Interview: Bigfoot's Killer NIC, Exposed

Real-world application

TH: Gamers / enthusiasts typically do not use applications such as BitTorrent clients in the background while they play as to conserve system resources. However, a lot of gamers use client software such as Ventrilo, TeamSpeak or Mumble. Has Bigfoot pitched their FNA idea to the makers of Ventrilo or TeamSpeak in an effort to have first-party FNA clients and/or servers? We ask this as the card has potential for this, but we think the lack of Linux programmers interest is too low. If these clients DO exist, please forgive our ignorance as we could not locate them.

Harlan: TeamSpeak and Mumble both have Linux clients available, and we are working with both communities about FNA versions.  While I don’t have anything I can announce right now, I can say that I agree gamers want to use these features, and it is a major focus for us to get it done.  One thing we won’t do is sacrifice online gaming performance for any reason or application running in the Killer NIC (such as VOIP), so we pay great care to “do no harm” to the game.  That dedication, given only by companies focused exclusively on gaming like NVIDIA and ATI and Bigfoot Networks, is what will set Killer NIC products apart from the others in addition to all the hot features that we are working on.

TH: The one thing that no network interface card can help is what happens across the physical wires. Does Bigfoot have plans to release a Killer Server-NIC that would offer similar server offload features and possibly enhancements with clients using the Killer NIC?

Harlan: Yes, as we all agree the problem of Lag in games is systemic.  It results from Client, Server, and Network all interacting.  Killer is just 1 of 3 phases of Bigfoot Technology that we hope will some-day end all Lag.  Phase 2 is already underway.  We have a Killer-Server NIC (codenamed GSA or Game Server Accelerator) that we offer developers along with an SDK to make use of its features.  More can be read on our website under “future technology”, but in general we can do EVEN MORE for game servers with our GSA because of the SDK that game developers can use to optimize for it. 

Here’s the best part: if a game company optimizes their game to make use of the GSA, then that game is also FURTHER optimized for the Killer NIC!  More of the network processing, firewalling and other stuff gets offloaded into Killer and it is better integrated into the game as a result. Emergent Game Technologies is already shipping an entire MMO Engine around the GSA and our SDK (called LLR2), and that’s just the one I can publicly announce.  Many more are actively optimizing for the GSA because it will not only save them money on servers, it also gives everyone a lower lag experience whether you have a Killer NIC or not.

  • Bottom line, why pay over 100 dollars for a nic that already exists for free on your motherboard? heck, alot of motherboards have 2 nics today, running at gigabit speeds!
  • Zug-Zug
    yeah great "article" (scoff) that a killer nic add I see on the right ?

    credibility plummets...
  • giovanni86
    It looks nice. But i wouldn't buy it because from a price/performance perspective it doesn't do me a damn thing. And as mentioned above motherboards are already equipped with one or two at gigs of speed. I thought paying 10 bucks back then was expensive. $150 or more for one of these, i rather buy another GPU. Then again there are some out there that believe this thing makes a difference, and therefore buy it and in any case its the only reason there still around today. If it were like 50 bucks i would consider it, but as stated with triple sli and say a sound blaster card added to say like a mother like the 790i you wouldn't have room for a Killer Nic card installed anyway. Motherboard manufacturers would have to make more space on there to fit a Killer nic card.
  • blackwidow_rsa
    ^ probably a targeted ad
  • Killer joke. We all know it is one and I can achieve even better results with a few iptables rules on my router.

    This product is a joke. Please just admit it already.
  • grieve
    Yah if the price were reasonable, $30-$60 i would possibly consider it as i wouldn't be out 150 bucks if it doesnt improve anything.

    If reviews prove this card improves gameplay i would possibly consider @ the $150 price point....maybe
  • squiZZ
    Since when do we care about an interview about a product. Show us the real world tests and comparisons like you used to. blatant advertising?

    *this message brought to you in part by Bigfoot Networks Inc.
  • hansmuff
    Look.. sorry. I'll be rude. WTF is this crap?


    No benchmarks, no interview, just marketing droning on and on. No challenge, nothing.
    I am no defender of for a reason: "articles" like this.
  • bydesign
    The Killer nic is a Killer disappointment. The main reason is it's addressing something that work fairly well to begin with. Perhaps with an IPv6 Internet with some QoS rules for gaming protocols that only worked with the card and they might have something.

    Couldn't the UDP stack be tweaked in software to achieve similar results? They have built a solution that doesn't really have a problem. I think part of the reason the price is so high is fool some into thinking it's work it. Even then grieve is right about the price $30-$60 max.
  • i hate lag.... but i got used to in gaming....

    and why did i suddenly get spam since im writing in tomshardware?