I'll admit it, for a computer science major, I'm remarkably ignorant about computers. If you were to open up my desktop for me I'd be just as likely the fry the insides as successfully upgrade my RAM. So, when I walked over to Bigfoot networks to see their new Killer 2100 network card, I was expecting to be overwhelmed by a complicated tool with an equally complicated interface. However, what I found instead was a device which, once installed, is very easy to use and very effective as an online gaming advantage.
At the heart of the Killer 2100 is a remarkably simple, yet powerful idea: let users minimize gaming lag by allowing them to allocate bandwidth in the most efficient way possible. How the 2100 does this is through their Game Networking DNA™ technology. This new technology solves in-system latency (the time it takes packets to get in and out of your system) by detecting packets of gaming data, sending them around the networking stack and out to the game server. This re routing means two things on a practical level. First, it means that you can now run steam, bittorrent, and other downloading programs in the background and still be competitive with your gaming. Second, it means that using this new NIC you will experienced decreased lag and an increased competitive edge.
What's more, the results can be quite drastic. In tests conducted by Jon Peddie, head Jon Peddie Research, a research and marketing company stated, "We saw a dramatic performance advantage over standard network interfaces in our Killer 2100 tests—an advantage that's big enough to change the online gaming experience,” he continued, “The Killer 2100 repeatedly delivered superior network latency on mainstream and enthusiast-class gaming PCs, and this difference could easily provide a winning edge to online gamers."
The best part about all of these features is that they're all fully customizable in a super easy-to-use interface. The first screen of the software which controls the 2100 contains all information which is pertinent to your gaming experience (FPS, ping, bandwidth usage, CPU usage etc). What's better, all of this information is graphed out for you and can be printed out at a later date, so if you want to examine your computer's performance in depth you can do that with a couple of swift clicks of the mouse. These graphs also interface with the Logitech G-series keyboards, so you can get real time feedback of your networks performance just by glancing down to your keyboard
Getting into the guts of controlling the program, I was confronted with an extremely intuitive interface. All of the programs which have access to the internet on your computer are listed on one screen along with their priorities (numbered 1-4). For each process, you can disable it from accessing the internet while not ending it entirely (useful for programs like iTunes updater which randomly pop-up) or change the priority with one click of the mouse. You can also set the exact amounts of bandwidth you want to allocate for uploading and downloading on a certain process by moving a slider. This makes dynamically changing priorities a sinch, even for a computer neophyte like me.
I walked into Bigfoot's booth not knowing what to expect at all, even in terms of what their product was. I walked out very impressed by Bigfoot's creation. It solves a pertinent problem for many computer gamers while being incredibly user friendly. I'm hesitant to recommend the Killer 2100 just because we haven't had a chance to get a full demo of it yet, but from what I saw on the show floor the product looks to be a good one.
– 10/100/1000 Ethernet
– PCIe interface (x1 form factor)
– 400 MHz dedicated network processor
– 128 MB DDR2 RAM
– Performance-inspired housing
– Advanced Game Detect
– Visual Bandwidth Control
– Online Gaming PC Monitor
– Windows network stack bypass
– Optimized for use with voice chat applications
– Support for Win7, Vista & XP 32