Tuesday, February 20, 2018
NetworkingReviews

Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card Review

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.

For more of an overview of the purpose of the Killer NIC network processing unit, read at least the first page of our CES 2010 interview with Bigfoot Networks VP of Marketing John Drewry.

Special thanks to Bigfoot Networks for providing us with the Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card to review.

Features & Specifications

  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet NIC
  • 1x PCI-Express interface
  • 400 MHz ARM processor powering the NPU
  • 128 MB DDR2 RAM
  • RJ-45 connector
  • Performance-inspired housing
  • Red LED glow (switchable)
  • Control Panel Application & Tray Indicator
  • Advanced Game Detect™
  • Online Gaming PC Monitor
  • Visual Bandwidth Control
  • Application Blocker
  • Bypasses Windows networking stack, offloading network calculations to NPU
  • 32- and 64-bit support for Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • 32-bit support for Windows XP
  • Plug and play
  • Supports Logitech keyboard LCD display

Packaging
The Killer 2100 comes in a small box with a supernatural character on the front, and promises “maximum networking performance for online games.” The rear of the box features a picture of the card and the five pillars of functionality of the card: speed, intelligence, control, visibility, domination. It also has two screenshots of the Network Manager control panel which controls the unit.

Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card

Included in the box is a driver CD, documentation, and the card itself. It’s probably a good idea to skip the driver CD and get drivers from Bigfoot’s web site, as there’s already been at least one new driver release since the cards were made available.

Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card

Colin Dean
the authorColin Dean
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.
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  • Stan McBrier

    This is one of the best reviews of this or any product, I have seen anywhere. Sites like tested.com actually had the balls to “review” this product without even seeing it (I guess http://www.untested.com was already taken), so it's good to see someone still has the journalistic integrity and commitment to actually put a product through its paces before casting judgment. Not only that, we get a free Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote thrown in for good measure. Great job Colin.

  • Thanks for the compliment, Stan. It really means a lot to hear positive remarks about our review process.

  • AaronTech

    Excellent review on this new Killer 2100 gaming network card and well written, good testing..I have heard so much about this new gaming network card and technology so helpful to see some real world true feedback on this Killer 2100, looks like this gaming network card helps boost the online gaming experience and performance, good stuff!

  • AaronTech

    Excellent review on this new Killer 2100 gaming network card and well written, good testing..I have heard so much about this new gaming network card and technology so helpful to see some real world true feedback on this Killer 2100, looks like this gaming network card helps boost the online gaming experience and performance, good stuff!

  • Your name

    Got this url referred. Not going to read more than the first page if there's no way to get the entire review in one page though. In fact I don't come back to sites I know lack that feature. Just so you know.

  • OregonSlacker

    Great Review.. I own the Bigfoot Networks Xeno Pro, and their steadily getting better with the driver updates, altho I still have some problems in games like BFBC2 compared to the onboard, but its good to see a company I adore getting better all the time.. The logic is sound tho, if you've ever programmed to a database via a dll that bypasses the network stack and compared it with mS jet ado its very similiar to that transfer difference.. I love the way you did testing in this review, Kudos!!!!

  • Thanks for the kudos!

  • Thanks for the kudos!

  • Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

  • Shyguyy

    I don't know why you guy's said they are offering the card for sell in all these links. They only selling VisionTek Killer Xeno Pro Gaming Network Card. NOT THE BIGFOOT KILLER 2100 CARD. Please do us a favor and get it right.

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  • Kuglihligjki

    Non professional review…
    45Mbps for UDP on integrated NIC ? impossible !
    1ms ping with the killer nic ? impossible !
    Those results are glitches and your conlcusions are then completly wrong

  • Kuglihligjki

    Does someone with a Athlon X2 6000+ and 8800gtx in 2010 would invest $100 in a NIC ?
    Do your benches with a i7-980x and a gtx480 SLI…

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  • I don’t see how this could reduce game lag…
    When I ping my router, it’s under 1ms, with a very basic on board NIC.

    I know there’s something I’m not getting… can someone explain?

  • I don’t see how this could reduce game lag…
    When I ping my router, it’s under 1ms, with a very basic on board NIC.

    I know there’s something I’m not getting… can someone explain?

  • It’s not the ping time to your router which is of concern. Well, not if it’s under ~10 ms. Any more than than and you should have some concern!

    The ping time of concern is that between your computer and the game server on which you are playing. Every little bit counts. Some people can tell the difference between 90 and 100 ms, others need more of a difference to tell.

    The Killer NIC reduces ping times by a offloading packet construction and deconstruction to a dedicated processor solely for that purpose. No other software is running on that NPU (well, it’s a “full” Linux system in relative terms), so it can focus on accepting data from the host machine, packaging it, and sending it on its way. When data is received, it can get the data and pass it up to the operating system really quickly.

    That’s one way the ping time is reduced. The second is really a side effect of the above. All that work needed to construct/deconstruct the packet would normally be done by the CPU. The CPU has better things to do, such as calculating the physics of things in the next frame or handing an AI decision. Since it doesn’t have to handle packet transfer, you see a lower ping because your system is more responsive. Additionally, your framerate is higher because the CPU doesn’t have to spend time waiting for packet stuff to happen.

    It’s not unlike how a GPU improves performance by offloading graphics calculations to a dedicated processor.

  • SROstuff

    I’m really considering to buy this product to reduce game lag.
    But I understand it can reduce my TCP-based file transfer speeds does this mean it can affect my download speed?
    Atm my download speed can reach 10,75 mb/s could this network card reduce this speed?

  • The gain at that speed is unlikely to be significant. The Killer NIC is aimed more at *UDP* traffic, not TCP. If you are using UDP for file transfers, you /could/ see an increase, but the only major file transfer protocol which uses UDP is NFS, and NFS isn’t ever really used on Windows.

  • amazing technology

    hi can you tell me how the hell network cards can boost your fps

  • SROstuff

    They don’t boost your fps….

  • The short and sweet explanation is that the NPU offloads network packet construction and deconstruction from the CPU just like a GPU offloads graphics work from the CPU. You see lower pings because the NPU is able to do its job faster than a CPU which is already doing a bunch of other stuff. You see an increase in framerate in some games because the CPU is then able to spend more time processing game action and rendering frames.

  • See my reply to the parent.

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