Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC & Killer K1 Network Cards

Introduction & Specs


Mice, Mouse Mats, Keyboards, Sound Cards & Headphones - These are the products that are often targeted by gamers and manufacturers as being the 'areas for improvement' in assisting the average gamer with making the most of their skills. Over the past 2 years we've seen a storm of high-DPI mice, low-friction mouse mats, illuminated keyboards and high-quality sound cards hit the market, all with the gamer in mind. Many gamers swear by these products, and it's no wonder (with gaming being such a large market nowadays) that many companies are 'jumping on the bandwagon' and looking into new ways of further improving the gamers 'game'.

It doesn't seem surprising then, that one company based in Texus, USA has taken it upon themselves to create the worlds first gamers network card. With a vision to decrease ping response and increase their in-game frames per second (fps), the "Killer NIC" promises to help gamers get the edge over the competition.

This concept has had gaming communities split down the middle over its plausability, but we only need to go back to a few years when gamers and PC enthusiasts were opting for the Hardware based dial-up modems over the inferior 'softmodem' variants to see that it's not so far fetched after all. However, as with any review here at Overclock3D, the proof of the pudding is in the testing. So without further ado let's get down to the nitty gritty and see what Bigfoot Networks have to say about themselves and their rather innovative product.

About Us
Harlan "Tytus" Beverly was sick of playing games online and suffering from Lag. He hated losing due to circumstances out of his control. As a network architect, Harlan had the skills and expertise to research where Lag was occurring and began to talk to game developers on ways Lag could be fought. The fruits of his work became the foundation for LLR Technology.

While in business school at the University of Texas, Harlan teamed up with Bob Grim and Mike Cubbage to found Bigfoot Networks. Together they wrote an award winning business plan that won prizes in the Fortune Magazine New Venture contest, the University of Texas MOOT CORP Competition, San Diego State’s Venture Challenge, and the Carnegie Mellon competition.

The prize money combined with Angel investment allowed Harlan to further refine the technology and for Bigfoot Networks to build its first prototype, which was critical in securing a $4MM investment from Venio Capital Partners in late 2005.

Financially secure, Bigfoot Networks has now launched full throttle on its mission to fight Lag and provide gamers with technology that can dramatically improve the performance of their gaming systems. Stay tuned for more details on its upcoming product launch (this summer), and other ways that Bigfoot Networks is going to make gaming more fun.

The Killer NIC
The award winning Killer NIC Network Interface Card gives you the best gaming experience money can buy. Not only does it give you lower pings and a smoother online gaming experience, it also looks stellar inside your rig and gives you the ability to run applications on its Network Processing Unit (NPU) rather than on your CPU.

The Advantage
The Killer NIC delivers you a faster online gaming experience by ensuring that your data gets to the game as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means you will get more stable and lower latencies and more frames per second in your favorite online games which results in a smoother game play experience while you are in the heat of online battle.


The following information has been taken directly from the Killer NIC website.

Powered by Lag and Latency Reduction (LLR™ ) Technology
Killer NIC is powered by Lag and Latency Reduction Technology, which fully optimizes the way networking works in your computer: tweaking it out specifically for Online Games. Learn more about LLR here.

The Killer NIC’s 400Mhz (333mhz for the K1) Network Processing Unit (NPU) that allows the Killer to completely bypass the Windows Network stack through hardware acceleration by implementing it’s own interrupt driven networking model. Bypassing the Windows Network stack reduces your latency (Ping), and shortens every game frame loop: boosting your FPS. The Killer NIC’s NPU is specifically designed with online gaming in mind, and handles gaming network traffic much more quickly and efficiently than standard networking products, including packet prioritization. All this gives you a faster and smoother online gaming experience.

The best part of LRR is that it is entirely plug’n’play, and requires no software changes, patches, upgrades or customizations by game developers. This means that you can just plug the Killer NIC in, and get the benefits right away with your favorite online game. In addition, the Killer NIC comes with the Flexible Network Architecture (FNA™) Applications built in which lets you run applications called FNApps inside the Killer NIC. With FNApps, you are just a click away from being able to run BitTorrent clients and firewalls on your Killer instead of burdening your CPU with them.

Killer NIC Technical Specifications
• Data Rates: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Fast Ethernet Controller
400Mhz Network Processing Unit
Integrated Memory: 64MB DDR PC2100
IEEE Compliance: 802.3, 802.3u, 802.3x, 802.3z
Data Path Width: 32-bit PCI
Data Transfer Mode: Bus-master DMA

Killer K1 Technical Specifications
• Data Rates: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Fast Ethernet Controller
333Mhz Network Processing Unit
Integrated Memory: 64MB DDR PC2100
IEEE Compliance: 802.3, 802.3u, 802.3x, 802.3z
Data Path Width: 32-bit PCI
Data Transfer Mode: Bus-master DMA

Killer NIC Specs Killer K1 Specs

It has to be said that the Killer NIC and Killer K1 have some very impressive specs for network cards. Complete with 333mhz and 400mhz processors coupled with 64mb of PC2100 memory and a USB 2.0 port, you'd be forgiven for thinking we were talking about a slightly dated Dell PC here!

Killer NIC NPU Diagram

One of the key features of the Killer NIC is its 'NPU'. Possibly not an acronym that many of us will be familiar with, but I'm afraid I won't be giving out any prizes to the first person who guesses it stands for Network Processing Unit. The job of the NPU is to offload the networking tasks traditionaly performed by the CPU and memory to the Killer NIC's onboard processor. This helps free up system resources so that applications and games that can make better use of it. In addition to this, the NPU can also be used to run 'FNApps' - a collection of applications designed to run on the Killer NIC's Linux based operating system.

Killer NIC Diagram

To further improve the performance of the card, Killer NIC have written advanced drivers that bypass the Windows networking stack and instead make use of the highly optimised, Linux based networking code on the card. The diagram above gives a simplified overview of how this system works.
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Most Recent Comments

21-03-2007, 19:50:47

Well its a sweet review. Quote

21-03-2007, 20:08:39

Great review and technology insight.

Nice one XMSQuote

21-03-2007, 20:25:41

I just looked thru the graphs and laughed at their promo stuff at the beginning. Not sure how it is an innovation?

The idea of sharing the load is ok (3years ago), but the fps test doesn't prove anything (in that it is a graph over time periods). The same with the ping graphs. Altho neither shows a significant difference

The 1ms 'gained' could be due to other factors. (avg gain or loss. 0.9ms)

The same with the fps. (avg gain. 5.6fps)

'Sharing the load' on a dual core system isn't really going to make much difference tbh also what happened to all the software stuff they have been boasting about.

I know I sound like I'm being aggressive or whatever but at the end of the day it's a overpriced NIC (10x the normal price?) with a router spec processor on it (based on routers than can be had for £8-£45).

One thing the tests do prove is that their own marketing tests were probably done on a low spec system.

Not sure how it ends with 70%

Still a good review, even if it is more like an advert (Given the masses of marketing info) Quote

21-03-2007, 20:30:06

Great review, stupid piece of hardware.Quote

21-03-2007, 20:31:32

Originally Posted by name='FragTek'
Great review,stupid piece of hardware.
idd haha

glad someone agreesQuote

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