TECH Killer NIC article.

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Old news, but new to me.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/killer-nic-network,2035.html

Apparently it doesn't just lower your ping time, it also offloads UDP processing (used for games, as opposed to TCP/IP used for web surfing) so the CPU doesn't have to dick around with it. There's other stuff that it does, too, which I kinda understand but not well enough to summarize. So there might actually be something useful about the card after all.
 

GOGZILLA

Double-Uranium Member
Jan 16, 2003
10,731
Plantation, FL
ill have to see some benchmarks first. id guess that networking is a very small percentage of the processing power needed for games. some of their other ideas that he was talking about was really cool but im guessing a couple of fps gain and a few ms off ping which for $150 doesnt seem too great.
 

GOGZILLA

Double-Uranium Member
Jan 16, 2003
10,731
Plantation, FL
just read a review on anandtech about it and like i guessed it was incredibly marginal performance gains. maybe if you were doing full blown file transfers with udp itd make a bigger difference but the amount of data that games send really isnt that much
 

BlazinBlazer Guy

Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.
Jul 24, 2002
18,351
Lansing, MI USA
I've actually seen one of those in person.... once. One of the guys that collocates servers in the datacenter I work in has one in a box that serves as a game server. I suppose for that sort of application it does make a bit of sense.

Personally I still say if you want a creme-de-la-creme NIC, just go out and pick up an Intel PRO/1000 or something of that nature.
 

trouphaz

New Member
Sep 22, 2003
2,647
i wish i could find some review i read a while back. they said it actually does help... but it was marginal. in WoW it greatly reduced the lag in certain areas that were known to be really bad and in some FPS games it helped increase the response time a little bit. but, who knows if just spending that same money on more ram, a better video card or better processor would help just as much.
 

Peyomp

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
13,906
The concept seems clouded - virtually zero latency comes from your LAN or your NIC or your PC. Its on the network.
 
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deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
i wish i could find some review i read a while back. they said it actually does help... but it was marginal. in WoW it greatly reduced the lag in certain areas that were known to be really bad and in some FPS games it helped increase the response time a little bit. but, who knows if just spending that same money on more ram, a better video card or better processor would help just as much.
That's pretty much the hallmark of digital equipment, though; either it's fast enough or it isn't. If the network load in one area of WoW isn't enough to overwhelm your NIC card, adding a better one will do nothing.
 
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deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
I don't think that's the issue; from what I read, the Killer NIC is supposed to take the constant stream of small packets that MMO games use and feed them to the game one at a time as soon as they're received instead of holding onto them until it reaches a certain limit, which is how games are designed to run -- small quantities of data updated in a realtime basis. Connection speed doesn't matter much, so long as you have some kind of broadband, because you're downloading coordinates and action codes, not torrents.
 

Peyomp

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
13,906
I don't think that's the issue; from what I read, the Killer NIC is supposed to take the constant stream of small packets that MMO games use and feed them to the game one at a time as soon as they're received instead of holding onto them until it reaches a certain limit, which is how games are designed to run -- small quantities of data updated in a realtime basis. Connection speed doesn't matter much, so long as you have some kind of broadband, because you're downloading coordinates and action codes, not torrents.

Connection latency matters. Ethernet is instant. The WAN is not.
 
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deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Okay, so it can't solve all the problems, but being optimized for programs that need small amounts of data right now as opposed to large amounts of data whenever it's ready should help.

I'm not saying it's all things to all people, just that it appears to not be totally useless like a lot of people had speculated.
 

Peyomp

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
13,906
Maybe this is a dumb question... but when did games start using TCP in the first place? Games used to all use UDP.
 

Peyomp

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
13,906
They called it TCP offloading on page one, but they really meant UDP offloading.

This is dumb. This is the $500 speaker cable of the gaming world.

I read the article. I'm not being a dick to you when I say that this is the stupidest piece of shit article, and stupidest piece of shit product that ANYONE has EVER posted here.

Seriously.
 

Limp_Brisket

Active Member
Jan 2, 2006
48,290
Utah
Okay, so it can't solve all the problems, but being optimized for programs that need small amounts of data right now as opposed to large amounts of data whenever it's ready should help.

I'm not saying it's all things to all people, just that it appears to not be totally useless like a lot of people had speculated.

no, it's useless.
 

Limp_Brisket

Active Member
Jan 2, 2006
48,290
Utah
just think of this from a sensible stand-point. no one is saying it doesn't try to solve problems... the thing is, the problems it's solving are inconsequential!

ok, so this card claims to reduce work on the processor by offloading network processing to the card. how much strain is put on the processor by processing network information? A VERY NEGLIGIBLE AMOUNT. so that's worthless.

it claims to decrease latency by doing this. how much latency is introduced into your RTT going from the RJ45 connector to your O/S? A VERY NEGLIGIBLE AMOUNT. so also worthless.

so in essence you're paying a premium price for a product that solves inconsequential problems.
xmasugh.gif
 

Peyomp

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
13,906
Yeah... a 486 makes a hell of a web server. That tells you something about the load a network stack makes.

All the latency is in the WAN. This is quite literally like super expensive golden speaker cables. I bet its the same people.

Hey, I know! You could get one of these: http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/06/13/500-ethernet-cable-a.html

to go with it! Then your packets would get to your router much better, with more clarity. Cables matter, dude!
 

OniMinion

...recalls when this forum was actually about cars
OT Supporter
Jan 26, 2005
4,988
Indiana/Minnesota
Well, I just got done reading through everyone's posts on Tom's Hardware regarding the Killer NIC. It seems that most users are very convinced that it was a promotional "advertisement" article, seeing as there was really no "benchmarking" and/or test process actually listed.

As for the OTers that posted your latency is more than your computer and connection - I agree completley. You cannot ignore the fact that the server, and everything inbetween can have a dramatic effect on your gaming experience (e.g., ping). I can remember multiple times when a game would "hick-up" and my friend in California would experience it at the same time I would here in Minnesota on the same server. Of course we'd both be bitching at each other about it over the voice chat software.

This product does bring up a valid point, when is the gaming industry going to address this? Also, FINAL note- some games have shitty code written for their online play (e.g., GTA IV and Battlefield 1942/2...) The best online code I can still remember was Half-Life with WON authentication servers, I could get pings in the 20's consistantly. I think the first place we have the point the finger is the software developors; however, good luck to them since the new games we are playing do SO MUCH MORE THAN old counter-strike ever had to...

Shit, /rant
 

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