Attention Alienware shoppers: You can now configure a pre-built gaming desktop with Bigfoot Networks' Killer 2100 NIC, Bigfoot announced today.
"Online gamers demand exceptional network performance," said Frank Azor, Product Planning Manager at Alienware. "The combination of Alienware PCs and the Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 gaming network card represents a lethal combination -- maximizing performance for more frags, faster leveling, and higher scores."
Of course, it's Azor's job to sell potential customers on the merits of Bigfoot Networks' latest dedicated NIC, and while our own testing revealed some definite improvements in average ping, we had a hard time discerning any subjective difference between the Killer 2100 versus the onboard Realtek Ethernet chip found on the Asus P7P55D-E we used for testing (see our full review of the Killer 2100 here).
Still want one? If so, Bigfoot says its Killer 2100 card is configurable in Dell's entire Alienware desktop lineup, and is also available as a direct purchase upgrade from Dell.com.
Bigfoot Networks, makers of the original Killer NIC (see our review in the Holiday 2006/2007 issue, page 70) is back again with a new product and more big promises. According to Bigfoot Networks, the new Killer 2100 is the world's fastest online gaming network card, which isn't hard to believe considering the extremely niche market it's competing in.
"Killer 2100 is the fastest network card available for online games, period," said Michael Howse, CEO, Bigfoot Networks. "From its completely redesigned user interface and race-inspired outer casing to its high-performance Game Networking DNA software, everything about Killer 2100 screams speed and maximum performance."
Like the original, the Killer 2100 comes with a dedicated 400MHz network processor, but this time around Bigfoot doubled up on the onboard memory to 128MB of DDR2 RAM and the card now plugs into a PCI-E x1 slot. If you're new to Bigfoot's aftermarket NICs, the Killer cards work their mojo by using their own optimized network stack instead of the one built into Windows, and according to Bigfoot, you can expect up to 10x lower latencies versus an onboard NIC.
Reviews of the original have been mixed, with our own evaluation noting an "imperceptible ping reduction," though frame rates did go up anywhere from 3 to 10 percent when using the Killer NIC for online gaming. We've yet to test the new Killer 2100, so we'll reserve judgment until we do.
Bigfoot says the new card is "coming soon" with an MSRP set at $129.