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Killer Xeno Pro: Do You Really Need A Gaming Network Card?

After looking at the benchmarks, I'm not sure if there's any ambiguity when it comes to the performance of the Killer Xeno Pro versus an integrated Gigabit network card. But if you've skipped the article to check out the conclusion, I'll make it quick and simple: the $130 Killer Xeno Pro achieved results comparable to what a freeware Firefox plug-in offered, and that's during the load test. In the tests we did when we weren't congesting network bandwidth with multiple downloads, we experienced no notable difference in game latency and no significant advantage or disadvantage in frame rates when comparing the Killer Xeno Pro to an integrated gigabit network card.

Look, if you're having problems with game latency while downloading torrents, with FTP file downloads or uploads, and when streaming Internet radio, I think before anything else you should probably do yourself a favor and consider shutting those network-heavy applications off while gaming. It'll make your game play experience a whole lot smoother.

If you can't imagine pausing the Torrent swarm during your leisure time, uTorrent has a bandwidth-limiting feature built right in. As for Firefox, there's a free bandwidth-limiting plug-in that, as we demonstrated, will let your machine perform just as well as if you had paid money for the Killer Xeno Pro.

Indeed, there are other far more effective ways of spending $130 on your gaming experience. How about a nice gigabit-class wireless router with a QoS engine built in, which is also designed to prioritize gaming traffic? Not only does that give your games priority over the network, but it will offer the benefits of gigabit network performance and wireless draft-n as well. Or, aside from the network, imagine what a Radeon HD 4850 graphics card can do for you.

The difficult part for us here as hardware enthusiasts is that the Killer Zeno Pro has some very exciting specifications so I can't help but think it has a lot more potential. As we stated, it's essentially a Linux box with a 400 MHz CPU and 128 MB of RAM on a card. But impressive specifications and a laundry list of features don't necessarily translate into real-world performance boosts. Without the core ability to wow us with ultra-low network latencies compared to less expensive solutions (like a freeware Firefox plugin), configuring your torrent client, or simply turning off your downloads during your gaming session, the Killer Xeno Pro is a tough sell as a must-have gaming NIC.

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