VisionTek and Bigfoot Networks announced today the launch of the VisionTek Killer HD 5770, a video card and network card combination mashup, accelerating both graphics and network communications in one device.
The device combines into a single x16 PCI-E expansion card an AMD Radeon HD 5770 GPU and Bigfoot Networks’ Killer E2100 network processing unit (NPU). It occupies only one PCI-E slot and two expansion slots, reducing the amount of space needed inside a case to benefit from both technologies when used separately. The Crossfire-ready Radeon HD 5770 provides two multidisplay-capable DVI ports, one HDMI port (with 7.1 audio!), while the Killer E2100 provides a single RJ45 gigabit Ethernet jack for connecting to the network.
I spoke yesterday with John Drewry, VP of Marketing for Bigfoot Networks.
“This card addresses space issues: one slot and two bays instead of two slots and 3 bays,” he said. The drivers are updated separately and the operating system sees the devices separately, as well.
The VisionTek Killer HD 5770 is priced at the mainstream, too. Its list price is $199 and it’ll be available anywhere VisionTek products are sold inside of two weeks and definitely in time for the holidays. Given the ~$75 market price of the Killer 2100 and the ~$150 market price for VisionTek’s HD 5770 card, saving $25 and a good chunk of case space is a great deal, especially for small form factor gamers.
Drewry stressed that the functions of the card are not shared; the Killer E2100 is has its own, dedicated processor and memory, and so does the Radeon HD 5770 GPU. The two units share the same PCB, data connection through a PCI-E bridge, and power. Each device performs similarly to its uncombined version.
The VisionTek Killer HD 5770 represents the Bigfoot Networks’ first embedded, licensed product. The company has done well in the high-end OEM market and in the enthusiast market, so it’s great to see it expanding its lineup. Imagine a day when the Killer technology is embedded on motherboards!
“The Killer E2100 is an embedded version of the Killer 2100,” said Drewry. “It’s not replacing the 2100. We’re tapping into a previously inaccessible market: mainstream gamers.”
Check out our May 2010 review of the Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 gaming network card, in which the device earns the prestigious Editor’s Choice award for its unique benefits.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.