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EVGA Releases Xeno Network Card

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

EVGA's latest network card--the Killer Xeno Pro--supposedly accelerates real-time killer Internet gaming utilizing an on-board NPU, 128 MB DDR2 memory and more.

For gamers who spend a good deal of gameplay time online, hardware performance is the most important factor hands down. With a slow CPU, GPU first-person shooters and MMORPGs become a laggy mess, churning out framerates as if the Energizer Bunny was on its last drum beat. When hardware performance falters, the experience becomes annoying, possibly hurting any chances to reign king on the frag list or score that special loot before another party hones in on the goods. Gamers and PC enthusiasts yearning to keep those framerates solid--while also wanting high-quality performance outside PC gaming--look for high-quality hardware without giving price tags a second glance.

EVGA, along with Bigfoot Networks, claim that your network card is a big factor in lag. Onboard network ports on motherboards? They don't cut it says EVGA.

EVGA has put aside its manufacturing apron--stamped with Nvidia's logo--and has teamed up with Bigfoot Networks to produce the EVGA Killer Xeno Pro. This isn't just any network card, but rather offers an on-board network processing unit (NPU), a nice chunk of on-board memory and even integrated audio for hardware-accelerated voice-chat. Ten years ago, who would have thought gamers would need all this extra hardware just for maintaining a blazing fast connection? Not this one, and quite frankly, it's difficult to imagine a PC today without something like the Killer Xeno Pro mounted in the rig's innards.

"We are extremely excited to partner with EVGA to deliver the Killer Xeno Pro to gamers across the globe," said Michael Howse, Bigfoot Networks CEO & President. "The EVGA Killer Xeno Pro using Bigfoot technology delivers the absolute best online experience, for this generation and next generation games."

According to the company, the Killer Xeno Pro uses the PCI-E slot for a higher throughput, decreasing latency. The card also features the Killer Xeno 400 MHz NPU, a dedicated smart packet processor for all network operations. This ensures that time sensitive data--such as game control information, player placement, and VoIP--reaches its destination on time. Moreover, by offloading the VoIP operations onto the integrated audio chip, the overall system's sound device thus doesn't have the extra strain, reducing the "hiccup" factor. The on-board 128 MB 266 MHz DDR2 memory helps with the whole process by taking on the extra burdens called forth by the VoIP, the built-in Linux-based firewall, and the card's Bandwidth Control feature.

"EVGA is excited to be offering this new technology to the online gamers," said Andrew Han, president and CEO, EVGA. "This new product improves the online experience and fits in perfectly with the high performance products that EVGA offers."

EVGA also said that the Killer Xeno Pro is plug and play compatible with all PC games, and even offers a Windows network stack bypass to provide direct-to-game interrupts. The card features a network speed of 10/100/10000 Mbps (Gigabit) and not only provides an RJ-45 Ethernet port, but USB 2.0, and 3.5mm audio input and output jacks. The Killer Xeno Pro certainly looks tasty, however the card is not yet available, and EVGA did not offer any price points at the time of the announcement. Hopefully, that information will be available soon.

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  • -3 Hide
    Grims , March 24, 2009 6:47 PM
    Another advertisement...?
  • 0 Hide
    wickedsnow , March 24, 2009 7:10 PM
    Man, I can't wait.
  • 0 Hide
    Dreasconse , March 24, 2009 7:11 PM
    May be an advertisement, but helps me. iv'e been looking for something good to stick in my PCIe X1 slot for a while. no room for anything else.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Zenthar , March 24, 2009 7:14 PM
    Oooook, so Bigfoot Networks has licensed their Killer NIC to EVGA ... 250$ NIC anyone???

    Come-on! Will they continue to off-load all of the MB's feature to external card just to gain 1FPS/200$ spent? I mean, it's like going back to the 80's when the MB's only features were CPU/RAM/ISA controller, anything else was an extension.
  • 1 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , March 24, 2009 7:40 PM
    I wish I had a 10,000Mbps network card :) 
  • 2 Hide
    MrBradley , March 24, 2009 7:49 PM
    To me, this seems like the DVD Rewinder in a different fashion. A Gigabit LAN connection is more than enough.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 24, 2009 7:57 PM
    What I find funny is the fact that when the BigFoot came out everyone complained it was PCI, they replied by saying it was because the PCI bus had less latency than the PCI-E bus (PCI being parrallel).

    So what.... the Magical serial bus is now quicker? Amazering!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 24, 2009 8:00 PM
    Like some said, this is pure advertisement. Specially since there is no real need for a "network-accelerator."
    They are just creating a "need" that doesn't exist so they can sell an overpriced product (these cards normally run from $200-$250) that nobody really needs. I use voip on both my Quad 9550, 8GB, dual raided 300 gb raptor PC and on my MacBook Pro and never had any hiccup. Some goes for my games.
  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , March 24, 2009 8:12 PM
    "network speed of 10/100/10000 Mbps (Gigabit)"

    Because we all know, internet games require 10 Gigabit connections.
  • 1 Hide
    lire210 , March 24, 2009 8:31 PM
    put some leds on that and nicer case and 50 $ less and i still wouldn't do it.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , March 24, 2009 8:37 PM
    i want to compare this with an Intel PCIe network card - they usually have lower overhead and decent throughput
  • -1 Hide
    zaratustra06 , March 24, 2009 8:46 PM
    This is like packing and selling air.
  • 1 Hide
    Zenthar , March 24, 2009 8:55 PM
    zaratustra06This is like packing and selling air.
    Or water ... oh wait :p 
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , March 24, 2009 9:02 PM
    $250 air
  • 0 Hide
    HTDuro , March 24, 2009 9:05 PM
    funny how ppl will be dumb enought to buy this .. i mean ... onboard LAN is clearly enough for 99.9% of ppl ...they say it will unload the cpu .. a old single core cpu maybe will need this help ... but alot of game if not almost all got dual and quad core .... and for 200$-250$ you can buy a new mobo, a dual core, 2gb of ram and some other things ..so its BS :p 
  • -1 Hide
    MU_Engineer , March 24, 2009 11:19 PM
    Hatecrime69I wish I had a 10,000Mbps network card


    They do exist- Newegg even has some. Here's one and here's another. However, you'll need a motherboard with a 133 MHz 64-bit PCI-X slot, fiber-optic cabling, and the cards carry a price that will make the Bigfoot NIC look like a bargain.
  • 0 Hide
    ricin , March 24, 2009 11:48 PM
    More Bigfoot snake oil. Please make it go away.
  • -1 Hide
    crisisavatar , March 25, 2009 1:29 AM
    wow nice way of scamming people out of their money
  • 0 Hide
    rigaudio , March 25, 2009 2:35 AM
    Their target market is those who already have the top-end systems. Why the hell would they think we'd need something this extraneous?
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , March 25, 2009 2:38 AM
    I guess I don't "get it" in what's being sold here.
    Most games produced use UDP/IP data frames, They are quick, "connectionless," and lack the checks in TCP for receive acks to confirm that data reaches its destination. If there is a data collision or TTL problem somewhere along the hops, that packet is lost and the benefit of a device such as this is nullified and the user perceives lagg or "jumpiness."
    Also, since we are usually using MTU's of 15000 bytes, this is another bottleneck caused by upstream router hardware and the resulting fragmentation (jumbo frames of 9000+ bytes are useless outside a LAN designed to support them). Lagg again.
    The only possible "benefit" I can see to something like this is in a send/receive buffer for IRQ polling/vectoring and hosting that info on the card instead of main memory, which is "buffering" or delaying the game anyway.

    ...Sigh... I'm probably wrong...
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