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Bigfoot Network's Killer K1 NIC review

Jeremy Star Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

Bigfoot Network's Killer K1 NIC review

Vanguard, unfortunately, refuses to acknowledge that the Athlon X2 4200 is a faster chip with two cores. It feels running the same on both the 3000 and the 4200 is acceptable. To the credit of the 4200, I could indeed see those same spell effects that the Killer K1 brought out on the 3000. The game itself still lagged badly. The game still "hitched" while I was running about. I still died. A lot.

Once again, I installed the Killer K1. Once again, it alleviated most of the "hitching". In fact, the game reached the point where it was almost slightly enjoyable... What? Where did that troll come from? There wasn't anything around me just a second ago. Aw, son of a...

Athlon 3000 - No Killer K1

Min FPS Max FPS Average FPS Average Ping
0 26 19 240 ms

Athlon X2 4200 - No Killer K1

Min FPS Max FPS Average FPS Average Ping
0 34 17 189 ms

Athlon X2 4200 - No Killer K1

Min FPS Max FPS Average FPS Average Ping
0 27 18 235 ms

Athlon X2 4200 - Killer K1

Min FPS Max FPS Average FPS Average Ping
4 26 21 190 ms

Once more, the biggest advantage of the K1 is the ping. Contrary to what the numbers show though, the game felt almost unplayable without the Killer K1 installed, and with it installed, it performed much better.

Again, the K1 shows an advantage regardless of a single or dual-core processor, although if you were to go by numbers alone, the advantage seems rather small.

Conclusion - Should I still be afraid of commitment?

The Killer K1 NIC is practically the same beast as its older brother. It's difficult to show with solid numbers the difference between having one and not, but once you actually sit down to try it out, you can really feel the difference.

The M1 put some people off with its price tag. For almost three hundred dollars, you could conceivably upgrade almost any single component of your PC and experience some sort of performance improvement.

The Killer K1 NIC retails for less than two hundred dollars. You would be hard pressed to find a single component that would give you this much of an improvement for that amount of money.

For the nay-sayers who would point to a router with gaming packet prioritization and claim that it does the same thing, let me remind you that the PC had the advantage of using such a router without the Killer K1 installed, and pings were much higher with the router alone.

What I think of it:

I still use the original Killer NIC in my primary gaming system, and now my wife is using the K1 in her PC. I said it before, and I will repeat it again here: I think having a Killer NIC in my PCs is great, and my wife loves having the K1 in her machine. I can immediately feel the difference, and that is what makes new hardware purchase worth it, in my book.

In fact, now that the drivers have matured, I have begun to recommend it to friends and acquaintances.

Who I think can benefit most:

People with mid-range PCs are still the people who benefit the most from installing a Killer K1 card. It's cheaper than a major part upgrade, and the ratio of performance to dollars is enough to justify the expense.

Those of you with low-end machines are still better off upgrading things like RAM, processors, and video cards, although the Killer K1 would make a cheap upgrade that you probably notice some improvement from.

You guys (and girls) with high-end rigs, let's face it: You have nothing left to upgrade. For this price, it's still a decent boost to performance, even with top shelf parts.

Final Thoughts:

The Killer K1 NIC is a great addition to almost any system meant for playing MMORPGs. For less than the cost of a mid-range video card, you can lower your pings and increase your FPS a bit. People complained that the original Killer NIC was a bit expensive, and I think Bigfoot Networks did a good job addressing that complaint.

As an added bonus, Bigfoot Networks has released a couple of useful programs that run on the Killer K1 (and the original M1 as well): FN Torrents - download files while you game without taxing your PC; FN Firewall - block the baddies without resorting to Window's built in catastrophe.

I give the Killer K1 two happy thumbs up. So far this year, this is my favorite new piece of hardware, and if we did things like give awards here I would give it one. Perhaps the "Golden Orc Toe of MMORPG.com approval." Now if you'll excuse me, my wife is challenging me to a duel. Time to fake a loss to avoid sleeping on the couch.

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Jeremy Star