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Review: Killer Ethernet E2400 and Wireless-AC 1535

by Parm Mann on 13 April 2016, 16:30

Tags: Rivet Networks

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaczzq

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Conclusion

...the latest-generation Killer network controllers have shed the exorbitant fee while delivering meaningful performance gains via mature software.

We come away from our time with the E2400 and Wireless-AC1535 feeling as though Killer has turned a corner.

When you consider that the company's first add-in products were expensive upgrades that in some cases showed minimal real-world gains, it's refreshing to find that the latest-generation Killer network controllers have shed the exorbitant fee while delivering meaningful performance gains via mature software.

Best-in-class latency is now only part of the appeal, and Killer's real value-add is Advance Stream Detect's intelligent prioritisation of network traffic to favour latency-sensitive applications. Putting it all together can result in an improved network experience, and though the feature set won't necessarily appeal to all users, we no longer see a reason to avoid Killer hardware, which is progress in itself.

What the team at Killer has shown is that innovation in the networking space can make a genuine difference to our everyday computing experience. Intelligent identification of data packets can play an important role in today's high-traffic environments, and we're intrigued to see where the technology goes from here. Network controllers that detect and control network traffic on a single device are helpful, but a Killer-equipped router capable of prioritising traffic to any number of devices would be all the more impressive.

The Good
 
The Bad
Traffic prioritisation adds value
Requires little user configuration
Stable software and drivers
Doesn't cost a lot
 
CPU utilisation can take a slight hit



Killer Ethernet E2400

HEXUS.where2buy*

The Killer Ethernet E2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller is available as part of various consumer motherboards. The Wireless-AC 1535 can be acquired as part of a laptop or as a standalone adapter from Amazon UK.

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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Why wouldn't you just limit the Steam download speed while playing games? You don't need killer hardware or software to do that. Feels a bit artificial to test while allowing Steam to use all the bandwidth and then say another QoS software layer helped.
The Killer Network Manager is too much of a resource hog to make it worthwhile. Whatever you gain in network performance you lose the same if not more in system performance.

The experience with my E2200 has been terrible. I got an E2200 in 2014 on my motherboard and it was *never* stable under Windows 8.0 with frequent software crashes and driver resets. Only by accident I managed to get it working when I stumbled across a guide that allowed me to use the Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 drivers instead as both NICs were based on the same chip.

Fast forward to Windows 10 and I didn't have a working E2200 driver until last September when the 8.1.0.31 drivers were released that fixed the driver resetting when copying large 100MB+ files across my network.

Things have been slightly more positive since Rivet Networks came on the scene with more frequent driver updates but honestly, I wouldn't buy another Killer Networks product.
Its also not really a hardware feature? QoS is a pretty basic networking option my motherboard drivers can do it (Asus Z97 MPower) as can my Router (also asus as it happens but any decent router should be able to). A proper comparison test would be ‘Is QoS on a single machine better than at the exit point’ I'd bet the answer would be no, except in the instance you start a big network copy job before opening up a game.
…Why would anyone be watching a youtube video while playing a game?
Tunnah
…Why would anyone be watching a youtube video while playing a game?

I used to watch TV whilst playing Football Manager. But then I guess that's not really the objective of Killer - that's more about online games. As for who is playing online games and watching YouTube… I'm not sure. Minecraft and slow-paced strategy games, maybe?