Wednesday, December 29th 2010

MSI to Integrate Killer NIC with Motherboards?

MSI announced a partnership with Bigfoot Networks, the company behind the Killer NIC series of accelerated network interface cards (NICs). The immediate results of this would be the motherboard major bundling Killer NICs with some of its high-end motherboards. MSI also hinted that it could work to integrate the Killer NIC logic onto motherboards. Knowing how MSI was the first to be out with a LucidLogix Hydra Engine motherboard, the idea of integration of Killer NIC onto one of its future motherboards doesn't seem far-fetched.

“We are pleased to be working with MSI,” said Michael Howse, CEO of Bigfoot Networks. “The Killer 2100 gaming network card is a perfect complement to the MSI Big Bang family of mainboard solutions that will give gamers a competitive edge in online play.” Andy Tung, VP of MSI USA says “MSI mainboards with Military Class components provide a great backbone for any gaming system and the Killer 2100 network card is a way to improve performance and get one step ahead of the competition.”

Source: HotHardware
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49 Comments on MSI to Integrate Killer NIC with Motherboards?

#1
TheLaughingMan
by: Solaris17
whats the point of the killer nics QoS if you connect it to a router with shitty QoS or have no other apps on your PC soaking up bandwidth their for your game didnt have much choke on the line to begin with?

thats like changing the speed limit to 95 when the roads to unsafe to drive at that speed anyway so no one ever does.
You can then simply turn the routers QoS off since you will not need it. And your PC will occasionally check in with some software like your virus scanner, IM programs, E-mail clients, windows update servers, and QoS which sends back confirmation packets about receiving the data. The Killer NIC does organize and delegate traffic like QoS. It flat out blocks communication to any program other than ones you pick.

Also the Killer NIC is just a luxury item like a high end sound card. Did you really need it, no. Was the onbound audio chip good enough....yeah. Then why buy a sound card....because good enough is not how you roll. Do you need a dedicated network processor....no. Does it work better than the onbound NIC.....yeah (even if it is only slightly in most situations).

I still would like to see a review done by TPU for one of the new Killer NIC's. Especially with games that tax your CPU while playing online and against BFBC2 latency correction BS. Does it help more offloading the network processing for a Dual core than a Quad? As well as test some of its other claims like being about the download a large file or torrents while game with no performance lose to your game.
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#2
micksh
by: TheLaughingMan

I still would like to see a review done by TPU for one of the new Killer NIC's. Especially with games that tax your CPU while playing online and against BFBC2 latency correction BS. Does it help more offloading the network processing for a Dual core than a Quad? As well as test some of its other claims like being about the download a large file or torrents while game with no performance lose to your game.
I've seen some reviews previously (maybe for previous generation of the card). Everybody compared Killer NIC with cheap on-board controller like Realtek. Nobody compared it with $30 Intel PRO NIC card.
This would make sense to me - to compare it with inexpensive NIC add-on card that provides better traffic offloading than MB NIC, along with adding CFosSpeed to the test.
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#3
Temujin
by: TheLostSwede
MSI is a little bit late to the game it seems, but I can't say more, wait and see at CES ;)

For what it's worth, some people are likely to buy just that kind of a product btarunr, not saying I'm one of them though...
MSI has a few more agreements and restrictions than the other vendors. They aren't in a position where they can readily market new features as early and quickly as the other vendors.

by: Completely Bonkers
Let's hope the bundle includes a set of magnetic go-faster-stripes that I can stick on my case to make the PC go a little bit faster. It's true! It's true! The magnetic stickers helps to transfer heat in addition to reducing dangerous radiation. LOL. http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/images/smilies/Bonk.gif

Stickers work. Adding a gaudy aluminum spoiler would help more. Would a fart tube muffler be too much performance?

At this point, vendors are going to be using Intel LAN Pro and Killer while some will still use Realtek. I like that Realtek can and has opened up licensing on their audio codecs to emulate much more capable performance. But, their NIC (integrated LAN) is much less capable than Intel or Killer. It's slower and crawls when you're pushing too many connections at once. The Realtek NICs just don't have the resources and end up pushing the load back on the CPU. So, anything is a bonus!


