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Test System And Benchmarks

Killer Xeno Pro: Do You Really Need A Gaming Network Card?
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Testing network performance is tricky enough, but we're going to be testing network gaming performance and latency in real-world situations. That means dealing with the Internet, dropping players, laggy servers, changing imagery, and all that it implies.

We will be testing two multiplayer games. Team Fortress 2 will represent multiplayer first-person shooters (FPS) and World of Warcraft will represent the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) category.

Bigfoot Networks suggested that we run 30-minute test runs at each setting and sample latency every minute. Because so much can change on a game server in 30 minutes, we decided to take three 10-minute alternating samples to minimize the impact of changes on the server. For example, we'd test an integrated network card for 10 minutes, then the Killer Xeno Pro for 10 minutes, then the integrated network card for 10 minutes again, until our test samples were complete.

Even though the large 30-minute sample size should deliver some solid trends in the data, we have to point out that no two benchmarks are identical since there are so many changing variables in each test.

Note that there will be two main categories of benchmarks: "No Load" with the tested game being the only application using network resources, and "Load" where two large Ubuntu ISO image file downloads will be running in Firefox during testing.While testing the Load scenario, we will set the Killer Xeno Pro's bandwidth control to limit Firefox downloads to 256 Kb/s.

Tests will be taken with the motherboard's integrated network card as well as with the Killer Xeno Pro. In the Load benchmarks, we will test a third option: using the integrated network card in conjunction with freeware bandwidth-limiting software called Firefox Throttle, which will limit bandwidth to the Firefox downloads similar to the way the Killer Xeno Pro's software accomplishes the task. We will also set Firefox Throttle to allow 256 kbps of bandwidth to the Firefox downloads.

Here is our test system:

Killer Xeno Pro Test System
CPU

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (3.2 GHz, FSB-200) 6 MB Cache.
Factory OC at 3.6 GHz, FSB-225,
2,022 MHz HyperTransport link

Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P,
BIOS F4a, AMD790X 

Networking
Onboard Gigabit LAN controller
Memory

Kingston HyperX 9905403-048.A00LF  PC3-10700
2x 2,048 MB, 1,498 MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24 2T

Graphics

2 x HIS Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire
850 MHz GPU, 2200 MHz RAM, 1 GB Per Card

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda ST31500341AS
1.5 TB, 7200.1RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Power

Corsair CMPSU-650TX
650 W, ATX 12V 2.2

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX versionDirectX 10
Graphics Drivers

Catalyst 9.5

Benchmarks and Settings

World of Warcraft

Version: 3.1.3, 1920x1200, Visual Effects at Maximum, Shadows at Maximum -1, Vsync off

Team Fortress 2

Build: 3862, 1920x1200, video settings at maximum, 4xAA, 16xAF

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Neggers , July 1, 2009 6:58 AM
    Some important testing is not done here which I would like to see.

    I live in Australia and I am a WoW player on the US servers, so a typical ping for me is 250-300 and 300-400 when raiding.

    Now when you guys are testing with a 60 ping a difference of 10% for you is going to be 6ms and not going to translate into anything noticeable.

    However for someone like me, if this card can improve my connection with the WoW servers by 10%, that could be upto 40 or 50 ms, which could be a huge difference.

    So I would like to see more testing done in Higher ping situations, prehaps if you guys tested connection to MMO server in korea or europe, so you were testing in a 300+ ping enviroment, and see if this effects the results.
  • 14 Hide
    tirzono , July 1, 2009 6:40 AM
    Wow, I have bought this card and it even cured my AIDS!

    Thanks Killer Xeno Pro!
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    tryceo , July 1, 2009 6:26 AM
    I won one of these from wowhead.com, but i havent fitted it inside the case yet...

