Rivet Networks announced that its new Killer E2500 NIC will be available by the end of the year on Gigabyte and MSI motherboards.
The Killer E2500 NIC has a nearly identical feature set to the older Killer E2400. Both NICs use the company’s Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 software to regulate your PC’s network traffic. By doing so, Rivet Networks claimed it can improve your network performance while gaming.
“Gigabyte is excited to partner with Rivet Networks on the implementation of the Killer E2500. With this new high-performance Ethernet controller, gamers will have even more control of their network bandwidth when using a Gigabyte motherboard,” said Henry Kao, Vice President of Gigabyte Motherboard Business Unit. “This feature gives gamers who use Gigabyte motherboards considerable advantages in online gaming that other gamers do not have,” he added.
Rivet Networks also said that the Killer E2500 NIC features 3x better performance and latency when compared to its leading competitor. The company did not say which competing NIC it used for this comparison, however, so there is no way for us to investigate this claim.
The Killer E2500 also supports Rivet Networks' Killer Control Center, which gives you access to several network tools.
Two of the first products to use the Killer E2500 NIC will be MSI’s upcoming Z170A Gaming M6 motherboard and a new model of the company’s Aegis Ti gaming PC. These products, as well as a few motherboards from Gigabyte, are expected to launch by the end of this year with the Killer E2500.
Update, 9/15/16, 7:40am PT: The original version of this article incorrectly named Qualcomm as the company making the NIC. The Killer networking branch was spun off into Rivet Networks in 2014.
Ill take my motherboards with dual Intel NIC's as a priority, maybe even Realtek, or Atheros will be last choice. Thank you very much!
I cant wait to see the ROG or Killer DX racer chair because we all know, if you don't have a DX Racer chair then your not a gamer lol!!
The fact that they don't give any real world specifics like which game was tested, or anything like that. I can't believe a word they say.
Killer NIC's = Marketing Gimick
Big picture is that by default packets are handled as efficiently as possible and they're stored in the network stack until it's deemed efficient to send them. Now this makes sense for large transfers...think of it like sending a bus after it fills up with people. But the thing that sucks about that method is waiting until the bus is filled up before it leaves.
Killer NICs attempt to send the bus more often to reduce that delay. Now obviously this is a classic YMMV scenario as each different use case may or may not find this beneficial. In the case of gaming where speed and latency are king this can be beneficial.
Let's say you want to stream that movie over your internet connection, utilize torrents, or download a game on Steam while you're gaming. Obviously you'd want your game to have priority for packets because it's the only thing latency sensitive in that scenario. This is where the driver and software for Killer NICs comes into play. It's kind of like sending all the gaming packets on their fast tracked bus while making the non-gaming packets wait for a full bus.
Let's not pretend that the product doesn't work...because it does and has been reviewed and tested multiple times to that effect. In the end you don't get any gains on large transfers but see slight gains in speed on multiple small transfers including some significant latency gains in some cases. (for example UDP latency of 53.1 microseconds to 90.5 microseconds of a comparable Intel NIC as evidenced by Tech Report)
However, the real question is how beneficial that is for you in the real world. There are many other places you're losing significantly more time than that in the gaming cycle. In my opinion something like the Killer NIC is really only beneficial after you've taken care of the input lag on the video side of the house as it's going to have a more detrimental performance on your gaming performance than the networking stack will. Likewise this only applies to your computer, if you have another user in the house you're going to have to dig into router QoS options or any benefit will be lost.
As for Killer NIC failures it's not the the hardware, it's typically been the software. The idea and theory behind the product is solid, what's gone wrong in the past is the software execution (no pun intended).
Killer's real claim to fame is they take care of the network stack and reassembling of packets, which is traditionally handled by the CPU. If the CPU is running full tilt, then yes there might be some significant lag in response/ping time. But this is a rare occurrence unless your running something like a Pentium."
That is only on their old cards with the "NPU" as they called it. I had one (Killer Xeno Pro). And those only worked on Windows XP. When they went to Vista Microsoft changed the network stack so that companies couldn't offload that to the card any more.
Also at the time the company promised I would be able to use my Killer Xeno Pro to offload torrent downloads and teamspeak from my CPU, and even that it would have a linux terminal since the Killer cards were basically single board linux computers with 128MB of RAM. None of that ever happened though and from that point on I've gone out of my way to boycott them. It's easy enough to do since the motherboards with modern Killer NICs are more expensive than ones with Intel NICs. But seriously, screw Killer and their lies.
Their driver contains a workaround to windows limitation of not being able to set the queue length.