MSI has just lost a little bit of credibility with this nonsense...
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#4
Ev1LrYu
I'd hit it if it didn't came with a price premium.. but then I might as well walk on the sun :P
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#5
TurdFergasun
it be nice to see someone building in actual intel NICs into mobo's, hell even intel slaps on realtek junk for most of their mobos. this is prol just like an intel nic, but with more stickers, higher price, and slightly worse performance.
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#6
csendesmark
This product is already passed it's EOL
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#7
Temujin
by: TurdFergasun
it be nice to see someone building in actual intel NICs into mobo's, hell even intel slaps on realtek junk for most of their mobos. this is prol just like an intel nic, but with more stickers, higher price, and slightly worse performance.
Your hope will become reality very, very soon. Intel isn't the only one offering Intel LAN Pro on the boards. :)
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#8
stasdm
Why not to use Mellanox or Cisco 10GB NIC with universal 1/10GB RJ45 connector then?

Will REALLY improve LAN speed, no matter, gaming or not - and with not too big price premium, compared with BigFoot solution.

:):toast::)
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#9
RejZoR
10Gbit LAN won't make any difference if your inbound/outbound doesn't even reach 100 Mbit...
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#10
stasdm
by: RejZoR
10Gbit LAN won't make any difference if your inbound/outbound doesn't even reach 100 Mbit...
Thouse chips fully offload TCP/IP from CPU and speed up transactions, so WILL make difference.

But will the price increase be justified (same for Big Foot)?
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#11
TurdFergasun
probably no difference on anything faster than a dual core cpu with a decent amount of ram. which would make one wonder why would someone with a dual core cpu needing to free up cpu cycles would waste their money on a faster nic in the first place. you want better lan, get rid of off the shelf routers. pfsense, with intel nics = network superiority :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#12
csendesmark
by: stasdm
Thouse chips fully offload TCP/IP from CPU and speed up transactions, so WILL make difference.

But will the price increase be justified (same for Big Foot)?
LOL
If you have a 4 core CPU, network traffic wont matter :toast:
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#13
blu3flannel
As long as it doesn't raise the price too much, then it's alright with me.
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#14
stasdm
by: csendesmark
LOL
If you have a 4 core CPU, network traffic wont matter :toast:
Did you take my words seriously?
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#15
Wile E
Power User
by: RejZoR
Yes and no. Router QoS is more like a post-processing. It does help a bit but not as much as CFosSpeed which works on a driver level on a system where stuff (packets) is actually issued.
It just works better if the system actually knows what has issued a certain packet and under what conditions than re-organizing them when they are already on a highway of packets...
It doesn't work better when you have multiple devices on your network, it only helps a single device.

It processes packets no differently than a router.

And good routers allow you to tweak your QoS settings for specific programs on your network, just like good software.

I've played with Cfos, and it's no better than a good router. It's leagues better than earlier implementations of router based QoS, but not better than the good ones out there now, especially in multiple device situations.

by: TheLaughingMan
You can then simply turn the routers QoS off since you will not need it. And your PC will occasionally check in with some software like your virus scanner, IM programs, E-mail clients, windows update servers, and QoS which sends back confirmation packets about receiving the data. The Killer NIC does organize and delegate traffic like QoS. It flat out blocks communication to any program other than ones you pick.

Also the Killer NIC is just a luxury item like a high end sound card. Did you really need it, no. Was the onbound audio chip good enough....yeah. Then why buy a sound card....because good enough is not how you roll. Do you need a dedicated network processor....no. Does it work better than the onbound NIC.....yeah (even if it is only slightly in most situations).

I still would like to see a review done by TPU for one of the new Killer NIC's. Especially with games that tax your CPU while playing online and against BFBC2 latency correction BS. Does it help more offloading the network processing for a Dual core than a Quad? As well as test some of its other claims like being about the download a large file or torrents while game with no performance lose to your game.
You can't compare a NIC to a sound card. The difference between on-board sound and a sound card is DRASTIC, the difference between the Killer NIC and on-board is very minor in comparison.
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#16
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I actually like this idea though I Would be more apt to get one with it integrated rather than the card itseld.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I wish all motherboards had hardware NICs (Killer NIC or otherwise). I hope it catches on so it (hardware NIC on a chip) becomes as cheap as Marvell chips are today.

The same goes for audio.


