Skip to main content

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

Test System And Benchmarks

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
CPUAMD 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
MotherboardGigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P, BIOS F4a, AMD790X
NetworkingOnboard Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryKingston HyperX 9905403-048.A00LF  PC3-107002x 2,048 MB, 1,498 MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24 2T
Graphics2 x HIS Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire850 MHz GPU, 2200 MHz RAM, 1 GB Per Card
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda ST31500341AS1.5 TB, 7200.1RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX650 W, ATX 12V 2.2
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX versionDirectX 10
Graphics DriversCatalyst 9.5
Benchmarks and Settings
World of WarcraftVersion: 3.1.3, 1920x1200, Visual Effects at Maximum, Shadows at Maximum -1, Vsync off
Team Fortress 2Build: 3862, 1920x1200, video settings at maximum, 4xAA, 16xAF
  • tryceo
    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...
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    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.
    Reply
  • ColMirage
    Hah, I've been wondering about how bad of a scam this card was today.
    Reply
  • haplo602
    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
    Reply
  • IronRyan21
    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
    Reply
  • tirzono
    Wow, I have bought this card and it even cured my AIDS!

    Thanks Killer Xeno Pro!
    Reply
  • tryceo
    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..
    Reply
  • Neggers
    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.
    Reply
  • Ciuy
    And i was thinking spending 50$ on a PCI network card , now i wont ...
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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.
    Reply