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VisionTek Killer HD 5770: The GPU + NIC Combo

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 51 comments

The graphics card that can also bring you the internets.

Ever wish that your NIC could do more than just pulling packets, or you’re your GPU could do more than pushing pixels? VisionTek and Bigfoot Networks today has the answer in what is a rather interesting product for those looking for both a new GPU and NIC.

The two companies today announced the launch of the VisionTek Killer HD 5770, the world's first single-card, PCI Express solution combining Bigfoot Networks' Killer E2100 game networking technology and AMD's Radeon HD 5000 graphics.

The Killer HD 5770 is a one-card, one-slot solution that has a full 5770 GPU that supports Microsoft DirectX 11, multimonitor setup and 7.1 audio via HDMI output. On the networking side, the card also uses an embedded version of the Killer 2100 gaming network card developed by Bigfoot Networks.

Like the standalone Killer NICs, this hybrid card has all the controls with Advanced Game Detect and Visual Bandwidth Control to make sure all the bandwidth goes to the game.

While combining a GPU and a NIC isn't common practice, AMD seems rather pleased at the coming together of its Radeon with networking capabilities.

"VisionTek has been a strategic partner for nearly 10 years and brings extremely innovative AMD design concepts to the North American market," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's GPU Division. "We rely on our leading partners to expand on our technology reach. VisionTek once again delivers on that directive with its new Killer™ HD 5770 launch."

The VisionTek Killer HD 5770 gaming graphics and network card will be available in early December through North American online and retail channels at an MSRP of $199.99 USD.

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  • 24 Hide
    nevertell , December 2, 2010 11:59 AM
    Cmartin011, you are clearly missing the point. The network controllers on the motherboard use system's ram and the cpu to manage networking, whilst this has it's own RAM and a special CPU to deal with networking, and because of the drivers, can give certain programms or even connections different priorities, so you won't be bothered by your porn downloads while you are playing call of duty.
  • 14 Hide
    rubix_1011 , December 2, 2010 12:16 PM
    Go ahead and look up some reviews and stats on the Killer Nic cards vs. onboard or add-on cards...there is virtually no difference. Yes, I get that it runs its own TCP/IP stack within the hardware of the card and doesn't use system resources. What year is this? 1996? We have to make sure we don't lose 2mhz of CPU power and 2mb of system RAM to the network controller on the motherboard (BTW...didn't exist on consumer and most server boards in that day).

    Seriously, almost every single onboard NIC has the ability to allow QoS, forwarding and many, many other options that were built into like BOTH network adapters on the board. Like some have also said, 99% of routers also have these features, if you REALLY want to do this on the hardware level (which would also be even more effective than doing this locally on the card).

    Gimmick. Expensive one at that.
  • 13 Hide
    ewood , December 2, 2010 11:52 AM
    Its cool but I fail to see the point.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    ewood , December 2, 2010 11:52 AM
    Its cool but I fail to see the point.
  • 5 Hide
    amstech , December 2, 2010 11:58 AM
    Idiotic idea, this will sell quite poorly.
  • 24 Hide
    nevertell , December 2, 2010 11:59 AM
    Cmartin011, you are clearly missing the point. The network controllers on the motherboard use system's ram and the cpu to manage networking, whilst this has it's own RAM and a special CPU to deal with networking, and because of the drivers, can give certain programms or even connections different priorities, so you won't be bothered by your porn downloads while you are playing call of duty.
  • -2 Hide
    hok , December 2, 2010 12:00 PM
    Is this really needed when most boards have two NICs?
  • 10 Hide
    face-plants , December 2, 2010 12:03 PM
    Dumb...I fail to see the point of combining two cards that almost certainly will never both be upgraded at the same time in the future. Upgrade your graphics card in a year and now you have to buy another $100 NIC?! I already fail to see how this Killer NIC can really do much to help gaming when port forwarding, QoS, and application prioritizing can be set up in most routers. (Even my 3 year old D-Link Gamer Lounge router does this fine). Then again if you have a SLI/XFire mainboard you could always leave this card installed when you upgrade to a better video card in the future. I'm sure that won't be a burden on power consumption......
  • 2 Hide
    fullcircle_bflo , December 2, 2010 12:05 PM
    The thing is its one of those gaming optimized dealies that you end up paying more for in order to lower your ping 5 points. I'm sure there would be more of a market for it if it were on the 58xx/59xx or 6000 series, newer more powerful cards where people would be willing to spend a little more, but i guess you have to start somewhere. Also, if it were wireless maybe?
  • -6 Hide
    jomofro39 , December 2, 2010 12:07 PM
    y
  • 5 Hide
    eccentric909 , December 2, 2010 12:08 PM
    cmartin011uhg!! don't they see most motherboard come with Ethernet standard these days? and that card is only worth 100$ at most


    While I can't say how good or bad the "Killer" network card is, the network card which is built into this video card, by itself lists for around $85 on Newegg. So the price in the article makes sense, since individually they probably have an MSRP of around $100 each.