    IMO its a waste of money... I just keep my internet idle when im playing online.. plus you can get a better upgrade for your GPUs if you dont spend money on this...
  • 9 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 1, 2009 6:31 AM
    Wasn't there an article similar to this a while back, and everyone bashed it saying that it was pointless? (It was, but just saying)

    Doesn't seem like its still worth the premium yet.
  • 1 Hide
    ColMirage , July 1, 2009 6:33 AM
    Hah, I've been wondering about how bad of a scam this card was today.
  • 3 Hide
    haplo602 , July 1, 2009 6:36 AM
    try a quality server NIC like an intel f.e. and you'll see better results for less money, the killer nic and derivates are just hyped nonsense
  • 0 Hide
    IronRyan21 , July 1, 2009 6:39 AM
    eddieroolzWasn't there an article similar to this a while back, and everyone bashed it saying that it was pointless? (It was, but just saying)Doesn't seem like its still worth the premium yet.

    eddieroolzWasn't there an article similar to this a while back, and everyone bashed it saying that it was pointless? (It was, but just saying)Doesn't seem like its still worth the premium yet.


    When I saw the headline for the articles, I was thinking the same thing....Yes, they did an article before and yes this product is pointless. +1 eddieroolz
  • 14 Hide
    tirzono , July 1, 2009 6:40 AM
    Wow, I have bought this card and it even cured my AIDS!

    Thanks Killer Xeno Pro!
  • -3 Hide
    tryceo , July 1, 2009 6:46 AM
    yep... after about 1 minute of testing(removed 1 9800 GTX) The lagg is still there.

    If anyone wants mine tho... willing to sell it for $90. it just got opened..
  • 14 Hide
    Neggers , July 1, 2009 6:58 AM
    Some important testing is not done here which I would like to see.

    I live in Australia and I am a WoW player on the US servers, so a typical ping for me is 250-300 and 300-400 when raiding.

    Now when you guys are testing with a 60 ping a difference of 10% for you is going to be 6ms and not going to translate into anything noticeable.

    However for someone like me, if this card can improve my connection with the WoW servers by 10%, that could be upto 40 or 50 ms, which could be a huge difference.

    So I would like to see more testing done in Higher ping situations, prehaps if you guys tested connection to MMO server in korea or europe, so you were testing in a 300+ ping enviroment, and see if this effects the results.
  • 0 Hide
    Ciuy , July 1, 2009 7:10 AM
    And i was thinking spending 50$ on a PCI network card , now i wont ...
  • -3 Hide
    cangelini , July 1, 2009 7:28 AM
    NeggersSome important testing is not done here which I would like to see.I live in Australia and I am a WoW player on the US servers, so a typical ping for me is 250-300 and 300-400 when raiding.Now when you guys are testing with a 60 ping a difference of 10% for you is going to be 6ms and not going to translate into anything noticeable.However for someone like me, if this card can improve my connection with the WoW servers by 10%, that could be upto 40 or 50 ms, which could be a huge difference.So I would like to see more testing done in Higher ping situations, prehaps if you guys tested connection to MMO server in korea or europe, so you were testing in a 300+ ping enviroment, and see if this effects the results.


    I never understood why the AUS guys would play on mid-west servers. I knew some really nice raiders from Australia, but they'd lag everyone and either do lower DPS or be unable to tank as a result. Not their fault, but they had way more success playing on Oceanic servers when they eventually swapped over.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2009 7:39 AM
    this one is similair to killer nic

    http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/adapters/gigabit-ct/gigabit-ct-overview.htm
  • 0 Hide
    Neggers , July 1, 2009 7:57 AM
    cangeliniI never understood why the AUS guys would play on mid-west servers. I knew some really nice raiders from Australia, but they'd lag everyone and either do lower DPS or be unable to tank as a result. Not their fault, but they had way more success playing on Oceanic servers when they eventually swapped over.


    First off, the Oceanic Servers are still located on the West Coast of the US, the only difference is they changed the time zone on them. So I actually have the same ping on US servers as I do on the so called Oceanic servers.

