My take on the Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card

Even though this gaming network card has been out for a while, I thought it would be a great review. I personally use the Killer 2100, and have mixed reviews about the actual network card, and software that comes with it, the  Killer Network Manager.

 

How the Killer 2100 works.

The Killer 2100 uses its own network processor which allows it to bypass Windows essentially eliminating the middle man.

killer Product Chart

 

True benefits of this card are minimal to high end Computers, but for budget to middle range gaming pcs, this can make a world of difference.  I will show how my machine which is a high end gaming rig actually benefits from the Killer 2100 a bit later, in the meantime, let’s go over the features of the card and software.

The Killer 2100 overview.

The card actually fits into a PCI-E x1 slot which makes it easy to fit in with a multi GPU setup. Installation is plug and play so no real knowledge is needed to put the card in. Once the card is installed, all you need to do is install the Killer Network Manager software and drivers.

Installed Killer 2100

 

Features

 

Game Networking DNA™ – Only our exclusive Game Networking DNA combines the benefits of a dedicated network processor, Advanced Game Detect, Windows network bypass, Visual Bandwidth Control™ and other technologies designed to deliver the best online gaming experience possible.

 

Advanced Stream Detect – Automatically classifies and prioritizes online games, HD video and high quality audio for better quality and fewer interruptions in your online experience.

 

Visual Bandwidth Control – See which applications are hogging bandwidth and tune performance for each, so they don’t interfere with your online gameplay.

 

Online Gaming PC Monitor™ – Monitor and manage the health and performance of your gaming rig with graphical displays, detailed logging and a completely redesigned user interface.

 

Application Blocking™ – Provides per-application control to block programs that access the network for increased performance and safety.

 

Automatic Bandwidth Sensors™ – Provides per-application control to block programs that access the network for increased performance and safety.

 

Plug and Play – Simply plug in the card and install the software. Killer 2100 automatically works with all online games – no mods, patches or updates required.

 

Benefits

 

Performance – Whether you’re playing MMOs or first-person shooters, the Killer 2100 game networking platform delivers fast networking with a new level of online gaming performance and a competitive edge over standard network interfaces.

 

Intelligence – Killer 2100 hardware identifies and accelerates traffic to your game with Advanced Game Detect for unmatched online gaming performance.

 

Control – See which applications are hogging your bandwidth. Set limits using Visual Bandwidth Control or shut them down completely with Application Blocking, so they don’t interfere with your online games.

 

Visibility – Monitor and manage the health and performance of your gaming rig with at-a-glance Online Gaming PC Monitor.

 

Optimized Voice Chat – Get clearer chat and lower-lag by prioritizing your favorite voice programs with Visual Bandwidth Control.

 

The Killer Network Manger

Killer Network Manager Overview

The Overview gives you a brief rundown about your system. On the bottom, it shows your current bandwidth usage which can be helpful to help you track down applications that are constantly using up bandwidth. Also, it will show you your active and inactive processes.

 

Killer Network Manager PC Monitor

The PC Monitor goes more into depth about system usage. You can select from the avg. to currently used processes like Processor, Memory, FPS, Network Processor Unit and Internet Bandwidth.

 

Killer Network Manager Applications

On the applications page, you can set priority on applications. By default, games get the highest priority. This is not always good though. The Killer Network Manager has had known issues with games like Medal of Honor 2010 and Battlefield 3. Bigfoot Networks claims to have fixed the issue, but I still have had disconnect issue on priority 1.

 

Killer Network Manager Network

Under the network tab, you have your basic setting you can apply there. Under the latest updates though, I am no longer able to manually set the connection speed and duplex. Under status it says 1000 Mb / Full Duplex, so I have not really worried about it. Also, you can set your preferred upload and download speeds, or have the Killer Network Manager automatically test and set your speeds if you are unsure what they are. Just remember, you will never reach any speeds higher than what is set. For example if you have your Download set at 5 Mb, you will not go over that. So, if you have 20 Mb, ensure you set it.

 

Killer Network Manager Advanced

On the advanced page, you can set your default settings for applications and the built in firewall. Also you have the option of turning on the red LED glow.

 

Killer Network Manager Speed Test

A handy feature is the built in speed test that uses Speedtest.net. It will grab your closest server and then test for latency, download and upload speeds. Then once complete, you have the option of applying the results of the speed test to your settings.

 

Tests

Killer 2100 Speed Test

Killer 2100 Speed Test

 

Speed Test with Onboard Intel Gigabit

Speed Test with Onboard Intel Gigabit

 

I tested 3 times each, and took the avg of each between the Killer 2100 and the onboard Intel Gigabit Lan. As you can see, Killer 2100 won this round, even with a system like mine. Therefore, with these test results, the card does what it says.

Conclusion

As I said in the beginning, I am a current user of the Killer 2100, and based off the test results, I can recommend that you use your judgement before buying it. When I do not use the Killer 2100, I can notice a difference. But for some, they may not. It is all up to how you perceive your gameplay if you really will notice any changes.

What I can say is that I have had bad experiences with driver updates, that have been very frustrating. But when the drivers are good, the card is a champ.

I will recommend to buy this card only if you play primarily FPS games or Fast moving games that need the millisecond difference.

Bigfoot Networks, you have a solid customer here.


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