Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card Reviewajmatson - March 22, 2011
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When it comes to picking components for gaming, you normally think of video cards, fast CPUs and lots of memory. There are some components that are overlooked, including the most important component, which is the network card. The whole idea behind online gaming is sending packets over the Internet to a game server. If the packets are lost or they are slow to get sent out, then your gaming suffers and more often than not, you end up being the one with a massive bullet through your head. To combat this issue, you need the right gaming gear including your CPU, GPU and a proper network card. No matter how fast your system is, if your gaming packets are not first on the wire, let alone making it at all, your skill does not matter.
Bigfoot Networks has designed several gaming network cards over the past few years and today we are going to be taking a look at one of the latest, the Killer 2100. Not only designed with the hardware in mind, Bigfoot paired it with the Killer Network Manager to give you a more granular control over your network traffic. The Killer 2100 has an onboard Network Processing Unit that off loads your networking data from the main CPU and gives it the ability to bypass the windows networking stack for faster packet flow. If you need to make sure your packets are getting to the servers the fastest, then the Killer 2100 is designed for what you need. In addition, one thing to consider is not only does this card help you with first on wire packets for your ISP, but if you attend LAN parties as many gamers do, then those with a faster network card and all other components the same, will be doing the T-Bag dance of glory, as you will have faster first on wire abilities for your packets.
If you’re not familiar with how online gaming works, then here is a brief overview for you. Gaming packets use the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). UDP is a connection-less protocol that does not require acknowledgements of sent packets for re-transmission if they fail. This keeps the data stream running without having to pause or slow down until all the packets arrive. VoIP uses this protocol because a slight hiccup in the stream is tolerable if that means that the communication continues uninterrupted. Gaming does this as well with the UDP style of throwing packets out there and hoping they reach the destination. On a gaming server, the stream follows the same suit. It receives a packet in a one by one fashion and whoever gets there first — well if a bullet is traveling at you, then you know what happens next — his packet reaches the server first and you are waiting the 60 seconds to respawn. If I already have you intrigued, then how about we move on and get started on seeing what the Killer 2100 has to offer.
The Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 comes packaged in a small-sized box with a "killer" profile. The Bigfoot Networks logo appears on the front of the package, along with some of the features that the Killer 2100 offers, including up to 10x faster communication. On the rear of the package, there is an image of what the Killer 2100 design looks like, as well as a screenshot of the Killer Network Manager. The back also has an expansion of some of the features of the network card. On the sides of the box, Bigfoot has laid out the system requirements and specifications of the Killer 2100, as well as a few testimonials.
The Killer 2100 comes packed up with the essentials needed for you to get started. Included with the card itself is the setup guide and the driver CD. The CD not only contains the drivers, but also the Bigfoot Networks Killer Network Manager.
Now that the card is out of the box, let's take a closer look at the hardware.