BigFoot Networks, the makers of the Killer Network Interface Card, have launched a new, more affordable version of the product. The first Killer NIC, aka the M1, sells for roughly $250. It is equipped with a 400MHz network processing unit, a large "K" heatsink, 64MB of DDR RAM, and a USB 2.0 port for connecting an external flash or hard drive. The drive is used to store files or FNApps which can be executed on the Killer. Our complete review of the original Killer NIC can be found here if you'd like some more in-depth analysis.
The new Killer K1 NIC is similar to the M1, with a few exceptions. Before we list the differences, let's take a look at the K1 in all its glory...
Out of the box, the new Killer K1 differs from the original in that the K1 is powered by a 333MHz NPU (as opposed to 400MHz), it lacks the flashy "Killer K" heatsink, and support for FNApps is disabled. It does offer all of the gaming-related enhancements associated with the original, however. BigFoot's goal with the K1 was to offer gamers a lower-priced Killer NIC with all of the game enhancing features (GameFirst, FNA, UltimatePing, MaxFPS, and PingThrottle) of the original, minus a couple of the lesser used items. The end-result is the K1, which is on-sale now for about $150 (after MIR) - a full $70 to $100 lower than the original.
We should also note that the K1 can be upgraded through firmware to enable the FNApps feature should the user so choose. There is a charge associated with the upgrade.
We have not fully tested the Killer K1, but representatives from BigFoot Networks say it will perform virtually identically to the original while gaming. The lower-clocked NPU will not run FNApps quite as fast as the original, however.