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My Killer NIC experience.

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by LAN_deRf_HA, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Just thought I'd post my experience with the Killer NIC K1 for anyone thinking about picking one up, specifically anyone wondering what the effects are on a high-end system. I got the K1 (cheaper one) because it was on sale for $100 and literally the ONLY difference between it and the M1 is the core speed - 333 vs 400 mhz - and in reviews comparing the two there was zero performance difference.

    Installation was easy, I used the latest beta drivers from the forum... something I'd recommend doing given how old the non-beta drivers are. I followed all the setting, OS, and router tweaks available on the forum to make sure I'm maximizing my performance. I have the card's firewall and bandwidth control features turned off to free up as much processing power as possible.

    For the testing I went to Dalaran, the one place in WoW that seems to bring every pc down to 25-30 FPS. I had a nearby friend with nearly identical pc specs stand in the exact same spot as me facing the same direction. We both got identical framerates, but my ping was 32ms and his was 42ms. We repeated this 5 times at different points in the day, the gap was always 10ms. My ping prior to the card was the same as his, 42ms. I did not experience the "smooth" feeling reviewers reported, as everything was already as "smooth" as you could notice. I also tested Hellgate London but there was no noticeable difference, namely I still had inventory lag.

    So to summarize, 10ms is the improvement you can expect on a high-end system. I'm sure the difference is much more noticeable on low end systems. Based on my experience with it I can recommend this for about 3 scenarios. If you're big on competitive FPS multiplayer gaming then 10 ms may very well improve your performance. If your pc is rather low end and struggles in places other than Dalaran then IF you can find it as cheaply as me it might be the most beneficial upgrade for you. Lastly, if you're like me and must offload as much as possible from the cpu for every scrap of performance... then this may appeal to you.
     
  2. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Most people that have used the Killer NIC pretty much agree that it doesn't really do anymore more than what any other $15 dedicated NIC would do.
     
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  3. DanTheBanjoman SeƱor Moderator

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    So because you have a lower latency than someone on another internet connection it is an improvement?
     
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  4. mrw1986

    mrw1986

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    Agreed. Killer NICs are a waste of money.
     
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  5. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    I believe I also stated I got the same ping as he did before I installed the card, the test with him was simply to make sure time of day wasn't a factor. We live on the same street and have the same provider which adds another level of similarity.
     
  6. dark2099

    dark2099

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    Not to defend the thing, but another scenario in which the card could possibly be helpful is a slower internet connection. Don't know if they're still around, or if they operate with the same network cables or not, but ISDN (or is is IDSN). Or cable or DSL lines limited to lower transfer speeds, and on DSL the distance from the hub. There may be a use for it that makes it worth it, but from your experience and my guess is the reviews, the results don't justify the price.
     
  7. amd64skater

    amd64skater

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    wow $150-$250 for one of those is it even worth it?
     
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  8. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    On the support forum they seem to say it won't do much for a slow connection, some guy was even hoping it would lower his 1100ms ping on his satelite connection so he could game better.... obviously nothing is going to help that.

    Like I said, I got it for $100, seeing as other reviews do show a marked improvement on low end systems it may be appropriate for that sale price for people with limited rigs.... at $150-$250 I can only recommend it for people who must have the absolute best of everything, price be damned. I got it because I had the cash laying around and wanted to know for myself. Certainly not hurting anything.
     
  9. ZenEffect New Member

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    there is 1 big flaw i see in your testing methodology. you applied tweaks to your router and network settings when you installed the killer-nic, however you did not test the compared nic with the same tweaks. in my experience, i can gain 10ms by just editing my registry, so that 10ms you see may not be the nic at work. the network and router settings should be identical when comparing the 2 to get genuine results. also see if you can dump the bios/eeprom for that thing and put it on the net. it would be interesting to see a bios mod to oc it.

    just my thoughts on this.
     
  10. DonInKansas

    DonInKansas

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    Sounds like the network equivalent of Monster cables.:laugh:
     
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  11. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    True, but only one tweak was not related to the settings of the card itself, and it's much more difficult to go from 40ms to 30ms than it is to go from say 200-150 ms. Which may bring up another scenario where the card would be more helpful.
     
