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Killer 2100 NIC review

Killing any hope for third-party network interface cards

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Our Verdict

As with the original Killer NIC M1, the Killer 2100 is just too expensive. It may have dropped in price, but compared to the networking that you already have inside your machine, £94 seems a lot to pay for the smallest of improvements.

For

  • Improves ping rates
  • Smoother framerates

Against

  • Improvements are tiny
  • Still too expensive for what you get

The Killer M1 and K1 showed promised, but were undermined by their high costs, and now Bigfoot Network's Killer 2100 is here to put that right.

Since its inception in 2006 Bigfoot Networks has had one thing on its mind – producing gaming network cards.

It initially launched a pair of NICs that promised to offload the handling of network traffic away from the CPU, and thus offering a performance boost for gamers.

The Killer M1 and later the Killer K1 boasted dedicated processors that the company deemed Network Processing Units (NPUs), and were mini systems in their own right, running a version of Linux and having access to their dedicated memory.

Both cards did show a certain amount of promise, but that massive price premium was a problem, particularly as the Killer's benchmarks showed the biggest performance boosts in older machines – the owners of which were least likely market to spend over £200 on something that is generally covered for free by your motherboard.

Bigfoot Networks is back once again though, this time with the most cost-conscious card to date, Killer 2100.

Can the culling of the original NPU's more-esoteric features produce a more focused and rounded gaming network card?

We can but hope…