    Secondly I have been a top raider since Pre-BC, including clearing All of 40man Naxx, and all BC raids Pre-Nerf.

    And currently even with my ping, I have never lagged out and caused wipe or failed to perform for my guild (infact I am one of our top DPS, doing over 6k DPS as an enhancement shammy).

    So maybe you met some bad Aus players, but trust me that not all of us are, and actually some of us that are actually good players, out perform most of the scrubs with
  • 2 Hide
    Artman256 , July 1, 2009 8:03 AM
    Turning off DHT on your torrent client will make a noticeable difference to the speed of other applications using the internet.
  • 0 Hide
    eternalfury , July 1, 2009 9:24 AM
    How about testing the performance during large/long/multiple file downloads? FTP, HTTP, Torrents. Some of us download a lot. Hell, just trying to keep my MMO's updated is gigs a month.
  • 1 Hide
    alabasterboy , July 1, 2009 9:39 AM
    I have the older Killer K1, I first installed it on a Dell Precision 670 and noticed an improvement in my frame rate and lag. 10fps 50-60 ms. I put it in my new Dell T7500 and it still helped with the lagg as much but nothing really with the frame rate maybe 1 or 2 fps. I also live in Alaska and have 3Mb DSL that I share with my family. I would suggest trying this with an older system. I don't think you will notice much of a difference with a top end system. I think @ $130 its a bit over priced but for around $50-$60 its worth the money, which is what I picked mine up for the older K1 that is. Also not sure where you are located but you are already getting better latency than I am with out it.
    Its a very situational upgrade.
  • 0 Hide
    alabasterboy , July 1, 2009 9:45 AM
    To the Aussie reader I would try picking up an older PCI version, I don't care what they say no upgrade is going to help your latency other than this if you already have a good system to begin with.
  • 4 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , July 1, 2009 10:06 AM
    NeggersSome important testing is not done here which I would like to see.I live in Australia and I am a WoW player on the US servers, so a typical ping for me is 250-300 and 300-400 when raiding.Now when you guys are testing with a 60 ping a difference of 10% for you is going to be 6ms and not going to translate into anything noticeable.However for someone like me, if this card can improve my connection with the WoW servers by 10%, that could be upto 40 or 50 ms, which could be a huge difference.So I would like to see more testing done in Higher ping situations, prehaps if you guys tested connection to MMO server in korea or europe, so you were testing in a 300+ ping enviroment, and see if this effects the results.


    your 300 ping is not the result of only your nic . data goes through a series of routers of the isp network and back , each of which have their delays . by buying this card you can only reduce the latency added by your nic , not of all those routers .

    the claim of a flat percentage drop in latency irrespective of the location and isp infrastructure is hence worthy of rejection .

    even 64 kbps leased circuits are costly , the reason is a q.o.s guarantee by the isp .

    however , when considering lan parties , the presented card can provide a noticeable difference , as 6 ms out of 60 ms makes up 10 percent .

    the radeon 4850 still is a better proposition for rigs that arent graphics maxed out . if you have , example , classified , 9800 gt for physx and 285 crossfire , heavily oc'ed i7 , low latency ram etc then this card could be a "topping" on your cake . niche market product .
  • 2 Hide
    ravenware , July 1, 2009 10:50 AM
    A key element that is missing is a standard expansion nic. Something with its own ram resources (most have a little bit), this way we can if the little differences are attributed to the gaming nics power or the fact that it has its own resources.
  • -7 Hide
    kschoche , July 1, 2009 11:42 AM
    lol, again with this trash?
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , July 1, 2009 11:50 AM
    I wouldn't be pissed at this product if they didn't get a name like EVGA to back it. This NPU stuff is crap, I have a motherboard with dual Gigabit LAN and you are trying to tell me that I need to get a seperate $130 card just to play on the internet? I think the premium on PC gaming is high enough thank you very much.
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