RIP Killer Xeno Pro NIC (good riddance?)

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Oct 20, 2005
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Had been running a Killer Xeno Pro until a few days ago. Loved the network traffic prioritization feature, and loved the idea that it was offloading stuff from the CPU. I say "until a few days ago" because that's when the card seemed to have died. So, I pulled it out and switched to my motherboard's onboard NIC. As a result of this switch from dedicated network hardware to generic onboard software-driven stuff, my overall experience... didn't change at all. At least, it didn't change as far as I can tell with Diablo 3 and normal YouTube HD streaming duties. Nothing seems to be worse than it was with the Killer. I still love the idea of dedicated hardware, but evidently this thing was doing nothing detectable for me. When I bought it, I was playing WoW and I think running a slower rig, so the Killer might have made sense then. Now, I'm not sure it was adding anything other than heat... I wish I had come to this conclusion a couple of years ago when I quit WoW. I would have switched this NIC over to my jury-rigged file server, where it might have done some real good...
 
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Oct 6, 2013
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Youngstown, NY
Weird, I always figured that NIC was a bit of a scam. Selectable bandwidth is interesting, but it's a far cry from a proper QoS setup. Also Anandtech seems to think the thing was completely useless for anything but the bandwidth throttle, which, again, is only useful on the same machine. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2797
 
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d00df00d

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Oct 20, 2005
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PA
"A bit of a scam" is a pretty good description if taken literally. It does work -- with ping-intensive games, while other network-utilizing apps run in the background, on a subpar machine that has no business running all that stuff in the first place, and assuming the software doesn't cause any problems of its own. Not exactly a broad cross-section of applications. Certainly not situations in which money can justifiably be spent on a high-end NIC; if the money is available, it should go to the CPU anyway. So, yeah. Not totally a scam! But also not exactly useful for most people, nowhere near living up to the hype, and never really worth the money. Come to think of it, it's a lot like most aftermarket oil additives... happy
 
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Dec 7, 2008
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Virginia
I was always under the impression, after reading a review and/or comparison of them with the Killer somewhere back then, that the $30 Intel Gigabit CT adapters were (and still are) the gold standard for add-in NICs. I recall that the final opinion was something along the lines of 'what the Killer NIC can do is not even remotely necessary to get low pings on a decent modern computer'. Sounds like electronic snake oil, the Monster Cable of NICs.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
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Central Washington
Monster Cable of NICs is probably a pretty good description. I first saw them when they showed up on Gigabyte's boards and didn't get it. I remember thinking what a drop in the bucket LAN pings are if you are gaming on the internet. Who cares if its a hundred ns faster getting on to the LAN if it still has to travel across the country to get to its destination. Even LAN gaming I dont really see what sort of difference it could make. I just have the onboard Realtek NICs on my older Gigabyte board and I get <1ms pings across multiple switches to anywhere on my network. I didnt know it could throttle bandwidth, which may be useful, but if you have other people in the house they could still wreck the internet connection at anytime. Better to do something about it at the router level.
 
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