The Bigfoot Networks Killer Network Manager control panel is a highly simplified and unified version of the several utilities included in the Killer Xeno’s software suite.
When I started it, I was immediately prompted to test my bandwidth.
The overview page shows the system’s processor, main network card, memory, graphics, and all that jazz, plus network staticstics and a current bandwidth usage graph.
The network page enables the user to set the card’s connection speed (10, 100, 1000) and duplexing, as well as the upload and download speeds. These are needed to calculate the amount of bandwidth given to processes when the Quality of Service is changed in the applications page. Also key on this page is a setting which excepts LAN communication from throttling. It’s very important that this remain checked if the upload and download speeds are not set to your LAN’s speeds.
The PC monitor page offers several modes showing graphs of current activity: CPU%, NPU%, Bandwidth and offloaded bandwidth, memory, FPS using Fraps, PING (icmp, udp).
The applications page of monitor enables user to adjust bandwidth limits per application, as well as priority and block misbehaving apps. The drop downs set priority of the application or disallow its network traffic altogether. The bars on there are actually sliders which can be moved to limit bandwidth available to an application. During some playing around, I played back a 1080p video from my NAS and limited it to 10 Mbps. This obviously made the video instantaneously stutter. This where the Advanced Game Detect™ automatically identifies online game traffic and prioritizes it above other traffic coming in to your PC.
The advanced page shows some other options, including defaults and unit specifications. A neat feature of the software is the ability to turn off the lights on the card. Not everyone likes LEDs inside their case, so this software switch is quite welcome.
While the tray application is loaded, it will send data to a connected Logitech keyboard’s LCD display, if present. It’s actually kinda neat on my first-generation Logitech G15’s display.
Xeno Pro users will likely remember the Dashboard. Dashboard is a precursor to the Network Manager, and has many of the same features. Network Manager replaces Dashboard for the newest version of the firmware. A great thing about Dashboard is that non-Killer users can use Dashboard, too. Not so with Network Manager, and there’s not really a need for it, either.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.
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