Motherboards with 'Killer' network adapters aren't worth your money | PC Gamer
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Killer bigfoot lan drivers

Best part, they are cheaper than their plain-Jane Intel counterparts. The idea behind gaming oriented NICs network interface controllers seems great: Picking a motherboard with the right feature list for this test was easy. Long-time gamers might remember this technology from different manufacturers over the years, but the concept remains the same.

Although the specs still favor Intel in terms of driver polish, DPC latency and extended features, those solutions are also more expensive. Pretty good deal, when taken as a set of separate controllers. The problem comes from the extended driver package for gamers that tries to combine these separate controllers via the Killer network manager. This adds bandwidth control and network priority rules to the mix and allows simultaneous use of all network controllers to assist with routing. This is meant to ensure the latest games and important software get fast-lane bandwidth privileges.

Everything seems to install and work smoothly, but test results were less optimistic. With a single exception, no tests or combination of settings made any difference, even when two or more separate local servers were accessed for copy operations, a best-case scenario configuration that bypasses some bandwidth limits. Without rule adjustments, file copy operations get routed off to Wi-Fi where they languish at low speeds. This is the experience out of the box.

Killer bigfoot lan drivers

When run with the latest downloaded rules, network file copy operations are shunted to Wi-Fi in a fruitless quest to preserve network speed, even when no high-priority network tasks are in evidence. This predictably results in slower overall operation and produces some embarrassing results, especially in general use, with no measurable advantages gained in return. Gaming results in the real world shadowed the benchmarks closely.

GO show no dramatic differences in server ping times or gaming experience beyond normal network variation. How is it possible that in this ideal environment, improvements were so difficult to find?

Killer Drivers Installation - 64bit

The reality is that bandwidth limitations outside the computer, and thus control of the Killer Network Manager, are almost always responsible for the bottlenecks in online gaming. For example, ISP speeds are just a fraction of home network bandwidth or a server attached to a network with a single gigabit NIC gigabit fiber is as fast as it gets for most, and your typical cable or DSL connection is far slower at megabits or less. In any case, torrent packages also offer effective bandwidth controls of their own. Another issue is the mixture of Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet.

But balancing between asymmetric networking interfaces is notoriously difficult, often causing more problems than it solves, and testing the Killer network manager revealed this remains the case. The answer is pretty mundane, and it comes down to drivers.

Even the mightiest 8-core Intel desktop systems have to deal with an inherent limitation of the Windows task management structure. Badly written drivers can stall an otherwise smoothly operating set of real-time tasks, which are handled by Deferred Procedure Calls DPC at the kernel level. This results in drop-outs in audio or video, even when plenty of CPU time and bandwidth are otherwise available.

Killer bigfoot lan drivers

That generally means Intel, which has the resources to sweat the details. Is the Killer Network Manager worth it, as a deluxe feature? Despite claims and plenty of promise, no. Besides questionable test results, the software has a long history of annoying users, and while newer packages have filed off some of the sharp edges, I still experienced settings that would not retain changes after reboot and network rules that applied arbitrarily.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Qualcomm eventually relented and now offers a barebones version of the Atheros LAN and Wi-Fi driver set without the manager included. You can add my voice to the chorus that recommends using it from first install.

They cause more problems than they solve. PC Gamer is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. One Lombard Street, Suite , San Francisco California PC Gamer THE GLOBAL AUTHORITY ON PC GAMES. News Reviews Hardware Pro Best Of Magazine More Meet the team Newsletter Signup Community Guidelines Affiliate Links About PC Gamer.

By James Norris Comments Shares. The interface is slick looking and easy to use, although glitches such as settings that occasionally re-enable themselves are still present. LAN Speed Test results, Ethernet only on the left and DoubleShot on the right.

Killer bigfoot lan drivers

Ethernet alone one the right, Doubleshot on the left. Ethernet vs DoubleShot internet results.

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Intel Ethernet controller on the left, Doubleshot on the right. Killer drivers are a little messy with DPC control, and use up more CPU time as a result. Hardware Buying Guides Latest Game Reviews. Subscribe to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.

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