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.
Bigfoot Networks originally released the Killer NIC M1 and K1 models in 2006, with the suped-up network cards getting some major attention in 2007. Mid-2009, Bigfoot Networks released the Killer Xeno Pro, a slimmed down version of the first generation models, both in size and extra features. It didn’t stop there, though. Bigfoot Network released May 11, 2010 the Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card. This new version focuses on the core features at the heart of the idea of a network processing unit: offloading and acceleration. ThinkComputers measures up the Killer 2100 in this extensive review. Read on for more information, pictures, and benchmarks.
During CES 2010, I met with John Drewry, Killer NIC maker Bigfoot Networks‘ vice president of marketing. For those unfamiliar with the Killer NIC and its noble purpose, an perhaps lengthy introduction and explanation is due. The Killer NIC provides increased performance for online gaming via a network interface card (NIC) onto which Windows can offload network communications. In layman’s terms, it’s to networking what a video card is for graphics: the CPU in a system could handle the graphics or network communications, but a specialized processor can do it much faster. Whereas a video is often called a graphics processing unit (GPU), the Killer NIC can be called an NPU, a network processing unit.
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