    The actual network card, is also distributed by VisionTek.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833189002
  • 14 Hide
    rubix_1011 , December 2, 2010 12:16 PM
    Go ahead and look up some reviews and stats on the Killer Nic cards vs. onboard or add-on cards...there is virtually no difference. Yes, I get that it runs its own TCP/IP stack within the hardware of the card and doesn't use system resources. What year is this? 1996? We have to make sure we don't lose 2mhz of CPU power and 2mb of system RAM to the network controller on the motherboard (BTW...didn't exist on consumer and most server boards in that day).

    Seriously, almost every single onboard NIC has the ability to allow QoS, forwarding and many, many other options that were built into like BOTH network adapters on the board. Like some have also said, 99% of routers also have these features, if you REALLY want to do this on the hardware level (which would also be even more effective than doing this locally on the card).

    Gimmick. Expensive one at that.
  • 4 Hide
    jgutz2006 , December 2, 2010 12:22 PM
    Conceptual idea and ultimately how pratical can this be. But i like the idea behind this as these SLI/CROSSFIRE systems are getting double slot cards leaving many of those 1x/4x PCIe slots between those 16/8x slots unavailable. I like the idea of putting some more stress on the GPU and utilizing the excessive 1/2gb of ram these things have and with HDMI audio, maybe someone like Asus can combine the Xonos sound card with a GPU. Yes many systems have audio/NIC but not all and i have a dual socket xeon board with no audio at all so i've got to use a PCIe slot for this purpose. GPU/NIC - not a fan but applaud the idea and pioneering concept to utilize those power hungry cards when not 3d gaming!
  • 0 Hide
    K-zon , December 2, 2010 12:32 PM
    In terms of maybe things like Flash and etc, networking say to the graphics card might be useful, even outside like flash. Could network other services for visual input and output more easily maybe. Especially given just visual setups of use. You can now get input or and output of video card to say. No networking maybe within motherboard and cpu? Its an ok idea, and does have varies uses for it, but to expand upon the idea would require and idea the industry hasnt been much up for for awhile. Rather they continued to work within means to do so, idk. They've wanted to wait for alot of releases and developments to be made before this kinda product releases have been stated as a release for consumers.
  • 1 Hide
    tsnorquist , December 2, 2010 12:38 PM
    That'd be a great idea of motherboards didn't have it integrated already, but seeing that they do - it's just one more thing to fail.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , December 2, 2010 12:39 PM
    Not nessecarily a bad idea, but they should perhaps restrict this combo to high end cards - I doubt any midrange system builder would desire a killer nic in the first place. it's such a gimmick that I can't imagine a success when paired with a low end/midrange gpu. It's like the p55 chipsets with pcie splitters or those hydra chips - with the money spent on the special p55 they could've bought a better chipset or two matched graphics cards instead.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , December 2, 2010 1:45 PM
    Is this one card hosting two product?

    When the drivers for one or the other become outdated, can they be upgraded without losing functionality?

    (example: New Catalyst package is released by AMD. Will it be usable here? If I install that driver will the onboard NIC quit working?).
  • 1 Hide
    K2N hater , December 2, 2010 1:46 PM
    Gamers who would pay $200 for that are more likely to purchase 6870 instead. The Killer NIC is overpriced but clearly not as good as similarly priced server-grade NIC.
  • 2 Hide
    COLGeek , December 2, 2010 2:03 PM
    Interesting product, but of limited performance value. For those who like gimicky products, this is for you. For the rest of us, I just don't see the benefit (cost or performance-wise).

    As indicated by many here and via multiple other sources, the whole Killer NIC argument is virtually moot (at best). Combining with a mid-tier GPU just doesn't make a lot of technical sense nor common sense. In fact, even as I try to think a bit out of the box, I see virtually no value here combining these capabilities with any GPU.
  • 3 Hide
    Marco925 , December 2, 2010 2:08 PM
    amstechIdiotic idea, this will sell quite poorly.

    I Disagree, those killer network cards retail for over $150. while they may be good performing, i cannot justify spending $150 on a network card, however a $200 video card that contains really $350 worth of hardware. I do think it's a good deal.
  • 0 Hide
    JimmiG , December 2, 2010 2:11 PM
    nevertellCmartin011, you are clearly missing the point. The network controllers on the motherboard use system's ram and the cpu to manage networking, whilst this has it's own RAM and a special CPU to deal with networking, and because of the drivers, can give certain programms or even connections different priorities, so you won't be bothered by your porn downloads while you are playing call of duty.


    The traffic prioritization and bandwidth control can certainly be useful in some cases. Having the CPU deal with networking isn't a problem these days however - most games don't even use four cores, so you have one or two full, 3GHz cores doing nothing anyway. Maybe it's useful if you still game on a Pentium III with 256MB RAM...
  • 0 Hide
    christop , December 2, 2010 2:25 PM
    Pointless.. I have seen tons of reviews on the nic and there is not much difference from just using your on board nic.
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