Bigfoot networks killer 2100 nic

Unlike the original M1 and K1, the Killer 2100 boasts a PCI-Express interface, with Bigfoot Networks opting to use a single lane connector that you can plug into any spare 1x, 4x or 16x socket.

A single network port adorns the back of the card, with the main PCB obscured by a black plastic grill that makes a nod to server room styling.

Underneath this grill you'll find the large Killer NPU alongside a pair of Samsung memory chips that provide the card with 128MB of DDR2 to play around with.

Installing the card is straightforward enough, which is a significant improvement over the initial cards, which were plagued with driver problems.

Once finished, the Bigfoot Networks Dashboard tells you how much work the card is doing and enables you to manage and shape your network traffic so that you dictate which applications have the lion's share of your bandwidth.

The Killer 2100 does offer improvements, but they're not as marked as many would imagine or buyers would hope. The problem is, there are so many factors that affect your online gaming that shaving a few milliseconds off that last stage isn't going to revolutionize your experience.

And for just under £100 we would expect something more significant.

Yet again, the machines that benefit from the Killer 2100 are those older machines, where dedicated handling of the network stack frees up your processor to handle the game, and can result in a significant boost in performance.

We liked:

This is the card Bigfoot Networks should have released four years ago: it's polished, well designed and focused on one job. It does what it sets out to do as well…

We disliked:

Unfortunately the difference this card will have on your system is dependant on its age. Newer systems won't get a tangible benefit from freeing up the CPU, while the differences it can make to latencies are so slight as to make it mostly irrelevant.

Final Word:

As with the original Killer NIC M1, the Killer 2100 is just too expensive.

It may have dropped in price, but compared to the networking that you already have inside your machine, £94 seems a lot to pay for the smallest of improvements.