Bigfoot Networks is no stranger to LanOC Reviews, having the chance to personally speak with them on a number of occasions. If you're not familiar with the company, very simply BFN is a company dedicated to help reduce your lag in online gaming with their line of network cards. The Killer technology has been on the market for a while now, and BFN has been developing and enhancing their products to better fight network latency. Bigfoot has given us the oppurtunity to get a first-look at their new product, the Killer 2100 Network Card.
So many users, especially nowadays when PC gaming is becoming much more accessible and appealing to gamers of all types, enter the realm expecting their computer to be a gaming platform. The truth, however, is that its not. At least, not initially. Computers were never really designed to run the high-stress gaming titles that we see today, and so a basic desktop often sees many upgrades before it can support them. These may included faster hard drives, better CPU coolers, and definitely a dedicated video card. But just as your on-board video card was never designed to handle Modern Warfare 2, theres another piece of integrated technology that is often overlooked.
The standard network interface card was designed to focus on what is considered throughput, assumes several things, including large datagrams and asynchronous traffic. Without diving into too many technicals words, it is enough to understand that online gaming is simply the opposite of this, consisting of smaller datagrams and synchronous traffic, which is very time sensitive. That only makes sense: when gaming online, you have constant interaction with at least one other computer, constantly refreshed with information between the two. Ever swear you got that knife kill off only to watch the Killcam reveal something entirely different?
So how does the Killer 2100 remedy the situation? First and foremost, the new Killer Network Card is the fastest newtork card available for online games, several times faster then previous Killer models and definetly many times faster than standard network cards. The 2100 focuses on three main areas: Speed, Intelligence, and Control.
Speed is enhanced by using a method referred to as Game Networking DNA. This enables the use of a dedicated network proccessor that takes the load off the CPU and bypasses the Windows Networking Stack that can hinder the sending and receiving of information packets for your game.
That game traffic is classified using BFN's Advance Game Detect, which prioritizes gaming traffic and other priority applications to maximize your performance. This ensures that your game traffic is put at the top of the list and isn't waiting on other networking traffic that isn't relevant to the game.
The control aspect is a very interesting concept, one that users of BFN's dashboard utility are already somewhat familiar with. Using the Online PC Gaming Monitor, users have access to actual displays of their online performance, and allows them to manage it as they see fit. One way of doing this is the Application Blocker, which equips users with the ability to allow or block each individual program that uses the network. For instance, if you're tired of Steam updating behind the scenes and bogging down your connection, you can simply block it from doing so.
The Killer 2100 will be available within the next few weeks in the United States, and were looking forward for the opportunity to sit down with it in our own test PC's to give you the LanOC verdict.