  12. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    er, killer nic will improve the latency between your nic and your router. thats all. are you saying u have 10ms lag within your lan?
     
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  13. niko084

    niko084

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    I would say that's a pretty screwed up network....

    To get back to the Killer NIC, every test ever done on it *by a 3rd party* shows absolutely no viable difference.

    The Killer NIC is pretty much a server NIC style nic with a single port, it could come in handy in offloading your processor and letting its onboard processor handle it's work itself, in a single standalone machine playing games this doesn't really do much, now if you had 500 simultaneous connections that might be a different story.
     
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  14. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    I just expanded the test a bit, I went over to my friends house where he was getting over 40ms. We hooked both pcs up one at a time and did the test, and even tried having both hooked up to his router at once. In every test my ping remained 10 ms lower on average. I don't really get why it would only be able to help between the pc and router? That goes against every review I've seen that showed an improvement (though those weren't on top end systems, I think), the latency it's supposed to be dealing with is completely on the pc end isn't it?
     
  15. niko084

    niko084

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    The only way they can possibly improve latency is if your processor is overloaded by handling the nic, or your onboard nic is just simply horrible..

    Want to do a real comparison, run the nic in your machine vs your onboard nic and then in his machine vs his onboard nic.

    Also let us know what the onboard nics are, not that it can't improve performance, but the numbers you are spitting out here are on the extreme of what could be possible in normal situations.
     
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  16. mrhuggles

    mrhuggles

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    i get less than 1ms ping to my router at all times. and i have some junky onboard lan [asus p5k]
     
  17. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    My ping is about 3x-4x in dalaran with my onboard lan.The killer nic is a rip off,should be 50-60 quid max.
     
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  18. Asylum

    Asylum

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    The killer nic cards are a big ripoff...Had one myself and sold it...Im a big FPS player and never even seemed to make a difference!!
     
  19. orionbg

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    I'm sure that 100$ spend on a CPU Upgrade or GPU Upgrade will help a lot more than some "Ultra Mega Giga LAN" adapter.
     
  20. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Yep, I think if the OP is having a 10ms latecy from his PC to the router then there is something with either

    1./ The LAN drivers,
    2./ There are services, malware, or viruses bound to the onboard controller
    3./ The onboard controller is working with the wrong MTU or framesize
     
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  21. mrhuggles

    mrhuggles

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    im betting either a junky soho router, one of his boxes is useing a ton of bandwidth for something, or his box spesificly is doing something abnormal

    but more likely than anything junky soho router prolly
     
  22. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Well we tried this without the router at his house, didn't make an improvement on either system. That's not what seems to be causing the dif. I'll give putting the card in his system a shot next, but it seems regardless people don't want to believe even a measly 10ms benefit is possible with the card :( Not like I gave it that positive of a review. It struck me as not an issue of the cpu or chipset being inadequate as much as the way the card processes the network info by bypassing the windows network stack, am I right in thinking that isn't done by onboard nics? The onboard is Marvell 88E8056, it's actually the same one my friend has.

    On another note... has anyone here with an insanely shitty (or just old) system tried the NIC?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  23. mrhuggles

    mrhuggles

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    yeah, it should help an older computer.
     
  24. niko084

    niko084

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    Well it's sorta true... It isn't processed in windows by your cpu its processed by the card and its own cpu instead. A 10ms drop is a really big drop especially when you consider the percentage, it easily leads everyone to believe there is another reason for the insane change.

    Check our own review on it.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Bigfoot_Networks/KillerNIC_M1/7.html

    It has the ability yes, but your numbers are on the extreme side.
     
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  25. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Well I can think of only one more way to test it. The next time I go over to his house we'll install it on his system and remove the router. Since we can leave the onboard nic drivers on we should be able to quickly switch between onboard and the NIC. We'll test 4 times on each system and take the average dif. for each system and overall. If anyone else has any suggestions for the test now is the time, I don't feel like testing it anymore after this :ohwell:
     

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