Hell, Bigfoot Networks should invest in developing a hardware NIC on a chip. If done right, they won't cost much more than current chips and would bring in a whole lot of money through volume if they can make deals with big motherboard manufacturers.
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#18
Yukikaze
by: FordGT90Concept
I wish all motherboards had hardware NICs (Killer NIC or otherwise). I hope it catches on so it (hardware NIC on a chip) becomes as cheap as Marvell chips are today.

The same goes for audio.

Hell, Bigfoot Networks should invest in developing a hardware NIC on a chip. If done right, they won't cost much more than current chips and would bring in a whole lot of money through volume if they can make deals with big motherboard manufacturers.
Nearly every single motherboard does have a hardware NIC (integrated into the chipset logic) today. It is the feature set of that NIC that actually matters.

As for it not costing much more than current chips, I can quote you some chip prices for server NICs (which the "Killer" NIC pretty much is, just in a snazzier package) which perform TCP/IP offloading, among other things. These start at around 0.7-1$ for the chip itself for a 1Gbps NIC (often also needed is an external PHY placed on the motherboard) and can reach well over 100$ for the chip alone for a high-end 10Gbps NIC (a whole PCIe card with one of these can run into the several thousands of dollars range).
Posted on Reply
#19
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
By hardware NIC I mean NPU (Network Processor Unit) with dedicated RAM (which is what Killer NIC is) as opposed to an interface chip that interprets data for the CPU.

The $100 price tag comes from rarity/targeting at enterprise customers. Hardware NIC on a chip would need an NPU with IMC and an adequately sized RAM bank directly on the chip. A 64 MiB DDR chip costs, what, $3? All told, the NIC on a chip should cost about $5 each or less (depending on fab) and be capable of 1 Gbps. It is difficult to estimate how much more 10 Gbps would cost. It may actually be about the same price with a difference in clockspeed.

We have the technology to do it but we don't simply because Marvell NICs are "good enough."
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#20
stasdm
I would place the chip in the section of (often nearly useless) givemeyoumoney "inventions" - same as PCIe x1 SATA "6G" Marvell chips and nVidia x16 bus for graphics cards and SLI licensing - things that a bit better than other used, but still not compliing with the standards, and highly overpriced.
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#21
LAN_deRf_HA
The main issue with this arrangement is drivers. The latest killer software is great in theory, but has issues. Laggy menus with monitoring on, loss of connection between the service and the exe. The benefits of the card itself are still hard to quantify in a benchmark. Both myself and a friend have experienced notable snappiness changes with the card. In wow for instance icons update faster. Technically there shouldn't even be an effect on wow as it uses tcp. Overall I'm not convinced the killer is great as much as I'm convinced something is fundamentally wrong with onboard nics. I'd be willing to bet you'd get these noticeable increases with any good add on card. A test I'd like to see would be one involving a 2100, a nice intel card, and maybe multiple onboard nics in a much more in-depth and clever benchmark suite. Maybe going as far as recording gaming sessions and doing a frame by frame analysis.
Posted on Reply
#22
TheLaughingMan
by: Wile E
You can't compare a NIC to a sound card. The difference between on-board sound and a sound card is DRASTIC, the difference between the Killer NIC and on-board is very minor in comparison.
I disagree
Posted on Reply
#23
Wile E
Power User
by: TheLaughingMan
I disagree
On what point? Sound card or NIC?

The benefits of a sound card over on-board have been proven time and time again thru accuracy testing.

The benefits for an aftermarket NIC vs on-board on a desktop PC have not.

Doesn't matter if you disagree or not.
Posted on Reply
#24
TheLaughingMan
by: Wile E
On what point? Sound card or NIC?

The benefits of a sound card over on-board have been proven time and time again thru accuracy testing.

The benefits for an aftermarket NIC vs on-board on a desktop PC have not.

Doesn't matter if you disagree or not.
I disagree with both of your points if you really want to know. You said it yourself, this card has never been truly put through the rigger so to speak. I remember the initial release yielded a few "reviews" where the guys just stuck the card into their existing machines and played some games. Then they all concluded that it does what it said, but cost too much. I simple want a real review with the card used in multiple system setups, across multiple online games, and use some for of medium to calculate statistical difference over other NIC's (that use different background systems).

I also never said a dedicated sound card did not yield benefits. I stated it was a luxury item and largely not a requirement when building a system as the on-board does work good enough for most people. On this point is where I made a comparison between the two.
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