (FNA) allows everyone to freely write, download, and run applications that execute on the Killer's Network Processing Unit. FNApps are user and industry developed applications that free your computer's CPU to focus on the game.
Win more because UltimatePing Technology offers the fastest gaming performance possible. No matter how fast your ISP is, you can get a better Ping. UltimatePing Technology maximizes the speed of your gaming PC because Killer's Network Processor Unit (NPU) delivers data to games faster than traditional NICs or LOM, and reduces your Ping in online games.
MaxFPS Technology offloads your network processing to Killer, which frees your CPU to focus on what you need it to - THE GAME! Killer's superior performance allows you to experience more Frames Per Second even on max'd out PCs with top of line graphics cards and other peripherals.
When other gamers complain that your Ping is too low, adjust it a little higher until they stop whining. Then, dial it back down and go in for the kill!
UltimatePing = Lower Ping
Gaming Network Processor delivers data to games faster than standard NICs
Feature Benefits (Cont.):
GameFirst = Packet Prioritization
MaxFPS = More FPS
PingThrottle = Ping Control
Recommended System Configuration:
The Killer NIC is targeted strictly at hardcore on-line gamers, and its accessory bundle is clearly geared to such an audience. Along with the card itself, Big Networks includes a complete user's manual with the Killer, in addition to a couple of decals, a driver and utility CD, and a copy of the popular game F.E.A.R. F.E.A.R. is one of the games that reportedly benefits greatly from the Killer NIC, so its inclusion with the card is obviously a nice complement to the bundle that will show you its immediate benefits.