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Killer NICs now available in Alienware PCs

by Pete Mason on 13 August 2010, 11:23

Tags: Killer NIC M1, Alienware (NASDAQ:DELL), Bigfoot Networks

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qazj7

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Bigfoot Networks has been floating around for a while with its range of high-end, latency-dropping network cards for the enthusiast market.  Today, the company has announced that they will be just a little easier to get hold of as Dell will now be selling the luxury NICs in its Alienware line of enthusiast PCs.

Both the Killer Xeno Pro and the Killer 2100 cards can be added to the aforementioned systems for a premium of £70 and £120, respectively.  Of course, that's a lot of money to pay for something that most of us take for granted, but Bigfoot's NICs offer a lot more than you'd get from integrated networking.

Both cards come with a 400MHz processor and 128MB RAM that can run applications, including firewalls and BitTorrent clients, without the need to hassle the rest of the system.  The Xeno Pro also has dedicated microphone and headphone ports for direct VOIP communication, again without calling on the CPU.

What makes the cards special, though, is the ability to completely bypass the Windows networking-stack, dropping latency to an absolute minimum.  The included software also allows you to prioritise various services to make sure that your games are always given as much bandwidth as they need.  The result is smooth and consistent gameplay when the online action starts to get a little crazy.

Real-word impact has always been... shall we say, questionable, but the Killer NICs could be ideal for anyone who demands nothing but the best when they're playing online, and could be the perfect addition to that shiny new top-end Alienware rig.  They can be added to Alienware systems from Dell right away on the Aurora, Aurora ALX, Area-51 and Area-51 ALX models.



HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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They're missing a big trick IMHO.

Ethernet NICs are pretty close to optimal already, especially when compared to internet latencies. But wireless NICs have a LOT more room for improvement - latency, signal strength, CPU usage etc. Create some Killer wireless NICs (and routers?) and there's a whole product range waiting for home enthusiasts or the gaming laptop crowd which is a pretty large market.
kalniel
They're missing a big trick IMHO.

Ethernet NICs are pretty close to optimal already, especially when compared to internet latencies. But wireless NICs have a LOT more room for improvement - latency, signal strength, CPU usage etc. Create some Killer wireless NICs (and routers?) and there's a whole product range waiting for home enthusiasts or the gaming laptop crowd which is a pretty large market.

You should be working for Killer… they'd surely make more money with your idea.

Quality gaming routers are hard to come by, I'd most definitely be interested in a Killer router for my connection rather than their current NIC.
If a gaming router/AP and wirless NIC could also be tuned for media streaming then I think there could be an even bigger market. I can really see the need for that, a tweaked ethernet NIC on the other hand….

Did Hexus ever get one to review?
Killer NICs are probably biggest waste of money ever…

Gaming router? Please :eek:

We already have word ‘gaming’ attached to pretty much everything to suck money from ppl.
What else can be done to improve wireless latency though? It's always going to have the wireless drawbacks when compared too wired options.